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Thread: Legal Advice Needed!!!

  1. #1

    Unhappy Legal Advice Needed!!!

    I was engaged to cover an event. However, I didn't report to the organiser when I reached there as I was a bit late, so I picked up my camera and start shooting because the event has already started and it was kinda of difficult to locate the organiser as he/she was very busy.

    After the event was over, to my surprise, the organiser has decided to default any payment or liabilities simply because I didn't report to them. They used their own P & S digicams to shoot, and were happy with the results, so they said that there was no need for your photos anymore.

    LL, right? So I have no case to fight liao. I am the only photographer shooting the event. I did not see any other professionals there. All eyes can see. Worst still, I was even told to surrender my films to them without any demand because it was a private function, so they have the rights to all the photos even if they are not paying for them.

    Do I really to surrender all my films? Since they are not paying me for my service, can't I keep those films? If this is not the case, that's mean I not even lose on my service fee but also the cost of purchasing the films. Just not my day. Sian...

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by USM
    I was engaged to cover an event. However, I didn't report to the organiser when I reached there as I was a bit late, so I picked up my camera and start shooting because the event has already started and it was kinda of difficult to locate the organiser as he/she was very busy.

    After the event was over, to my surprise, the organiser has decided to default any payment or liabilities simply because I didn't report to them. They used their own P & S digicams to shoot, and were happy with the results, so they said that there was no need for your photos anymore.

    LL, right? So I have no case to fight liao. I am the only photographer shooting the event. I did not see any other professionals there. All eyes can see. Worst still, I was even told to surrender my films to them without any demand because it was a private function, so they have the rights to all the photos even if they are not paying for them.

    Do I really to surrender all my films? Since they are not paying me for my service, can't I keep those films? If this is not the case, that's mean I not even lose on my service fee but also the cost of purchasing the films. Just not my day. Sian...
    surrender for what? you dont go down without a fight.
    if they can prove that its not legal to possess pictures of their event, you still need not surrender it to them. burn it. they have no right to keep it either unless they pay for it

  3. #3
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    You were late and did not could not meet the term of the assignement by being late. They have the right to withhold or deny payment.

    As for surrendering your film, they have a weak case as you were originally tasked to shoot. You obviously cannot use the pictures but they have no right to take your film without paying. If you still have your film, **** care them and give them a few exposed roll if they persist. Let them develop exposed roll to teach them a lesson.

    Being late is a BIG NO NO.

    But we always screw up sometimes. You take care and dun think too much about it. Shitty client are common.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by zekai
    **** care them and give them a few exposed roll if they persist. Let them develop exposed roll to teach them a lesson.
    wah hah hah!
    i like your style man!!!

  5. #5

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    There is no reason for you to surrender your film to them if they are not paying you service charge. No doubt you are late but you did take photos for them rite?

    It's doesn't matter whether it was a private function, they could stop you from taking photos if they wanted to dishonor your service at the time, and dun have to wait when the event was over and ask you to surrender your film without paying.

    Worst come to worst, if they wanted to claim copyrights to the films you can destroy the films in front of them to show that you own them nothing. Unless they pay for it, less than nothing else there is still a base cost to your film, developing and printing of photos ...

    In legal, you have already performed your task and is not good enough for them to dishonor unless they told you on the spot they frustrated your service.
    AMPA * WPPI * J team

  6. #6

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    They picked on u coz u were late.....fine.
    To take away your films...tell them go fly kite. U were let into their premises with consent coz u had a job to do.......so trespassing is out of the question. But be cautious of publishing what u've shot...there might be repercussions.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by zekai
    You were late and did not could not meet the term of the assignement by being late. They have the right to withhold or deny payment.

    As for surrendering your film, they have a weak case as you were originally tasked to shoot. You obviously cannot use the pictures but they have no right to take your film without paying. If you still have your film, **** care them and give them a few exposed roll if they persist. Let them develop exposed roll to teach them a lesson.

    Being late is a BIG NO NO.

    But we always screw up sometimes. You take care and dun think too much about it. Shitty client are common.
    I did not liaise directly with the organiser. I was engaged via a middleman. I was told to come at this hour but when I reached there, it has already started. Indirectly, I am not late but was given a wrong timing. I was not late purposely.

