12-16-2010, 11:02 PM #1
Do I have any legal rights here??
I did a family session a few months ago, and gave the family their photos on a CD, with printing rights, and personal use - that's all - no copyright to them whatseover. I've read it over and over on here - "Have a contract!" and I KNOW I should have, but I went to their home, and completely forgot to bring one along. STUPID, and I realized it when I got there. It was all very last minute - a twin newborn session the day they were released from the hospital. The father's stationed in Afghanistan, and was only home for that one last day before being sent back. I went ahead and did the session without a contract.
Well the mom has since started her own photography business, and has 2 of my images on the homepage of her website! I have asked her to remove them, but what if she doesn't? Do I have any legal right to them anymore?
12-16-2010, 11:07 PM #2
yes you own the copyright, contract or not. The only way she would own the copyright is she has it in writing.. I would suggest registeroing the images with the copyright office first, then you can collect for damages if it goes that far..I'm assuming you have the RAW files with exif data? Thats all you'll need to prove your case..
12-16-2010, 11:10 PM #3
Copyright means that ONLY the copyright owner can publicly display the images unless specific permission has been given.
You can do a couple of things.
Send her a bill with a usage license.
Send a take down notice.
If ignored then send a letter threatening legal action.
OR..... if you want to be nice about it, just tell her to credit you with the images and let her leave them up.If there are no stupid questions, then what kind of questions do stupid people ask? Do they get smart just in time to ask questions?
12-16-2010, 11:22 PM #4
I think you may want to contact a lawyer, rather than take advice on the internet. What does personal use mean? What is the legal definition? She may claim you gave her the right to use them personally and she is using them personally for her business. May not be as black and white as it seems. OR maybe it is. Actually, the "law" is only what a given judge decides it is on a given day.Nikon D800e, D300, D5000, NIKON GLASS 85mm F/1.8 D, 105mm f/2.8 Micro AF-S VR, 70-200 AF-S VR f/2.8, 28-300 AF-S VRII,10.5mm Fisheye, 24-70 AF-S f/2.8, TC-20E III AF-S, Sigma 12-24 HSM, Sigma 30mm f/1.4 HSM, Sigma 150-500 OS, 2 SB-600 Speedlights, SB-900 speedlight, 4 YN-622N transceivers, Manfrotto 190MF3 tripod & 322RC2 ball grip head. - NJ, USA
Ok to edit and repost my shots on DPS forums
12-16-2010, 11:31 PM #5
12-17-2010, 01:54 AM #6
12-17-2010, 02:12 AM #7
Regarding "using them personally for her business" sounds a bit like an oxymoron to me. Personal use is personal. To promote one's business is commercial. I suppose there might be loopholes, but I doubt it.
And as Jim said, I'm curious about who this chick is, and I'd LOVE to see a link to her site with a note of which images are yours.
Reminds me a bit of that Groupon fiasco recently when Dana Dawes put up a ridiculous Groupon ad and stole images and wording from other photographers.
Why people will steal images and try to claim them as their own to promote their own businesses is a complete mystery to me, as well as stupid. I mean really....if a client books you because they expect their photographs to be of the same quality and same style on your site, is it really that surprising they might be disappointed and pretty pissed if they don't? Kind of a no-brainer there. Sigh...............
ETA: Although I've considered stealing Ruthie's photos to put on my site. But she's scary and I know she'd kick my ass.
Last edited by SusanH1970; 12-17-2010 at 02:15 AM.
12-17-2010, 02:40 PM #8
Thank you everyone for the responses! (I did put her website in, but changed my mind - I'd really like to give her a little time to react to my email. I don't want to make her look bad, just looking for advice for myself. Does that make sense?)
BuddhaPi - Yes I still have the RAW file with exif, that was my first thought, and I never give RAW files out.
andyw - Thanks, I was really hoping the copyright would stay mine, since I didn't specifically sign it over.
kirbinster - Thanks, I would certainly contact an attorney if it came down to needing one, I was just hoping someone here could point me in the right direction.
Jim Poor - Thank you for the name of the attorney - THAT helps alot!
Niresangwa - I know I should be patient, and see what she does, but I was SO shocked to see them I didn't even know what to do!
SusanH1970 - My thoughts exactly - I wouldn't have such a negative reaction if she'd used them in an "About Me" section or something similar, but the way they're presented, they look as though they're her work.
Last edited by audreylynn3; 12-17-2010 at 02:53 PM. Reason: ETA: Removed the website
12-17-2010, 03:02 PM #9
12-17-2010, 03:13 PM #10http://bendoutashape.com
It's ok to edit my pics for DPS only / critique is always welcome!