Copyright infringement


aliengrove

Link Posted 15/06/2014 - 13:58
I've just come across a large Dubai-based recruitment consultants using one of my images illegally, advertising their services on Facebook. I'm taking legal action, and have found a copyright lawyer,but any advice from anyone with experience of this type of thing on how best to proceed would be welcome.




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JohnX

Link Posted 15/06/2014 - 14:03
No personal experience, but I wouldn't go straight in with a lawyer - they're expensive and there's no way back!

Why not contact them yourself, explain why it's your image and how you prove it*, point out the error of their ways, set out the consequences of their actions unless they cease and desist (or settle), name a price, then see what happens? Give them 14 days.

If they don't settle the matter, unleash the lawyer!

*It's a cityscape at night, which anyone could have shot. What is unique about it that proves beyond reasonable doubt that it's your image, and why/how do you own the copyright?
Last Edited by JohnX on 15/06/2014 - 14:08

aliengrove

Link Posted 15/06/2014 - 14:08
I have made them an offer of an out of court settlement of 30 000 Qatari Riyals, about £5000, so will see what their response is.
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Smeggypants

Link Posted 15/06/2014 - 14:09
Quote:
but any advice from anyone with experience of this type of thing on how best to proceed would be welcome

Yes I've had this happen several times.

My advice is is to take it as a compliment you take pics good enough to be "stolen" and rather than get angry and lose brain cells over it, instead feel good that your images are worth you attention.

I've worked and lived in the Middle east and know that copyright means nothing there. You should know this. Don't worry about it.
[i]Bodies: 1x K-5IIs, 2x K-5, Sony TX-5, Nokia 808
Lenses: Pentax DA 10-17mm ED(IF) Fish Eye, Pentax DA 14mm f/2.8, Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8, Pentax-A 28mm f/2.8, Sigma 30mm F1.4 EX DC, Pentax-A 50mm f/1.2, Pentax-A 50mm f/1.4, Pentax-FA 50mm f/1.4, Pentax-A 50mm f/1.7, Pentax DA* 50-135mm f/2.8, Sigma 135-400mm APO DG, and more ..
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JohnX

Link Posted 15/06/2014 - 14:09
Fingers crossed. Litigation could be expensive!

aliengrove

Link Posted 15/06/2014 - 14:13
Images are protected under international law in the GCC the same as in any other country. I've had enough of people using my images for commercial gain without even acknowledgement, let alone payment.
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Fletcher8

Link Posted 15/06/2014 - 14:26
A starting point would be to inform them of copyright infringement and ask them to credit you or remove the image.

The legal route will cost time, money and energy and you may end up with a bill and little else. On the other hand the end result may end in your favour.
Fletcher8.

cabstar

Link Posted 15/06/2014 - 14:30
Not sure how copyright law works in that part of the world but here's how I handle it

1) ask them to show you the licence they have to use the image. This gets them engaged and might show further usage.
2) send them an invoice using Getty calculator to calculate the licence fee and explain you are willing to accept that as payment. Payment is expected within 7 days failure to pay will result in court proceedings etc where you will be pursuing costs for copyright infringement plus the original fee.
3) if they don't pay unleash the lawyers there are lots of copyright lawyers now working on no win no fee the one I use here in the uk charges just 25% of any winnings.
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cabstar

Link Posted 15/06/2014 - 14:32
Do not under any circumstances wade in with cease and desists or make threats for success you need them to engage with you not make them hostile. Also with a cease and desist they will think removing the image will be the end of the problem.
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aliengrove

Link Posted 15/06/2014 - 14:44
Thanks, Gary! I will follow your advice. The authorities are apparently cracking down on copyright infringement in this part of the world, so hopefully this company will listen to reason.
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aliengrove

Link Posted 15/06/2014 - 15:06
After copying the html from their ad I can see they actually copied the image from my Facebook photography page...
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gartmore

Link Posted 16/06/2014 - 07:45
The last one I had was with the BBC who used a picture in a news story and their website. No response from the producer involved so a nice letter to the head of BBC Scotland followed. Within. 24 hours I had an offer and we eventually settled on ten times that offer.
Ken
“We must avoid however, snapping away, shooting quickly and without thought, overloading ourselves with unnecessary images that clutter our memory and diminish the clarity of the whole.” - Henri Cartier-Bresson -

gartmore

Link Posted 16/06/2014 - 07:48
Smeggypants wrote:
Quote:
but any advice from anyone with experience of this type of thing on how best to proceed would be welcome

Yes I've had this happen several times.

My advice is is to take it as a compliment you take pics good enough to be "stolen" and rather than get angry and lose brain cells over it, instead feel good that your images are worth you attention.

I've worked and lived in the Middle east and know that copyright means nothing there. You should know this. Don't worry about it.

It's all very well for amateur photographers like yourself to be so generous but there are some of us who actually earn their livings from photography and others who take a higher moral standpoint on what is essentially theft.
Ken
“We must avoid however, snapping away, shooting quickly and without thought, overloading ourselves with unnecessary images that clutter our memory and diminish the clarity of the whole.” - Henri Cartier-Bresson -

Smeggypants

Link Posted 16/06/2014 - 08:26
gartmore wrote:
Smeggypants wrote:
Quote:
but any advice from anyone with experience of this type of thing on how best to proceed would be welcome

Yes I've had this happen several times.

My advice is is to take it as a compliment you take pics good enough to be "stolen" and rather than get angry and lose brain cells over it, instead feel good that your images are worth you attention.

I've worked and lived in the Middle east and know that copyright means nothing there. You should know this. Don't worry about it.

It's all very well for amateur photographers like yourself to be so generous but there are some of us who actually earn their livings from photography and others who take a higher moral standpoint on what is essentially theft.

Actually my moral standpoint on what happens to my images is no lower than anyone else's moral standpoint on what happens to their images. I was just giving advice based upon on what I do when I discover someone has used one of my images in response to Alien's request for advice in the OP.

He's going to get a range of opinions. he hasn't chosen to take my advice and that's fine
[i]Bodies: 1x K-5IIs, 2x K-5, Sony TX-5, Nokia 808
Lenses: Pentax DA 10-17mm ED(IF) Fish Eye, Pentax DA 14mm f/2.8, Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8, Pentax-A 28mm f/2.8, Sigma 30mm F1.4 EX DC, Pentax-A 50mm f/1.2, Pentax-A 50mm f/1.4, Pentax-FA 50mm f/1.4, Pentax-A 50mm f/1.7, Pentax DA* 50-135mm f/2.8, Sigma 135-400mm APO DG, and more ..
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aliengrove

Link Posted 16/06/2014 - 10:39
As Ken pointed out, the use of someone's images without permission amounts to theft. I am not in the business of giving away my work for free. I certainly do not take the unlicensed use of my work as a compliment: why anyone would think I should feel flattered that someone is using my work, without accreditation or recompense, is beyond me.

Though I don't consider myself a professional photographer, it's paid for all my equipment and a holiday, and provides an erratic but steady trickle through stock and print sales. I don't expect free services from anyone else, and neither should they expect them from me.
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