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06-10-2015, 04:59 PM   #1
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What to do about deadbeat licensees?

Please help!

A friend and I sold some pictures to some major news organizations on 10/31/2014 last year. We registered the pics, got licensing agreements signed, etc., and thought we were in good shape. We are still waiting to be paid by several of them. We're only talking about several thousand $$ (at most) so suing doesn't make too much sense, but I'm open for ideas. This was my first experience with licensing. I'd love to start bad-mouthing the companies involved but don't really want to be on the wrong end of a suit.

Thank you.

P.S. Not sure where this thread should go.

06-10-2015, 05:28 PM   #2
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I would hire a lawyer to send them each a letter on the law firm's letterhead reminding them of the agreement and an estimate of money's owed.
That shouldn't cost you too much ,and will imply that you have retained legal counsel so you mean business.
06-11-2015, 03:54 AM   #3
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Did you send them an invoice? Most companies require an invoice to process the payment.

Tim
06-11-2015, 07:49 AM   #4
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Do you have late-fees in your terms? A contract with no teeth is like a broken parking meter.

06-11-2015, 07:54 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by crewl1 Quote
I would hire a lawyer to send them each a letter on the law firm's letterhead reminding them of the agreement and an estimate of money's owed.
That shouldn't cost you too much ,and will imply that you have retained legal counsel so you mean business.
Good advice. We're in the process of doing this.

QuoteOriginally posted by atupdate Quote
Did you send them an invoice? Most companies require an invoice to process the payment.

Invoices sent and ignored.

Tim
QuoteOriginally posted by AquaDome Quote
Do you have late-fees in your terms? A contract with no teeth is like a broken parking meter.
No late-fees. Not sure why.

Thanks for the responses!
06-11-2015, 04:34 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by dcshooter Quote
If you have a regular lawyer/firm you use, I'd send them a second invoice/notice of late payment, but with a prominent CC: to your lawyer, and both via certified mail. That conveys the message that you would consider legal action without going into full-on confrontation and will save you up-front attorney's fees. If you still get nothing, then your lawyer will have evidence of their receiving and willfully ignoring the invoice in hand that he/she can refer to when she draws up a more formal demand letter.

With the smaller sums involved, if you do consider litigation, it will likely be in small claims court and won't involve an attorney. Having the second invoice and certified mail receipt will also give you a good piece of evidence and will greatly increase the odds of a default or summary judgment in your favor, since a large organization is unlikely to even bother sending a lawyer to defend a small claims case, particularly one that they know that they are likely to lose.

It's still a good idea either way to talk to your lawyer before deciding how to proceed and at the same time discuss potential revisions to your standard contract in order to avoid this kind of problem in the future.
Thank you, dc.
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