Infringing on Copyright Laws?

LittleMan

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Back in 2005 I took aerial photos of the "Boxstoberfest" A Porsche Boxster gathering in Fredericksburg, TX.

The most recent Porsche Panorama catalogue has one of my photos in it. This is good in a way, but at the same time it isn't... because they did not give me any credit at all for the photo.

Directly after the photos were taken a man from the catalogue(I do have his name and email address) asked me if they could use them in their magazine. I told him that it would be OK as long as they put my name next to the image.

That catalogue/their website did NOT have my name next to the photo so we emailed them and told them. I never got a response back.
I just blew it off because that was a small mag that not many people read anyways.

But the most recent article of the Porsche Panorama catalogue(very famous catalogue) has one of my photos in it... without my name mentioned anywhere in the small article.

Here's the article: (scanned)
PorschePanorama1.jpg


and my photo: (on the next page)
PorschePanorama2.jpg


This really angers me because Porsche Panorama never asked if they could use this photo in their monthly magazines.... and as you can see, they did not give me any credit.

what should I do/what can I do? :confused:
 
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LittleMan

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k, I guess to make money you gotta spend money. :p

Are there any lawyers here willing to give free advice? :lol:

(I'm not exactly rich)
 

hobbes28

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Look in the phonebook. A lot of lawyers will give a free assessment of what you have, casewise, and some will even not charge you unless you get a settlement.
 
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LittleMan

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hobbes28 said:
Look in the phonebook. A lot of lawyers will give a free assessment of what you have, casewise, and some will even not charge you unless you get a settlement.
sounds good, I will talk to my dad about it all and we'll do something. :thumbup:
 

mysteryscribe

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Interesting point. I once had something similiar happen. I shot a picture of a college building at night. A pretty good shot acutually. (hey you got to get lucky now and then.) The picture was done as a favor to the editor of the yearbook. I shot her wedding (for money, I had a photo service at the time) She was running out of money and needed a cover shot for her yearbook. So I did it.

Next thing I know, there are picture on recruiting brochures, and everything else the school used. The girl had given the color slide to the school when she left. It was such a hodge podge of he said, she said, that my lawyer, also a customer, said forget it. Chalk it up to experience and get it in writing next time, was his advice.

One of the things I never quite understood was the theory that you have to show damage to collect on a civil suit. I could be wrong since that is second hand info. In other word if sara jane takes the pictures from her wedding and copies them to send to aunt sue and somehow you find out who do you sue. Your client? You have been deprived of a sale so what are your losses couple of hundred bucks. Let me see a day in court, ill will and really bad publicity when the old lady takes the stand, or just write it off as modern technology gone amuck.

But don't let me catch _____ (fill in the name of any one hour lab or copy shop here) making bootleg copies of my marked prints. They are profiting from my work and they have deep pockets. I think that is a lawyers first priority, how much money can I make. 35% of the settlement or an ego fee up front. You know those, it's a matter of principle, things.

That is my experience but don't let it sway your decission. It's just another man's experiences with the legal system.

Now if you live in California or they are there, then it's a different ballgame entirely. They may also have deep enough pockets to just pay you with a simple letter from the lawyer. They have to go to court and waste a day to, it might be easier just to pay you off. Which, by the way you are entitled to get paid.
 

Big Mike

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Have you directly contacted the editor of the magazine? A simple letter may straighten things out, without legal action.

Or maybe it would be better to send a letter via a lawyer, to really put a scare into them.

You never know, they may ask you for other photos or for future assignments...but probably not if you come in shooting, looking to get a big payday.
 

BernieSC

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Thats kind of a gray area. Its not an infringement if they use a photo as an example or teaching aide. They really aren't making money on that photo they would have sold magazines or news papers whether the photo was there or not. They used that photo as an example. Now I might be wrong but that some how seems to fall under the area of using a photo to show an example or teach. Thats probably how it would be argued if you were in court. Thats my opinon I am not a lawyer and not versed in the miles of gray areas in copyright laws. But that is part of the copyright law if you use a photo in certain situations that is just showing an example or as a teaching aide they are exept from copyright infringments.
 

zedin

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Well it doesn't matter if they are not using the picture to make money. It is not their picture in the first place. Even if a company wants to make little stickers with a pictures to hand out to school kids.. They cannot do it unless they obtain an license from the photographer to use the image for that purpose. Plus you could argue that they are indirectly making money off use of the picture since it appears in an article and that promotes them thus driving buisness for them up.

But I agree with the others. Try contacting the editor first to get it worked out and some sort of compensation since they did not give you credit. Otherwise find a lawyer.
 
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LittleMan

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zedin said:
Well it doesn't matter if they are not using the picture to make money. It is not their picture in the first place. Even if a company wants to make little stickers with a pictures to hand out to school kids.. They cannot do it unless they obtain an license from the photographer to use the image for that purpose. Plus you could argue that they are indirectly making money off use of the picture since it appears in an article and that promotes them thus driving buisness for them up.

But I agree with the others. Try contacting the editor first to get it worked out and some sort of compensation since they did not give you credit. Otherwise find a lawyer.
I'll do that. :)
 

Big Mike

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You might consider just asking for acknowledgement...If they had paid you for it...it might only have been $10, probably not worth fighting over. But acknowledging you in their next issue, along with the photo, and maybe another of yours...might be a better solution.
 
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LittleMan

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Big Mike said:
You might consider just asking for acknowledgement...If they had paid you for it...it might only have been $10, probably not worth fighting over. But acknowledging you in their next issue, along with the photo, and maybe another of yours...might be a better solution.
That's all I wanted in the first place... and that's all I'll ask for when I do talk with them.
 

Aoide

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And if it does get to a lawyer, you might just need him to write a letter and "scare them" as Big Mike says, so it might not be super expensive.

Also, are these two magazine's related. You mentioned a small one which you kind of blew off and then this one. If they are related then I would make sure to use the name of this employee in your letter. He was representing this magazine and is not following through on his promises.

Go get 'em Littleman!
 

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