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Photog Gets Into Nasty Tussle With Radio Station Over Copyright Infringement

radiocopyright1

The most recent copyright dispute to hit our radar is one between Canada-based Barbara Ann Studios and an Ottawa radio station called HOT 89.9. Each spring, the radio station runs a contest in which they get a couple married in 24-hours.

Ann isn’t a big fan of the contest, and so when she saw her image was being used to illustrate the station’s marketing kit, she began a dialogue with the company to get the image taken down and receive compensation for what amounted to commercial use of her image. That’s when things got ugly.

After contacting station owner NewsCap Radio, she initially received a very polite e-mail apologizing, explaining that they found the image via Google, and assuring her that they take copyright very seriously. However, after refusing the $40-$100 the company typically pays for this sort of use, and detailing the amount she expected to receive for the altered, commercial use of her image, the tone quickly turned negative.

getmetothealtar

The conversation ultimately ended with this reply from NewsCap Radio Vice President Scott Broderick:

Barb you were kind enough to provide us with a few definitions. Here is one I just looked up:

extortion

NOUN

The practice of obtaining something, esp. money through force or threats

SYNONYMS

Blackmail-exaction

You are obviously a very talented photographer, I would stick with that. Extortion is not your thing.

Cheers,

SB

Ann is no longer seeking payment, and has instead taken to Facebook to spread the word and hopefully prevent this sort of thing from happening to anybody else. The plan seems to be working, as she has received almost 4,000 shares for her trouble.

For their part, HOT 89.9 posted the entire e-mail conversation on their Facebook account, leading to 1000+ comments, many attacking Ann personally. The station has since removed the post and replaced it with one stating that the issue will “remain private.”


Update: Jack Small has shared the entire email address in the comments below. Here it is in chronological order:

Scott Broderick:

Thanks for your email. We take the copyright laws in this country very seriously.

Can you provide me with a copy of the image in question and I will have it removed immediately.

Also, if you can provide me with the names of the individuals in our marketing department that you contacted previously. You should have received a response much sooner than this and I apologize for that delay.

Barbara Ann:

The problem is that it was in PRINT

IT was on marketing material given to potential clients to try and get them to advertise in the contest.

Emails were sent to Ian Balfour and mark russet

Scott Broderick:

Now I understand. Thank you for clarifying. The image will be changed today.

The only good news is that the material you reference has not been mass-produced and is not for public consumption. The material is printed one at a time and has been seen by fewer than 10 clients in private meetings.

The image will be removed today.

Thanks again for bringing this to our attention.

Barbara Ann:

1 client is 1 too many you do understand that?

I want an explanation as to why it was used

Scott Broderick:

Yes, one is too many.

The image was captured innocently during a Google image search of “Strathmere Weddings.” Since Strathmere is a sponsor of the event and there were no copyright warnings attached to the image, it was erroneously placed among the other selected photos.

Again, I apologize for any frustration or inconvenience this may have caused you.

Barbara Ann:

WHAT IS COPYRIGHT?

Copyright is the right of a creator of a work to prevent others from using his or her work without permission. A creator of a work has the exclusive right to say yes or no to various uses of a work such as reproducing it (e.g., photocopying and scanning it into a computer), adapting and translating it, transmitting it and performing it in public.
IF A WORK IS REPRODUCED FOR NON-PROFIT, NON-COMMERCIAL PURPOSES, DO YOU NEED TO OBTAIN PERMISSION FROM THE COPYRIGHT HOLDER TO USE THE WORK?

Permission must be obtained prior to using a substantial part of a copyright work, whether or not any income is derived from its use.

If I googled Coca Cola’s logo and took it and used it in my promotions, it would still break copyright laws.
My copyright is written in metadata. If you hover over the image (which they would have had to do), they would have seen my name. I do not need to write the words copyright all over the image. Copyright is assume/inferred.

The law clearly states they had to ask permission. They did not.

I am quite sure that just as you cannot claim you did not know the speed limit (ignorance is not a reason), one cannot “innocently” steal an image.

This has moved beyond frustration. The image was used without my permission and having it “fluffed off and only 10 people saw it and it was innocent” does not make my mood about this any better. I am not going back and forth with excuses. I am quite sure compensation can be determined between myself and the radio station.

