I decided to take a short break from working on the infringement items being forwarded to the attorneys to answer a couple of more personal items that keep coming up. The nice thing about being an artistic person at heart, some of these never come into it. Now with that said, photographers, I know it is hard to see someone take advantage of you and show you no respect. You have to keep it professional. That may not be possible all the time but you have to try. You do not have accept all the junk that comes your way. You can speak your mind but you must do it correctly. They took your work, you did not take theirs.
Am I afraid of the big companies? No. I have dealt with large companies before. In a couple of my other jobs I dealt with large corporations and the boards. I found most of them to be very friendly even if things were not always smooth. You need to understand that as an independent photographer you may get put into positions like that. They have their reasons for doing things and you have yours. We do not have to agree but the outcome has to be mutually acceptable. I do not fear them or what they stand for but I do not have to accept what they do either.
Do I hate these companies or infringers? This one made me laugh. Heavens no, I may fiercely disagree with them and even fight them in court but that does not mean I hate them. I stand and fight for what I believe. I do not run and hide. I will concentrate on the companies as I have stated my opinions of personal infringers before.
The reason businesses get started is simple in almost all the cases it is for a profit. Money people, that is what it is all about for them. They find and fill a need. They work hard to make it grow and to make the customers happy. I understand that, I have owned companies; I have worked for really good companies and I have consulted with companies. I do not fear them, I do not hate them but I have every right to disagree with them and even take them to court if I think it appropriate. They have the same rights. If you take something from them, they will mostly likely come after you. I fully understand that position. I think I should be paid for my work. That is about as plain as I can say it. They had no right to them so I should be paid for them using my work. I could care less about how they feel about it. Being that they are companies their attitude will almost always be for them and their profit. I understand that so I do not hate them.
Are we really looking at Pinterest hard? Yes
You mention vicarious liability a lot, are they guilty of that? Well first it is more of a concept the court uses as explained to me. Can they be held accountable for it? Napster, Grokster and others have been. You might want to check out contributory infringement. It has different requirements. Different companies will have different circumstances that may allow actions against them for the different forms of copyright infringement. You have heard me say it many times. If you have legal questions about copyrights, consult a copyright attorney. I am not an attorney so get your legal advice from an attorney. These are just my opinions.
What is your limit on when you sign the papers and walk away? I have stages of dealing with these infringements as they are all different. I thought I had covered this before. My basic time to walk away from doing anything is when the attorneys start actual legal action. Up to then I may work on it and even cut deals but after that I have no interest in doing anything. I also believe no deal without my costs and attorney fees being paid by the infringer. They all will have had a lot of time and opportunities to find a solution with me and chose not to do so. Do not ask for me pay bills for that.
You said in another article that owners do not tell people things, did you or do you? That is easy. NO. It is none of their business. Unless they put their money into things they have no right to the information about the business other than what they need to do their job. Some people will tell you they know everything, not likely unless you are sleeping with the owner. Recreational entertainment is meaningless and a business owner knows quality when they see it and that is not a quality person. I had a studio with employees and I have had assistants that wanted to be photographers. I never discussed business with them other than minor items. Like now, if I had people working for me in the photography area, they would know nothing about this. Now if they were there as interns to learn and grow the business maybe but probably not. People think they get the information. Start a real business from scratch with your money and see how much you tell people. They will be like most others who have never done anything like it, they will tell you how bad you are doing. As you have seen here, it really is not worth the effort. You will get burned.
When are things going to court? It can be any day now for some and maybe a year or more for others. There is a lot to do and more coming every week it seems. Many are just going to be ignored as it just takes too long to do it. The larger ones will take sometime but a couple have had a lot of the work done before going to the attorneys. I know two are already been assigned by the firm so those will probably be within a few days or weeks. The rest will be as they get done. Once in the attorneys hands they set the rules and times. I am going to be out of it. If it goes there, I have no reason to be involved anymore. Turn the hounds loose and let them work. We have time, if someone gets a notice, they better take it seriously and be prepared for a copyright fight. Some of you seem to think it means a large fight about fees. That is not the case. It is all about ownership. Once that is established it is over, the rest is just a matter of how much the judge awards. That is why personal items and non ownership issues to not come in to play. They mean nothing. Ownership is the only thing that determines anything unless you can prove Fair Use and good luck with that one in these cases. Just so you remember, ownership is determined automatically by registering the images. Mine are registered and have been.
Disclaimer: I am not an attorney. These are my personal opinions and general information. These are not legal advice and should not be used as such.