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Author Topic: Being sued by model in federal court, please read!  (Read 31146 times)

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« Reply #50 on: January 08, 2015, 16:03 »
+11

Donated.

I'm not even a photographer and I think it's important for all artists to support this. It is so important on so many levels that Josh beats this lawsuit. The precedent this could set if the model wins is frightening.

That said, I'm also still a big proponent of a more bullet-proof model release. I said in another thread about this that I think you guys need to come up with something more substantial for when working with models. I don't remember who came up with the idea but I really like the practice of having a model stand and hold a signed release and snapping a shot of them. I also think there should be some sort of secondary release signed, one that specifically and clearly states that the model understands these images will be distributed online and the photographer cannot be held responsible for what people do with the images, even when those uses violate license terms.


« Reply #51 on: January 08, 2015, 17:02 »
+2
I think the release wording is a holdover from non-stock days, where the photographer controlled what happened to the images.  Obviously, there's no way to guarantee anything now, but the model release doesn't say that.

« Reply #52 on: January 08, 2015, 18:50 »
+1
Donated, hope it will help you!

« Reply #53 on: January 08, 2015, 19:05 »
+2
[youtube]www.youtube.com/watch?v=FEkr9F4ms6w
[/youtube]

Hello fellow stock photographers. I wanted to let you guys know about a lawsuit going on that many of you seem to be vaguely aware of.  I think the whole industry could be at risk if things dont go well. 

I am being sued in federal court for hundreds of thousands of dollars by a model I worked with in January 2013.  This is a model that I paid, and who signed a release allowing me to sell her images through stock photo agencies. Why I am I being sued? It revolves around images that got misused or were just outright stolen and the model is blaming me for it. My case has unfortunately received national attention in the New York Post, the daily mail and Fox News, none of which have bothered to explain my side of the story.

If they had not ignored my side of the story, here is what they would have reported. She was an experienced lingerie and implied nude model, appearing on a magazine cover in such apparel.  I told her agent before the shoot it would be used for stock photography.  During the shoot I also told the model that the images would be for sale for stock photography and explained how stock photography works.  I explained to her that these agencies prohibit pornographic use in their terms of service..  Another person who often helped me from time to time was present during the shoot and witnessed everything.

I said nothing more and I didn't lie.  I did NOT promise her that her images would not be misused - it is impossible in our right-click-save-as days. She saw the images before signing the model release, was happy with them and posted them herself on her Facebook page.

Another misconception is that our arrangement was TFP or Trade for Portfolio use.  I paid her via her agent through Paypal and have all the records of it, even providing her gas money to travel to Columbus.

If the court rules in her favor, it could create a dangerous incentive for other models to do the same  and try to hold photographers liable for things that are out of our control. 

That's why I need your help. The case is in New York now and Im facing a huge financial burden to protect myself and our industry in general. Knowledgeable copyright lawyers cost are incredibly expensive. I want to defend myself to the extent I can given my funding to discourage models in the future from bringing forth similar actions. I'll be grateful for any amount you can spare, and promise I'll make a good use of it and keep you all updated on how it goes as much as I am allowed.

To donate, please follow the link below to my gofundme page

http://www.gofundme.com/resnicklegalfund

However they do take out 7.9% in fees and a additional 30 cents per donation, so
alternatively, you can also donate directly via paypal to resnicklegalfund@yahoo.com

Below is a link to the case number and the original complaint so you can verify this on your own.

1:2014cv01070 Forni vs Resnick

http://www.plainsite.org/dockets/download.html?id=158088341&z=4ce11824


Here is my question. Most lawsuits like this will only go after deep pockets. Do you the photographer have lots of wealth. If not this lawsuit is a big question mark. It is almost impossible to find a lawyer to take a case from a model unless the photographer has deep pockets or some kind of outside funds. You the photographer can lose but if you have no money they can't put you in jail for this. As my grandma said you can't get blood out of a turnip.  Good luck, it sounds like a big waste of everyone's time.

« Reply #54 on: January 08, 2015, 20:38 »
0
I believe the photographer is not the only defendant.

« Reply #55 on: January 08, 2015, 21:05 »
+2
What reason did your insurance company find to refuse you cover..?

Well, there seemed to be several reasons. How I remember it, basically they said because the case was alleging fraud, they could not help me out, even though the fraud is only alleged, and I do not agree that I committed any fraud, they said it was not going to happen. Also, because I paid the model, it means she was not a client or something and the insurance would not help for that. I think their insurance model is only thinking about photographers doing weddings and such, and rarely deals with photographers who actually pay models.