Scott Broderick:

Agreed. What would you feel is fair, given the limited (and now discontinued) use of your image?

Barbara Ann:

limited and discontinued use is a moot point. It was limited and discontinued because of my actions, not the radio station’s.

Bottom line, given the fact that a radio station is in the business of playing music that is legally obtained, they are fully aware of our canadian copyright laws. If they are not familiar, it is the duty of the employer to show due diligence in educating their employees on such matters. Either they were not educated on copyright or they were and chose to ignore it. Ignorance of the law is not an excuse and does not hold up in our courts either.

No matter if the picture was seen by one or many, the fact does not change that the law was broken. My image was illegally obtained and used without permission, clearly breaking Canadian copyright laws.

My fees to photograph weddings range from $3995 – $7795 so it is very reasonable to expect a flat rate of $2000 given the manner in which the image was stolen and the blatant attempt to undermine the seriousness of it in some comments made to me in emails today.

The use of my image was unwarranted when clearly the marketing department could have gone to the previous photographer on the contest, Christine Tripp, for a promotional image. However, they did not. They decided to use my intellectual property without permission and/or compensation.

Please respond to my email within 24 hrs so I know where you stand on the compensation line. This line is non negotiable.

Govern yourself accordingly.

Scott Broderick:

Since you suggest that your $2,000 fee is non-negotiable, I will not engage you at this time.

Btw – we typically pay between $40 and $100 for the public use of most images. I am not sure that our brief and limited use of your image would constitute a public use, but in good faith, we were prepared to pay. It appears that we are too far apart to resolve this issue between the two of us.

I wish you all the best in your future endeavors.

Barbara Ann:

You both realize no one approached me to use the image right? $40 might have been reasonable for a first year hack photographer BEFORE it was stolen.

So before I take matters to the next level, I will ask once more to be compensated in the amount I asked.

Scott Broderick:

You were kind enough to provide us with a few definitions. Here’s one I just looked up:

ex•tor•tion
/ikˈstôrSHən/
Noun
The practice of obtaining something, esp. money, through force or threats.

Synonyms
blackmail – exaction

You are obviously a very talented photographer. I would stick with that.
Extortion is not your thing.

Barbara Ann:

I am not extorting anything. I did not break the law. Your employees did. Please do not make this a blame the victim. I was merely giving you a chance to solve this before I had to escalate it.


Thanks for sending in the tip, Joshua and Jeffrey!


 
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  • http://californiatraveler.blogspot.com Suz

    Maybe if you had ASKED for permission to use it, she would have negotiated a lower rate. However, you STOLE the image. If you Google the phrase “Strathmere Weddings” her image comes up as clearly coming from her website. Google also states that “image may be subject to copyright.” As a radio station who pays to broadcast copyrighted music, you should understand how copyrights work. There is no excuse for what you did and the photographer is completely justified in asking for a quite reasonable amount of $2000 for an item you STOLE. You are the thief…it is not up to you to put a value on the property.

  • http://californiatraveler.blogspot.com Suz

    While many people may download an image or a song for their personal use (and yes, they are violating copyright law), that pales in comparison to a commercial entity stealing an image for commercial purposes.

    Look at it another way. If I come to your house and take your TV and I get caught, can I just give you a quarter for it, because that’s how much I feel it is worth?

  • Samcornwell

    You just compared breaking and entering into a stranger’s house and stealing their physical property with downloading a photograph with no copyright notifications attached to it and printing it on a handful of leaflets.

  • Peter Kashur

    Join CARFA, free legal consultation. Good lawyers. Then hire aaron milrad……enjoy france;-)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1040088129 Nikos Nic

    Next thing you know, you’ll get sued for placing a googled image on your
    desktop and some prick saw it on your presentation-day 5sec. before you
    open Powerpoint…………

    Ok, i understand all about copyright but in the above case, it
    was used on a presentation to 10 advertisers, 10 people. I mean, relax,
    it’s not like it was put on giant posters nation-wide, and the station
    removed it after the complain.
    I believe it was an honest and fair reaction to just an honest mistake.
    For the photographer to seek “compensation” over this minor incident and dragging it on, shows plain-good-old greed.

    It brings shame to all the rest of us.
    Sounds like MPAA-blackmail-style behavior.

