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10 minutes ago, Cal said:

 

I'm sorry you've gone through it. It sounds like this person is a massive chancer. I wonder do they also intend to sue Google for the images the google car has no doubt captured of this mural. A service which, in combination with all of the other google services, come together to offer a product that people pay for. I really hate this kind of thing, and I have nothing to offer and no legal experience or knowledge. I'm probably wrong but I'd have thought in this case they would have to prove the existence of your photo for sale has caused them financial damage, which it has almost certainly not done.

I've been trying to read all I can about copyright infringements on the internet. It gets complicated very quickly. It's possible that there might be some merit that I am liable for attempting to personally profit from the work of the artist? I've seen some information that confirms that the artist must provide evidence that he has incurred damage as a result of my activity--which I don't see how he would be able to do that. If anything, he probably benefited. Apparently, the image probably appeared in a magazine promoting Buffalo.

 

I'm concerned that the attorney might have found a niche. He has decades of experience in intellectual property litigation. He clearly knows a lot more about this than I do--and must also know that it isn't a small thing for me to find and hire a competent intellectual property lawyer. I'm being told that it is a very specialized field and that I should expect to pay a lot of money for a consultation. If I need someone to represent me in federal court in Buffalo--it will be very inconvenient and costly to me. The attorney is likely counting on all of this to keep pushing for a settlement or hoping that if a law suit is initiated that I might not appear in court.

 

Glenn

Edited by gnagel
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2 hours ago, gnagel said:

I'm sure they would, but the 180 day period will hit in just a few days. I deleted the image about 175 days ago.

 

Glenn

Too late now I suppose, but you can ask Alamy to delete an image(s) if you discover that there is a problem and they will do so without having to wait the 180 days.

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10 minutes ago, Sally said:

Too late now I suppose, but you can ask Alamy to delete an image(s) if you discover that there is a problem and they will do so without having to wait the 180 days.

Yes...the issue here is that I had no idea that the image was still available through Alamy.

 

I deleted the image from all stock agencies...not just Alamy. I then checked to see if it was deleted by doing a search using the Alamy search engine box. And the image did not and still does not appear on the Alamy site.

 

However, if one has the original link to the image...it will access the photo! I only learned of this yesterday.

 

Alamy did say that they would remove it if I drafted a request with an explanation as to why the image should be removed from the site entirely--otherwise my agreement with Alamy apparently states that deleted image will remain active for 180 days. At this point, I thought it best to just wait a few days and the 180 day period will end. The image cannot be found on the site...without the link to that page from back when it was active six months ago.

 

Glenn

Edited by gnagel
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October 2019:

He retains much of the creative control over his mural designs and has applied a savvy business sense to self-finance most of them through crowd funding that promises his drawings and prints as donor premiums. Going a step further, he copyrights each of them, periodically benefiting from payments when they are reproduced.

 

wim

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3 minutes ago, wiskerke said:

October 2019:

He retains much of the creative control over his mural designs and has applied a savvy business sense to self-finance most of them through crowd funding that promises his drawings and prints as donor premiums. Going a step further, he copyrights each of them, periodically benefiting from payments when they are reproduced.

 

wim

Interesting...I wish I knew how many of those payments came from photographers who licensed an editorial sale of the image.

 

Glenn

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1 hour ago, gnagel said:

 

 

He then sent me the photo from the Alamy site and told me that it appeared that I was selling the image for "more than editorial usage". By then, I was getting tired of this since he linked the page on the Alamy website that clearly indicates it is an editorial image! He suggested once again that I forward the information to my insurance company.

).

 

Glenn

 

 

isn't this acknowledgement from Him that he is OK with offering it for Editorial.   (though there is the issue, that you also offered it through some other agencies that have a very lax definitions and enforcement of editorials, allowing use out of context as long as "not commercial" )  

 

 

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1 hour ago, gnagel said:

Interesting...I wish I knew how many of those payments came from photographers who licensed an editorial sale of the image.

 

Glenn

 

How does that work though? The Mercedes logo to use one example is copyrighted. It is someone's IP. If I go to Berlin and take a photo of the building with the spinning Merc logo on, I can quite happily sell that editorially. What makes this mural different?

