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Thread: Photo used by a business - What would you do?

  1. #1
    Member SpoonyDan's Avatar
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    Photo used by a business - What would you do?

    Firstly, I'm no pro-photographer, at the moment I do it for fun and experience. Making some money out of it in the is something I have considered however (I guess I have already, a dog photo shoot and a large wall print of the image discussed below).

    So at Easter I shot this photo of a mate at Manar Park (largest camping, 4x4, dirtbike park in QLD).
    DSCF4282 v2 by SpoonShots, on Flickr

    I'd thrown a stack of images, including this one on my Facebook for friends who went that weekend to see. He posted it on Manar Parks Facebook page, and a period after they contacted him, asked him when it was taken, he also told me they did ask who took it and if the photographer had any other pics and hi-res ones.

    Hearing this I figured, oh they must be interested in more pics, awesome, so I waited a few days expecting to be contacted. By this time I'd found out they'd used the Facebook version of the image (which was under exposed and not PP correctly) in their bulk email newsletter with zero reference too me (it's still can be accessed from their page currently http://www.manar.com.au/newsletter_may2014.html .
    They also now have this poor version of this image as their Gacebook cover photo https://www.facebook.com/pages/Manar...069886?fref=ts .

    Now I'm flattered they the obviously like the image this much, however I found it a bit rude that they then went on to use it after contacting my mate without getting in contact with me to first ask, or at minimum at least provide credit to. As far as I'm aware it's also a breach of copyright when used for promotional use?

    Not wanting to cause a big fuss, but also hearing they seemingly were keen on other images I sent off an Facebook message (unprofessional I know) expressing concern but also putting forward a mutual proposal. I didn't hear back so followed this with an email. Basically I politely stated my disappointment of not being credited for the image nor being contacted for it's promotional use. I also mentioned that I would be back up at their park during the June long weekend and perhaps we could sort a mutual arrangement suitable to both parties, suggesting use of my existing photos and some others I would take while up there again, mentioning opening up shooting to other riders I'd likely get better pics again. For this I'd get the long weekend (4 days) camping and riding for free, so really a non cost to them.

    I received a phone call this morning, from a staff member, not the owner (who was away). He seemed very blase about it all with comments like 'mate heaps of people send us pics all the time and we just share them out'. I said that's fine, as with my mate posting it on their page, no issue, but I did say it's one thing for people to share pics on their page, another to use them in promotional material (ie as a cover photo and bulk newsletter etc). He didn't seem to phase and said, look I'll take it down then. At that point I bought up my other suggestion about acquiring more photo's, he sort again mentioned 'oh we get heaps anyways', I did then say I'd browsed their sight and facebook, and most are v.average, he agreed sort of. (not blowing wind up my own, but it is the truth haha).

    He said only the boss could make a call on exchange of services and said he'd talk to her (not so confident). He did then suggest perhaps sending another email highlighting this option, he thought my original was 'confrontational' (it was super politically polite even by nanny state standards haha).

    While it seems I'm perhaps making a big deal out of nothing, His thought's about using anyones images that it wasn't a big deal, I did point out that there are people that shoot for a living, and questioned how they'd feel if a neighboring property let the public ride for free.

    So what to do:
    Option 1: Give them the correctly adjusted image (low res for web) with my name watermarked on it for use on Facebook with the view to be in communication with the owner and hopefully achieve a good outcome.
    Option 2: Tell them to take all images down immediately (bad blood?)
    Option 3: A friend suggested perhaps asking to be the accredited photographer when there and shoot for riders not for the park. Ie take many shots of riders and be allowed to card them, sell images (and larger prints perhaps through my work, it's what I do for a living) . I would have the agreement link to images from the weekend via their website and facebook so people can find them easy also. In exchange for this the park would get use of some of the images.

    Keen to hear thoughts on this. Cheers

  2. #2
    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    First thing I would do. Watermark ALL my images I put up on facebook with name and © symbol. Then if they take them again, at least you are getting exposure cause your name is splashed across them all.

