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skylineboy

Copyright infringement in USA from UK based photographer

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I discovered a website (a turkish website) had one of my images in december, i took screenshots etc and emailed them asking for removal, and as they'd had it some time, a small fee.

 

no reply and life got in the way, till this week when i was reminded by a conversation, so i dug deeper, the website is a large USA company which has local language sites, hence the turkish edition.

I skyped USA and they were helpful, info was passed to USA editor in chief etc, and i sent him original email from Dec and he got back to me to say the turkish site had taken it from another site and didn't realise these werent for editiorial (aka free use) and removed the images. so far so good.

 

however i email and thanked him for chasing turkey but still felt annoyed that ignorance wasnt a defence and a publisher should know better etc and referred him back to the original email where i asked for a small fee (low 100$ equiv). and told him that even though im UK based, i had registered with US CR office a good year or so before they used my image.

to which he said he noted this and passed to their in house lawyer.

 

my question and worry is, with this being cross border, are they likely to laugh and run off, or do i genuinely have a case given i have it registered in their country (even though im uk). the company is large (with other recent acquisitions of local sites to blend into theirs, some 2 dozen sites i think). and also how could i do this, as obviously im not in a position to go to a US court given location etc and i was fair with a genuine non gouging price based on the image and its use etc.

 

i also have the same image used in italy, to which they have said no we won't pay, again a large sports based newspaper / sports website. have i any recourse here, they got the same email as the USA company as i found them in days of each other, although the italian site has had it longer, before they removed.

 

TIA

 

Dan

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44 minutes ago, skylineboy said:

I skyped USA and they were helpful, info was passed to USA editor in chief etc, and i sent him original email from Dec and he got back to me to say the turkish site had taken it from another site and didn't realise these werent for editiorial (aka free use) and removed the images. so far so good.

 

Editorial is not free use.

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2 minutes ago, fotoDogue said:

 

Editorial is not free use.

 

yes I and WE know that, thats what their defence was, perhaps they thought it was a free manufacturers image (this is common in the motoring industry which is what the image is of, a car, makers usually release these as free for editorial use, when a new car comes out etc even though the car in question hasnt been on sale for decades lol)

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If it's registered in the US, you may be able to get a US lawyer to take it on contingency. For the Italian image you may be able to use the EU small claims process through IPEC. As long as we're still in the EU, of course.

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1 hour ago, spacecadet said:

If it's registered in the US, you may be able to get a US lawyer to take it on contingency. For the Italian image you may be able to use the EU small claims process through IPEC. As long as we're still in the EU, of course.

 

yea, im fairly new to the game, but i kept hearing on here and various places that it was worthwhile doing even for non US residents, so filed, and pre-dates the infringement etc

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Probably only worth doing if you intend to pursue an infringement.

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Where in the US are they located?

 

I'm not a lawyer but.... if it's only for a few hundred dollars you could file a non-payment case in Small Claims Court. You wouldn't need a lawyer but you'd probably have to be here to file and appear in court.Small Claims Court in New York goes up to $5000. If you want to bring a Copyright Infringement case that would probably be heard in Federal Court where you would need a lawyer.

 

Oftentimes photo thieves will grab an image from elsewhere knowing that it's too much trouble for the photographer to pursue. You could contact the company's website provider and issue a DMCA take-down notice.

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The US has binding intellectual property agreements with the UK and the EU, so it doesn't mater whether you have registered copyright in the US or not. US courts are legally bound to uphold laws based on those agreements. Consult an intellectual property lawyer in your own country.

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35 minutes ago, Martin B said:

The US has binding intellectual property agreements with the UK and the EU, so it doesn't mater whether you have registered copyright in the US or not. US courts are legally bound to uphold laws based on those agreements. Consult an intellectual property lawyer in your own country.

Can you give some more detail on that? It doesn't accord with my understanding or that Bradleys link.

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4 hours ago, spacecadet said:

It doesn't accord with my understanding or that Bradleys link.

Because you don't seem to have an understanding of the Bradley link. You have to read past the first paragraph. Like I said, If it is important to you, consult a lawyer, not random web pages and or commenters in a forum.

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12 minutes ago, Martin B said:

Because you don't seem to have an understanding of the Bradley link. You have to read past the first paragraph. Like I said, If it is important to you, consult a lawyer, not random web pages and or commenters in a forum.

 

I have, thanks. It's intended for US copyright holders.

You referred to "agreements" when you presumably meant the Berne Convention.  From your comment I assumed you had some extra information to share beyond that- most of us are well aware of Berne but there's nothing in it to save the OP from the complication of having to file in the US. That's what the OP will be advised even if he "consults an IP lawyer in his own country" (which is the UK, as you see from his avatar).

