Has anyone used your photo without permission or credit? What would you do if it was a worldwide famous supermodel, posting your photo to millions of her followers without crediting you? This is exactly what happened to photographer Don Mupasi. Tyra Banks posted one of his photos to almost 5 million of her followers without crediting him as the photographer. And it seems he’s not the only one whose photo she used.
There’s nothing better than receiving an email with a $2500 paycheck attached to it out of the blue.
That was my cut of a settlement that Pixsy was able to secure on my behalf from a single unauthorized use of one of my photos.
If you’ve ever had one of your photos published without a license (and who hasn’t), I am going to try to explain why and how you can get paid (in cash not credit) for the unauthorized use of your creative work.
OK, those are not the exact words of Getty, but this is what their response feels like. As you may recall we reported this 1 Billion dollars lawsuit back in July. If you want the background, Getty sent an infringement notice to one Carol M. Highsmith. Here is the funny thing. Carol M. Highsmith was the photographer who took the photo in the first place.
In response, Carol sued Getty for 1 billion dollars for “gross misuse” of 18,755 of her photographs, she claims that Getty “falsely and fraudulently holding themselves out as the exclusive copyright owner” (The amount comes from $25K per image in statutory damages times three).
Now it’s Getty’s time to respond (and they did file a response on September 6th) and here is what they are saying:
The use of copyrighted material without permission (aka piracy) gets a lot of attention in the music industry, but those of us who earn income from visual arts are just as often (if not more so) screwed over by rampant online piracy.
Interestingly, Taylor Swift and other huge creative content producers suffer from many of the exact same issues as independent photographers, filmmakers and visual artists (on an entirely different scale of course).
Now, with the current review of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) ongoing in the US – artists like Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, Paul McCartney and some of the world’s other top creative content procurers think that it’s time to hold tech companies responsible for rampant piracy.
Amen – digital copyright control is long past due – click to continue reading…
I have been using Pixsy for a while now to keep track of copyright infringement of my photography and where possible, pursue payments.
Having worked through the system a few times now, I have identified a number of simple steps that photographers can take to protect their copyright and pursue infringement.
You may or may not care about copyright infringement right now, but there is really no reason not to protect yourself just in case.
Continue reading for my suggested best practices to protect your photography copyright and pursue infringement.
Here is something that should concern all creatives, and it is the bad side of intellectual property. Apparently, you are allowed to trademark just about any phrase you can think of. In turn, this means that if someone else is using that phrase in their video (or even video title), it can be shut down.
This happened to Devin SuperTramp (previously) when he uploaded his yearly show-reel titled “People Are Awesome 2015 – ULTIMATE DevinSuperTramp Edition in 4K“. The video gathered a massive 28,000 likes and over 400,000 views in the first 36 hours. Then it was gone.
Back in May artist (and I use that term lightly in this case) Richard Prince enraged photographers worldwide when he took photos from Instagram, added a comment on the photos and sold them in a New York gallery for up to $100,000 a piece. All this was done without getting permission from the owners of the photos, without sharing the profits, and without even informing them that he had used their photo.
Many called for the owners of the ripped off photos to take legal action against Prince, and last week a federal suit was finally filed against him and the Gagosian Gallery that displayed his “art”.
If you’ve been infringed (and frankly, who wasn’t) there is a big difference on what you can do to the offending party, depending on your registration status. (Well, in the US, at least).
If your photo has been registered with the US copyright office you can claim statutory damages of up to $150,000 per infringed work + recover the attorney fees. If your photo is unregistered, you would have to prove damage, so there is certainly an upside for registering your photos with the copyright office.
One of the more common ways was sending a CD over, but this is quite a hussle. A new lightroom plugin – imagerights – aims at integrating copyright registration into your lightroom workflow. (And everything that is integrated into a workflow works better).
The idea is that you can select photos right inside lightroom and send them over to registration with the copyright office. Each batch is limited to 500MB, but you can send as many or as little photos as you want.
I have been working on ways to automate some of my social media and blogging activity over the last little while and one of the super useful tools I’ve been using is IFTTT (If This Then That).
However, browsing the recipes on IFTTT I have realized how redonkulously easy it is to fully automate the theft of photography from social media.
It’s so easy its crazy – which leads me to my second thought:
How can it possibly be this easy to automate the theft of copyrighted creative content from social media without the permission or knowledge of the content’s owners!?
Or, in other words – why don’t social media networks give a flying fudge-nugget about copyright???
Earlier this year, we talked about how many restaurants are embracing social media as a means of free advertising. Some American restaurants even changed their menus, ingredients, and plating to cater to those Instagram loving, self proclaimed “foodies”. In Germany, however, it seems as though some chefs are a lot less keen on the idea of their edible creations being photographed and tossed around on the internet for all to see. [Read more…]