    ***OMG***
    I just read the entire exchange of emails.
    The radio station was very professional, cooperative and honest.
    The
    photographer was extremely aggressive and beyond-reason insulting
    towards the VP of the station (a guy who did nothing but to cooperate,
    apologize, and who wasn’t the one who made the mistake in the first
    place)
    . Please, behaviors like that bring shame to everyone holding a camera.

    And if you read her facebook post its a straight-blunt distortion of
    the facts, if she really had the @@ to show the people what really
    happened she should post the entire conversation, not just select the
    parts that suited her….

    Just by hearing cases like the 1st one,
    were someone or some business gets disgustingly greedy is enough reason
    for me to never become their customer and to recommend the same to
    everyone asking my opinion.

  • jean luke

    89.9 are clearly liars. While I am not sure what a professional photo should be worth in this particular case, the bottom line, if you or I the common person stole something like this or took something copyrighted from any business and got caught using it to provide a service or advertise a service in any way big or small we would face the full legal recourse from the ones who owned it. Whether her offer was high or not 89.9 made no effort to provide a benchmark to demonstrate her offer was out of line. No professional on the planet will work or provide work for the amount of money the station offered and they know it. Their offer was clearly to insult her and blow her off. Typical media scum who lie and steal and then try to act as if some how they are the victim. Complete dirt bags.

  • The Nexus

    While her comparison may be exorbitant the bottom line is – theft, regardless of the type of theft, is wrong. What you are suggesting is that this particular theft is somehow “less wrong” than other theft. That’s similar to “sort of” pregnant. There is no “sort of” – you either are or are not. Theft is wrong, period.

  • Samcornwell

    I certainly am saying that the types of theft are different. A burglary of a TV has terrible consequences for all involved. I have difficulty with the concept of applying the word “theft” to a digital file; An ephemeral object designed to be reproduced. The company admitted it was an accident – something you can’t do if you steal an object from someone’s house.

    So yes, one is definitely “less wrong” than the other.

  • James Neely

    This lady plead guilty to stealing $40k and she got off easy. House arrest only. So it’s pretty ripe asking for $2k for copyright infringement.

  • James Neely

    Copyright infringement is not theft. A cop will not arrest you for it. It’s a civil matter if this lady was not so fast and greedy she should have waited to see if the radio station would have used her image more widely then she could have asked for more money.

  • Groucho

    “If you had any kind of professional integrity you would pay her the
    amount demanded. It may seem to you that $2,000 is too high of a price
    but obviously it doesn’t to her.”

    And if she demanded $2,000,000? I wonder how far your own professional integrity stretches. Whatever compensation you consider reasonable, one fact remains: The woman is plain obnoxious.

  • Groucho

    I think your analogy is more anal than ogy.

  • John Kantor

    Time to hurt this radio station.

  • http://www.facebook.com/benjamin.anderson.39 Benjamin Anderson

    The funny thing is that any vocal media product the radio station produces is copyrighted the moment it is produced, and under right-to-work doctrine, that work product, if produced in the normal work of its employees, belongs to the Radio Station.

    The radio station lives by Copyright law, and thus knew, as many siding with the radio station don’t, that the moment the shutter clicks, the clicker of that image’s shutter owns the copyright to said image. To defend the inherent owned copyright requires copyright registration with the government.

    Registration is not required to own the copyright, but is to defend it for large amounts. To defend for large amounts, however, the owner must show damages.

    Off the cuff, however, the station acted like a handful of douches, Jack Small included.
    Just because it is on the internet it’s free…my arse. Bet they aren’t that understanding if someone reproduces the audio from one of their station’s shows…

  • Jack Small

    I never said the image was free, it is a copyright infringement no question about it.

    get your facts straight

  • Jack Small

    Liars in what way?

  • RobJ00

    In the grand scheme of things, this is a pretty mild violation of copyright. The station VP was polite and professional (until the last email, where he clearly loses his cool) where as the photographer comes off as aggressive and over the top. What does she think she’s accomplishing by lecturing him about copyright, in all caps no less? He already admitted the mistake and apologized.

    I always support photographers defending their copyrights, but not every violation requires a DEFCON 5 response. This could have been resolved peacefully.