    What you have experienced is common these days. treat it as a learning experience..they do not give a damn.

    As for getting rights to shoot, do you really think they would do that? They could not care less. Tell em to remove all your photos. They will not pay you or anyone else as they have already said 'people send us lots'.
    "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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    Member gbradtke's Avatar
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    I think yours is a pretty common dilemma.
    Perhaps what you need to ask yourself is what are you taking the photos for?
    If it's for fun and the images inadvertently end up being spread around then (on a personal level anyway) take it as a pat on the back for your good work and don't get too upset.
    If you are serious about pursuing this as a revenue stream then you should learn from it as your bad for not clearly copyrighting the image as soon as it leaves your hard drive.
    Bad blood is something to avoid. Perhaps you could send them a better quality image with clear copyright watermark and (whilst reminding them that they are in breach of copyright law) ask them to replace the image. After all the damage has been done already.
    Looking at the issue from another viewpoint you should realise that as a professional photographer (which is what you are) you also have a responsibility to other photographers that derive their income from doing the same thing you do. If you are providing quality images for free then what hope has anyone else got of making a buck?
    If you put images on facebook then make it clear they are your images and that they may not be used without your express permission.
    I have the same issue with local footy photos. I just take the images because I love it. I don't care if they download or share or even print them off but I expect them to ask my permission first.

    Just my thoughts. Others will have their own opinion of course.

    BTW -Great shot!
    Last edited by gbradtke; 15-05-2014 at 7:02pm.

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    Ausphotography irregular Mark L's Avatar
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    Not that I'd know, a thought however.
    Quote Originally Posted by SpoonyDan View Post
    So at Easter I shot this photo of a mate at Manar Park (largest camping, 4x4, dirtbike park in QLD).
    .....
    So it's not public property. Wonder if there are any T&C that come into effect when you pay to be there?
    Maybe (and if they realised it they would have already told you) they have the rights to photos taken on their property.
    "Enjoy what you can do rather than being frustrated at what you can't." bobt
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpoonyDan View Post
    . . .
    1. I shot this photo of a mate at Manar Park (largest camping, 4x4, dirtbike park in QLD).
    2. I'd [posted the image] on my Facebook for friends who went that weekend to see.
    3. He [a friend of mine in facebook] posted it on Manar Parks Facebook page.
    4. I'd found out they'd [Manar Park] used the facebook version of the image.
    5. Keen to hear thoughts on this.
    Walk away.

    Notwithstanding the intricacies of Terms and Conditions of entry Manar Park that you would face if you attempted compensation or retribution, I also advise that you carefully read the Terms and Conditions to which you agreed when you originally posted that image on your facebook page.

    You might find that you have a case: but the advice given to me is that that one will have a very steep uphill battle pursuing much at all once one has agreed to the T&C with respect to an image posted to facebook when said image is used by another facebook member.

    WW

  6. #6
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    SpoonyDan's Avatar
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    Some good advice and thoughts, cheers.

    Yeah I figured this happens often. I'm not going to push for compensation as I seems it would be futile.
    The annoying part of it all is while I'm wanting to stand up for the principle of using someone else work without permission, due to what seems to be a common attitude with regards to one intellectual property, in doing so will likely shut down avenues for future rewards.

    I currently shoot for fun, I love it, like shooting dogs the most, but do have some aspirations of turning it into perhaps an ontheside business with a bit more gear and experience so fully understand giving away good photos devalues the whole industry.

    Edit: Oh their T&C's are pretty limited but have no reference to photography.
    Last edited by SpoonyDan; 16-05-2014 at 9:21am.

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    Ausphotography Veteran Speedway's Avatar
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    The only thing you can do is heavily watermark your Facebook and other easily accessed online images. My watermarked shots from my website are regularly used on Facebook by Go Kart drivers and most buy some prints also. I often get calls from people wanting high res files for the same price as a print but when I tell them prices start at $150 for restricted use they usually just buy a print although I have sold a few for making large stickers for trailers etc.
    Cheers
    Keith.
    Keith

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