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Business photo's no money
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Sd5899
Date Posted: Jun/21/2007 8:30 AM
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I recently did some photo's for a business for advertisement. They have been used for greeting cards, on their web site, in their news letter and much more since they received the files. I made the mistake of letting them download the images without the money first.

My problem. They are now complaining that the price is to high after they have used just about all of them. I was charging $35 per image for the copyright and they could do whatever they wanted with them. Is this to much considering they have used them and they can do whatever with them after they get the copyright. I'm not worried about them over using the images just getting the money. Any thoughts here?

Thanks in advance
Shannon

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Victor
Date Posted: Jun/21/2007 12:12 PM
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This sounds like you have learned a valuable lesson. If you look at Stock photo sites you will see that you are under priced especially since the photos clearly have value for the client.

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Fools rush in where he who hesitates is lost

 Message edited by: Victor on 06/21/2007 12:12:54

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photolady
Date Posted: Jun/21/2007 3:35 PM
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What Victor said and I'll add - don't ever give up your copyright. Grant royalty-free or rights managed permission to use but retain the copyright. Also make sure you have a valid contract with specifics such as fees and when they are due, rights granted, etc. spelled out.

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Alice

 Message edited by: photolady on 06/21/2007 15:35:38

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bumpsy5250
Date Posted: Jul/12/2007 9:43 AM
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I dont know... Based on the comments here, this might have just been a hard lesson learned. I would imagine (dont know for sure) that something could possibly be done legally, maybe. But I also imagine this could cost a lot of money in legal fees. Just my 2cent

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Marvin

www.msjphotos.com

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BobF
Date Posted: Jul/12/2007 5:13 PM
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How large a business is this?

To echo the others, yes you made the mistake of letting them use the images before you got paid. Live and learn.

$35/image for all rights is far from too much it's way, way too little. For the kind of broad use they're doing the right price is in the hundreds of dollars, perhaps thousands if there are many copies floating around and given that you're selling your copyright to the images.

Do you have a signed contract? Did you put a contract in front of them at all? If it's all just on a handshake, you're pretty much S.O.L. If you've got something in writing or can prove you put something in writing before you gave them the images and also have any correspondence from them that they initially agreed to the price you're in better shape; but still not necessarily a slam dunk.

There are a couple approaches you can take. First is to handle it yourself. Send them a well written, courteous letter reminding them of the agreement they have with you or that you had put in front of them and that you expect them to fulfill their part of the agreement. Inform them, politely, that you expect to be paid for the images, that XX amount of time has passed since you provided them with the image files, that they have been using the images prodigiously and that you wish to be paid by a certain date. Pick a date a couple weeks out so they have time to process the cheque. Tell them that if you don't receive full payment by that date you will issue a cease and desist letter ordering them to stop using the images immediately and that they are to remove all images from their website, from their newsletters and destroy any hardcopies and reproductions without delay and inform you all that has been done. If they don't do all that, then go talk to a lawyer.

The second approach is a bit more hardball. You forgo the first steps and go right to the lawyer. Get the lawyer to send the letters. The same message on a law firm's letterhead often carries more weight and motivates the receiver to act more swiftly. The lawyer can advise you on what, if any, other damages you may be able to seek for the fact that they used the images without payment. Take all correspondence and copies of all agreements, signed or not, to the lawyer for review. Yes, it will cost some money but it usually does cost money to fix things when we screw up.

Lastly, why are you giving them all rights? Why don't you want to give them limited usage rights so you can sell the images again or use them in your portfolio? Selling your copyright is something that should be done very rarely and only if you're being paid very handsomely for it. At $35 an image I suspect they know or feel they're dealing with an amateur and that if they put a bit of pressure on you you'll give in to them.

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RF Photography

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