Copyright infringement?

Discussion in 'Photography & Video' started by AzonIc, Feb 8, 2005.

  1. AzonIc

    AzonIc Member

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    I just spent my weekend away down in Mount Gambier, cave diving in some of the fantastic sinkholes down there. Imagine my surprise when we were stopped in a dive shop getting air fills when I see my own photo being used in an advertisement. At first I was absolutely stoked to see that someone other than me obviously found it to be a good photo, but then I quickly wondered how they got their hands on it. I initially thought it must have somehow found it's way onto a website and the shop owner has pulled it from there. But then I was told that this was up in more dive shops and who was putting it up, and I realised how the photo was obtained.

    I am the editor of my Dive Club's newsletter, and included the photo at the end of our clubs August 04 newsletter, with the comments:

    "Leafy Seadragon, Rapid Bay Jetty. Taken by Nathan *removed* on a Canon A40 Digicam."

    This newsletter went out to all of our club members on email, and included a member who works for a distributor of dive equipment. He is also the owner of an lodge where accommodation is being offered as part of this advertisement. FYI, he is not currently a member of the club. He made up the advertisement signs and has put them in shops the he distributes to around SA (and possibly Vic).

    I would really have appreciated being asked for permission to use the photo. I would also have appreciated being credited with the photo in the advertisement, but that has not happened either.

    Has anyone else been in this position? What have you done / would you do?

    This is the photo:

    [​IMG]
    Click to view full-sized image!
    Hosted by UGBox Image Store
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2007
  2. ^catalyst

    ^catalyst Member

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    I'm pretty sure you're meant to have some cash.

    Your photo being used in a commercial sense? CASH.

    Contact this person and get some answers.

    -^catalyst
     
  3. pippin88

    pippin88 Member

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    Write them a rather polite, but firm letter about the issue. Clearly stating that they do not have permission to use the photo or the copyright of the photo, and that negotiation could be entered into. Maybe drop something like "talking to my solicitors"

    You should do this not only to maybe get a bit of cash for your work, but also to discourage this guy and maybe even others from stealing photographers work.
     
  4. Gibbon

    Gibbon grumpy old man

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    It's not necessarily a matter of money-grabbing (you may well have been happy for him to use the photo for no payment provided you were credited as the photographer, I don't know) ... but yes, you have the copyright to that photo (whether it has anything on it to say so or not), so your permission should have been obtained before he did that.

    What can you do about it now? Probably not a lot really, unless you want to make a big deal of it.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2005
  5. Sting

    Sting Member

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    Happen a few times...

    1. Nightclub used a photo for one of their hospitality cards.
    I called them up, told them not to use it without prior permission and if they wanted to use others in future to contact me. I could have been a bastard about it but I use to frequent the club alot and knew alot of people there so didn't worry about it.

    2. Promotion Company using my photos without the watermarks as per the agreement.
    I emailed them letting them know they broke our agreement and sent them the pictures with watermarks. The changed it within 24hours.

    3. NBL Website used one of our photos on their website.
    Contacted them and agreed to have credit placed on the page.

    If I were in your situation..
    Firstly contact the person and asked them where they got the photo and ask if he knew that it was a breech of copyright.

    Now.. what do YOU want to do? Are you happy to have your photo displayed with no credit? Some credit? Or do you want money out of it? Or just take it down?

    If you decide you want something out of it see if he will talk $$... send him an invoice. If that doesn't get paid, get the lawyer to send the letter and another invoice.
     
  6. theicemagic

    theicemagic Member

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    Hmm. I think I've even seen that picture before, and I'm in Darwin. ~_~

    Remember, that sometimes taking the not to agressive approach, and simply ask that he give credit for the photo with the photo, or not use it. Sometimes they say no worries, and if it does work out, it could work out in your favour down the track when someone sees it and would like you to do some photography for them. It's called Karma.
     
  7. Frozen_Hell

    Frozen_Hell Member

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    Personally I'm of the opinion that I'd ask for money for it straight off the bat, considering it was used without permission. Whether you might have let him use it if you'd been given credit for it is not the point anymore... why should you be courteous to him, when he certainly hasn't been courteous to you?

    I'd be asking at least a couple of hundred dollars for it. Basically if you wanted to sell that work legitimately to someone else to use, he has now over-exposed it in that market, so the value of it as a saleable work has decreased.
     
  8. Sting

    Sting Member

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    You would ask for a couple of hundred IF it hadn't been used prior. Now, you don't know where and how many times it has been used. You generally mark up by a bit after it's been used without permission.

