Business downloaded one of my photos from Photo.net to use on flyers!

Discussion in 'Business of Photography' started by gulfbeach47, Dec 30, 2009.

  1. I'm not sure where I should post this question but I need some help. I got an email from a Yoga business. In the email they attached an ad which already has my photo included in the ad. Yipes! I don't know where to begin with my questions.
    Did I read somewhere on Photo.net that the images in our gallery are copyrighted? If so does that mean anything?
    Is there a way other then submitting very tiny images or putting a watermark on them to prevent images from being used for by other people...especially commercial purposes?
    I thought when someone emailed or downloaded an image from Photo.net gallery that the images would be too small for someone to print with?(See ad link at bottom of the page)
    At least the person that (owns?) the business sent me an email requesting a price to use my photo.
    The email>Hello John-
    I found this beautiful photo of your while searching google images I typed in "yoga sunset."
    I have a small yoga studio in Bellingham WA which is a small city (not near Seattle as some people think).
    I would like to request use of your photo for an in-studio flyer we will use for 2 weeks. Sample of flyer attached.
    What might you charge for this? Not sure if I can afford it but I would like to be ethical in usage as I appreciate your work.
    Thanks very much,XXXXXXXX

    I have no idea what to charge because all I know is she said it will be used for ''in-studio flyer we will use for 2 weeks.'' Any suggestions would be appreciated. The person that posed for it and other pix on my gallery has used the pix before but I retain rights to the image. I was thinking $100-$200 for use of the image. Too much? Too little? It may be too much for a small Yoga studio for an in studio flyer but it is how I make my living. Thoughts and tips about any of this situation appreciated. I tried to post the ad from my Smugmug website but I cannot get it to post the image here. I can provide the link. Hope it works. At any rate this is an important issue for many of us that use this site to post our work.
    http://www.johnhillphotography.com/Perdido-Key/Perdido-Key-Photos/4143346_AVFap/1/753547458_bSwoQ/Medium
     
  2. John,
    Since they actually asked, and as you say a small studio, you might consider a couple of hundred dollars fair. If were a big name client, you're way too low.
    I do a fair amount of "discount" work for clients who, while willing to pay, aren't able to pay much. I give them an invoice for the full amount, then apply a discount.
    <Chas>
     
  3. I would charge what you normally would....and add 50% penalty for stealing the image. They DO ask, but it appears the flyer has already been produced......regards, Robert
     
  4. It would be interesting initially to say no and request the destruction of all the prints, and see what they say. Then remind them it was for the theft of your image, and negotiate for a fair price and credit with the image on any media. It's funny as there are no sandy beaches near Beillingham. The closest one is Sandy Point (Lummi Tribal Reservation) about 15 miles away.
     
  5. It's normal for a designer to produce a design before printing. That they mailed the piece using your image would not be an issue for me. Give them a price without any penalties.
    Joe
     
  6. John -
    1. Copyright of image - the copyright exists because you took the photo. Not because it's published on Photo.net or any other site.
    2. To claim monetary damages - at least with a good chance of winning - you need to have registered the copyright with the U.S. Govt. Fee is between $35 and $55 dollars and you can register hundreds of images at once - via a CD / DVD.
    3. She has done a MOCK-UP - not a finished printed product at this point. So BE NICE . I would absolutely not do as Robert suggests. Good way to lose business and tick someone off. Nor would I do as Scott suggests - I would respectfully disagree with those two gentlemen on this.
    What I would do is - write her a very nice e-mail - thanking her for her interest and honesty in contacting you. I would also politely inform her that while you are flattered that she likes your work - that the proper way to proceed in the future with others would be to contact them prior to downloading / copying the work as opposed to after the fact. I would suggest a 1 time usage license of $200.00 for the image - with the usage being limited to 1 flyer for a period of 2 months and at the end of that period, the remaining stock of flyers must be destroyed or a new usage agreement negotiated.
    Whatever you decide to do - remember that this thread is fully google-able and anyone - including the studio owner can now see your path.
    Dave
     
  7. What David Haas suggested is very good advice.
    The fact the potential user has contacted you, shown you how the work will be used, and the general tone of the email, is all very honest and professional and deserves an appropriate response.
    There is enough real image theft going on without creating an issue here that does not exist. If only all potential image users were this honest the 'business' would be in better shape imho.
     
