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Old 08-09-2008, 01:09 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Copyright infrigement of a photo into a drawing

I have a question regarding copyright infringement. The issue is an illustration created from a photo.

Several years ago I found a photo of a frog which I then based an illustration on. I posted it online and over the years sold a few limited edition prints and put the image on magnets and sold a few of those. All told the income from the artwork totaled less than $100.00.

Recently I tried to rectify the situation by tracking down the various photographers who owned the images. I some cases I couldn't find the photographer so I took the image off my site. Most accepted some compensation or simply gave me permission to use the images.

One of the photographers, however, responded with outrage and threats of legal action. I immediately removed all of the images from the site. She is demanding $4,000 each for two images - $8,000 total. I don't have the funds (I work part time and live in an apartment on a limited income.) The photographer in question works for Getty images, but I don't believe the images are part of their library.

She is in Florida and I'm in California. I don't believe she'll accept a lesser amount, so I have to assume she'll take legal action. But I question the viability of going after a small time artist without a dime to his name. Seems like it would be a lot of work and money to have no guarantee they'll get what they are after.

I guess my question: is she serious about taking legal action here or is this just an intimidation tactic to try and get money out of me? I spoke briefly with her attorney who understands I don't have the funds and offered to set up an installment plan.

Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.
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Old 08-09-2008, 03:40 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roger_h View Post
I have a question regarding copyright infringement. The issue is an illustration created from a photo.

Several years ago I found a photo of a frog which I then based an illustration on. I posted it online and over the years sold a few limited edition prints and put the image on magnets and sold a few of those. All told the income from the artwork totaled less than $100.00.

Recently I tried to rectify the situation by tracking down the various photographers who owned the images. I some cases I couldn't find the photographer so I took the image off my site. Most accepted some compensation or simply gave me permission to use the images.

One of the photographers, however, responded with outrage and threats of legal action. I immediately removed all of the images from the site. She is demanding $4,000 each for two images - $8,000 total. I don't have the funds (I work part time and live in an apartment on a limited income.) The photographer in question works for Getty images, but I don't believe the images are part of their library.

She is in Florida and I'm in California. I don't believe she'll accept a lesser amount, so I have to assume she'll take legal action. But I question the viability of going after a small time artist without a dime to his name. Seems like it would be a lot of work and money to have no guarantee they'll get what they are after.

I guess my question: is she serious about taking legal action here or is this just an intimidation tactic to try and get money out of me? I spoke briefly with her attorney who understands I don't have the funds and offered to set up an installment plan.

Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.
Asking someone here how serious she is about following through on her threats isn't helpful because short of a crystal ball, there is no way for anyone here to predict that. Your comment "But I question the viability of going after a small time artist without a dime to his name. Seems like it would be a lot of work and money to have no guarantee they'll get what they are after." isn't entirely accurate. You admit you used her photo, so she could most assuredly win a judgment against you. Obviously, if you cannot pay it, you cannot get blood from a turnip. BUT if you live in a state where your wages can be garnished, she can and will recoup her money. If her attorney said he was willing to set up payments, then she probably isn't going to go to the trouble of suing you long distance.

I commend you for doing the right thing by being willing to pay installments, but there is no way for anyone here to predict what she may or may not do.
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Old 09-20-2008, 06:26 PM   #3 (permalink)
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You admit that you used her illustration, thus you should expect anything because yes she can take a legal action against you
But paying in installments is OK with her, this is the best bet you have.
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