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Author Topic: Copyright infringement, advice please.  (Read 1436 times)

amsp

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Copyright infringement, advice please.
« on: January 29, 2014, 04:00:59 PM »

So, I just did a reverse image search for one of my editorial fashion photos and found it on the website of one of the bigger fashion magazines' website used in conjunction with a "news article" about some new makeup product. Of course the "article" is written by some freelance blogger and picture was probably photoshopped together by that person, it's still the magazine's responsibility of course since they published it, but I expect they will blame the freelancer and try to wash their hands of it.

My question then is, how do I proceed with this? Should I send them an invoice or just tell them to take it down? Does anyone here have any experience with this sort of thing? The magazine is french, but this particular website is by one of it's localized editions. I live in neither of the two countries, how does that affect my legal options?

It really pisses me off that this sort of thing is so common today, especially by a publisher that definitely should know better.
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fotagf8

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Re: Copyright infringement, advice please.
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2014, 04:49:08 PM »

Question 1:  Did you timely registered your copyright in the photograph.  If so, as a general rule, you would be entitled to statutory damages. 

Question 2:  If you didn't register it, can you easily demonstrate what your damages are? 

Action 1:  Contact a copyright lawyer about how to proceed.  You might want to write a letter and negotiate a fee, or you might want to file a lawsuit.  The correct course of action will depend on your particular facts and circumstances.

Action 2:  I would do reverse searches on all images posted to your website.  If someone took one, it would not be surprising if they took others.
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fotagf8

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Re: Copyright infringement, advice please.
« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2014, 04:53:33 PM »

Apologies.  I assumed you were in U.S.  Should have read complete post rather than skimmed it.  Obviously you will need to take local laws into account.  Apologies again.
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bill t.

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Re: Copyright infringement, advice please.
« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2014, 01:34:02 AM »

The only thing I can contribute is that it is wise to leave as wide a paper trail as possible.  Copies of emails, displaying full headers and notarized on or near the date of transmission.  Printouts of the offending websites, also notarized to establish their existence on a certain date, and possibly done periodically as long as the material persists online.  Registered letters, etc.

But do your printouts first, then initiate your first contacts, so they can't withdraw the material leaving only hearsay evidence to establish the infraction.  In the US and probably most places, the testimony of witnesses is worth almost nothing in a civil case.  You need hard evidence.  The threat of a well documented infraction is a very strong legal card and may get you a settlement without further legal proceedings.
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ian_t

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Re: Copyright infringement, advice please.
« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2014, 12:40:13 AM »

I have found dozens of companies using my images, but so many of them are small I just don't worry about it. A couple of weeks ago however, I found a large company with offices all over Asia using one of my shots. I sent them a very polite email and an invoice. This week I got a payment notice from them. I think this is a good way to start with companies who 'borrow' your work.
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