Collecting on Misuse

Posted on 1/10/1997 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)

59

Collecting on Misuse


January 10, 1997

Recently there appeared on the Internet some good advice about procedures for
trying to collect once you discover a misuse of your images.

Frans Rombout of Picture Partners in Leiden, Holland
pointed out that from a legal point of view as soon as you send someone an
invoice for something he or she stole (your bike, car or in this case an image)
you more or less agree with the theft.

A better solution is to send a letter in which you let them know that "(1) you
have found out that...etc.,etc. and THEN (2) make a PROPOSAL for a settlement:
pay twice the usual price or you will let a lawyer handle it."

My only comment here is that maybe three or four times the usual price, rather
than twice, would be a better starting position for a quick settlement.

Henry Scanlon of Comstock suggested the following:
"If you see an unauthorized use of your picture, bear in mind that you're
looking at an INFRINGEMENT OF COPYRIGHT subject to STATUTORY DAMAGE AWARDS of up
to $100,000 per infringement.

"Unless, of course, you send them a bill for $1200 at which point you have
effectively set a ceiling on what the offender sees as their 'exposure.' And
that's why their attorney isn't worried, and knows you ain't gonna go spend a
bunch of legal fees in order to recover a 'mere' $1200.

"If you feel absolutely compelled to send a bill (which, strategically, you
shouldn't do in the first place) do two things: Make it for $100,000 and write
very clearly on it that it is a SETTLEMENT OFFER. Why? Because 'settlement
offers' are NOT admissible evidence in court and your 'bill' cannot therefore be
used against you.

"What you SHOULD do in these circumstances is call 'em up, cite the specific
provisions of the copyright law, get their serious attention thereby, and start
negotiating down from $100,000--not from $1200."


Copyright © 1997 Jim Pickerell. The above article may not be copied, reproduced, excerpted or distributed in any manner without written permission from the author. All requests should be submitted to Selling Stock at 10319 Westlake Drive, Suite 162, Bethesda, MD 20817, phone 301-251-0720, e-mail: wvz@fpcubgbf.pbz

Jim Pickerell is founder of www.selling-stock.com, an online newsletter that publishes daily. He is also available for personal telephone consultations on pricing and other matters related to stock photography. He occasionally acts as an expert witness on matters related to stock photography. For his current curriculum vitae go to: http://www.jimpickerell.com/Curriculum-Vitae.aspx.  

Comments

Be the first to comment below.

Post Comment

You must log in to post comments.

Stay Connected

Sign up to receive our FREE weekly email listing new stories posted.

Follow Us

Free Stuff

Recent Stories – Summer 2016
If you’ve been shooting all summer and haven’t had time to keep up with your reading here are links to a few stories you might want to check out as we move into the fall. To begin, be sure to complet...
Read More
Corbis Acquisition by VCG/Getty Images
This story provides links to several stories that relate to the Visual China Group (VCG) acquisition of Corbis and the role Getty Images has been assigned in the transfer of Corbis assets to the Gett...
Read More
Finding The Right Image
Many think search will be solved with better Metadata. While metadata is important, there are limits to how far it can take the customer toward finding the right piece of content. This story provides...
Read More
Where Is The Stock Photo Industry Headed?
For new readers, or those who may have missed some of what I have written over the last few months, the following are a list of stories worth looking at to get a sense of where the industry is headed.
Read More
Photography As A Career
It’s that time of year when high school seniors are waiting for college acceptance letters and thinking about future careers. If you know someone who is thinking about photography as a career you mig...
Read More
2014 Stories You May Have Missed
For many the end of the year is a time to review past experiences and consider whether it makes sense to chart a new course in the year ahead. Stock photography has changed dramatically for professio...
Read More
More Stories In 2014 You May Have Missed
Every so often I put together a list of the most important stories we’ve published in the recent past. If you are engaged in the business of stock photography the links below are to stories that we’v...
Read More
Getty: A Three Month Review
In all the excitement about 35 million FREE images it is worth looking back at some of things that have been happening at Getty Images in the last three months. After watching revenue decline for the...
Read More
State Of Stock Photo Industry: 2013
If you’re looking for an overview of the state of the stock photo industry as of October 2013 the stories listed below are a good place to start. Regular readers of Selling-Stock will have seen all t...
Read More
Education Market Shifts To Digital
If supplying pictures for educational use is a significant part of your business plan you need to be aware of how the market is trending toward digital delivery and how that is likely to affect the p...
Read More

More from Free Stuff