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angad84
Topic Author
Posts: 2135
Joined: Mon Nov 05, 2012 3:04 pm

Photo Usage Question

Mon Feb 10, 2014 9:11 am

Greetings a.netters

A few months ago a gentleman from a large US-based defence company (ca. $1bn annual revenue) contacted me to ask if they could use an image of mine for their 2014 calendar. In another user's thread that happened to be active at the same time, I posted a question on how to price the image and Mick (Bajcar) suggested I start with asking if the company has a standard rate for image purchases. I did this, and sold the image for ONLY the calendar at the company rep's asking price. This is pretty standard, I'm sure you'll agree.

Here are some extracts from our email exchange (quoted verbatim):

Me: "...before I send the hi-res version, I'd just like to confirm that this image will be used only for the 2014 calendar and no other promotional or marketing material."

Him: "Thanks Angad. That is correct only for the calendar. I will request usage separately if we need it for something else."

So that seemed to settle that, and I sent across the image. I received payment a few days later (PayPal issues, yay!) and it seemed like the transaction was behind me.

If only things were so easy.

Between 6-9 February 2014, Delhi hosted the 8th biannual Defexpo - a pretty big defence show (along the lines of DSEI) that is attended by most big companies worldwide and particularly those looking to sell stuff to India, which is a large defence market. At this show, the company I'd sold my image to had a stand and at the stand was... my photograph. Not postage-stamp sized in a brochure or anything, but a massive 12-foot tall display with photoshop effects and stuff added. It took me a second, but I recognised my photo and, feigning interest in their display, snapped a shot of it with my phone.

The question now - what should I do? Should I email the guy who contacted me initially with all the details and request a solution? Should I go over his head and contact someone higher up in the company directly? It's not just that my image was used outside of the calendar but the fact that I was misled (intentionally or otherwise) that has annoyed me and brought me here.

I'd appreciate any and all help.

Thanks
Angad
 
Tonyholt777
Posts: 186
Joined: Mon Dec 13, 2010 9:43 pm

RE: Photo Usage Question

Mon Feb 10, 2014 11:58 am

Hi Angad

Sorry to hear about this.

Quoting angad84 (Thread starter):
Not postage-stamp sized in a brochure or anything, but a massive 12-foot tall display with photoshop effects and stuff added

What size/file type did you send them? Publishers are sod's for asking for your largest version/resolution so they can do just this and include various strap lines and so on.

Quoting angad84 (Thread starter):
snapped a shot of it with my phone.

Sensible

I do (non aviation) commercial work and always agree terms /conditions of use/licence which can be very simple to somewhat complex. Appreciate your email exchanges above - Did you agree the exact licence type/usage with them? Mick's original advice was sound and sometimes the potential buyer would stipulate what they are willing to pay for different usage i.e. limited to all rights etc...

Have you checked out any other potential commercial use by the company of your image outside of what you agreed? Web promotions, events etc...?

I'd take a step back (I know its annoying) and consider your options. Hopefully others will have advice of any potential redress process available with regard to the company being USA based - its a touch outside my experience in that regard, I'm sure others here will offer good advice tho.

Regards Tony
 
ckw
Posts: 4586
Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2010 12:26 am

RE: Photo Usage Question

Mon Feb 10, 2014 2:19 pm

I'd find out what the commercial rate is for such a use (there are sites on the net you can find this). and then invoice them. You may want to copy in the emails with details of the agreement for the original purchase.

Chances are this is not deliberate "theft". Someone simply found the image (which had not been correctly filed/ labelled etc.) and just assumed they could use it. Happens all the time. I suspect that they will pay up immediately to avoid further embarrassment.

In general it is a mistake to assume that the people you sell to, even if they seem to do all the right things, have proper procedures for handling the image once they have it. It was probably used for the calendar, left on someone's hard disk, then forgotten about until someone went looking for another pic for a different job.

Cheers,

Colin
 
angad84
Topic Author
Posts: 2135
Joined: Mon Nov 05, 2012 3:04 pm

RE: Photo Usage Question

Mon Feb 10, 2014 2:49 pm

Quoting Tonyholt777 (Reply 1):
What size/file type did you send them? Publishers are sod's for asking for your largest version/resolution so they can do just this and include various strap lines and so on.

I sent a large file (4.5MB, 3800x2533px). I've always done this for people that have requested images for any purpose. Obviously I am far too trusting.

Quoting Tonyholt777 (Reply 1):
Have you checked out any other potential commercial use by the company of your image outside of what you agreed? Web promotions, events etc...?

I've had a cursory look through their website and a google search with a couple of relevant keywords but found nothing to suggest it's anything beyond the Defexpo display.

Quoting Tonyholt777 (Reply 1):
I'd take a step back (I know its annoying) and consider your options

That's exactly what I'm here for. I was livid at first, but I've done the deep-breaths-and-count-to-ten thing and here I am 
Quoting Tonyholt777 (Reply 1):
Hopefully others will have advice of any potential redress process available with regard to the company being USA based - its a touch outside my experience in that regard, I'm sure others here will offer good advice tho.

And it's complicated further by the fact that I'm based in India. Oh well, I will wait a while and see.

Quoting ckw (Reply 2):
Chances are this is not deliberate "theft".

I hope so.

Quoting ckw (Reply 2):
I'd find out what the commercial rate is for such a use (there are sites on the net you can find this)

I don't know any - could you point me in some direction?


