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02-14-2014, 06:33 PM - 1 Like   #1
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Photographers united against - The Color Run - The Evil Organization

Entire social media (of-course photographers united) look at this company...

The Color Run Sues Photog for Demanding Payment for Widely Distributed Photo

[UPDATED] The Color Run Sues College Photographer After He Asks for Compensation for Image

What a freaking evil organization.

02-14-2014, 06:48 PM   #2
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It is rather sickening, I hope he wins the suit and then counter sues bringing them to their knees. He was just asking for due compensation.
02-14-2014, 10:48 PM   #3
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There's more to the story. This was have been added after you originally posted the 1st linked article. The Color Run claims that the photographer made these demands before they sued:
-”$100,000.00 US deposited into my business bank account” (This amount went on to be raised by Max to $300,000).
-”To be named the Official Photography Sponsor of The Color Run (Globally) for the remainder of its existence.”
-”Max Jackson Logo to be added in sponsors section on the bottom of all web pages”
-”My name to read at the bottom of any TCR photo’s used in legible print from the next print run forward as, Photograph by Max Jackson”
-”if no efforts are made within 15 days, to contact me I will be forced to take further action”
If both sides have stated things correctly and the article is accurately reporting what they said, the photographer agreed to the use of his photo on Facebook, the company then additionally used the photo in display advertising without proper authorization, the photographer noticed and contacted company, company and photographer started negotiating, photographer made above demands, company preemptively sued in anticipation of being sued. So, IMO, the company made a mistake in their use of the photo, then the 2 of them couldn't work out a deal and brought the courts into it. It's tough for me to tell if there's any evil being done. At least 1 side is probably not fully truthful in the linked articles - I don't know who, but, ya know, people lie I hope the 2 sides can reach a fair settlement that compensates the photog and discourages the corp from repeating the mistake.
02-14-2014, 10:58 PM - 1 Like   #4
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This is why i don't post any of my good images on public websites, including PentaxForums

02-15-2014, 02:35 AM - 1 Like   #5
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Fascinating story.

I think the young photographer has no idea what he's doing business and lawsuit wise, and he may have been unreasonable. But he's almost certainly right - the question is how much he should get.

The owner of The Color Run has never had a company anywhere close to this wildly profitable, as far as I can tell. It appears their profits may be as much as 50% or more of revenue, and his sole proprietorship may have easily netted over $25-30 million last year, their second year of operation. So the whole situation may be going to his head, and he doesn't know what he's doing either.


As a company that caters to a social media generation, he's taking a big risk getting so much negative exposure within it. When this fad is over in a couple of years, it may be hard to tell how much of its demise is of it is because of his actions right now.

In any case, even if he is greedy and somewhat undeserving, I hope the 21 year old photographer wins big, because TCR and its founder messed up and now he keeps messing up each time he has a chance to get off the wrong path here.

And despite the benefits they can bring to a community, they already have some bad press because their "charity giving" is really a way of getting the local charity to provide event workers for well under half what it would otherwise cost them to recruit, hire and pay them directly. So they don't need this problem on top of that!

Last edited by DSims; 02-15-2014 at 02:41 AM.
02-15-2014, 03:38 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by DeadJohn Quote
There's more to the story.
I just read this; the internet is raging war against these folks. Such bad PR. Someone will soon come up with a new website. That is just bad for business.

In the end we all know whose picture was stolen and who is being sued. Thats it! People decide, the company does not decide.

Simply my opinion.
02-15-2014, 04:04 AM - 1 Like   #7
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Wait until 20 years from now when 1,000,000 people form a Class and sue The Color Run, the makers of tempera paint and the sponsor and venue of every run ever put on for $100 billion compensation for the lung disease caused by those tiny particles of corn starch thrown in the air at the end of the race.
02-15-2014, 04:08 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by OldNoob Quote
This is why i don't post any of my good images on public websites, including PentaxForums
Love it! Excellent excuse for lack of photographical talent (or opportunities)

02-15-2014, 08:59 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
Wait until 20 years from now when 1,000,000 people form a Class and sue The Color Run, the makers of tempera paint and the sponsor and venue of every run ever put on for $100 billion compensation for the lung disease caused by those tiny particles of corn starch thrown in the air at the end of the race.
There were a couple of earlier posts about photographing a color run, where folks were asking about lens damage, through the lens inhaling the corn starch. Heck, forget about the lens's inhaling the stuff - the runners inhaling the dust. Then the late night Mesothelioma commercials running on your google cornea implant - "Were you a participant in a color run, 20 years ago", attached to this kid's 3D image....

