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Poll

Do you bother chasing infringements

Yes - actively chase all I find
3 (11.1%)
Yes - occasionally make the effort
14 (51.9%)
No - cant be bothered
5 (18.5%)
No - have no idea how to
3 (11.1%)
No - ive tried and its never paid out
2 (7.4%)

Total Members Voted: 25

Voting closed: August 30, 2014, 05:32

Author Topic: Image infringements claims  (Read 5261 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

« on: July 31, 2014, 05:15 »
+2
Hi

Just to give hope to some of you who have images used in breach of your copyright (contract). Again I recently found one of my images being used in a way that I knew breached my rights, and successfully negotiated an amicable settlement with no 3rd party intervention.

How many have tried and failed/succeeded, how many people even bother?


You cant win them all, I found the key to success is,

1. Don't waste your time chasing no hope cases (IE dodgy countries, or dodgy illegal companies)

2. Do some brief research on the company in question, 'know your enemy'.

3. Collect any proof before initial contact (website screen shots, start and end dates of infringements, physical web addresses, image IDs, your proof of personal copyright, etc)

4. Be polite and professional, don't make it personal (even though it feels like it).

5. Even though you are sure there is an infringement, give the opportunity to the company to prove they have a licence covering usage. You might be wrong!

6. Don't rely on them quoting the correct licence clauses to you, know your licences, be prepared to read some small writing. Get clarity on the licences if needed from the licence supplier.

7. State the facts concisely and professionally, with proof of any licence breaches.

8. If there is an infringement, be reasonable with your expectations and not greedy. Nobody wants this to drag on.

9. When you are sure of the facts, present a concise business quality invoice, and covering letter (email).

More often than not the infringement might be a genuine mistake, or done by a lowly employee not knowing exactly what they were doing. That doesn't mean your rights are any less important, a mistake is no excuse for complacency.

There is obviously a lot more detail than I can type here, but these main points with stand you in good stead. It doesn't have to take days/weeks of your life to sort out.

How much should you ask for?
A tricky question for anyone emotionally involved in their work, but it will be different everytime.
Base your figure on the extent of the infringement you can prove, the company involved, and your time, effort and cost to create the image.

The above just represents my personal experiences, and is for information only.



Would be great to hear other experiences.


BL

Additional info, as I see other posts saying its not worth bothering.
Just so you know it was worth the effort, I wont give out details but it was initially a microstock sale, and the payout was 4 figures ($)
« Last Edit: July 31, 2014, 05:44 by BigLeague »


« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2014, 07:05 »
0
" Again I recently found one of my images being used in a way that I knew breached my rights"

What part of the generic microstock license did you feel was breached in a way that required a four figure payout?

« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2014, 07:50 »
0
Hi Sean

The 'part' which is breached is less relevant, but as i mentioned, all the other conditions of 'how' it was breached. IE how long it was breached for, what was involved in creating the image.
For example if you can prove it was breached for a year, that has significantly more potential for damage than a day. Or a print run that went a little out of licence allowance compared to a world wide mega sucessful publication.
Its not an exact science (well not for a non-law person anyway).

« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2014, 08:17 »
0
1. Don't waste your time chasing no hope cases (IE dodgy countries, or dodgy illegal companies)

Which countries do you consider "dodgy"? The USA refused to accept the Berne Convention and effectively began the process of killing it internationally - by requiring fixed term copyright "registration". Berne provided proper protection by making copyright implicit and automatic.

Today nearly all countries are in theory signed up the WTO TRIPS agreement which has effectively superseded Berne and the UCC. Including nearly all of the countries which are definitely "dodgy". Even where it is respected, TRIPS only protects corporations and exporters, not artists. In practice.

Respect for copyright is being eroded internationally - both at governmental level and in terms of what ordinary people think is free. Governments are falling over themselves to make it ever easier for companies to use content without paying. Most people today think that if it is online then it's free.
« Last Edit: July 31, 2014, 08:19 by bunhill »

« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2014, 08:52 »
0
I am mearly pointing out, i would take the country into consideration when I bother to use my time up on such matters.
Its not 'people' I am interested in, its companies.

« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2014, 09:47 »
0
Hi Sean

The 'part' which is breached is less relevant, but as i mentioned, all the other conditions of 'how' it was breached. IE how long it was breached for, what was involved in creating the image.
For example if you can prove it was breached for a year, that has significantly more potential for damage than a day. Or a print run that went a little out of licence allowance compared to a world wide mega sucessful publication.
Its not an exact science (well not for a non-law person anyway).

I'm not sure we can take much away without knowing more details of the infraction.  ie., how would we know what kind of thing is going to be worth it for a company to settle?  IS used to say they'd charge $.01 per use if you went over the limit, but they never did.

Actually, I'm surprised you got resolution, since the original sale and terms of usage were with the microstock company.

« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2014, 10:02 »
0
Hi Sean

The 'part' which is breached is less relevant, but as i mentioned, all the other conditions of 'how' it was breached. IE how long it was breached for, what was involved in creating the image.
For example if you can prove it was breached for a year, that has significantly more potential for damage than a day. Or a print run that went a little out of licence allowance compared to a world wide mega sucessful publication.
Its not an exact science (well not for a non-law person anyway).

I'm not sure we can take much away without knowing more details of the infraction.  ie., how would we know what kind of thing is going to be worth it for a company to settle?  IS used to say they'd charge $.01 per use if you went over the limit, but they never did.

Actually, I'm surprised you got resolution, since the original sale and terms of usage were with the microstock company.

If you sell through a 3rd party agent, there are two things going on, the legal licence with the agent and the buyer, and your own copyright (which as you know you own by default as the author of the image)
The agreement with you and the agent is another agreement.
If the written licence between the buyer and the agent is broken, then so is the copyright of the image owner as the author (unless obviously you have specifically, in writing, disposed of the copyright). Just because you offer a licence via an agent doesnt mean you have given up your copyright. Your personal circumstances my be different.
I was not (and could not) pursue the breach with the buyer and the agent, that is not my contract (in my opinion), but the copyright is.
Copyright claims have and do stand up in court, but who wants to go to court? you? no. the buyer? unlikely, bad reputation bad publicity (depending on their business)

Again I am no expert, my opinions are just that.


« Last Edit: July 31, 2014, 10:05 by BigLeague »

ShadySue

« Reply #7 on: July 31, 2014, 10:09 »
0
Sometimes chased up, never got any money, but sometimes got apology and takedown.

« Reply #8 on: July 31, 2014, 10:11 »
0
I was not (and could not) pursue the breach with the buyer and the agent, that is not my contract (in my opinion), but the copyright is.

Well, it's all a little grey, and without specifics I'm not going to go further.  Here's the section from IS, which sounds like it says do it with or without us.  Of course, the idea that they'll ever go after anyone on your behalf is a bit ludicrous.
"You also agree that notwithstanding any rights you may have to pursue the licensees of such Content at law, iStockphoto shall have no liability to you or any person claiming through you for any breach by a licensee of the terms of any agreement respecting Accepted Content. iStockphoto will use commercial efforts to assist in the protection of your intellectual property rights, at your request and expense."

« Reply #9 on: July 31, 2014, 10:18 »
0
Personally Ive never had any success reporting anything to a microstock agent, half the time I never even got a reply.
Even if you did, I doubt the financial outcome would be anything other than an insult. Maybe someone who has had success via an MS agent can comment.

As always its your choice to do, or not do, anything. My reason for posting was to hopefully encourage others to also try, as long as you have good reason.

« Reply #10 on: July 31, 2014, 10:34 »
0
So what do you do if they continue to use the image and tell you to f-off?

« Reply #11 on: July 31, 2014, 10:53 »
0
So what do you do if they continue to use the image and tell you to f-off?
Depends on the country you live in as to what methods are available to you. A quick check on Google will help "copyright infringement <country name>"

« Reply #12 on: July 31, 2014, 11:14 »
0
So what do you do if they continue to use the image and tell you to f-off?
Depends on the country you live in as to what methods are available to you. A quick check on Google will help "copyright infringement <country name>"

Actually the answer is NOTHING. Well, except send letters or calls or emails kinda stating why they should give you money and HOPE you will appeal to their sense of fairness. Or threaten an online reputation attack.

