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11-14-2011, 10:52 PM   #1
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News organization using my image and cropping watermark

I recently found an image of mine that CityTV used on their website over a year ago, and noticed they cropped out the small watermark I put in the corner. I put the image in their Flickr group so I give them rights to use the image, but is cropping the watermark a little wrong? I also place the copyright "Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs Creative Commons" on most of my images on Flickr, so it says right there you can't edit it.

Has anyone come across this and any tips? I understand people steal photos all the time, but for a news organization I would expect a little more.

11-15-2011, 06:27 AM   #2
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Well not knowing much about copyright laws etc. might make my response a little pointless - but I always think a little decency and communication would go a long way. Especially as you say it's a large news company! I'd give them a call and ask if you could at least be attributed. Maybe if you ring cursing and swearing (tempting probably) it most likely will get everyone riled and end in the same situation!

Just try and get a reasonable person on the phone and say what your problem is. Reading up and quoting laws is a slippery slope where the poor man usually slips!
11-15-2011, 08:33 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by markos Quote
Well not knowing much about copyright laws etc. might make my response a little pointless - but I always think a little decency and communication would go a long way. Especially as you say it's a large news company! I'd give them a call and ask if you could at least be attributed. Maybe if you ring cursing and swearing (tempting probably) it most likely will get everyone riled and end in the same situation!

Just try and get a reasonable person on the phone and say what your problem is. Reading up and quoting laws is a slippery slope where the poor man usually slips!
lol I never communicate by screaming in a situation like this. I might get aggitated if talking with them and they're dismissive, but generally I go in every situation very calm and stable I don't think I'd quote the law books, just asking why they cropped my image (which is my major gripe), but I figure I'd ask on the forums before sending off any emails or letters

To be fair, they did include my name - it's mostly the cropping and failing to inform me. I gave them the right to use an image on their website or broadcast, but I don't think that include the right to cropping my images.
11-15-2011, 12:44 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by pete_pf Quote
I recently found an image of mine that CityTV used on their website over a year ago, and noticed they cropped out the small watermark I put in the corner. I put the image in their Flickr group so I give them rights to use the image, but is cropping the watermark a little wrong? I also place the copyright "Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs Creative Commons" on most of my images on Flickr, so it says right there you can't edit it.

Has anyone come across this and any tips? I understand people steal photos all the time, but for a news organization I would expect a little more.
I think at some point, deliberately cropping out the copywrite is just plain wrong. I would take offense if they also did not give you credit for the image, although you would need to check the terms and conditions of their Flicker group to see what responsibility they have with respect to giving due credit.

I had a similar situation with the SNAP free local newspaper, where I was photographing an event that my daughter participated in, and forwarded the photographer some of my images, under the representation from him that I would be credited in the publication if the images were used. At least one was printed and posted on their website, but I did not receive any credit for the photo.

So much for goodwill and trust. Done once, but never again.

11-15-2011, 03:55 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
I think at some point, deliberately cropping out the copywrite is just plain wrong. I would take offense if they also did not give you credit for the image, although you would need to check the terms and conditions of their Flicker group to see what responsibility they have with respect to giving due credit.
The Flickr group terms "By submitting a photo to our flickr group you give CityNews.ca the right to use your photo on our site (with credit/link to you) as well as broadcast your photos on our on-air counterpart on Citytv." if it said "we can modify, crop and edit your photos" there's no way I would join their group.
11-17-2011, 04:58 PM   #6
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I've had images stolen, photoshopped, used without mentioning me....

I suggest a call or email and say something like: I noticed you cropped my image to remove my watermark. Next time please contact me for a copy and ill gladly send you one without a watermark. Thank you....blah...blah.....have a nice day.
I've never pursued it myself. No point. I'm nobody and my images are not valuable.
01-23-2012, 11:07 PM   #7
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They removed my image. It's sad that they used it for over a year, running a profitable news organization, and basically spit on a photographer who they stole from.

Oh well.
01-24-2012, 12:02 AM   #8
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I've placed larger watermarks on my photos ever since finding one of my photos in the local paper. If they had asked I would have said "sure"....just would have been nice to have been asked.

02-01-2012, 11:08 AM   #9
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A friend said to get a lawyer and sue lol Anybody else recommend this? haha
02-19-2012, 12:07 AM   #10
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Did you register the photo with the copyright office? You hold the copyright either way the moment you snapped the picture (in US), but if it was registered here is the benefit

"If registered within three months of publication or before an infringement occurs, once proven, statutory damages of up to $150,000 plus attorney's fees could be awarded to you as copyright owner, even if your actual damages are minimal." Direct Legal - Copyright Guide - Information about Copyrights and How to Register a Copyright

Otherwise, if not registered you can only sue for actual damages which unless you are selling that image elsewhere is probably minimal.

I register almost all of my shots. It's cheap and easy. I spend $35 per quarter. So basically I shoot three months worth, register, then feel free to post them online or whatever. So you're going to have to wait 3 months to see what my cat did today
02-20-2012, 09:19 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by RyanW Quote
Did you register the photo with the copyright office? You hold the copyright either way the moment you snapped the picture (in US), but if it was registered here is the benefit

"If registered within three months of publication or before an infringement occurs, once proven, statutory damages of up to $150,000 plus attorney's fees could be awarded to you as copyright owner, even if your actual damages are minimal." Direct Legal - Copyright Guide - Information about Copyrights and How to Register a Copyright

Otherwise, if not registered you can only sue for actual damages which unless you are selling that image elsewhere is probably minimal.

I register almost all of my shots. It's cheap and easy. I spend $35 per quarter. So basically I shoot three months worth, register, then feel free to post them online or whatever. So you're going to have to wait 3 months to see what my cat did today
You might find that quoting USA copyright law to a Canadian business is a good way to get laughed out of the office. OTOH, if the OP was smart enough to have made a screen capture of the offending web page, sending them a bill for a reasonable amount of money might be an idea.
02-20-2012, 12:34 PM   #12
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Didn't catch that the op was from Canada. That's a whole other bucket of fish. If you are in a US Citizen and your infringer is a US Citizen or company, my advice is good and not many realize why you might want to register your images.
02-20-2012, 05:52 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by RyanW Quote
Didn't catch that the op was from Canada. That's a whole other bucket of fish. If you are in a US Citizen and your infringer is a US Citizen or company, my advice is good and not many realize why you might want to register your images.
It's really common. On another forum that I read, any time a legal issue comes up from a country other than the USA, there will be about 50:1 postings of Americans quoting laws which are of no pertinence to the thread to posts that are relevant.
02-20-2012, 08:46 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
It's really common. On another forum that I read, any time a legal issue comes up from a country other than the USA, there will be about 50:1 postings of Americans quoting laws which are of no pertinence to the thread to posts that are relevant.
Ignorance of the law is a good excuse to keep my mouth shut there.
10-14-2012, 08:20 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by pete_pf Quote
A friend said to get a lawyer and sue lol Anybody else recommend this? haha
I wouldn't.
My philosophy has been you should get whatever you can out of your work before it is stolen or falls out of favor.
It's irritating when it happens but what has it really cost you? If the answer is "lots of money!" then sue.

I don't publish my images. I have a thousand online right now but they are private. My Flickr has some nice pictures that I have already used up, are not important, or have already been stolen.
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