I have been discussing the back end of photography or most businesses as they say. Unfortunately there are thieves among us. The government and others are trying to deal with it. We have to do our part. As I have stated for years, copyright infringement in my opinion is out and out theft. No excuses no places to hide. People do it in the light of day and in most cases on purpose to save a buck or to try to impress people. Here is a link to an article from 2009, right here on examiner about fair use and copyright infringement.
With that I am getting back to the art of photography, the front end of the business. The back end is getting full of infringements that have to be dealt with through the courts it seems. That is a shame but that is the new world we live. I am still going to write the final few parts of the series on Plagiarism and Copyright Infringement: What do they mean. I will post some of it here. Most will be done in the magazine as it gives me the ability to use photos and such without sharing the rights to them.
Lawyers: Anyone who knows me knows that some of them are not my favorite people. However, good lawyers who take the time to explain and sometimes walk away from clients are a great asset to society. If you are going to be in the business of photography and do it seriously even as a hobbyist, get to know an attorney. They may be your best ally. I have tried to state in every article that if you have question contact an attorney. I have tried to embed it but have not done very well. I am going to amend that here, get a good attorney. Do your research, pay a fair price and if it comes to copyright issues, GET A COPYRIGHT attorney. It is way too complicated not to do so.
A update on the infringements that are currently being done with my work. I have one photo that is blowing up on Pinterest and some other places. I have mentioned it before. Here are some things to consider. There is an elderly lady, much older than myself, who has a small blog that uses it. It is infringed but what harm is it doing? She is not making money like some others, she is enjoying it and I am OK with that. One other blog that is using it has to be written by a child. The language and references show a young age. Again, they think it is pretty and helps them remember their vacation. What harm is being done? None. Can I do DMCA and send them a bill. Yes, but am I. Heavens no. It is easy in this world of people taking your work to forget that the other side is people who like and enjoy it.
The guy on Facebook, it took less than a day to take it down. Am I going after him, no. I took it down because of where it is not because he liked it enough to use it.The person who posted and claimed my work on Pinterest, that has been decided and an attorney is going to deal with that one. The real estate infringing, that is in process for an invoice and it goes where it goes. When you get to a certain point, it is time to act and let the consequences fall where they may fall. It either goes well or to federal court. You have to take it to a point and then turn it over to the pros and walk away. Give the infringer a chance or two and then assign it to someone else and go deal with other people.
The over 40 who have pinned it on Pinterest, are an issue. My going rate since December is $ 385.00 for a license to use the photo. That is not the price of a print but the license. Remember the other article and the cost of the cd and what the computer program costs. It is a license, not a cheap print.
The individuals on Pinterest alone are going to take over 30 DMCAs to get down and that is probably not all of them. I will most likely concentrate on people who have exceeded 3-5 and more. The lower end will depend on what they use it for. As I said before, be reasonable. Just remember, your reasonable and theirs will be much different. They will cry everything from not fair, I am a victim, you are an ___ to I did not know. What they always fail to mention is they took your work and that is a crime. They never mention that part. Always strive for a level playing field but they will never rise to your level. Just try not to get pulled down to theirs. Just remember that they stole your work, you did not steal theirs and they broke the law and you did not.
The businesses, I have a problem with them. They want paid for what they do yet want to use my work for free. Probably not going to be let that continue. I deserve to be paid just like they do.
The groups who used it to promote their cause, well most of them are non-profits and I am trying to get one going so I do not know at this time but I will probably notify them about it and give them a limited license. The publicity couldn’t hurt.
Disclaimer: I am not an attorney. These are my personal opinions and general information about my situations. The information is general in nature and should not be used as legal advise.
As you can see we are still working on embedding this in all of our articles here and in the magazine. It is not showing on the live version but in the edit version it is. There is a disclaimer about hiring an attorney. I hope it shows up soon.