Suing is not a cost-effective option. Getty sends out thousands of (extortion) illegal copyright infringement letters a month and have only sued one or two times. That kinda sums it up.






« Reply #13 on: July 31, 2014, 11:33 »
0
Thanks for posting this.

Do you have a particular methodology to this?  For example, do you start with TinEye or Google Image search, step 2 - contact via email etc.? Are you considering doing this as a service?

« Reply #14 on: August 01, 2014, 02:33 »
0
Thanks for posting this.

Do you have a particular methodology to this?  For example, do you start with TinEye or Google Image search, step 2 - contact via email etc.? Are you considering doing this as a service?

Hi Fotomine,
Never had much success with TinEye, but Google image search is better for me, there are probably better methods, i just dont know them. Gather your facts, and find out who best to contact at that company, email is good, its quick, easy, and provides a good paper trail. I think there are others that already provide services like this, I'm a photographer first, thats what I love. You always get doom and gloom posts in any thread, im just here to say it worked for me. Getty might not (or might) sue much, that would be because they are experts at properly approaching the infringement in a professional manner, some think its aggressive. I had indirectly personal experience of that, years ago, and that didnt go to court but their bill was paid. Why was it paid? because at the end of the day, they were correct, and their facts were correct, along with the type of company they approached.

I find thousands of my images in use all over the place. When I have time I select the odd few and verify with the buyer that they have a licence (and the correct licence). Obviously if i find an possible infringement, they would be one of the few, I havent yet had a buyer not willing cooperate and prove a licence. Thats because I selected well. Dont waste your time on 'one man bands' operating from the back end of 'god knows where', otherwise the best you will probably get is a take down, if you get a reply at all.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2014, 04:01 by BigLeague »

« Reply #15 on: August 01, 2014, 03:39 »
0
Sometimes chased up, never got any money, but sometimes got apology and takedown.

Hi Sue (shady)
Thats normal, usually the first thing a reasonably responsible company would do, hoping that, that will be enough. Thats why I said earlier gather and collate you facts before contacting the company, because they will do just that. Otherwise you have lost any evidence and will struggle to take it any further.  Then you politely thank thank them for thier swift action, but unfortunately the infringement still occured and that you previously recorded all necessary information to show this... blah blah. Present them with the solution to make this problem go away in the form of a reasonable and fully explainable (in terms of justification) business invoice. Business invoice meaning just a properly formatted, propererly addressed, coherant, company headed invoice (find examples online).
If you dont have a company name (it may not have to be registered, country laws vary) then you should get one. Make it exactly clear what this payment will cover (ie the infringement (licence or copright etc) between X and Y)  and that it will be a complete and concluding settlement.

If you are not happy or confident enough in exactly what you are saying, in regards to your rights, then I suggest seeking help or properly researching the internet.

If you dont approach it in the best possible way and look professional, your chances of a quick and clean solution, or any solution, are less likely.

« Last Edit: August 01, 2014, 03:45 by BigLeague »

« Reply #16 on: August 01, 2014, 06:21 »
0
I find thousands of my images in use all over the place. When I have time I select the odd few and verify with the buyer that they have a licence (and the correct licence). Obviously if i find an possible infringement, they would be one of the few, I havent yet had a buyer not willing cooperate and prove a licence. Thats because I selected well.

I'm not sure going about the internet, harassing what are probably legitimate buyers, is a good idea.  If you're that concerned, maybe RM is a better bet.


« Reply #17 on: August 01, 2014, 06:28 »
0
I find thousands of my images in use all over the place. When I have time I select the odd few and verify with the buyer that they have a licence (and the correct licence). Obviously if i find an possible infringement, they would be one of the few, I havent yet had a buyer not willing cooperate and prove a licence. Thats because I selected well.

I'm not sure going about the internet, harassing what are probably legitimate buyers, is a good idea.  If you're that concerned, maybe RM is a better bet.

If you approach it from a 'harrasing' point of view, I would give up now.


 

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