  • Richard

    So….what should my action be when a company has 377 products for sale on Ebay…some with my images on them some with images that are not mine, but have probably been “stolen” cleaned of attribution, and even in one case with background substituted…..I brought it to their attention….proposed a licensing scheme at 7% (industry standard compensation) for usage or flat rate per image of $50 or $1 per item sold (current retail $25)…and they 1) don’t take them off auction and 2) cease correspondence with me over the issue? As the wronged party here, and having to canvass and save 377 images and URL addresses, and then trying to verify the infringed usage by going through my library of ~300,000 photos to see if I can find the originals is a lot of work…and deserves more compensation than the fee I would have charged had they licensed the image from me through proper channels.

    As was noted…without punative awards or punative charges for unauthorized usage, the infringer basically hopes that no one will find the infringement…and just ceases usage when caught….encourages the practice of stealing images…this kills the market for any income from stock work at all.

    There SHOULD be an assumption that unless you have a contract for the usage of an image that IT IS COPYRIGHTED…and that the user runs a real risk of serious financial cost if they use it without clearing it with the creator of the work…. if it is registered a registered work in the USA, the damages possible are 10X+ what the photographer is asking in this case.

    If the radio station had been just in their offer of compensation, they should realize that a 3X normal fees for image used without permission is an industry standard…and second they should have “canvassed” other photographers to find that their offered $40–100 was way too low even for a licenses image prior to making what amounted to an insulting offer of payment which no doubt is what caused her to get really angry at them. Had they countered with a note to the effect that they realized their transgression and offered her say $450 and explained their reasoning of $150 x 3, I think one might be more sympathetic to their side. As it stands they are in the wrong…and the photographer’s requested fee is NOT outside a reasonable one for a commercial usage, much less with punative fees added.

  • jderrico

    Wow! The radio station doesn’t get to set the price for a copyrighted photograph they wanted to use–the photographer sets the price. The photographer wanted $2,000, in part for the limited use of the photograph and in part for the crime of stealing her copyrighted photograph. Was the photograph worth it? That’s not the point, although the radio station certainly thought the photograph was very worthwhile. It’s too bad that this did not go to court–that radio station may well have ended up paying in the neighborhood of $10,000, especially with their demonstrated attitude. Copyright infringement (the theft of intellectual property) is not taken lightly by the courts. It doesn’t matter what the radio station’s intentions were, or how innocently they are trying to portray themselves. This is the kind of thief who hits you over the head with a hammer and steals your wallet, then tries to convince you that he didn’t hit you that hard, and there wasn’t really that much money in the wallet. Can you spell long prison term? Can you spell big copyright fine. Did the photographer become angry in her e-mails? I can’t possibly imagine how she could have stayed calm in the face of thieves telling her to take what they offer and be quiet about it, and go back to doing photography and leave the copyright infringement business to them. Here’s 40 bucks–take it and be happy about it.

  • LW

    Wouldn’t the subjects of the photo also have a case? I mean, clearly the radio station did not have a model release from the couple.

  • Halfrack

    If the couple in the photo don’t have a model release, had the photog sold the image she could be sued. Don’t assume that they aren’t getting some of the amount being requested.

    Radio station is a media company. Media companies should have strict stock photo or inhouse photo policies in place. Failure of internal policies, employee training, and follow up when caught.

  • pixelviii Photography

    as a Photographer myself who has suffered copyright thefy i fully understand where she is coming from, however to compare the single image to a days wedding shoot is ludicrous. add to that if there is no copyright disclaimer on the website where the image was taken then the image could quite easily have been orphan or open source. Quoting copyright laws in her email and her aggressive nature does herself no good either and makes her look like a moneygrabber. Maybe if she listed standard fee’s for stock images ( information readily available on the net) instead of trying to blag for a days wedding shoot ( which would involve hundreds of photo’s pre wedding meetings etc) then she may have gotten a better response and for a single image like this $100 is a perfectly reasonable amount for an image theat she had most likely recieved payment for in its original context anyway. I know photographers have to make a living and yes its damn hard, but simple fact is you do yourself no favours doing this and if you dont want images “stolen” then dont put them on the internet simple.

  • http://twitter.com/duckrabbitblog duckrabbit

    Sam 100% with you.

