Improper use of one of my pictures What is your opinion???

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I was looking for a gun accessory the other day, and came across a website that was using one of my photographs to advertise their product. I never gave them permission to use my picture.

I'm not going to say which company, but it's actually a well respected company in the gun world, and has had mention here on the Ruger Forum many times. Just a gun accessory company. I imagine they got my picture after I posted it here in the gallery, because I certainly didn't email them my picture. They could have downloaded it. You know how some websites have "customer pictures" of a particular product? My picture is of their product with some other props, so it fits their website very nicely. And it's the first picture you see when looking for that particular product.

This picture I took back in 2017, and I'm not sure how long they've had it on their website. I'm really flattered they like it. It is a nice photograph. I have a whole series of this picture. It was outback on my picnic table. But what should I do? I guess it really bothers me. I really like this company, I don't know the people personally, but they do have a good reputation. I know if they bought pictures for their website, it could be several hundred dollars at a minimum, depending upon the type of license for the pictures they buy.

What would you do?
 

hittman

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If you have a Copyright on it I’d inquire with them or have my lawyer do it. Maybe even send them a bill.

If no Copyright, you may be SOL and its considered free use.

For sure I’d ask a lawyers opinion before I ran the risk of making a spectacle with no leg to stand on legally.
 

Montelores

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You might consider it a first step towards developing a business relationship with them.

Monty
 
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I am not a lawyer, though I stayed at a Holiday Inn once, but I doubt that much can be done unless the photo was copyrighted. I do believe I would contact them though and politely ask where they got the photo. Have fun.
 
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hittman said:
Montelores said:
You might consider it a first step towards developing a business relationship with them.

Monty

Oh this is an EXCELLENT idea!

I might try this route, thanks for the suggestion. I just really hate having to get a lawyer. I'm not some sue crazed American like lots of people are.
 

paboxcall

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Just another non-lawyer opinion....

If you can prove it is yours, which it seems you can, the image is your property and was used without your express permission. They should cease usage of the photo for their financial benefit and compensate you for past illegal use of your property. If an informal agreement cannot be reached on either them stopping the use of this property for their gain or to use the photo going forward after acceptable compensation has been determined, advise them you will seek counsel from a legal expert.

The other option is if flattery of your photo being used on a high-traffic site is sufficient compensation, ask they immediately give you credit as the owner of the image on their webpage.
 

Rick Courtright

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Hi,

The old saying is you catch more flies with honey than vinegar. I'm not a lawyer, but had occasion to look up copyrights once upon a time and learned that in many cases you may have an automatic copyright simply by producing the work. I've run across forums where there's a warning from the forum admins that pictures may be copyrighted.

I'm sure something can be worked out without too much lawyer involvement.

Rick C
 
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It's been some years ago. Somehow, I received a gun photo, and it was so wonderful, I shared it on the Ruger Forum, not as my own, but just as a show and tell of what beautiful guns some folks have. As fast as I did so, I received a blasting reply from a Forum member, apparently, the owner and creator of the photo.

My intention was not to plagiarize the photo, and once I knew the owner did not approve, I eliminated the entire post.

There were no copyright or water marks of any kind. I learned a lesson quickly.

Honey? Would have been nice if the person had kindly told me that he didn't approve of my post, and I would have removed it immediately, as I did anyway.

We've never again shared information or any other greetings in any way.
 
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Thanks for all the advice. I’ll start by sending them an email and see what they say. I can definitely prove the picture is mine, it’s one of several dozen I took all at the same time. In fact, I recognized the picture because my gun is in it. :D

Like I said, I like this company, and they have a good reputation. If it all works out, I’ll post the picture here, which will immediately tell you what company it is.

More flies with honey? Ya know, if they would have asked from the start, I would have said yes, not a problem at all.
 

GLASSMAN

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Be flattered.
It sounds like a big enough company that they didn't NEED your photo, just liked it enough to use it.
I would contact them and ask for recognition, such as a " photo by......" as a by line,
If they decline, then ask them to cease using your property.
I don't know this, but if you post an un-copyrighted photo on a public forum, does it become a public domain item, if it is NOT used in commerce?
In this case being used in business advertising, is questionable.
 

azleite

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I had this kinda happen to me. I took some good pics of my Roadliner at the local park & forgot about it. About a month later I was scrolling through my photo album on my phone. Probably the best pic I took of my bike had a diagonal banner across it-Yahoo photo of the year. I never posted or otherwise shared any of those pics-Dave
 

caryc

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You yourself posted it on the internet. If you didn't want anyone else to use it, you shouldn't have done that.
 

Bob Wright

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I have some of my photos showing up on other forums and/or Facebook. I was too flattered to object. And, from what I've recently read, once you post, a photo does become public domain.

Me? I just brag to Nita about my fame and prestige. People who know me well will recognize my photo. Those who don't won't matter.

Bob Wright
 
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I don't know about a photo being public domain just because you post it on a site like rugerforum.

I do know, Facebook had a policy (not sure if they still do) that ANY photo you post to FB becomes their property to do with as they please.

I'm in contact with this company. I sent them a polite email. Back in 2017, after I posted the picture here, I sent him the link to the thread in the Gallery. I said "I thought you would be interested."

What I did NOT say was, "feel free to use my photo for your advertising." They downloaded a copy of my picture from the Gallery here. He assumed I offered him the picture for the company's use.
 

Johnnu2

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For me, very personally, it would be a big Ho-Hum and never thought about again.... !!

But I don't get excited about anything.... never did.

IMHO fer sure,

J.
 

wolfsong

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I am of the belief that if you post it in a place/site/forum available to the public and it is not copyrighted it comes under "fair use" laws. Seems I read that somewhere, but what do I know. 8) There is no expectation of privacy in/on a publicly accessible location. The eyes cannot be trespassed.
 

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