I sort of looked into getting a lawyer try to help me get them to cover it, but that could costs tens of thousands of dollars and take several years, and still not work out. I don't have the time or money to take that chance.

Wow. Shows you what this kind of insurance is good for. Taking your money, that's all.

« Reply #56 on: January 08, 2015, 21:23 »
+1
[youtube]www.youtube.com/watch?v=FEkr9F4ms6w
[/youtube]

Hello fellow stock photographers. I wanted to let you guys know about a lawsuit going on that many of you seem to be vaguely aware of.  I think the whole industry could be at risk if things dont go well. 

I am being sued in federal court for hundreds of thousands of dollars by a model I worked with in January 2013.  This is a model that I paid, and who signed a release allowing me to sell her images through stock photo agencies. Why I am I being sued? It revolves around images that got misused or were just outright stolen and the model is blaming me for it. My case has unfortunately received national attention in the New York Post, the daily mail and Fox News, none of which have bothered to explain my side of the story.

If they had not ignored my side of the story, here is what they would have reported. She was an experienced lingerie and implied nude model, appearing on a magazine cover in such apparel.  I told her agent before the shoot it would be used for stock photography.  During the shoot I also told the model that the images would be for sale for stock photography and explained how stock photography works.  I explained to her that these agencies prohibit pornographic use in their terms of service..  Another person who often helped me from time to time was present during the shoot and witnessed everything.

I said nothing more and I didn't lie.  I did NOT promise her that her images would not be misused - it is impossible in our right-click-save-as days. She saw the images before signing the model release, was happy with them and posted them herself on her Facebook page.

Another misconception is that our arrangement was TFP or Trade for Portfolio use.  I paid her via her agent through Paypal and have all the records of it, even providing her gas money to travel to Columbus.

If the court rules in her favor, it could create a dangerous incentive for other models to do the same  and try to hold photographers liable for things that are out of our control. 

That's why I need your help. The case is in New York now and Im facing a huge financial burden to protect myself and our industry in general. Knowledgeable copyright lawyers cost are incredibly expensive. I want to defend myself to the extent I can given my funding to discourage models in the future from bringing forth similar actions. I'll be grateful for any amount you can spare, and promise I'll make a good use of it and keep you all updated on how it goes as much as I am allowed.

To donate, please follow the link below to my gofundme page

http://www.gofundme.com/resnicklegalfund

However they do take out 7.9% in fees and a additional 30 cents per donation, so
alternatively, you can also donate directly via paypal to resnicklegalfund@yahoo.com

Below is a link to the case number and the original complaint so you can verify this on your own.

1:2014cv01070 Forni vs Resnick

http://www.plainsite.org/dockets/download.html?id=158088341&z=4ce11824


Here is my question. Most lawsuits like this will only go after deep pockets. Do you the photographer have lots of wealth. If not this lawsuit is a big question mark. It is almost impossible to find a lawyer to take a case from a model unless the photographer has deep pockets or some kind of outside funds. You the photographer can lose but if you have no money they can't put you in jail for this. As my grandma said you can't get blood out of a turnip.  Good luck, it sounds like a big waste of everyone's time.


I tihnk the plaintiff's lawyer needs me to lose so he can go after the people with big pockets, or atleast that seems to make the most sense in my opinion. However, it is possible they still try to get everything they can from me anyway.  I am very very far from being wealthy, but they can always garnish my income, sort of like paying child support or something.

This would still hold true even in this situation, but I am starting to get a little worried the plaintiff's lawyer truly believes I made millions or some large figure like that from the images and I am hiding it or something.  I think he will be extremely disappointed to find out that was not the case.



« Last Edit: January 10, 2015, 01:36 by bpepz »

« Reply #57 on: January 08, 2015, 21:42 »
0
I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions on places I can contact who can hopefully get my story more attention? Maybe I should go post on the forum on shutterstock?

« Reply #58 on: January 08, 2015, 22:16 »
+1
Maybe PetePixel or PDN

« Reply #59 on: January 08, 2015, 22:44 »
+8
If you have not done it already, ask all the agencies that represents your work if they will be willing to donate. Explain the principal nature of the case and ask for a phone call with the higher-ups in the different agencies. I would not bet on it, but a phone call and asking directly would certainly increase your chances.

good luck!

