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Thread: Advice REQ : what do yo do if someone USED one of your photos?

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    Senior Member dude163's Avatar
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    Advice REQ : what do yo do if someone USED one of your photos?

    .......and it was Walmart!


    Today while out shopping my daughter says , "Hey dad here is your picture of my finger"

    So of course I chuckle and walk over and then " HOLY COW!! thats my PHOTO!!""

    here is my pic



    their shot

    Lemans 6 Open Collage Photo Frame Black/Walnut, Home Décor | Walmart Canada Online Shopping


    and here it is in the wild


    Photo by dude163 • Instagram

    and here too!!

    Photo by dude163 • Instagram


    sop to the Pros, what do I do now?

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    re: Advice REQ : what do yo do if someone USED one of your photos?

    Find the guy and punch him in the face would be my initial thought but one that would lead to more issues probably. LOL
    Sony Visible Light & IR Photographer
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    re: Advice REQ : what do yo do if someone USED one of your photos?

    Name and shame dude. With repetition in all public arenas

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    re: Advice REQ : what do yo do if someone USED one of your photos?

    Have you copyrighted the images and registered them with the copyright office? If you have, then you can sue for damages. If you have not, I believe you can be compensated for the use, but not for damages. Given the prevalence of this, I think you should talk to a copyright lawyer and explore what your best options are. Given the fact that they are being explicitly used to sell something and they are in Walmart (which implies that these are being produced on a very large scale), I would think you could probably get actual compensation for this without much effort. You should too, as it appears to be blatant copyright infringement.
    P.S. Saw you were in Canada, so not sure on the copyright laws there, but they are probably not that different than the US...
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    Senior Member dude163's Avatar
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    re: Advice REQ : what do yo do if someone USED one of your photos?

    I thin copyright is a bit diff up here for damages, but heck being walmart, even if I got 10 cents per item I could be rich! lol

    I will do that on Monday talk to someone who deals with copyrights. Im going to pop by the mall tomorrow to get some bday presents, so Ill see if thet walmart has these also I assume they will

    Robert

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    re: Advice REQ : what do yo do if someone USED one of your photos?

    I am not a lawyer so I would say go talk to the lawyer, get some advice, and get some evidence.
    I would even buy the frame and keep the receipt as a souvenir of your great work.
    I would guess is that walmart will blame the manufacturer (hometrends) since most items on sale through consignment and will probably take them off the shelf immediately they receive the lawsuit.
    Good luck and keep us posted.
    Good luck

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    re: Advice REQ : what do yo do if someone USED one of your photos?

    not that it is your fault but where online did you post that photo? flickr?

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    re: Advice REQ : what do yo do if someone USED one of your photos?

    Few Qs.

    1. Did you watermark the image when you displayed it online?

    2. How large an image did you display online?

    3. What camera/lens did you use for the capture?

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    re: Advice REQ : what do yo do if someone USED one of your photos?

    Flickr
    1: yes
    2: 1024 res
    3: pentax

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    re: Advice REQ : what do yo do if someone USED one of your photos?

    First thing I would do is to remove the instagram posts, especially if I am going to explore copyrights and legal avenues.

    In the future, watermark everything in such a way that it becomes more of a chore to alter them.

    I would have posted this in the sunset area if you think the Pentax forum is nearly dead. It has no Leica content at all (other than exposing the limitatiosn of Leica gear, except the ones with live view or the reflex ones).

    Good luck!

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    re: Advice REQ : what do yo do if someone USED one of your photos?

    Your post here is quite misleading since the image on Flickr allows for licensing for commercial use through Getty.

    Pentax SMC FA50/1.4 : Nice ring! | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

    You should be asking Getty about the Walmart picture!

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    re: Advice REQ : what do yo do if someone USED one of your photos?

    I will, thanks Vivek

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    re: Advice REQ : what do yo do if someone USED one of your photos?

    Hm, I dont recall signing up for the getty images stuff, I will contact them

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    re: Advice REQ : what do yo do if someone USED one of your photos?

    Hmm I checked out getty and no funds incoming from me or to them either, Ill get this figured out and let you all know

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    re: Advice REQ : what do yo do if someone USED one of your photos?