  8. Opps - missed one thing -
    It is well documented by Josh, Jeff and other moderators that images posted in the PNet gallery are NOT protected and are fully download-able. For reasons that I don't understand they can't change the settings / protection so - display at your own risk.
    That's one of the reasons I personally don't put anything in my gallery on this site.
    Dave
     
  9. Very good advice David. Why get all in a huff and puffy your chest out. I also do not post a lot of my images on Pnet for same reason and if I do it's just for reactions and then I take them off. $200 seems like a good deal for both of you.
     
  10. You should definitely respond in a polite and professional manner. The potential client has done nothing wrong at all. They have used a publicly available thumbnail to create a mock-up of their design in order to contact you for permission to use your photo in their work. Even better, they are giving you an opportunity to see how they will be using your work before establishing a contract, allowing you to back out if you decide the use is not a dignified representation of your work.
    Provide them with a price. When they pay, send them the source image so that they can produce a quality run of prints. While they may get an adequate set of printed flyers from the Photo.net image, a paying client deserves a high-res source file to perform professional work.
     
  11. I agree with the general consensus, and I think it does speak well of the studio owner to contact you to ask permission and offer to pay for it. I think your price is fine since the shot is from a previous shoot not related to their request, just a bonus sale. I would want a photo credit on the flyer, nice shot by the way.
     
  12. copyright infringment and out and out theft via fake products is rampant worldwide. Wanna buy a "genuine" fake Gucci? or a "realistic" Rolex? Dime a dozen so to speak. Companies in China specialize in knowingly manufacturing fake anything and everything including drugs, blue jeans, CSA approved electrical products...
    Federal Governments have entire divisions focused on intercepting and prosecuting those who bring unsafe and outright dangerous fakes goods into the country.
    Someone pirating a couple photographic images probably doesn't even hit the radar of any level of law enforcement. A couple years ago, a Facebook type of website in Korea took a liking to one of my Waterton folders and collectively generated about 100,000 hits before Photo.net eleves shut down the hotlinks.
    What can I do about it? diddly squat, nothing... unless I am prepared to spend countless dollars trying to get something out of nobody 1/2 way across the world.
    I am not saying this makes it right to take images, but hardly rates as a crime anyone with any kind of power cares about, unfortunately.
    So, accept whatever $$$ seems reasonable and be a little bit flattered they found your photograph(s) to their liking.
     
  13. David, the only way to change that would be to change how the networking portion of the internet works. Remember, we are talking about a network that was origianlly designed for Defense and Scientific purposes, not commerce.
    Now then, to protect your images you can watermark them yourselves before uploading (possible to remove, or may destroy the visual appeal of the photo), upload only small enough resolutions for display on the web (I usually don't upload over 800 pixels on the longest side), or not upload at all.
    As for the OP and what to do with the current issue at hand. I would respond with a polite letter that thanks them for the interest. Then say you could mail them a copy of the image suitable for print if they give you the correct dimensions they need, and obviously your fee. As I don't know the size of the business, or what you sell images for, I will not even attempt to put a dollar amount on there.
    Also, remember, the web is the wild wild west. Pay attention out there and use common sense. You are the only person that can protect yourself.
     
  14. I had the same thing happen to me a few years ago. The image the guy used was not one of my best but illustrated his catalog. I talked to him on the phone and we parted amicably. I had my own photo business then and I just let him do it. I didn't care that much and did not want to get involved in fights that didn't help the bottom line. It was my policy not to quibble with wedding customers or get into a fight about a picture I didn't much give a damn about. I was published regularly in the paper then as well and most of my pictures were tossed out with day old, smelly fish wrapped in them. I very rarely had trouble with my wedding customers, but on the two that I did I just gave them free pictures to salve their supposed complaints and moved on to my next, hopefully profitable, wedding. I had bigger fish to fry, so to speak. Were it me, and she a struggling small business, I would help her by granting her limited use for nothing. Just like I was, she is probably just trying to just get by with her business. I know, I know, I know, there are higher principles involved but I save my higher principles for what I think is important and that don't involve honest working people. That's my record.
     