    Let us know what your decision is and how you go.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2005
  9. OP
    OP
    AzonIc

    AzonIc Member

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    I think I will just send him a polite email, requesting that I be asked for permission in future. I am also considering making it a condition that my photos be watermarked with my name. If he had come to me and asked to use it I wouldn't ask for money, so to be fair I will not now. I do not consider that photo, or myself to be finished with that subject, but once I am (and have the photo in my head that I am looking for), then I will be looking for $$.

    Or perhaps I will first ask him where he got the photo. I guess I should get the facts straight first.

    It would be really good to get some $ for my work though.
     
  10. OP
    OP
    AzonIc

    AzonIc Member

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    Jeez. If you remember where, please let me know! The only other places I can think it's been put is on here (so perhaps that's where?) and also on my dive club's website with some other underwater shots ive done (www.narcd.com) - but it only just went up in the last week or so.
     
  11. Frozen_Hell

    Frozen_Hell Member

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    You should get paid money for your work that is used for commercial purposes. People in business are there to make money, why should they not pay for things that are used to make them money?

    Seriously... you should charge him for it to set a precedent for him and for yourself.
     
  12. f@rmboy

    f@rmboy Terrorist Photographer

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    I have mixed feelings on this.

    Firstly, I'd be hitting the bastard up for cold hard cabbage. If for nothing else but to show him your displeasure for him not seeking permission to use your image nor giving you credit for it.

    Now... I don't know whether I would charge for my image to be used for "promotional" purposes IF I had given permission to use the image. I would however charge if that image was being used to make money. Eg from the sale of calendars, cards etc...

    I often let the local rag use my football images free of charge so long as they give credit and don't alter the image (except for maybe cropping). I have an understanding that if anyone enquires about having copies of those pictures printed then the newspaper will forward their requests on to me. If I was to find out that they were selling my pic to readers then I would be pissed off, even if they gave me credit for the pics.
     
  13. scottjmartin

    scottjmartin Member

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    I would guess that you are going to have a hard time getting money out of the guy. Did you have a watermark or copyright symbol on it that he deleted? If not then he may argue that you did not claim copyright and therefore you have waived your rights. That would probably not hold up legally but you would be unlikely to get any damages in court anyway, well not enough to cover the lawyers fees. If he deleted copyright info on the photo then I would go after him for cash (but then I do this stuff for a living so it is easier for me.)
    Photos that you want to retain rights to should carry enough details for any potential user to be able to contact you. If the user can't contact you, then you really don't have much of a case against them.
    Moral: always put copyright on published photos, and preferably some contact info.
     
  14. f@rmboy

    f@rmboy Terrorist Photographer

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    Copyright is instant and automatic. You dont have to "claim" copyright for it to be in effect.
     
  15. Mred32

    Mred32 Old and Decrepit

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    As f@rmboy states, there is no need to claim copyright. You automatically own the copyright to a photo the instant you take it.
    If someone wants to use that photo it is their responsibility and obligation to contact you and seek permission. If they are unable to contact you then they are out of luck. They can't use it.

    Placing a copyright notice on a piece is often a good idea but it is in no way a requirement for the copyright to hold true. The same goes for any artistic or literary piece with very few and limited exceptions.

    You take the photo, then you own it and all rights to it!

    Mred32
     
  16. kasi

    kasi Member

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    Well this has little to do with the topic but I just had to say that's a great photo, I really like it. I'm not surprised that anyone would wish to use it to promote diving or tourism, or even the whole state. For example, it would look great on a glossy travel brochure "Discover the Secrets of South Australia".
     
  17. OP
    OP
    AzonIc

    AzonIc Member

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    thanks for the compliment Kasi,


    Well I just got back from my dive shop, I grabbed one of their leaflets coz I wanted to be 110% sure it was my photo (a terrible thought entered my mind that perhaps it was just bloody simular and I was making an ass of myself) but yep, sure enough it's mine.

    So I thought I would email him first, mentioning that my photo was used and asking where he got it from (even though I know where he got it from).

    Went to find his email address in the email I sent out with that newsletter, and he's not even in there. I now suspect he was not even a member of my dive club, and instead got the newsletter via his partner who was at the time.

    Chasing up his email address and his membership status at the time now.
     
  18. charcoalchippin

    charcoalchippin (Banned or Deleted)

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    id give you my advice..but someone else reading might steal it :(
     
  19. redav

    redav Member

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    That's a neat photo. What was it taken with?
     
  20. Goose1981

    Goose1981 Member

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    a camera.






    j/j's.. the details on on the first page of thread through a link.. a canon something or other..
     

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