/ Being paid for other people's photos(?)

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TOS on 21 Dec 2012 - whois?
Last winter my girlfriend took some photos of me and a mate ice climbing, one of these photos was sent in to a local paper as part of a 'pictures of the week' type page.

The photo appeared as a fairly large part of the page, complete with name credit.

Fast forward to this winter, and two of the newspapers are using that same photo (one paper it was sent to, and weirdly another it wasn't), except this time it appeared with the wrong credited name. The usage is a bit different this time, it's more a touristy brochure type feature.

My girlfriend wrote to the newspaper to point out the name error, and just to politely ask if they use the photo again, to credit her with the photo.

she got no reply, oh and the person who has been mysteriously credited with the photo is a professional photographer...

The wrong credit isn't the end of the world, but I'm a tad annoyed that a) the newspaper haven't got the decency to give her email a reply and b) that someone might have made money on my girlfriend's efforts by underhand means.

One to let drop? or ?
Shearwater - on 21 Dec 2012
Don't let it drop. Send a polite letter to the photographer who claimed the image and offer to sell them the rights retrospectively for a reasonable sum, and see what they have to say.

I don't see how they can have a leg to stand on.
another_mark on 21 Dec 2012
In reply to Gaupa: You need to read the T&C under which she originally submitted though - has she granted an irrevocable right to use, etc, etc?

But they should issue a correction.

Are both papers the same group?

JDal - on 21 Dec 2012
In reply to Gaupa:

I've had a 'pro' nick an image and claim copyright, Jay Kaycappa aka Jason Kay. @ssh0le of the first order. No point in getting in touch with these scumbags.
Shearwater - on 21 Dec 2012
In reply to JDal:
> No point in getting in touch with these scumbags.

Its the first step in any legal process. It can be proved that a photo is yours; you'll presumably have a bunch of other photos from the same session, or you'll have the raw files, etc etc. They'll presumably only have a single postprocessed image.

If you've got reasonable proof that the images are yours, all that you need then is a few pennies and the willingness to take em to a small claims court over it. A chat with citizen's advice wouldn't go amiss.
TOS on 21 Dec 2012 - whois?
In reply to another_mark:
> (In reply to Gaupa)
> Are both papers the same group?

I'm pretty sure they aren't, which is part of the reason it doesn't look like a straightforward mix up of credited names.

A while back, two of my pictures were credited in a magazine, one correctly and the other wasn't... but then my name appeared next to someone else's photo, so it looked like someone mixed up who's photo was who's... Also, in this case I was asked if they could use my photo having seen it in use somewhere else.
This definitely didn't happen in my girlfriend's case.

cap'nChino - on 21 Dec 2012
In reply to Gaupa: check terms and conditions. If you without doubt in the right peruse the living daylighting out of them. It's copyright infringement pure and simple and they should not be allowed to get away with it.
TOS on 21 Dec 2012 - whois?
It's tricky one and keeping a things in perspective;

on the one hand the photo isn't something that would appear on a full page Black Diamond advert or Alpinist article...

but on the other, this paper is taking the pis$ out of my girlfriend by doing this and then not having the decency to reply to her email.

Legal action (or threat of it) seems a bit OTT, but then letting them get away with doesn't sit right either.

Hannes on 21 Dec 2012
In reply to Gaupa: surely they have a telephone number somewhere? You should however not drop it, I'd get in touch with the photographer as well, he might know nothing about it at all
Tom Last - on 21 Dec 2012
In reply to Gaupa:

Hi Gaupa.

Possible that one of the scenarios above has occurred, on the other hand, I would imagine that a sub has just got a bit confused and given the photos an incorrect byline. This happens loads to be honest. I once got a byline on my colleague's double page spreads in the Independent, that was pretty funny!

Anyway, I don't know how things work where you are, but submitted pictures generally speaking do not attract a fee from local newspapers, the budget simply does not exist at many (most?) publications, so it's unlikely but not impossible that the other photographer benefited financially from your girlfriend's work. Indeed, he may have been as surprised as you are at the byline.