  15. I had the same thing happen to me a few years ago. The image the guy used was not one of my best but illustrated his catalog. I talked to him on the phone and we parted amicably. I had my own photo business then and I just let him do it. I didn't care that much and did not want to get involved in fights that didn't help the bottom line. It was my policy not to quibble with wedding customers or get into a fight about a picture I didn't much give a damn about. I was published regularly in the paper then as well and most of my pictures were tossed out with day old, smelly fish wrapped in them. I very rarely had trouble with my wedding customers, but on the two that I did I just gave them free pictures to salve their supposed complaints and moved on to my next, hopefully profitable, wedding. I had bigger fish to fry, so to speak. Were it me, and she a struggling small business, I would help her by granting her limited use for nothing. Just like I was, she is probably just trying to just get by with her business. I know, I know, I know, there are higher principles involved but I save my higher principles for what I think is important and that don't involve honest working people. That's my record.
     
  16. BTW, your story exemplifies the reason why I feel all people who publish photos to the web should put their copyright notice and contact info as part of the image. Doing this also helps with sales of your photos .
     
  17. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    Send them a bill. They'll pay it.​
    For something they haven't done yet? They're asking about usage cost and made a mock-up. The mock-up requires a bill? Who would pay that?
     
  18. Dick Arnold,
    I see your point but I'm of the mindset that it's good for people to pay (including myself) when they can.
    If you can't pay and you need it, ask for a blessing. If you can't pay and you want it, to bad go without. If you can pay then pay.
    I think as a whole we've gotten into a hand out mindset and it's not good for us. We're no longer independent.
    So though I like you wanting to help others, I think it's often a better help to make them pay.
    Of coarse this is a case by case thing.
     
  19. Thanks for all the feedback. I agree with the folks that say the business has done nothing wrong so far (that I know of) in making the mock-up, but then I think it would be better to of sent me an email before doing the mock-up unless she was just showing me the sample..which I hope she was doing. I wrote her a nice letter a few hours ago, thanking her for contacting me before thinking of using the image. I am in the mind-set that many people that are into Yoga think ''what goes around comes around.'' I also mentioned to her that I thought $200.00 would be a fair price and the photo is copyrighted. I have no idea of the size of her business, but the cost of using my image would be less then one 3 month membership (see the ad) according to her prices. So far I have not heard back from her but I imagine I will since she wrote me in the first place. Anyone live in Bellingham, Washington? :)
    I wrote Josh last night regarding this but he must be swamped or on a well deserved vacation. Could someone tell me why photo.net does not make this site impossible for people to download images or at least convert them into very small images if they download or email them? On my Smugmug gallery they cannot download or email from it, since I have the gallery set that way. Is it that hard to do on this site? I hope Josh or someone connected to Photo.net can answer this. I will post what Josh tells me unless he posts it here himself. I included this link in my email to him.
    I hate plastering a watermark across an image that I am having critiqued but I certainly don't want to risk this kind of incident again.
    Members need to go over their gallery and check out your older images that you value and see what size you uploaded before the size restrictions went up.
    I don't know if it's just me, but this would seem like a major issue for Photo.net to address.
    David Haas I just went back over the messages and saw your post ''It is well documented by Josh, Jeff and other moderators that images posted in the PNet gallery are NOT protected and are fully download-able. For reasons that I don't understand they can't change the settings / protection so - display at your own risk.That's one of the reasons I personally don't put anything in my gallery on this site.''
    There has to be a way to change the settings/protection of PNet galleries. Any Computer Geeks (I say that in a good way...I wish I was one) on here that would care to comment?
    We are going into a new decade tonight. Time for change. Lets get these photos secured:)
    Happy 2010 Everyone!
     
  20. I would not be surprised if she sent this letter to a few photo.net members, with their individual photos, fishing (phishing?) for one that would let her do it for nominal charge or free. Therefore don't be surprised if she declines a bill. I'm not a professional photographer, but I feel for those with the courage to try to make a business of it. Therefore I would try not to be part of the 'guy with camera' problem, grossly undercutting those trying to make a living. I would ask for about $100, more as a symbolic gesture.
     
