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  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Brooklyn NY

    argument with ex-photog

    ok, so a few years ago a some-what famous photog asked me to make a web site for him. He supplied me with his photos(men, women, weddings, headshots, etc.), content, info, price list, etc. We agreed on $500, a 50% off deal as he will recommend me to others for web design, and I will work as his assistant on shoots to learn the biz.
    So, as Murphy's Law would have it, he lost his studio because of a rent dispute, he moves out far, changed careers, never contacts me for months, etc. Thus, I dont get paid, web site deal is off, no clients, nada!

    I uploaded my work to my own portfolio anyway. Then many moons later this guy calls me up complaining that I am using copyrighted images on my web site without consent.
    I say pardon, but consent from WHOM? The models? Why, as he is the one who gave me all the photos and asked me to make a site for him, and then refused to pay me.
    Now this jerk is demanding I take down from my portfolio HIS site&photos (as he is claiming eventhough he REFUSES to pay).
    There is no contract, just someone I knew who wanted a web site, but then didnt.
    BTW, if the models want re-prints, or enlargements, or photos scanned(he used film), etc.
    too bad as he is long gone! And then what do they do?

  2. #2
    Moderator Skyman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

    Re: argument with ex-photog

    I am not sure if I am clear on this one.

    are you using your photos on his site? - even if he didn't pay you are you affiliating yourself with him, and you would need his permission.

    his photos on your site? - that is infringing his copyright. Just because he ripped you off doesn't give you the right to use his images, especially not to reprisent yourself.

    If they are photos you took, but whilst "working" for or with him, then you are in a bit of a grey area, especially as there was no contract etc. Normally though whatever you produce for an "employer" belongs to them unless there is a contract stating otherwise. Because of the nature of your "deal" this could get messy.

    Just because he is out of the business doesn't mean he looses copyright over his images.

    Ok now images asside, if the look of the site was designed by him, then he owns it unless you have a contract stating otherwise. If you came up with the design then he has no say over it unless you are using his name etc on the site which you have no right to do without consent. If you are using his pricing structure and other content he provided that is also his intellectual property.

    Just because the original deal went sour doesn't mean you can use his images as recompense nor his other intellectual property.

    I would work out exactly what you own and what he owns before you respond. I would then be saying, You contracted me to do X but didn't pay me. I will take down your copyrighted material when you pay me, otherwise it will be lawyers at 50 paces, but be careful, the cost of lawyers etc may far exceed the $500 you lost and if he can proove your are making money of his work you might have to pay him even more. One thing to note is that if he is in a bad financial situation, then he has nothing more to loose and potentially a lot to gain by pursuing this.
    Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum videtur

  3. #3
    Fluorite Toothpaste poker's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Southern California

    Re: argument with ex-photog

    Yeah....don't use photos that were taken by others unless you have the permission to do so.

    If you are using the work of others embedded in your portfolio in someway then you'll need their permission.

    I'm sorry your business deal did not go though but it doesn't give you the right to use his photos in your portfolio.

    If I don't pay my rent, does that mean my landlord can eat the food in my fridge?
    Canon 5D MKII & Canon 7D

  4. #4
    Nature/Wildlife Forum Co-Moderator Loupey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Central Ohio

    Re: argument with ex-photog

    First of all, I'm not a lawyer.

    Quote Originally Posted by Romphotog
    I uploaded my work to my own portfolio anyway...Now this jerk is demanding I take down from my portfolio HIS site&photos
    Whose portfolio and whose site? I get it that the photos are "his".

    I understand your frustration but don't equate theft with an accounts receivables problem. Because you didn't get paid up front, you, in effect, became a creditor - an unsecured one at that. Delinquent payers, payment discrepancies, and bankrupt clients are the risks one takes when issuing credit.
    Please do not edit or repost my images.

    See my website HERE.

    What's a Loupe for anyway?

  5. #5
    Senior Shooter Greg McCary's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Rome Ga.

    Re: argument with ex-photog

    He may have gave you the photos but not the copyrite. If an artist gives you a cd that means you own the cd not the rights to the music.
    I am like Barney Fife, I have a gun but Andy makes me keep the bullet in my pocket..

    Sony a99/a7R

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