I need advice on photo infringement

If you are worried about infringement or your work has been copied and you want to take action.
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schabert
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I need advice on photo infringement

Post by schabert » Sat Apr 06, 2019 1:28 pm

not sure if this is the right category, but here goes:

I live in Glasgow, Scotland. and I need advice on the following issue.
I did a photographic job as a volunteer for a beauty event last august (two days work). The organization (not a charity) promised that they would credit me each time they would credit me every time they use my work. It was put in writing in a contract that the organization insisted on to make sure, as they told me, that I would be there to cover the event (contract attached).
The contract also state that I remain the copyright holder of the photos.
However, time and again, they failed to credit me properly, both on social media and on their website). Which leads meta believe, as well, that they might have used my photos for other means as well (which I have no way to check) either on magazines, internal or otherwise or for advertising purposes.
They posted the said photos on social media (facebook, instagram) in august 2018.
They have used about 400 photos of mine without crediting me since august 2018. And they are still using them to promote another event for this year, again, without adding my name to them. An event for which they charge their customers. So obviously they get profit from my work.
I sent them an email in January citing the omission of the credits on the photos (with screen grabs showing some of the photos without my name attached. They have replied that they forgot and they told me that they would remedy to it.
However, as of this day, they have only credited 37 photos out of 400 published (as far as I know) online. I have gathered all the evidence needed (screenshots and videos).
Now they are using my photos (still without the due credit) to promote a future event, , and they have asked me to cover the event (being there covering that event from 9am to 10pm) for free again. I told them that this time I will charge them and gave them my quote event. They replied that It is too expensive and they would only be willing to pay £100 for coverage of the event (working for 13 hours) and including delivery of the images). I obviously rejected their offer.
Would anyone know what are my recourses. Can I sue then for failing to fulfill the terms on the contract? (I have kept screen grabs of the several example of my photographs published on social media and their website without crediting my name). I have drafted a cease and desist letter with invoice that I intend to send them ). What do you think?

I have drafted a cease and desist letter that runs as follows with an invoice including the basic rate for online use for each photographs that were used without respect to the contract terms:
CEASE AND DESIST LETTER


Enclosed :
Invoice corresponding to photo shoot and photo usage.
Contract between company A and ME dated 4 July 2018.



Dear Sir,
I am writing to you regarding the photography capture of the contest event 2018 that took place at the Hilton Hotel in August 2018.
I remind you that in order to make sure, as you told me, that I would be present and capture the event, you adamantly insisted for a contract to be signed by I, and you, Representative of Artistic Fur.
According to the contract, you engaged to:
Display my work and contact details on our web page until August 2019, 1 Year of a constant promotion.
Social media exposure, writing about who I am and what I do on social media account with 3k potential clients of mine in future.
Certificate of appreciation and a statement of the work I did.
Every time the materials of my work will be published I will be highlighted as a creator.
I will be exposed to the Lash Community worldwide and by providing good quality photos there is high chances of getting new projects in future as you will highlight that the work was done by me.
However, it has come to my attention and I have gathered evidence that you have made unauthorized use of my copyrighted work as described as followed:
Use of the material of my work −Capture of the "contest 2018 event”− (437 photographs, as far as I know) on social media without attaching my name and contact details since August 2018 (7 months exposure):
facebook address 1
facebook address 2
instagram address 3
Use of 4 my photographs without attaching my name and contact details for the promotion of a new event takeng place in the end of the year:

COMPANY X website addresses


You even contacted me on 7 March 2019, expecting to work during the duration of the event (from 9AM to10PM) for free.
Prior to this letter, I contacted you by email and by Facebook Messenger to notify you of the issues and to give you a chance to rectify them.
Your response was that, “You forgot, for some photographs, to attach my names and contact details due to as you had a lot of work”, even though you did not forget to mention the Hotel where the event took place on each photographs.
You added that you would correct the omission and promised that you would not forget, in the future, to add my name and contact details on future uses of the photographs I took.
However, you have only attached my name to 37 material of my work out of the 437 that you used. It so remains that 400 photographs that you used on social media are missing my name and my contact details.
Furthermore, you omitted to:
Issue a certificate of appreciation and a statement of the work I did.
Provide media exposure or write about who I am and what I do on social media.
Highlight that I am the creator of the photography of the Contest event event on either social media or on your company website.
In short, you have consistently and continuously violated the terms of the contract that you yourself drafted and so insisted that I signed.
I demand that you immediately cease the use and distribution of all the infringing works derived from the photographs I captured during the Contest event, and all copies of them, including but not limited to electronic copies of same, and that you desist from this or other infringement of my rights in the future.
If you do not immediately remove the infringing material, and notify in writing that you have done so, I will consider taking further action against you.
Finally, I enclose an invoice which corresponds to my charge for the initial photo shoot (contest event 2018 event on 15 August and 16 August 2018) and the penalty for the use of 400 photographs for the period of 7 months on social media outside of the terms stated in the contract you signed, i.e. £35 per photo used.



Sincerely yours,

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AndyJ
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Re: I need advice on photo infringement

Post by AndyJ » Sun Apr 07, 2019 9:22 am

Hi schabert,

Yes, you can certainly sue for breach of contract, which has resulted in an infringement of your moral right to be credited as the author of the photographs. This is particularly serious because getting a credit (and hence wider exposure) was the sole benefit which you stood to gain from this arrangement.

However the initial stage is, as you have done with your letter, to try to negotiate some recompense from the company. Obviously if that fails, you still have the right to take legal action. But I suggest that you also consider the intermediate course of action which is to seek mediation as this is cheaper and simpler than going to court. However mediation is only an option if the other party also agrees to it.

If all else fails and it is necessary to go to court, because it is less straight forward to bring a moral rights claim than a normal infringement claim, I suggest that that is the time you should consult a solicitor or Citizens Advice.

But in the mean time, I hope your letter produces the required result.
Advice or comment provided here is not and does not purport to be legal advice as defined by s.12 of Legal Services Act 2007

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