    Also I cant edit the title to say someone USED my photo is there a way for a moderator to do this for me pls

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    Re: Advice REQ : what do yo do if someone USED one of your photos?

    I would do it simple:
    Invoice them with a simple explanation about the copyright and that if they don't pay, they will have to deal with a copyright lawyer.

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    Re: Advice REQ : what do yo do if someone USED one of your photos?

    private persons / small companies sometimes don't even know about the copyright laws. as a photographer pro or non pro you will always have to deal with this kind of problems. here, from case to case I'd always try to solve the problem by communicating personally. sometimes friendships and business partnerships can develop.

    companies on a scale like Walmart should and do have standardized procedures/lawyers for this type of issues. but, they mostly and simply may not communicate with you as a private person. not really…

    1.
    save a jpeg with the full exif data (where the serial number of the camera is included)
    2.
    make a picture of the bottom of the camera where the serial-no of the camera is visible
    3.
    buy the items you can find. make some pictures of how it is displayed and at what price.
    4.
    pray that by posting on flickr or elsewhere and by agreeing with their policy/terms and conditions you didn't allow anyone to use your picture. (I think facebook had foreseen this in their general terms and conditions at some time). a lawyer will tell you. if you're not good at praying, READ the terms and conditions.. :-)
    5.
    find a GOOD lawyer (one who is specialized in this kind of media) and let him do his job. (he knows how to communicate) I'm shure walmart is safe to legally sell these items. however they may be responsible.

    6. have some patience and relax.
    7. order all those leica toys :-))) in case you don't have them already…
    8. post some pics


    regards, paul

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    Re: Advice REQ : what do yo do if someone USED one of your photos?

    If you have not had an email asking you permission, and agreeing fees etc, from Getty it suggests that the image was lifted without permission. Getty have a copyright infringement policy, and if you can show that there are no other web sites it could have been lifted from Getty themselves should be able to start proceedings to license the image for use by Walmart, or take it further if Walmart don't accept the license agreement.

    Steve

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    Re: Advice REQ : what do yo do if someone USED one of your photos?

    This appears to be a stock photo based on you Getty licensing agreement. Always be cautious of the "non exclusive" contracts. You must have at some point submitted to Getty or why all the keywording and links? When posting online, in addition to watermarks, always scale down the image so up rez won't be acceptable for print, just in case someone tries to "right click" your image. Many magazines and publications run contests with non exclusive agreements just to get content. It's a sneaky trick that allows photos to be used for any purpose without compensation.

    Re-reading the Getty link, it clearly states that it's available for commercial use with no release. If you have an agreement with Getty, then only you and they should have a high res version w/ metadata.

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    Re: Advice REQ : what do yo do if someone USED one of your photos?

    Johnny thats what Im going to do, I dont recall signing this up for getty , but I emailed them and we shall see what they say, even if it was available, under my getty account there are no records of anyone purchasing anything so hopefully we can get this straightened out

    I must admit it gave me an equal thrill/outrage seeing my picture in the store, haha!

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    Re: Advice REQ : what do yo do if someone USED one of your photos?

    Quote Originally Posted by dude163 View Post

    I must admit it gave me an equal thrill/outrage seeing my picture in the store, haha!
    That is the problem. It is not about someone "stealing" a picture and the monetary loss.

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    Re: Advice REQ : what do yo do if someone USED one of your photos?

    It looks to me like maybe they took the flickr image and cropped out your watermark, the third finger is missing just above where the watermark is.

    I think you are in good shape tho since this is placed with Getty, (however that happened you need to find out) and that Homesense is a "real" company with a graphics dept. etc. and they do have to deal with permissions.

    There are all sorts of ways they can claim to arrived at the usage of this image, since the watermark was cropped off they could say they got it from some other random website or even maybe getty themselves subbed it out to another royalty free subcontractor stock group or disc- maybe that is why they don't know exactly. But the fact that it is not the whole image suggests something less "legal."

    I think its getty's mess to clean up but you should get all the details from Homesense or your Getty agent should, like number of copies and distribution area, ie, canada, n. america, worldwide, etc. and duration.

