Michigan Reefers banner
1 - 20 of 21 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
141 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was working at a restaurant last year and they feed deer, I took my camera to work one day and stepped out and snapped a couple nice pictures of the deer. A few months later the owner said she wanted to redo her menus and I designed a menu cover for her to see.....she loved it and asked me to print tem up for her. I told her $125 to cover the ink, paper, time and photo. She said nope she could get them done cheaper. I told her "don't use my picture" My mistake for not drawing a line through the copy I gave her to look at. Anyway, I no longer work there and just learned she is using my menu cover now.......That is my picture and I should have a copywrite to it from my understanding. Is it worth the fight?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,610 Posts
Well you could make an argument for royalities since she is using you property to promote her business. That being said it would be a long battle and prolly not worth enough for a lawyer to take the case.

(PS not a lawyer but I am married to one! ;) :D )
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
721 Posts
A similar picture from Getty would cost $800 for that sort of use. Should give you some idea of fair market value.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
426 Posts
A personal photograph is considered an "original work" in which copyright protection begins automatically once it is fixed in any tangible medium. As the owner of the copyright, you have the exclusive right whether to authorize others the ability to reproduce that original work. However, because your picture wasn't formally registered, there aren't many remedies available to you. Also, since you were an employee there at the time, he/she has a very good defense. Under the doctrine of works for hire, if you prepared the work within the scope of your employment, technically the employer can be considered the author. So, like tszetela said, the attorneys fees wouldn't nearly be worth it. You could, however, always make a phone call and threaten to take legal action. Just the mention of "lawsuit" is enough to make some people do almost anything.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
141 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
yes I was on the clock. Making the cover was an outside job not anything to do with my cooking job. She did not ask me to take photo's and had no issue me stepping out to take them. She had made the comment that "nobody has ever been able to get a good picture of them" (I imagine because nobody had the zoom that I have) She claimed no right to those pictures because I was on the clock. I doubt that I will file suit it just Ticks me off.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
834 Posts
Ask a lawyer.. If he thinks its anything he will let you know. Often they don't get paid unless they win, then they take part of settlement.

Copyright violations can be pretty harsh. I know if you use someones logo, they can sue you and take all the money you have made while using that logo. Thats gotta hurt...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15,111 Posts
How about an Ebay store who steals a pic of my tank from my personal website and uses it in his auctions to sell reef lighting?:mad:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
695 Posts
DlBerlin said:
How about an Ebay store who steals a pic of my tank from my personal website and uses it in his auctions to sell reef lighting?:mad:
If you report it to ebay they will have the listings removed. That is about the extent of what you can do there without subpeona.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,542 Posts
You want to sue over royalties from a personal picture that you took for a Restaurant Menu?

Are you really that desperate for money?

If anything you should be honored that she used your picture.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,643 Posts
hopkins said:
or less than $10 on istockphoto.
Heck - about a $1.25, actually ( I use istockphoto A LOT!).

It's your intellectual property. You have a right to control its usage however you see fit.

There *is* a potential problem with you having taken the photo while "on the clock," but given that your job wasn't in a "creative" or "developmental" capacity with regards to photography, marketing, advertising, etc. then you should be fine.

Simply put - you have a case, and could sue. But do you want to? I'd just ask for some amount of compensation, and in a perfect world, you'd get it (say - $100, for custom photography). But, a copyright suit (or intellectual property suit in this case, since you hadn't actualy copyrighted the image, I assume) would be expensive - for both parties.

I'm not a lawyer, but I've dealt with this type of situation a number of times.

IN EVERY CASE I'VE PURSUED... I'VE WON. BUT - I've also lost more than I won ($$$) with only one expection. I now tend to have "workarounds" that prevent the theft from ever occuring (watermarks, limited resolution, control of testing server, prepayment, etc.).

Just ask her to (a) give you $100 (or $200, or whatever...BE REASONABLE), or (b) stop using it - the threat of legal action more often than not resolves this stuff.

If not... live and learn and move one - it's seriously NOT worth the legal effort or the (negative) impact on the judicial system...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,607 Posts
I believe technically if you were on the clock it is theirs. But if they did not pay you for the time to create it then they owe you back wages. Send a letter telling them you are going to file a claim with the State for back wages and interest and file a copywrite suit if they are going to use it. Since there was no "deal" you could name your hourly rate for your time. Don't forget, if you worked 40 and did the design at home then it is at an overtime rate of time and a half. It is worth the time to write the letter just to agravate them. They will have to call a lawyer to see if you can so that will cost them a couple a hundred bucks. If nothing else that will make you feel better. Then let them decide if it is cheaper to pay you or to reprint new menus.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,643 Posts
slapshot said:
Then let them decide if it is cheaper to pay you or to reprint new menus.
That was my main point of asking for a REASONABLE compensation.

$100, $200, etc. will be FAR easier to eat than printing new menus... IF they are willing to give in.

I'd strongly suggest you review contracts and/or even look into the Creative Commons stuff (not meant for profit purposes, per se, but good info there) - you'll need to write up something to give them the rights if they are willing to settle.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
141 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I forgot all about this thread. This was never about the money....it was/is about the principle. I've chosen another way to handle it and I will not be receiving any money but she will be paying a considerable amout more than I had ask.

 
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
Top