  • captainkickstand

    ” one fact remains: The woman is plain obnoxious.”
    Have to wonder if you would have the same dismissive attitude if she was a man. But it doesn’t matter–being obnoxious isn’t actionable; infringing on copyright is.

  • captainkickstand

    “I have deep reservations about siding with photographers who think the world owes them $1000s of dollars by litigation when one image gets used in this way. The radio station apologised, removed the image, admitted to being in the wrong and offered to pay a token sum of $100 for image use.”

    With respect, attitudes like yours are what’s making it impossible for ‘little guys’ to stay afloat anymore. No one needs any more apologists for the misdeeds of large corporations. In the first place, the photographer doesn’t think “the world” owes her anything, just the radio station that infringed on her copyright. In the second place, a “token sum” is just that–a token, and not anything of real value. It’s been pointed out above, accepting this “offer” sets a slippery precedent that the best way for a big business to proceed is to just run rampant over the rights of individual business owners and then offer a pathetically small amount in compensation if they’re called on it.

    Misappropriating someone else’s work may not be a capital crime but it is a serious business and financial one.

  • Samcornwell

    Lest we forget we are talking about the accidental misuse of one, poorly Photoshopped (although that doesn’t matter) photograph. Not a days work nor an hours work. It is a biproduct of another photo shoot that we assume the photographer was paid for. Just ONE photo.

  • GetReal

    How does she seem manic? Threw such a fuss…seriously are you really being serious! She had her image STOLEN. So, if I see your car in a parking lot it’s okay for me to take it, since it doesn’t have a “belongs to” warning on it. More of us should get ticked off when a big comapny steals and thinks it is ok. They used the image to try and gain advertisers and sponsors for a contest.

  • Saffron Blaze

    Copyright Infringement may not be theft but it is a crime when it is done intentionally and for profit. It seems clear the Radio Station could be held accountable for both aspects.

  • Saffron Blaze

    The radio station, and many others here, seem to forget the amount of the fee being asked is not just for compensation but there is also a measure of “fine’ included. Pay the parking fee up front or if caught not paying you pay the fee and a fine. The same is true for many crimes where punitive damages are awarded in addition to the compensation that is due. If you don’t punish the crime then why would the culprit change their behaviour?

    Let’s be clear. It might be classed as a misdemeanour but what the radio station did is a crime. The photographer has every right to be indignant about her copyright being infringed. It is after all her livelihood. The radio station just comes across as arrogant for not making a real effort to set things right.

  • A Photographer

    YOU DON’T NEED A COPYRIGHT ATTACHED! Do you have to stick a sign on your car saying that it is yours? If not can I just take it?

    Physical property theft and intellectual property theft is the same thing!

    Breaking the law is breaking the law…there is no difference between what you discribed above. It is stealling, just because people do it doen’t mean that it is ok. Photographers need to start stand up to image theft. She has my support, all the way!

  • captainkickstand

    The quality of the photo is irrelevant. And you’re very willing to take the station at their word that the use was “accidental”. The most benign interpretation is “sloppy”.

  • Good Grief

    Designed to be reproduced by those who pay for the right to reproduce it. It is not less wrong…it is stealling. If I steal a 5 cent candy from a store is that less wrong than stealling a $20.00 book?
    Just because you don’t value someone elses work doesn’t mean that the creator of the work doesn’t place a value on it.
    Also what happens if her client comes back and sues her for misuse of the image? Her model release may not include commercial use.

  • ShockedbyStupidity

    You are insane…It is a beautiful photograph.

    You clearly know nothing about photography.

    It doesn’t matter if it is one photo or 10 it was stolen.

    It also doesn’t matter if she was paid to take it in the first place or not. It is hers. Accidental use…so your telling me that a radio station employee’s limited use of copyright infringement (which is scarey since he/she works at a radio station) justifies them being allowed to steal…

    That’s scarey. Ingnorance isn’t a defence.

  • Guest

    Wow the ignorance is amazing.
    There doesn’t have to be a warning or copyright on the image.
    If I take the picture I OWN it, and you can’t use it with out permission.
    Simple as that.

  • Samcornwell

    Dear “ShockedbyStupidy”, “Aphotographer”, “Captainkickstand” and any other pseudonym / disguise who cares to comment, I can’t reply to you all. Do not kid yourselves with the notion that a digital file downloaded from Google is any way similar to burglary of a house. It is simply not when you consider the victim. This idea that photographers should pursue litigation whenever possible for any misuse of their photography ultimately gives us all a bad name.