    Then you and they can come up with an appropriate price.

    Don't be surprised if the usage they come up with is low- not to be negative but the image is not unique, they probably can get similar in royalty free for very low amounts even considering the probable high number of copies.

    This is the reality of stock today- shockingly low rates.

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    Re: Advice REQ : what do yo do if someone USED one of your photos?

    while you are chasing this around, read your getty contract carefully to determine what other restrictions you may have on posting your images on other websites after you put it into their stock. btw, your copyright is noted by them.

    anyway, as folks above have mentioned, have getty chase it. they have an interest since they get a cut of the sale.

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    Re: Advice REQ : what do yo do if someone USED one of your photos?

    I have to deal with this almost every week. I have a series of documentary images of the late moonshiner Popcorn Sutton. I spent three years along with a long time friend and associate documenting his life and his illegal moonshine operation. I invested three years of time and thousands of dollars on this project. All 600+ images I made on film are registered with the US copyright office.

    Popcorn killed himself three years ago before he was to go to federal prison on weapons, tax evasion, narcotics and production of un taxed whiskey charges. Basically I have the only complete and high quality images of this person and his operation.

    Popcorn has become an icon or the rebel who spit in the eye of the federal government. Few people know the true character of the man but have elevated him to saint. Because of this my images have become high demand items and have been stolen on a regular basis.

    My associate and I wrote a book about Popcorn. "The Making and Marketing of a Hillbilly Hero", and have made substantial royalties from it. I also have an exhibition of Appalachian culture touring museums which contains a segment of about a dozen images of him making moonshine.

    Both the book and my collection of images are registered with the US copyright office as mentioned. I do regular searches on Google and ebay. For example this morning I searched ebay and found a person out of North Carolina making T Shirts with one of my images. I've busted folks using my images for billboards, Shirts, playing cards, greeting cards, buttons, music videos and etc. in Italy, England, Norway and the US. I found two people copying the images and placing their copyright watermark on them as well.

    Recently I found a seller out of Ohio selling copies of my images with his copyright on them. One of the images I was in and had never been published other than in my touring exhibition. The only way this person could have gotten this image is to walk into a museum with a camera and take a photo of my image. This past Friday night I witnessed a guest at an exhibit I was part of take his phone out and photograph one of my photos on the wall. I saw this happen another time at another solo exhibit I had. the guest was carrying a 5D and and photographed one of my images.

    One well known musician was using multiple images in his music video. I had a heck of a time with this guy and was very close to taking him to federal court when he finally decided to remove them or lose his farm.

    In every came I've stopped the person from using the images and have collected royalties from a few that were making money form them. In addition I've stopped them from using the images.

    The tough part is policing infringement. My case is a bit easier because the images are of a specific famous person. You must be prepared to back your words up with action. I retain an intellectual property attorney just for that moment and will not hesitate to file a federal action. The US federal courts are very tough on infringement if the work is registered.

    Good luck with your battle.

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    Re: Advice REQ : what do yo do if someone USED one of your photos?

    Wow, that's insane. I have had a few of my pics used here and there, and always asked ahead of time about use & distribution.

    You really need to get credit & compensation for this, Robert...I will be curious to hear about the outcome of this....
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    Re: Advice REQ : what do yo do if someone USED one of your photos?

    Here's hoping you get compensated for your image. This raises a question for me, though: Is there something problematic with the Flickr relation to Getty Images?
    Ed

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    Re: Advice REQ : what do yo do if someone USED one of your photos?

    I think having your photos on a third party site that you do not control is a recipe for disaster. Just look at the enormous rights grab instagram tried to pull a few months ago, "oh, by the way, if you have posted on our site and don't take your photos down within a few weeks, you are automatically giving us full worldwide unlimited rights to use them anyway we wish."
    Basically, if it is a free service, you can be sure it is not a free service...these companies are not charities and will make money off you somehow. I would rather just pay a web-hosting company to host the images, rather than sign up for some "free" service. The fact that I am on tumblr is now giving me some pause...not so sure if it is such a good idea...
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