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Thread: people using my photos for commercial promotion

  1. #1
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    people using my photos for commercial promotion

    Hi,
    I've been taking some pics of dancing events. I posted a few online and stuff, just for entertainment value...
    Now I see the most prominent salsa dance school in Sydney that puts their logo on my picture and uses it on their website for promotion.

    (top left)
    http://latinmotion.com.au/e-news/jac...zouk-workshops

    What would you recommend? I'm not greedy, I'm not particularly looking for money either, but damn this photo is mine!!
    I'm shocked by the total disrespect of intellectual property...

    Cheers

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    Not really into the business side of things but I would at least like the recognition that they were mine
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    Account Closed reaction's Avatar
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    send them a bill
    $x for unauth use

    then $y for license to use

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    If you didn't give them express permission yo use them on their website then they have stolen the images.

    The fact that they have watermarked them with their own logo takes it that little bit further. I would not just be demanding recognition, but also compensation!

    I would send them a letter/email stating your fees and terms for them displaying your work (which you own full copyright for) on their website, and try and come to an agreement...
    Cheers, Brad




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    agreed. Send them a bill, and when they refuse to pay it, give them a DCMA take down request.
    It helps if you have the original file with all the exif details intact to prove it was yours in the first place.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mercho View Post
    If you didn't give them express permission yo use them on their website then they have stolen the images.

    The fact that they have watermarked them with their own logo takes it that little bit further. I would not just be demanding recognition, but also compensation!

    I would send them a letter/email stating your fees and terms for them displaying your work (which you own full copyright for) on their website, and try and come to an agreement...
    Good point. I am not sure of the penalties for copy right infringement ? I think that they will act fast if threatened so go for it

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    I have the original 18MP raw file. They just took the 1024x something image I exported...
    Actually I'm 99% sure they will take it down if I ask it.

    I'm not sure of what the procedure is in Australia, as I haven't lived in the country for that long. Back in France, we first have to have it seen by some legal entity called "huissier" who will basically look at something and certify that yes it was like that at this moment, and from it make a "constat", as evidence. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Huissier_de_justice

    In France, there are some online "huissier" who, for around $40 or less, take a snapshot of whatever url and keep it in their files.

    Before contacting them, I'd like to collect evidence, so that they can't just take it off and then say nothing happened.
    Is there something similar in Australia?
    Last edited by patrickv; 07-06-2012 at 4:19pm.

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    Take screen grabs, so you have a record if it being there.

    Send them a bill for $1000.00, 14 days to pay. Include a line that states if they do not pay the full amount owed, then the account will be placed with a debt collection agency and all costs associated with collecting the debt will be added to the $1000.00.

    If they remove the photo, send them copies of the screen grabs, along with a final notice advising that they have 7 days to pay in full or debt collectors will be given the account, and all costs will be borne by them
    "It is one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it is another thing to make a portrait of who they are" - Paul Caponigro

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    Thanks guys

    I just did some screenshots.
    Actually I just had an idea. The director of this school is an acquaintance, and I think it may be some silly/junior/incompetent person from marketing who did this image theft and usurpation thing.

    So here is the email I sent him:
    Hi Rafa
    What's your policy on copyright?
    Like if, someone illegally downloaded a LM DVD on some site, and
    remastered it by adding a big "some other dance school name" logo on
    the whole video, repackaged it, and used bits of it for promo of their
    services? Would you not care? Would you sue them? Or would you just
    call them up to settle this in a friendly way? Would you publicly
    shame them, or would you keep the whole story discreet if they agreed
    to get things straight?
    Cheers
    Depending on how he would handle the stuff himself, I'll figure out how to handle his company.
    If it was just some random company I wouldn't second guess myself too much, but these people are part of my wider social circle. They may also have some photographic needs, it could be a chance to settle things positively.

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    I am just a bit concerned that in your email you haven't actually stipulated that your images have been used by them!!
    I think straight to the point would have been better!!
    If he is unaware and was not responsible, I imagine he would be wondering what on earth you are asking of him!!
    Cheers and Happy Shooting
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    It's an experiment, I have no idea how it will go. I'll just go an see them if I get no answer, they're not very far away I'll go and see them...