    One digital photo, that is a biproduct of an alternative sale, that has been uploaded to the Internet by the photographer, therefore duplicating the image by transmission rendering the ability to have it removed completely to almost impossible is so menial it defies belief that this story has got as far as this.

    In all honesty I don’t think it’s as much as an issue of the amount of money the photographer demands (which would be for a judge well versed in similar matters to decide) as with the arrogance displayed by her when the law is already heavily in her favour.

  • freddie

    Typo. He actually meant thieves.

    I don’t quite get all the fuss about it. Sue the radio station and be done. This case is clear as springwater and will be decided before you even sat down.

  • ShockbyStupidity

    “add to that if there is no copyright disclaimer on the website”
    So did you pick up a Canon Rebel at Walmart and now your a photographer?
    You might want to learn about copyright especially if you “claim” to be a photographer. You don’t need a disclaimer, you don’t need to write copyright all over an image. Do you know what metadata is I’m just wondering beacuse you seem to have no idea about copyright, which any “real” photographer knows? Her copyright is in the metadata. Just beacuse something is on the internet doesn’t mean you can use it. As a photographer you should know this and I can only guess and cringe at what kind of images you take.

  • pixelviii Photography

    and maybe if you actually took your head out your arse and learned a few things you may understand that many websites strip out exif data from images and in most cases renders the data unreadable to the general public. And nowhere did i mention having copyright splashed across the image i stated on the website.. maybe you should also learn to read peoples posts. As for canon rebels. no i prefer to use my Fuji X series rangefinder and i think the clients i have are pretty happy with the images they have purchased from me seeing as several have come back for more. what camera do you use .if you know how to even use one?

  • http://californiatraveler.blogspot.com Suz

    Either way, it is theft. You do not need a copyright notification, because it is her property as the photographer. Besides, her copyright info is in the metadata attached to the photo. Obviously, you need a better undstanding of copyright law.

  • http://californiatraveler.blogspot.com Suz

    The only arrogance in the situation came from the radio station. Regardless of weather physical property or intellectual property is stolen, there is still theft. Theft of intellectual property can have much greater ramifications than theft of physical property. We have no idea what kind of release the bride and groom signed; maybe theft and misuse of the image now opens the photographer up for a lawsuit against her, this causing greater financial loss.

    A radio station should understand the importance of copyright and the seriousness of violating that copyright. There does not need to be a statement of copyright. Just because an image is found on Google doesn’t mean that it is free to use. Each image is linked to a source, so the copyright owner is easy to find.

    In this case, if you Google “Strathmere Weddings” as the radio station says they did, you will find the image come up as clearly coming from the photographer’s website. So, there should be no question as to who owns the copyright. In addition to that, if you download the image, the copyright info appears in the metadata attached to the image.

  • Samcornwell

    The photographer made and tagged this image in particular resulting it appearing in search engines very highly under a particular term. Almost every time somebody searches that term, it will be downloaded into the computer’s cache. I think it’s an arbitrary point, but let’s consider that idea for a second. The file is reproduced at an infinitesimal cost, downloaded onto hundreds if not thousands of computer hard drives. Placing it in the public domain, which the photographer did has an irreversible effect on the photograph. You can easily right click > save on the image, although plenty of tools are available to prevent this or warn the viewer.

    “Either way, it is theft.” which has been spouted several times now. I have a problem coming to terms with how an ephemeral object (the digital file) designed solely for speed and perfect reproducibility can be considered theft when reproduced.

  • http://californiatraveler.blogspot.com Suz

    If you read the viewpoint of the photographer, she doesn’t approve of the contest her photo was used to advertise. She didn’t want her image associated with a contest she felt cheapened the process of getting married.

  • http://californiatraveler.blogspot.com Suz

    It is theft of intellectual property. Plus, she did not want her image associated with the contest.

  • photographyisaprofession

    The fact that you buy a X series doesn’t say a thing about your professionality. The fact that you sell your photos doesn’t say a thing about your professionality. The fact that you don’t know a thing about copyright does.

    As stated many times above, a photo doesn’t have to have ‘copyright’ all over it to be copyrighted.

