Matters legal and commercial - advice please.

Lightmancer

Super Moderator
Aug 13, 2011
164
Sunny Frimley
Long story short.

I took this photo ten years ago, on film (a Leica llD, if you are curious.):

It is my and my wife's hands. The ring you can just see on my little finger is quite distinctive and the table is my dining table. I still have the negs. There is no doubt it is mine.

I use Pixsy to monitor and flag up any copyright infringements. This one is quite popular among those who think everything is free. It sits on 500px and is watermarked.

Normally, an auto-generated takedown notice does the trick.

To the point. About six weeks ago I discovered through Pixsy that this image has been appropriated by a US-based right-wing religious organisation. They have turned it into an advertising image for an anti-abortion campaign they are running. I won't repeat their breach here but suffice to say they have cropped to remove my watermark and put wording all over the image along with their name and phone number.

I am taking legal action both for copyright infringement and for reputational damage. I find the use to which my image has been put particularly personally distasteful and that is being taken into consideration.

My solicitor and I are struggling to arrive at a suitable sum. He writes "I believe that the basis of our assessment of damages would be founded in the fee to which you could reasonably expect to receive if you were to licence the use of the image."

This is a fair point, and here's the rub. I don't make my living from photography. In my professional life I sell outcomes, and if I need to sell my time I charge well over a thousand pounds a day, but it is not directly comparable.

I'd welcome anyone who can give me a pragmatic view of what to charge. Since the thieving b******s are US-based, an understanding of the American market would be particularly welcome.
 
Dec 29, 2013
124
Switzerland
Sorry, completely unable to help, but extremely interested in the outcome; maybe we should actually flag this - it's kind of the worst case in my eyes (image not only pirated but abused as far as message and content go).

Good luck with your case anyway, Bill.

M.
 
Nov 11, 2011
214
Milwaukee, WI USA
I would think that what you would charge for the use of your image should have very LITTLE to do with how much you would charge for the use of your image to represent something that you find personally distasteful.

Obviously the cost of licensing an image ranges from the cost of a beer for a friend to use on their website, to a five figure sum for a national advertising campaign of a large corporation.

Frankly, I'd go for the jugular. Even if you miss, you can take out a large chunk of their neck ;)
 

bartjeej

Hall of Famer
Nov 12, 2010
124
I would suggest that the (ab)use of an image of your wife for a cause that you don't support would merit an amount of damages that increases for every day that they leave the image online, so not just a lump sum.

They are a political action group using the image in a campaign. I would base the price not on what you personally would ask for a photo, but on what an image for a campaign of a similar size, reach and potential for controversy would typically cost a political action group; that is the market value of the image. Unless the photographer is particularly famous, the identity of the photo shouldn't influence its value much, with the current democratization of photography.

The fact that images are regularly traded below market value shouldn't influence this; lots of things are traded below market value in non-market or imperfect-market conditions.
 

Lightmancer

Super Moderator
Aug 13, 2011
164
Sunny Frimley
They are a political action group using the image in a campaign. I would base the price not on what you personally would ask for a photo, but on what an image for a campaign of a similar size, reach and potential for controversy would typically cost a political action group; that is the market value of the image. Unless the photographer is particularly famous, the identity of the photo shouldn't influence its value much, with the current democratization of photography

Excellent point, thank you.
 

Lightmancer

Super Moderator
Aug 13, 2011
164
Sunny Frimley
Asearch re. Copyright infringement, focused onUS law, found thefollowing cases. Itappears twoof those cases included a discussion about damages. Note the source

That's brilliant, thank you so much. I have some legal training myself and I know how important it is to cite case law.
 

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