Home Photography $60,000 for our stolen photo: We made a copyright thief PAY!

$60,000 for our stolen photo: We made a copyright thief PAY!

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  1. Good show. generally, the process of gaining recompense, settling the issue, knocks people back, it takes so much work,
    Especially with aggressive people who employ lawyers. Well done.

  2. There are international treaties that many countries, including the US and Australia have signed regarding intellectual property rights. Those treaties should supersede the laws of the country, in determining court proceedings. It may be advantageous to follow the laws of the country the offense happened in, but it may also not be legitimate. So, who knows if what happened was really even what should have happened.

  3. I think it's quite possible that the reason the business responded through their attorney didn't have anything to do with them not wanting to work things out. I think they figured that the right way to handle things, especially when an attorney was mentioned in the letter they received, was to contact an attorney to make sure they were protected and handled things correctly. The letter that they received came across as threatening and didn't offer any way for them to resolve the issue swiftly; it left things open ended.

    Most people would feel uncomfortable if they aren't able to reasonably predict the outcome. Unknowingly, you were trying to put all of the control in your own hands without allowing the business a chance to comfortably admit fault, apologize and feel safe in asking how could you come to an equitable resolution. I know that things seemed reasonable from your perspective, and likely you're unable to put yourself in the other side's perspective because you couldn't imagine making a mistake; you only know what you ideally wish had occurred.

    The best resolution I've heard that several professional photographer friends have successfully used is to send an invoice. Granted, it can be difficult to determine an exact figure, but you technically have choices as to how you want to estimate and bill. If an image is displayed online then you come up with a reasonable estimation of how many people have potentially viewed the image as well as how much more exposure the image is likely to receive. I figure if you at least give someone something tangible as a place to start at what you feel is a reasonable solution that gives them a choice of how they would like to handle things.

    If they choose not to pay at all, then you have a right to send the bill to collections. If a bill goes to collections it can and most likely will affect someone's credit. If they decide to haggle and you don't feel like dealing with them, you can always take them to court.

  4. unfo the only way to stop this is
    A post low res pictures on the net a 240 something resolution and watermark the pics
    b Dont post it on the net and use it somewhere elese as a print.
    i am into stock photography and unfo a lot of companies or morons go and steal images from these sites and pass them as their own,one company in particular had the audacity to steal someones photos from shutterstock use them and then send a letter to ss that the user which was the owner of these photos sold them illegally on the site.
    these people need HANGING .
    its good that you won the case and made these fuckers pay you this amound of money

  5. I had a photo stolen off of DPChallange a few years ago, but I was so flattered that someone liked my photo enough to want to steal it, that I wasn't inclined to "go after" them. After a little research I found that it was a little ma/pa organization that made affirmation posters and I asked them to put a credit line on their website and to be more careful and ask first in the future, which they agreed to with many "I'm so sorry"'s thrown in. But then again this is my hobby, not my living 🙂

  6. You wanted to retain pro bono the most expensive attorneys at law dealing with international IP litigation and expected to collect all of the settlement? You should be happy with the fact they took your case to begin with.

  7. Wow, just found this video, people are just amazing! Been watching some of your videos over the last few months and wanted to tell you thank you for your videos. I do real estate photography and I did learn some helpful things from you guy which made me get better pictures. Klaus

  8. The reason their lawyer responded, is that your first email was threatening and sounded like a lawyer. You could have called first with a benefit of the doubt approach to try to work out a deal with the owner and maybe ongoing compensation. The company's reaction would have guided your next moves. If their designer really made a mistake without the client's knowledge and had no intention to defraud you, the tone of your email immediately put them on the defensive, and understandable they would just hand it to their lawyer.

  9. Hey Tony / Chelsea, wow, what a bummer man, I'm sure you know we're all not like that over here.. 🙂 But glad you got it sorted. I know about lawyers, some of them are the biggest thieves when it comes to getting stuff resolved. I know of one that was charging something like $10 -$15 to make one photocopy of a piece of paper. As well as a number of other outrageous charges. 🙂

  10. I mostly shoot street scenes, mostly in the city I live in (obviously), I also work for the city council of that city. About 15 years ago the marketing department produced a mousemat to use as a give way at events promoting the city to businesses that featured a single picture of one of the main squares at night. A stack of these mousemats appeared in our office to be used at an event, and I recognised the photo. I dug through my Photobucket album and sure enough, it was my photo. I raised this with my manager who first said it must just be a similar photo but I was able to show it exactly the same as my photo, I even brought in the negative and original print I'd scanned. When challenged Marketing just sad they had gotten the picture from Corporate Communications who admitted they had gotten it from my Photobucket but then came back with "You're not a professional photographer, copyright only protects work by professionals". I sent them the relevant legislation, copied in the Head of Legal, to prove that anyone could have copyright protections, not just professionals. Then they claimed that if it was on the internet it was in the public domain, before I could respond to them the Head of Legal told them to stop talking such rubbish. I then met with them with the Head of Legal and they opened with that since I worked for the council any images I produced belonged to the council (basically 'work for hire'). I pointed out that these were images that I had taken in my own time and as I was not employed as a photographer they had no claim on the images I produced at all.

    Eventually, we just agreed that I would grant the council a one time, non-exclusive, license to use the image (and a couple of others they were including in a leaflet they were producing as part of the same campaign) as long as they credited me and included my email address.

  11. Bravo to you for the cost to the offender that your efforts caused. I’m not ashamed to say that I hope such thieves lose everything: livelihood, savings, even their homes. Our financial world has become a den of liars and crooks and punishment very rarely fits the crime, even as far more innocuous ‘offenses’ cost the lives of innocents everywhere.

  12. Did you neglect to mention if & how you originally registered copyright of your image(s) with US Library of Congress/ Copyright Office. Did it appear in your book with what copyright notice? I understand adding " All Rights Reserved" after the copyright sign & year protects it Internationally. Is this true? Thanks

  13. Hello, can you please help me, a few months ago I bought canon 200d and I come to know t is possible to write copyright name, but as I open that option there is no copyright name option in my camera there is just user manual link, please tell me why its so and how I can get it, thanks

  14. It makes me sick because there's so many untrained amateurs that call themselves designers who know nothing about copywright. The clients are just as much to blame though because they don't hire proper photographers as much these days & rely on designers etc to use stock. We learnt some copywright law on our Design diploma courses back in the 80's although it wasn't as much a problem then. .

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