« Reply #60 on: January 08, 2015, 23:26 »
+2
It looks like Shutterstock is one of defendants. They can afford big lawyers. Also Playboy, Amazon and Barnes and Noble...

Dook

« Reply #61 on: January 09, 2015, 03:35 »
0
Maybe PetePixel or PDN
Yes, PDN is good place if you want more serious attention. And BJP, too.

« Reply #62 on: January 09, 2015, 05:12 »
+6
Hey Joshua, we spoke a little in your other topic. I'm also being sued on very similar grounds in Holland.

I donated what I could, and the PayPal window wouldn't let me finish my message, so here again: I wish you much strength and luck and good wise people around you, and I'm pretty confident you and I will win. She cannot prove you personally sold images to adult sites. She cannot prove you're a millionaire (how ridiculous, you have all sales statements don't you!). She only has to lose, I'm afraid. Our model was warned and didn't listen. She went after our house, but only managed to get my bank account blocked. While I have 2 little children and mortgage.

Our cases on both sides of the ocean are very important for the industry and even for overall justice in creative world where people (even most professional and experienced) do many things based on trust and common sense. Let's see what those are worth. I believe your model is wrong: YOU trusted her when going into professional relationship. She signed a clear paper stating you MAY sell images, and she was very okay with getting nice publications from stock and getting jobs thanks to your labor. She broke your trust and she is the one fraud. She caused you emotional suffering and huge financial impact. I personally got heart and sight problems after our case began... Well, it is still to be seen if we may continue this "hazardous jobs" as photographers )))) , what they seem to be...  but for now we should keep fighting against the ridiculousness of the situation.

I'll keep you posted when we hear from our judge. It shouldn't be long now.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2015, 05:32 by Katja »

« Reply #63 on: January 09, 2015, 05:15 »
+3
Donated, good luck to you!

Semmick Photo

« Reply #64 on: January 09, 2015, 05:37 »
+2
I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions on places I can contact who can hopefully get my story more attention? Maybe I should go post on the forum on shutterstock?

I will put something on my blog tonight, not that it gets much attention but a lot of small bits could mount up to something bigger.

Shelma1

« Reply #65 on: January 09, 2015, 06:17 »
-1
I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions on places I can contact who can hopefully get my story more attention? Maybe I should go post on the forum on shutterstock?

Adweek?

ShadySue

« Reply #66 on: January 09, 2015, 07:43 »
+6
It looks like Shutterstock is one of defendants. They can afford big lawyers. Also Playboy, Amazon and Barnes and Noble...

So she has established the the photos definitely orginated from Shutterstock? Presumably by contacting the misusers?
I was wondering how she knew they didn't just lift the pics from her Fb profile.

So if the end users have confirmed they used photos from Shutterstock, presumably they used them outwith SS's TOS, if they were not tagged for sensitive use (and maybe even then?)?
That being the case, how can SS or the OP be responsible?

That's like saying if someone bought a pencil and stabbed it into someone's jugular, the shop and the pencil manufacturer would be responsible.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2015, 09:00 by ShadySue »


« Reply #67 on: January 09, 2015, 07:51 »
+1
That's like saying if someone bought a pencil and stabbed it into someone's jugular, the shop and the pencil manufacturer would be responsible.

That's exactly what it's all about! Ridiculous. In these cases it is to be proven at very least that a photographer actually helped someone to mis-use images. Like, for example sold with a note "please make a porn-book-cover, would look nice". And even then, the publisher is ultimate responsible because he didn't check with a model.

Shelma1

« Reply #68 on: January 09, 2015, 07:57 »
+2
My guess is that she's suing the photog because he's the only person she has an agreement with. It may be baseless, but it doesn't stop someone from suing you anyway, and then you're stuck paying lawyers to defend yourself.

« Reply #69 on: January 09, 2015, 08:11 »
+1
It looks like Shutterstock is one of defendants. They can afford big lawyers. Also Playboy, Amazon and Barnes and Noble...

So she has established the the photos definitely orginated from Shutterstock? Presumably by contacting the misusers?
I was wondering how she knew thay didn't just lift the pics from her Fb profile.

So if the end users have confirmed they used photos from Shutterstock, presumably they used them outwith SS's TOS, if they were not tagged for sensitive use (and maybe even then?)?
That being the case, how can SS or the OP be responsible?

