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advice needed - photo usage infringements

Serge Chabert

New member
not sure if this is the right category, but here goes:

I need advice on photo usage infringements.
I live in Glasgow, Scotland. and I need advice on the following issue.
I did a photographic job as a volunteer for a beauty event last august (two days work). The organization (not a charity) promised that they would credit me each time they would credit me every time they use my work. It was put in writing in a contract that the organization insisted on to make sure, as they told me, that I would be there to cover the event (contract attached).
The contract also state that I remain the copyright holder of the photos.
However, time and again, they failed to credit me properly, both on social media and on their website). Which leads meta believe, as well, that they might have used my photos for other means as well (which I have no way to check) either on magazines, internal or otherwise or for advertising purposes.
They posted the said photos on social media (facebook, instagram) in august 2018.
They have used about 400 photos of mine without crediting me since august 2018. And they are still using them to promote another event for this year, again, without adding my name to them. An event for which they charge their customers.
I sent them an email in January citing the omission of the credits on the photos (with screen grabs showing some of the photos without my name attached. They have replied that they forgot and they told me that they would remedy to it.
However, as of this day, they have only credited 37 photos out of 400 published (as far as I know) online. I have gathered all the evidence needed (screenshots and videos).
Now they are using my photos (still without the due credit) to promote a future event, , and they have asked me to cover the event (being there covering that event from 9am to 10pm) for free again. I told them that this time I will charge them and gave them my quote event. They replied that It is too expensive and they would only be willing to pay £100 for coverage of the event (working for 13 hours) and including delivery of the images). I obviously rejected their offer.
Would anyone know what are my recourses. Can I sue then for failing to fulfill the terms on the contract? (I have kept screen grabs of the several example of my photographs published on social media and their website without crediting my name). I have drafted a cease and desist letter and an invoice that I intend to send them (see photos). What do you think? I have attached a copy of the contract as well here.I would be very grateful if anyone could give me advice regarding this.
 

Attachments

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Serge,

I have jokingly said that I wished someone would steal my pictures, but they have to be rich!

One fellow, I believe in New Zealand, noticed, on a supermarket shelf, bottles of some food product of the stature of Heinz, Cadburys or Nestle, with a picture he had seen before. It bugged him and then he realized it was from a photographer who’s work he admired.

It turns out that the bottle label had his picture without even an enquiry to the photographer! It was simply taken from the internet, without any agreement or credit.

Well that meant a real business loss and then a huge penalty from a corporation that had very deep pockets. Judges, (who put folk in jail, day in, day out), just love to feel good, every so often, by awarding massive damages in such a clear exploitation of an artisan.

In your case,

A. First, you did the work for free, (not too helpful in establishing your value as a craftsman or artist) and then

B. They appear to have only used your work product in a respectable milieu, (not as part of pornography or a scam, where your name is sullied “by association”, (libel per quod)).

C. What were the mechanism for damages, if any, in your contract?

I will look at this further after printing out the entire contract.

Then I might have something to add. One leverage you can have is the projected “cease and desist” notice, crafted by a lawyer to include ideas such as:

“In the event that any of my clients photographs are used by you or your agents for any purpose, including but not limited to newsletters, advertising, social media, schedules, brochures, whether or not credit is given to my client shall result in the XYX Company/Charity paying $200 per instance of use per image, per post in social media and $200 per printed instance per 100 copies of that publication, brochure or single poster larger than 5”x7”.”

Notwithstanding the above, my client is open to a licensing agreement, where you have unlimited use for publicity and advertising only for all existing images for a single fee $500 for the duration of 5 years”


I would put “pound sterling” except on my iPhone, the symbol is not readily visible to me) and we are just set up for the magic $, LOL.”

Now take note that I am not a lawyer, just using my experience and common sense in providing a start for your lawyer.

Good luck,

Asher
 

Jerome Marot

Well-known member
You should contact a local lawyer, as your chances to get payment vary from country to country.

I think that you should also send that "beauty event" a bill for unauthorised use of your pictures. Try to find out what the local rate is and add 50% penalty. Sending that bill is usually necessary to claim damages.
 

Nicolas Claris

Administrator/Moderator
You should contact a local lawyer, as your chances to get payment vary from country to country.

I think that you should also send that "beauty event" a bill for unauthorised use of your pictures. Try to find out what the local rate is and add 50% penalty. Sending that bill is usually necessary to claim damages.
I fully agree with Jerome!
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
In Boston, go to the Shell Gas Station on Commonwealth Avenue and ask for “Luigi” and then the $1,000 solution. They will arrive at the directors office with duct tape, sufficient plastic to cover the walls and floor and and extension cord for their electric saw....and set a timer for 30 minutes for a cash settlement or else!

In my day, it was the $50 solution “to whack two guys”! They didn’t ever use tons of plastic and electric saws! It was pretty basic. Just black tarpaulin “sacs” and each of the two men in black revealed huge Smith and Weston’s in holsters underneath their identical double-breasted coats.

But I lost track of the guys, as my wife screamed at me and swore she would boot me out if I ever pulled that stunt again!

Not only that, she banned my from ever going near a Shell gas station again!

But seriously, follow Jerome's advice:invoice them and get a local lawyer.

Good luck!


Asher
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
So Serge, what will you do?

Is it expensive in Scotland to get a lawyer. If one could do it for $150 or less it’s worthwhile.

But at least, follow Jerome’s advice and write out an invoice after lines he suggests.

What that does is establish a reference marker for your claims. But it doesn’t cost a penny! You can still follow up with the lawyers letter!

Asher
 

Serge Chabert

New member
I contacted a lawyer and it is a minimum of £500.
Any way, I am going send them a cease and desist letter with an invoice.
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Send it to me, if you wish and I will to the best of my ability, (as a friend not a lawyer), suggest any corrections. Include evidence which is attached as an appendix.

Include the agreement again. I will print it out and make suggested corrections. Make yourself a note paper for the final version of with your name and studio name so its more formal.

Have a line “CC Joes Jones, Esq Barrister at Law” or whatever the title is for British lawyers, so it appears you do indeed have an attorney!

Surely, there must be attorneys for less! In the USA a small firm will write a lawyers initial “cease and desist” letter for say $200-300, which I guess should be possible where you are, if you hunt around with your letter in hand to give them.

Post some of the pictures here in an entirely separate new thread, so we can all see them.

Asher
 
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