02-15-2014, 10:16 AM   #10
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The problem is he posted the photo on Facebook. I guess he didn't bother to read the Terms of Service agreement concerning intellectual property rights on photos. Basically until 2012-2013 Facebook claimed all rights even if the items or account was deleted. It has been revised that Facebook has all rights until which time the photos or account and all shared links are deleted.

Seems to me the photographer is suing the wrong people.
02-15-2014, 10:48 AM   #11
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But Facebook didn't use the photo...
02-15-2014, 12:20 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by DSims Quote
I think the young photographer has no idea what he's doing business and lawsuit wise, and he may have been unreasonable. But he's almost certainly right - the question is how much he should get.
I agree. An organization the size of Color Run either should have known better, or should have lawyers that know better.

That said, the photographer didn't help his case by making ridiculous demands or showing up at a high stakes negotiation without an attorney. If he had asked for back payments of a typical licensing fee plus negotiating one going forward and a reasonable penalty fee, he'd have banked a huge check. All this stuff about being a sponsor (the check usually goes in the other direction for sponsors!) and being an official photographer just makes him look clueless.

Would you do business with him hearing how he approached a negotiation? I wouldn't.

I am, however, perplexed how Color Run thinks they are going to win a trademark infringement lawsuit when they gave him permission to be there and take photos, or why they think that was a good choice of response.
02-15-2014, 04:59 PM   #13
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It would be nice for educational courses to start informing their students about basic copyright law and registration with the copyright office of images that they think are great and will be posting. The basic understandings should take about 15 to 30 minutes. That would help a great deal in situations such as this.

02-15-2014, 05:09 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Not a Number Quote
The problem is he posted the photo on Facebook. I guess he didn't bother to read the Terms of Service agreement concerning intellectual property rights on photos. Basically until 2012-2013 Facebook claimed all rights even if the items or account was deleted. It has been revised that Facebook has all rights until which time the photos or account and all shared links are deleted.

Seems to me the photographer is suing the wrong people.
Maybe you didn't fully read the articles. He didn't post the photo on Facebook, The Color Run did.

And even if a photographer posts a photo on Facebook he doesn't give up his rights to it. Facebook's rights here are much more limited than people say - but certainly it can be re-posted anywhere on Facebook.

QuoteOriginally posted by interested_observer Quote
It would be nice for educational courses to start informing their students about basic copyright law and registration with the copyright office of images that they think are great and will be posting. The basic understandings should take about 15 to 30 minutes. That would help a great deal in situations such as this.
Education can really help here, but the interesting part is that Max is lucky things went as they did, and that he didn't know how to follow the correct path. If The Color Run had tried to secure proper permission they would have never paid an amount similar to what they should have to pay now; they would have simply chosen someone else's photo and paid somewhere between $10 and $5000 (and probably closer to the low end of this scale).

Last edited by DSims; 02-15-2014 at 05:19 PM.
02-15-2014, 06:05 PM   #15
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I happened across the actual lawsuit filing by TCR.Then there is this blog that appears to be written by Max the photographer (which contains the above link to the lawsuit filing), but it also has the back and forth email where TCR asked and received the original image (full resolution).They are both very interesting reading.

Actually, I can put a lot of my own opinion here, but I just bubble up to my previous post. If the college class he was apparently in, had a 15 minute segment on copyrights - I think that all of this would have gone a completely different direction. Also, this would be a great segment for any high school or college business law class.

I'll just add that from the actual lawsuit filing -
  • There is no indication of a photography class being given access to the 5K for pictures.
  • There is no citation of any type of agreement between Max and TCR - other than TCR wants the court to declare that what ever infringement was inadvertent and harmless.

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