Thanks
Angad

[Edited 2014-02-10 07:13:33]
 
vikkyvik
Posts: 12663
Joined: Thu Jul 31, 2003 1:58 pm

RE: Photo Usage Question

Mon Feb 10, 2014 3:55 pm

Quoting angad84 (Reply 3):

I sent a large file (4.5MB, 3800x2533px). I've always done this for people that have requested images for any purpose. Obviously I am far too trusting.

Eh, I generally do the same, unless the person specifically states they need an image for a certain size print, which I can cover with a smaller size.

I'd be quite annoyed too, but I suspect, like Colin said, that it probably wasn't the intention to cheat you out of money.

Congrats on selling the photo, anyway!
 
ckw
Posts: 4586
Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2010 12:26 am

RE: Photo Usage Question

Mon Feb 10, 2014 5:12 pm

Well a search for "online photo pricing guides" will give you a bunch of examples. Most stock libraries have a pricing guide which I guess maps pretty well to a.net.

One example http://www.featurepics.com/News/photo-license-fees-calculator.aspx suggests a fee of around $450 for the use as you describe it. This is just an example. Different sources will give different prices, but that sounds a reasoanable amount for a major exhibition (a tiny fraction of what it costs to run a stand at one of these shows).

I don't think it matters much what one you use - a reputable name is probably better than someones' blog. When you send your invoice, say you are charging according to the recommended fees as set out in [insert guide name] so it doesn't look like you're plucking figures from thin air.

Be professional and confident, You have a right to the going rate for the use made of your work. Don't threaten (yet!). Just set out the facts as you understand them, along with your required fee.

You may get a counter offer (say $200). You'll then have to decide whether to settle for that and put an end to the matter or go through the hassle of arguing it back and forth, possibly getting a solicitor's letter etc. But don't forget your time has a value ... sometimes it better to cut your loses.

One thing - you said this is a big company. Don't be intimidated by that. You will be dealing with a small department with it's own budget (this sort of thing is well below the radar of senior management). Think of them as a small business down the road.

However, you may want to keep in reserve the idea of taking the matter higher in the organisation perhaps revealing the incompetency of the people you've been dealing with.

Good luck

Colin
 
angad84
Topic Author
Posts: 2135
Joined: Mon Nov 05, 2012 3:04 pm

RE: Photo Usage Question

Mon Feb 10, 2014 8:32 pm

Thanks for the additional input Colin, makes sense.

I will email the gentleman who initially contacted me and try and resolve the situation - with regard to compensation as well as some sort of safeguard against this happening again.

If it doesn't work out, I can always go a few levels above and let the good folks at his company know that they've got someone making a mess of their photo acquisitions (not to mention potential bad press).

Cheers
Angad
 
User avatar
eksath
Crew
Posts: 1341
Joined: Tue Aug 03, 2004 6:19 am

RE: Photo Usage Question

Tue Feb 11, 2014 3:15 am

Angad,

Just as a reference point as I have had photo use by companies similar to what you describe.

I have charged companies, identical to your description in size and business, $800 per use.

for example, in one case: the picture was used multiple times @ $800 for each use (calender,backdrop at display booth,pocketbook cover,and mousepad) hence that is 4X$800.00. They did ask up front for each use hence it made things easy. At this rate, i felt that their future use of the file is not a problem for me,either.

This is subjective pricing as different people have different rates but this was not hard to negotiate and there was no haggling and payment was prompt.

Once your picture is put into the media pool other users within the company may/will also seek to use it without looking at the terms. In my experience, it has been relatively smooth and easy to deal with these companies. Good luck. I do agree with Colin to be cool and rational with your approach. It is very likely that they will compensate you once you show the extra use. I would tack on some extra $ just for the extra work you had to do!
 
angad84
Topic Author
Posts: 2135
Joined: Mon Nov 05, 2012 3:04 pm

RE: Photo Usage Question

Fri Feb 14, 2014 10:15 am

Thanks a lot for your responses guys. I contacted the gent with whom I had the initial correspondence and he was apologetic and has offered to resolve this issue immediately. He did say, as Colin hypothesised, that this was simply a case of accidental usage - the photo was acquired by one person and then months later used by another.

I've gotta say, I am relieved its been smooth sailing, I was certainly expecting some sort of tussle.

Cheers
Angad
 
ckw
Posts: 4586
Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2010 12:26 am

RE: Photo Usage Question

Fri Feb 14, 2014 10:51 am

Glad to see it was as I expected - I firmly believe that most businesses are run by "good guys" and do not do intentional wrong. They wouldn't stay in business long if they did.

However, we are all overworked, understaffed and trying to meet impossible deadlines - mistakes and oversights happen. It is important to appreciate this when dealing with companies - being sympathetic and understanding of their problems will always get better results than charging in like a bull in a china shop making all kinds of threats.

One thing I have learned is that every client is a potential business partner, and you need to establish a good working relationship - they may come back for more images, or better still pass your name on to others.

Cheers,

Colin
 
angad84
Topic Author
Posts: 2135
Joined: Mon Nov 05, 2012 3:04 pm

RE: Photo Usage Question

Fri Feb 14, 2014 1:44 pm

Quoting ckw (Reply 9):
being sympathetic and understanding of their problems will always get better results than charging in like a bull in a china shop making all kinds of threats.

So it would seem!

Quoting ckw (Reply 9):
One thing I have learned is that every client is a potential business partner, and you need to establish a good working relationship - they may come back for more images, or better still pass your name on to others.

Good advice, and it makes perfect sense not to burn bridges.

Cheers
Angad

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