    How would you react if a photo was stolen out of a series you made specially for a client, but happen to have on your own website for your own promotional use. How would the client you sold this photo to react. He expected to have the sole rights to the photo. Or are you and your clients the kind that are honoured, because someone, a large company, chose one of your photos. Do you still think it will be good for your marketshare to give away your photos.

    Barb doesn’t have to worry about her market. In this case the photo was used commercially by a company that should have knowledge of copyright laws, because it is in their everyday work. The woman is a widely acclaimed photographer and not someone who sells an occasional photo. Her fee starts from $4000,- for a shoot. The station took this photo because they liked it, so maybe it was one of the highlights of the shoot. I think $ 2000,- is a very reasonable price (fee + fine) for a photo stolen with the intention to use it commercially.

  • Samcornwell

    Good analogy. There’s a difference in use though, I think. In as much as radio play by advertising would undoubtedly be forced upon listeners. Thousands of listeners. The way the use of this photograph differs is that it was used for 10 private pamphlets. Thanks for making me think!

  • Colleen

    You seem to be kidding yourself if you think it is different!
    Theft is theft! This was theft. Do a google search and hover over the image and her studio name comes up. They stole the image accidentally or not.
    She can be as arogant as she wants she is an award winning photographer not some hack.

  • Ken Elliott

    Does the copyright law have any provision for number of viewers/uses? Would the recording company care if only 10 listeners heard it? I suspect not.

    One very important point – the station pays to play the songs, thus can be shown to have a understanding of copyright. Music theft (downloads) has been a hot topic for the music industry. There is no way they are unaware of this. To use the photos as they did can be construed as willful violation. That is, they knew they were violating copyright and hoped they did not get caught. They did, and thus should pay the price. They had a chance to negotiate the price BEFORE they used the work. They chose to gamble and failed. For them to insinuate that this is extortion demonstrates that they lack remorse. I would double the price for that insult.

  • Ken Elliott

    Forget the radio station – it is the parent company (Newcap Radio) that is refusing to pay her. Here is a list of stations they own. This company owns something like 76 stations. They are a big company, can easily afford to pay, yet feel that they can steal from a photographer. Do you suspect they’ve been doing this for awhile?

    It would be interesting to see what would happen if all those station’s advertisers were contacted, and told we are boycotting the stations and anyone who advertises there. I’m sure other media (radio, TV and newspaper) would be glad to have those advertising dollars.

    http://www.ncc.ca/stations.asp?mn=2

  • pixelviii Photography

    Again you are obviously quite ignorant as you have now stated twice a photo doesn’t have to have ‘copyright’ all over it to be copyrighted. A statement i never in fact said. As for widely acclaimed shes a Local wedding photographer, hardly worldwide known . she had one image taken from a shoot that she was probably paid around $2000 for ( budget wedding for that price) and then expects to rake in $1000 for that single image. Maybe shw should divide hours and number of images taken at the shoot and she may come up with a sensible fee.
    As for how i would react. standard issue DMCA of which i have issued successfully before in the past. for images of much higher quality too.
    Now maybe you should go play in some one elses playground before you get hurt

  • JoeyJoeJoe

    It is good to see so many people here have a mastery level understanding of the law putting their juris doctorates to good use by posting comments online. I mean, I always thought the legal definition (simplified and sadly I admit I am no master, just that one class in college) of copyright infringement was unauthorised reproduction of copyrighted work, but thanks to the attorney’s here I am learning that that definition is wrong and it is legally considered theft. If there were only precedence to distinguish the two or maybe a written definition somewhere.
    Good thing we have all the facts surrounding this issue to make a fair, reasonable , and ubiased decision like: the photographers history of enforcement of their copyright; the radio companies history of wilfill copyright infringement, the evidence proving the extent of damages she suffered from the unauthorised reproduction, the details of the contract she had with the initial clients on her ability to use their images for commercial gain, what a court would deem reasonable effort for compensation, the financial gain made by the copyright infringer, if the agent (employee) of the principle (radio station) used reasonable effort to figure the copyright status of said infringed work, if the principle knew said work was infringed work before release and if they put reasonable effort beforehand, etc.,etc., etc. But I am sure these things aren’t needed to figure out compensatory damages and punitive damages to make the cool headed photographer equitable.
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