 

Even if you didn't mark your image as editorial only in AIM a buyer has to acquire a release to use it commercially - they aren't going to get it from you, so you'd be off the hook. They'd have to get it from the copyright holder, the person who made the mural. Later edit: I see you use mostly RF in your profile so marking images like this as editorial would IMO be more important. I shy away from RF except for very plain, isolated, non copyrighted subjects for this reason.

 

I haven't seen your original photo, but unless the crop you did was so tight that the artwork doesn't appear in a wider context (ie all of the extra space around it is completely cropped out) I really, genuinely can't see what the issue is. If this person was to take you to court, and win, what sort of precedent does that set for editorial photography?

Edited by Cal
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2 hours ago, gnagel said:

It seems to me that the most likely scenario is that the attorney scans the internet and stock agency websites in search of this (and maybe other) images. The artist might not even be actively involved in the suit...the attorney might tell him that he will work on a contingency basis and share any settlement dollars with the artist.

 

Should the case go to court, the attorney might figure that it is easy enough for him to appear in court since he is in Buffalo already. He has a background in copyright infringement law and could be counting on me not appearing or appearing and losing the case for a small dollar amount. He has reminded me that should I lose the case, he will be entitled to capture his legal fees and court costs from me as well. Could be looking at damages awarded of $200 plus $5,000 in legal fees or more—not counting my attorney!

 

Glenn

Glenn,

 

BS.  this is an attorney trying to "SCAM" money.  I would suggest that you search this "Attorney" and I would contact the BAR in your state.  I WOULD ALSO NOT POST ANY SPECIFIC DETAILS CONCERNING THIS ON A PUBLIC FORUM.  Talk to Alamy and try to get all the details of the license that they granted.  Under the circumstances I would hope that they could provide you with "ALL" the details of the license.  

 

Keep in mind that this may or may not be a serious matter.  Be VERY careful about anything you say or write publicly. 

 

Chuck

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13 minutes ago, meanderingemu said:

 

 

isn't this acknowledgement from Him that he is OK with offering it for Editorial.   (though there is the issue, that you also offered it through some other agencies that have a very lax definitions and enforcement of editorials, allowing use out of context as long as "not commercial" )  

 

 

I had the same thought about the possible acknowledgement and emphasis on editorial versus commercial.

 

Glenn

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8 minutes ago, Cal said:

 

How does that work though? The Mercedes logo to use one example is copyrighted. It is someone's IP. If I go to Berlin and take a photo of the building with the spinning Merc logo on, I can quite happily sell that editorially. What makes this mural different?

 

Even if you didn't mark your image as editorial only in AIM a buyer has to acquire a release to use it commercially - they aren't going to get it from you, so you'd be off the hook. They'd have to get it from the copyright holder, the person who made the mural.

 

I haven't seen your original photo, but unless the crop you did was so tight that the artwork doesn't appear in a wider context (ie all of the extra space around it is completely cropped out) I really, genuinely can't see what the issue is. If this person was to take you to court, and win, what sort of precedent does that set for editorial photography?

Yes...my problem is that I am not familiar enough with the law. How much protection does an editorial designation give to the photographer?

 

Glenn

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9 minutes ago, Chuck Nacke said:

Glenn,

 

BS.  this is an attorney trying to "SCAM" money.  I would suggest that you search this "Attorney" and I would contact the BAR in your state.  I WOULD ALSO NOT POST ANY SPECIFIC DETAILS CONCERNING THIS ON A PUBLIC FORUM.  Talk to Alamy and try to get all the details of the license that they granted.  Under the circumstances I would hope that they could provide you with "ALL" the details of the license.  

 

Keep in mind that this may or may not be a serious matter.  Be VERY careful about anything you say or write publicly. 

 

Chuck

Thanks Chuck...and I very much appreciate this advice. I will continue to participate in this thread, but will avoid disclosing any further details about this situation. It's too easy to sit hear and vent (especially with other mostly sympathetic photographers), but that won't advance my interests.