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    Sorry mate, you're too nice and that email you is kind of uselessly cryptic. It should have been :

    Hi Rafa
    X Company has taken it upon themselves to use my photograph without my authorisation.
    They have not only used the photograph without my knowledge or permission but also watermarked it, effectively claiming it as their property.
    As a result I would either like compensation for the Company's use of the photograph or the photograph taken down immediately.
    Please find enclosed an invoice... [your payment stipulations, etc, etc, etc]
    Cheers



    Whilst I think Rick's solution is a bit harsh, I think the message needs to be made clear - they've claimed your work as theirs and that is NOT on.
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    Any news on how this went? Would be interested to hear the outcome

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    Thanks all for your advice and support.
    He contacted me up on Tuesday, apologized and had already taken the image down. He seemed genuinely completely ignorant of any basic copyright rules. I know a bit of his background (a few years ago, he was a drug addict on the street - who got out of it through learning dance) so I actually think it's true.
    Anyway, not completely sure what to do now, I think I'll just let it go.

    Edit: he = the current director of this small company. He's not one of the founders, it had existed for ten years before he joined it.
    Last edited by patrickv; 14-06-2012 at 7:38pm.

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    Ausphotography irregular Mark L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by patrickv View Post
    .......
    Anyway, not completely sure what to do now, I think I'll just let it go.
    Can they afford to buy the photo from you? For their use only!

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    One idea is allow them to use the photo, with your logo or signature advertising your business/ photography on it.?

    If they can't afford to buy it , then it may be a nice compromise.

    Business shouldnt get in the way of humanity.



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    Ausphotography Regular MissionMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kerrie View Post
    One idea is allow them to use the photo, with your logo or signature advertising your business/ photography on it.?

    If they can't afford to buy it , then it may be a nice compromise.

    Business shouldnt get in the way of humanity.
    I think this is a good suggestion. If they're small, you can at least get some advertising out of it and you don't lose much given the circumstances. Its probably not worth the legal mess of trying to sue them and even if you win, all you may achieve is shutting down a small business that isn't make much money and is keeping a couple of people employed.

    Perhaps another compromise for him to allow you access to do photography shoot while they are training with the intention of selling the photos to the individuals who are learning to dance. There may be some people who want some pictures.

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    Call ACA or TT

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    thanks all
    I sent an email to them to suggest they do a real photo shoot and we'll see how it goes!

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    email reply today:

    "Hi Patrick that would be great,
    I am in need of some professional staff photos.
    Let me know what we need to do."

    For a generic shooting I think I have the required gear: white backdrop, four studio lights with soft box including one boom arm, Canon 7D, Canon 1100D (backup), 30mm f/1.4, 50mm f/1.4, 24-70mm f/2.8, 100mm f/2. If they prefer outdoors, I also have a large reflector and diffuser with different colours. I also have two flashes, Nissin Di622 and Di866, and a 15x8cm (approx) flash diffuser.

    What I intend to do now is go and see him for a quick 15min meeting so we can decide what shots he needs, and where they want to do the shots. The staff is about 20 people and I imagine they'll require head shot + full body shot for each of them, with also probably a few group shots.

    What I have no idea about is the pricing. I'm very new to Australia. While I do have Australian citizenship (thanks Mum!), I have only been living here for a few months. Any tips will be welcome! The customer is a small business, with maybe 5 perm employees and all the rest as freelance dance instructors doing a few hours a week. I don't want to set a crazy price, but I'd like to have it be something balanced. It's a lot of work to take that many pictures and then process them. I should probably also get an ABN...

    Thanks again to all for your great advice. While I proceeded much more gently than some recommended, I nonetheless appreciate very much your point of view and the different perspectives helped me balance out what I was going to do.

    Cheers
    Last edited by patrickv; 01-07-2012 at 4:38pm.

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