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Author Topic: Photograph copyright infringement  (Read 248 times)

jerhutch

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Photograph copyright infringement
« on: 05-07-17 at 12:08 pm »

I am a photographer and took/produced a nice shot of a home next to a creek.   It was a night shot with reflections in the water of the house, stars, etc.    I showed the photo to the landowner and he wanted a copy of it and I emailed it to him.    Now I noticed  that his house if for sale and his flyers on the post in front of his house has one pic and it's my photo.    I looked on the real estate website and the first pic they  have is my photo.   I also noticed that they have a copyright on all of the photos including my photo.    Although I emailed the photo to them, I did not give them any specific rights to it.
My question is do I have any recourse?
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artchain

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Re: Photograph copyright infringement
« Reply #1 on: 05-07-17 at 02:39 pm »

Yes, you have recourse.

The first thing you should do is figure out what you want.  What would make this right for you?

Then contact the homeowner and see if you can work something out.  Often people simply don't understand that physical possession of a photo does not give them the right to reproduce it.

If the homeowner won't cooperate, the next step would be to hire a lawyer to send a cease-and-desist / demand letter.  Often getting a letter from an attorney is all it takes, but that will cost you a few hundred dollars.

The final step would be to file a lawsuit.  But unless you have registered the copyright on the photo, you will only be entitled to actual damages and profits attributable to use of the photo.  And you will need to spend thousands of dollars up front for the lawsuit.  So you really don't want to get to that step.

For more info, see:  https://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap5.html#504

Oh, and by the way, you should save a copy of the real estate flyer, and take screenshots of the website where your photo is used. 

« Last Edit: 05-07-17 at 02:49 pm by artchain »
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Tobmapsatonmi

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Re: Photograph copyright infringement
« Reply #2 on: 05-10-17 at 11:38 am »


Then contact the homeowner and see if you can work something out.  Often people simply don't understand that physical possession of a photo does not give them the right to reproduce it.

Hi artchain, I like your answer but the part remaining above gave me an additional thought.  While I'd agree that most homeowners don't understand this aspect, I'm betting the real estate broker does.

So, why not contact the broker as well?  They likely think the homeowner is the photo's author and once they understand the situation may voluntarily cease using that photo on the website and paper flyers.
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