 

Glenn

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52 minutes ago, Cal said:

 

Even if you didn't mark your image as editorial only in AIM a buyer has to acquire a release to use it commercially - they aren't going to get it from you, so you'd be off the hook. They'd have to get it from the copyright holder, the person who made the mural. Later edit: I see you use mostly RF in your profile so marking images like this as editorial would IMO be more important. I shy away from RF except for very plain, isolated, non copyrighted subjects for this reason.

 

 

 

 

no option but making them RF if offering them also at an other agency where it's the only option available- one of reason i don't for work of art

 

as for the whole responsibility lying with client, it still doesn't change the fact OP still needs to spend time, and potentially money, defending themselves in the meantime. 

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In UK there are legal professionals who will work for free if they think there is better than 50% ( for example)  chance of success. They make their money from the expenses given out by the court. Even if not a member of any photographer organisation they might be able to advise.

 

Don't wish to rub salt into the wounds (and it is a reminder to me) about taking out indemnity insurance. Similarly I'd suggest sticking to RM.

 

Sorry but those are I feel relevant points for the future and worth all of use considering. 

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10 hours ago, Cal said:

How does that work though? The Mercedes logo to use one example is copyrighted. It is someone's IP. If I go to Berlin and take a photo of the building with the spinning Merc logo on, I can quite happily sell that editorially. What makes this mural different?

The difference is that in most of the EU and US, it is not an infringement to publish a photograph of a three-dimensional work of art in a public place. Flat artworks such as this mural are not covered by the exception.

The legal environment in the US is also very different. The US, uniquely I believe, has statutory damages for copyright infringement when a work is registered with the government. That, together with a predatory legal process. This is where the $150k figure comes from and it means there is plenty of meat for ambulance-chasing attorneys like this one.

Whilst what geog says is correct, in England there is now a small claims court for IP, so it would be very unlikely that legal costs would be awarded because the point of small claims is that you don't need a lawyer.

 

Edited by spacecadet
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On 08/12/2020 at 14:46, gnagel said:

I was contact by the attorney of the artist of the mural. He is threatening to take me to Federal Court over a copyright infringement. He claims that I sold the image illegally and infringed upon the artist's copyright rights.


I am curios as to how the attorney managed to contact you? Did he contact Alamy and ask for your details? I didn’t think Alamy gave out details without approaching you first.

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2 minutes ago, MB Photography said:


I am curios as to how the attorney managed to contact you? Did he contact Alamy and ask for your details? I didn’t think Alamy gave out details without approaching you first.

Alamy wouldn't without a court order, which he wouldn't get in the UK, but they didn't need to.

It took me two clicks and one google to find his address.

Edited by spacecadet
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5 minutes ago, spacecadet said:

Alamy wouldn't without a court order, which he wouldn't get in the UK, but they didn't need to.

It took me two clicks and one google to find his address.

Sounds like it’s wise to be anonymous if that’s possible nowadays.

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17 minutes ago, MB Photography said:

Sounds like it’s wise to be anonymous if that’s possible nowadays.

It's even wiser not to license images of US works of art if you're in the US.;)

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10 hours ago, geogphotos said:

In UK there are legal professionals who will work for free if they think there is better than 50% ( for example)  chance of success. They make their money from the expenses given out by the court. Even if not a member of any photographer organisation they might be able to advise.

 

Don't wish to rub salt into the wounds (and it is a reminder to me) about taking out indemnity insurance. Similarly I'd suggest sticking to RM.

 

Sorry but those are I feel relevant points for the future and worth all of use considering. 

In the US, there also are attorneys who take cases free, then when they score a win, their “usual” payment is 40% of the award. Used to be, anyway.  We also have small claims court, but I doubt this would fit there. 

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4 minutes ago, spacecadet said:

ouch

What is an MS RF site? I assume RF means royalty free, but not sure about MS. The lawyer probably saw the image on Dreamstime—but it was editorial only.

 

Glenn

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2 minutes ago, gnagel said:

What is an MS RF site? I assume RF means royalty free, but not sure about MS. The lawyer probably saw the image on Dreamstime—but it was editorial only.

 

Glenn

Microstock.

 

Edited by spacecadet
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