  21. Dave Holland I was going to ask $300.00 but I went down to $200... as a symbolic gesture:)
     
  22. John,
    If I were at your place, I would have honor this business request from a client. You can request her to send a photo of the exhibition with visible flyer made of your photo. Again, give her a nice discount and I think $100 is a fair amount. This client is making your photo visible to many visitors who might not be going to online to see your art or photo so you can treat this as a good opportunity.
    In my view you should try to build long term relationship with these type of clients for a good and healthy future business.
    ~
    Rakesh Gupta
     
  23. Howdy!
    It's New Years. The Yoga studio will probably call on Monday.
    It's a stunning photo. You should be flattered not only that she found it on her own, but since she found it through Google, a lot of other people must like it too.
    As an imaging software engineer, I can tell you that if somebody wants to grab an image from a website at the display resolution, they can. All they have to do is capture the monitor image and crop. Smugmug, MPIX, and other such sites (all of which are very good) protect full resolution images simply by not allowing people to display them. There's no other way to protect them other than watermarking.
    Later,
    Paulsky
     
  24. What Paul Thomas say's is true.
    All you have to know is a few simple steps and you can take any photo you want off the internet, including your site John. Although Smugmug does put the "proof" watermark on the photo to make it harder. Though with some PhotoShop skills you can do away with that too.
    Photo.net could do the same thing but it can still be taken. It's really, as it should be, the job of the photographer to protect their photo's by posting only low res files and putting watermarks on them. You can do away with a watermark but you can't take a 80 resalution file and make it print worthy, at least not by my standards.
    It's like putting a lock on your home, it's really only gonna slow someone down if they REALLY want to get in.
     
  25. Yoga business wrote back: ''Thank you and Happy New Year John. We will not be using your photo but wishing you the best.''
    Anyway, I hope my thread alerted some folks to the problem of their images being copied. I never heard from Josh. He has been very good about replying in the few times I have contacted him in the past. Perhaps his contact thingy did not work this time.
     
  26. person sounds like an idiot. he steals an image then asks permission to use it. He could have just gone to a stock site and purchased an image for his specific use for about $1.00
    if you charge him to much he'll probably not pay and still use it. I bet he would be at a limit of $20.
     
  27. Felix, I like to to think she borrowed it for a mock up but I would of preferred she had asked me before doing the mock up. We could of saved her time since she did not agree to my fee anyway. I don't know much about ads but as Dave hinted she could of had the text prepared and put my image and others in the ad to see how they looked. If she used it then I imagine her Yoga-Karma would come back on her but I trust she did not:)
     
  28. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    he steals an image t​

    How did this person steal it? They put it in their bag and drove off with it?
    Designers do mock-ups all the time using available images. In the print days, it was very common to see mock-ups with photos clipped from magazines. Now they are clipped from the web. This is a good way to get business.
    One gets the feeling from this post that a lot of people haven't had much experience in this area but feel perfectly comfortable commenting. Having worked on both sides, I've seen how this can benefit the photographer. If a photographer makes it impossible to do a mock-up, someone else is going to get the work. And unless it's been distributed or published, it's not hurting the photographer in any way.
     
  29. John Hill,
    Don't let this incident discourage you from asking reasonable fair market prices in the future. The stock photo pricing calculators I linked to above are good references.
     
  30. There has to be a way to change the settings/protection of PNet galleries. Any Computer Geeks (I say that in a good way...I wish I was one) on here that would care to comment?​
    In order for someone to view an image on their computer, it must first be downloaded into their computer's memory. This is true for all images viewed on a computer, whether it's a beautiful sunset from a photo.net gallery or the Namemedia logo at the bottom of this page. If you prevent downloads, you prevent people from seeing the image.
     
  31. In addition to what Mike says...Although "right-click to save" can be prevented, viewers can still capture screens / images with the print screen key.
    Try it now. Hit the print screen key. Open your image editing program and select edit, paste image. In Photoshop, you must create a new image before you can paste "print-screen" contents.
     

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