Edited by spacecadet
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thanks for the help guys,

 

hopefully so pressure with the law can get them to pay, it really is a small amount in the scheme of lawyers etc, so they maybe wouldnt chase (less than 200$),

 

as for the italian one. carloM you will have a pm soon

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18 hours ago, CarloM said:

i'm italian lawyer, if you need help...

 

i couldnt seem to find the pm link, the forum has changed i think.

 

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2 minutes ago, skylineboy said:

 

i couldnt seem to find the pm link, the forum has changed i think.

 

 

they are Corriere dello Sport Srl - the motoring section of what i assume to be a major sports site / company.

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1 hour ago, skylineboy said:

 

i couldnt seem to find the pm link, the forum has changed i think.

 

 

Alas, we no longer have the ability to personally message each other. They took that away after some abusive behavior was apparently going on. I don't see why all of us were punished but there we are. Sometimes you can find a member's website and contact them from there.

 

Paulette

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6 hours ago, spacecadet said:

 

(which is the UK, as you see from his avatar).

Yes, he is in the UK. So he needs to talk to a real lawyer, in the UK, not a bunch not a bunch of pseudo-knew-something-about-its in an online forum. If he contacts a UK based IP lawyer, if the lawyer is worth his or her salt, they will take care of it if it is worth pursuing, Italy, US, it doesn't matter. All this bs about small claims court and the like is just really bad advice.

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7 hours ago, spacecadet said:

 

most of us are well aware of Berne but there's nothing in it to save the OP from the complication of having to file in the US.

If you are aware of it, perhaps you should actually read it. My original point was that the OP,  or anyone creating work in the UK or EU, does not need to file copyright in the US to be afforded full protection under the law in the US. That, in a nutshell, is what the Berne agreement affords in the way of protections in cases like this. There are no complications other than what would normally take place in a civil suit.

 

"The “national treatment” principle in copyright law states that authors should enjoy the same protection for their works in other countries as those countries accord their own authors. Therefore, a country that is a member of the Berne Union must afford copyright protection to foreign nationals without a requirement of any formalities (like use of a copyright notice or a registration requirement). Foreign nationals must be afforded the same rights and treatment that a domestic copyright holder would receive."

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23 hours ago, fotoDogue said:

Where in the US are they located?

 

I'm not a lawyer but.... if it's only for a few hundred dollars you could file a non-payment case in Small Claims Court.

 

Dogue, Small Claims Court in many U.S. States (including here in Pennsylvania) requires you to file in person and then make another in-person appearance some weeks or months later.

 

There really is only one legitimate course of action here; the O.P. has to contact a local, specialized lawyer, who will hand it over to someone they know in the correct location.

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4 hours ago, skylineboy said:

 

they are Corriere dello Sport Srl - the motoring section of what i assume to be a major sports site / company.

it's a very important sports site \ journal. Which is the photo?

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14 hours ago, Martin B said:

If you are aware of it, perhaps you should actually read it. My original point was that the OP,  or anyone creating work in the UK or EU, does not need to file copyright in the US to be afforded full protection under the law in the US.

It was clear from the context that I meant filing a lawsuit, not copyright registration.

FYI, although not relevant here unless the publisher has a UK site, we do have a small claims process covering copyright through IPEC. SO there was really no need to call the contribution of a respected member of this community "BS".

Edited by spacecadet
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40 minutes ago, spacecadet said:

SO there was really no need to call the contribution of a respected member of this community "BS".

Suggesting someone living in the UK fly to the US to file a small claims case against someone they had no written legally binding agreement with is "BS". Respected or not, don't give out bad advice if you do not understand the subject or how it works. The only advice the OP needed was to contact an IP lawyer in the Uk; someone who understands international copyright law. A small claims court in the US would throw it out because they do not have jurisdiction.

Edited by Martin B

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23 minutes ago, Martin B said:

Suggesting someone living in the UK fly to the US to file a small claims case against someone they had no written legally binding agreement with is "BS". Respected or not, don't give out bad advice if you do not understand the subject or how it works. The only advice the OP needed was to contact an IP lawyer in the Uk; someone who understands international copyright law. A small claims court in the US would throw it out because they do not have jurisdiction.

So everyone except you is a "bunch of pseudo-knew-something-about-its". OK.

When you get to know the forum a bit you'll find it's a bit more collaborative than some and lacking in confrontation and bad language. Until you do, please would you dial it down a bit?

Edited by spacecadet
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1 minute ago, spacecadet said:

So everyone except you is a "bunch of "

 

I told him to talk to a lawyer that understands how the law works. If I had advised anything else, then yes, I would be a pseudo-knew-something-about-its, because anyone giving out free legal advice without a legal degree or an education in the intricacies of international copyright law is pretty much just that. Dial down on the free legal advice or go to law school, because some of the advice that was given out in this thread, if taken seriously and followed, could have potentially cost the OP a large sum in potential compensation. 

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