That's like saying if someone bought a pencil and stabbed it into someone's jugular, the shop and the pencil manufacturer would be responsible.


So far, as far as I know she has no proof anything even came from shutterstock. Everything they have is in the complaint, and the only evidence they presented was the model release she signed I think.

As far as sensitive use, the sensitive use TOS specifically mentions you cannot use the images for pornographic or defamatory purposes. The old TOS even mentions escort sites and such, but now it is even broader, so that was not a problem.



There could be something I am missing, maybe there is a document or exhibit with the complaint I missed but that is how I see it with my current understanding.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2015, 11:11 by bpepz »

ShadySue

« Reply #70 on: January 09, 2015, 08:22 »
+2
It looks like Shutterstock is one of defendants. They can afford big lawyers. Also Playboy, Amazon and Barnes and Noble...

So she has established the the photos definitely orginated from Shutterstock? Presumably by contacting the misusers?
I was wondering how she knew thay didn't just lift the pics from her Fb profile.

So if the end users have confirmed they used photos from Shutterstock, presumably they used them outwith SS's TOS, if they were not tagged for sensitive use (and maybe even then?)?
That being the case, how can SS or the OP be responsible?

That's like saying if someone bought a pencil and stabbed it into someone's jugular, the shop and the pencil manufacturer would be responsible.


So far, as far as I know she has no proof anything even came from shutterstock. Everything they have is in the complaint, and the only evidence they presented was the model release she signed I think.

As far as sensitive use, the sensitive use TOS specifically mentions you cannot use the images for pornographic or defamatory purposes. The old TOS even mentions escort sites and such, but now it is even broader, so that was not a problem.
That's even more insane.
That would be like, in my pencil example, they went after any random shop which sold pencils.
I don't understand US Law, I can't see why that is getting any credence whatsoever.
(But sometimes cases come up here which are bizarre and the ruling goes a surprising way).
Best wishes.

Semmick Photo

« Reply #71 on: January 09, 2015, 08:35 »
+1
Who pays her lawyers if she loses? Wont she go banktrupt when she loses the case as well then?

« Reply #72 on: January 09, 2015, 08:44 »
0
It looks like Shutterstock is one of defendants. They can afford big lawyers. Also Playboy, Amazon and Barnes and Noble...

So she has established the the photos definitely orginated from Shutterstock? Presumably by contacting the misusers?
I was wondering how she knew thay didn't just lift the pics from her Fb profile.

So if the end users have confirmed they used photos from Shutterstock, presumably they used them outwith SS's TOS, if they were not tagged for sensitive use (and maybe even then?)?
That being the case, how can SS or the OP be responsible?

That's like saying if someone bought a pencil and stabbed it into someone's jugular, the shop and the pencil manufacturer would be responsible.


So far, as far as I know she has no proof anything even came from shutterstock. Everything they have is in the complaint, and the only evidence they presented was the model release she signed I think.

As far as sensitive use, the sensitive use TOS specifically mentions you cannot use the images for pornographic or defamatory purposes. The old TOS even mentions escort sites and such, but now it is even broader, so that was not a problem.
That's even more insane.
That would be like, in my pencil example, they went after any random shop which sold pencils.
I don't understand US Law, I can't see why that is getting any credence whatsoever.
(But sometimes cases come up here which are bizarre and the ruling goes a surprising way).
Best wishes.

I think the problem is, as far as the judge knows, the only facts out there are what is in the plaintiffs complaint. Otherwise I am not sure how they are supposed to make a ruling unless they see ample information from both sides. however, getting to the point of presenting my side of the story could potentially be a long and extremely expensive process.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2015, 01:41 by bpepz »

« Reply #73 on: January 09, 2015, 08:45 »
0
Who pays her lawyers if she loses? Wont she go banktrupt when she loses the case as well then?

I am guessing it could be her lawyer is doing it for free or reduced cost in the hopes he can get money from the case, at least in my personal opinion it seems to be.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2015, 01:43 by bpepz »

Shelma1

« Reply #74 on: January 09, 2015, 09:16 »
+2
Hopefully the case will be dismissed, since there's no way she can prove where the images came from, and indeed they could have been stolen off her own Facebook page. She herself made them available for free on the internet (from my understanding of the situation).

Unfortunately it takes a long time and a lot of legal fees answering and disproving baseless accusations.


 

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