Nevertheless, it's a bit off that they should ignore your girlfriend and the least (and probably the most) she should hope for is a printed apology, without recourse to legal action which as you say yourself might be a bit over the top.

Good luck anyway.

Tom - a freelance (mostly local press) photographer.
Tom Last - on 22 Dec 2012
In reply to Southern Man:

As for the other publication. As somebody suggested, you'd expect them to be the same newsgroup, weirdly this isn't always the case.

Reciprocal rights arrangements sometimes exist between different companies, that could have allowed your girlfriend's photo to move between the two.

Again for example this week my girlfriend - who's a much better journalist than I am photographer - wrote an excellent story which was lifted from our newsbox by the frankly rank amateur local news agency. They then re-wrote it and having missed the point entirely, syndicated essentially the prelude to the current story which already went out several years ago and in doing so missed the brilliant new angle entirely. The story went out all over the national press and so we were scooped by our own material a day before we even went to press. Utterly ridiculous.

Welcome to the world of local press and good luck!
Wiley Coyote - on 22 Dec 2012
In reply to Gaupa:

Tom (Southern Man) is perhaps more up to date on these things than I am but I would not be quite so forgiving.

First of all check the T&Cs of your submission. It may be that by sending them the pic you have (perhaps unwittingly) given them a non-exclusive copyright (ie they can use it whenever or wherever they want without paying you). This is a pretty sneaky clause that is in a lot of photo comps too. If that's the case you are stuffed so chalk it up to experience and forget about it.

If that is not in the T&Cs then it is a straight breach of copyright. I don't accept the excuse that they have no budget to buy pix. If they can't afford to pay they should not use it. I don't have a budget to buy a plasma tv but that doesn't mean I can walk into Curry's and help myself to one.

Ring the paper(s) concerned, ask for the picture desk, tell them what has happened and ask for a payment and correction of the credit. They may try to tell you they got it from a bona fide source, some even try to tell you they got it off the internet so it's free. Neither of these excuses the breach of copyright and has no force in law. If they have paid someone else that's their problem not yours. They have used your pic and they must pay.

If that does not work write recorded delivery to the editor(s) of the paper(s) concerned pointing out that the pic has been used without permission and enclose an invoice (say 50?) payable within 30 days and saying interest will be charged thereafter. Details of how to do this are on www.gov.uk/late-commercial-payments-interest-debt recovery

The only reason not to do this would be to preserve a relationship with the paper(s) with a view to getting stuff published in the future but do you really want a relationship with someone who nicks your pix, doesn't pay you, credits them wrongly and then ignores your complaint?
Alex Ekins - on 22 Dec 2012
In reply to Gaupa:
This kind of thing is becoming increasingly common. Ideally you should peruse the issue but it is time consuming and the publications will try various tactics to fob you off.

Unfortunately as has already been stated you may have inadvertently signed your rights away when you sent the picture to the original newspaper. However there is no excuse for the wrong credit.

Here are a couple of links which may be useful

- http://www.epuk.org/Opinion/994/stolen-photographs-what-to-do

- http://www.epuk.org/The-Curve/491/enforcing-your-copyright

It also may be worth doing a Google image search to see if it's being used elsewhere - http://www.jeremynicholl.com/blog/2011/09/26/how-google-search-by-image-helps-photographers-catch-co...

Let us know how it goes.
another_mark on 23 Dec 2012
In reply to Gaupa:

Further to the above, if you've verified that the other paper dont have rights - or have had it submitted by a photo thief, then they need to pay - see rates here http://www.londonfreelance.org/feesguide/index.php?&section=Photography&subsect=Regional+new...

Not that most would charge a multiple of the normal fee for unsolicited use.

I would send an invoice with a covering letter - check if they are also using it online.

Dont accept a fob off, its their responsibility to recoup payment from whoever submitted it to them. I'd give them 14 days to pay and iclude notification that failure to pay will result in legal action without further notice - then moneyclaim online.
halo on 20 Jan 2013
In reply to Alex Ekins: This is good option too for an image tracker http://www.picscout.com/

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