    I fully agreed with you that being late is a big NO NO. We are photographers, and we jolly well have our code of ethics.

    Sigh man, I have already passed the films to the middleman. The middleman got pissed off now because the organiser defaulted payment. I told him not to surrender any films to the organiser since they refused to pay. However, he told me that the organiser has **** off that he has to surrender the films as it was a private function. They have the full rights. If not, they will sue the middleman or myself of tresspassing without permission.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by USM
    I did not liaise directly with the organiser. I was engaged via a middleman. I was told to come at this hour but when I reached there, it has already started. Indirectly, I am not late but was given a wrong timing. I was not late purposely.

    I fully agreed with you that being late is a big NO NO. We are photographers, and we jolly well have our code of ethics.

    Sigh man, I have already passed the films to the middleman. The middleman got pissed off now because the organiser defaulted payment. I told him not to surrender any films to the organiser since they refused to pay. However, he told me that the organiser has **** off that he has to surrender the films as it was a private function. They have the full rights. If not, they will sue the middleman or myself of tresspassing without permission.
    GOSH! This sounds so ridiculors

    I agree with LiOnElLiN : they have no right to keep it unless they pay for it !!

  9. #9

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    The films on your hands were evidence for the private function you took for them, they cannot sue you for trespassing as you are 'authorised' to take photos for them except that you are late.
    AMPA * WPPI * J team

  10. #10

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    They wait for you to shot the entire event and than claim you are trespassing

  11. #11

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    too late now.
    in future,
    get a contract or a deposit. that way, you're protected from ridiculous trespass claims.
    Also, always get there 15-30mins before the requested time. If you dont have a contract, you cant claim that they told you the wrong time. Even if you have a contract, it's good to get there early.

  12. #12
    vince123123
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    ok lets try this, actually legally speaking it may be more complex than it first looks:

    was the middleman acting as agent to the main organiser - this can take quite a bit of legal unravelling, but assuming its yes, then wathever he says goes - namely, if he stated the wrong time, too bad for them.

    if he's not an agent, but a subcontractor of sorts (ie the main organiser engage him to find a photographer, he finds you), then you are not contractually liable to the main organiser. you are also not liable to the subcontractor as he told you the time and you appeared at that time.

    either way, the time factor is not a factor in the absence of other contrary facts.

    once thats established, lets see the rest.


    since you fufiled your part of the bargain, then you are entitled to payment. again, if the middleman is agent, then you have every right to get payment from the organiser. if the middleman is subcontractor, then you have to get your payment from him.

    even if you have breached the contract by turning up late (which is denied - see earlier), i doubt that the breach is a fundamental breach that allows the main organiser to terminate the contract and treat it as a repudiatory breach. its possible that their remedy is to cut your payment. they did not communicate their intent to terminate as well. if you were the only photographer there, they should have came up to you and told you that your services were no longer required yada yada - no issue of spotting who's who.

    finally, they do not have the rights to the photos - there's no privacy law in SIngapore. contrary to what knightong said, copyright belongs to you, not them (since they terminated the contract - the rule of commissioned works copyright no longer applies). they can't claim copyright, demand you destroy film, nothing.

    they can't sue anyone for trespass since they allowed you to be there. btw, practically speaking i can bet they WONT sue you for trespass :P


    practical steps:

    get back your film from the middleman - u donno if he will succumb to pressure and pass the films to the organiser. this is assuming hte middleman is a subcontractor. if he's an agent, then all the more u should get back cos they can use it and dont pay you.

    counter-threaten that you will sue them for monies that are owed to you.

    in any event, i estimate that based on the story told here, you have a pretty good case to get back at least a portion of your fees, and at the very least, reimbursement for your costs. dont let them bully you down. and if what you've said is the truth so far (ie no defamation), i recommend you publicise the name of this organiser so the rest of us know to be wary when dealing with this particular events company.

  13. #13

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    Argh...all the business law stuff comes back to me again.
    Anyway, if you think the money is worth the hassle, then I suggest you bring it up to the Small Claims Tribunal. Can't remember the procedural details, but I think it's the cheapest way to fight your case.

  14. #14
    vince123123
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    Even without a contract, you can still claim you were told the wrong time. the contract in this case is merely evidence of a term, legal liability is separate from this.

    that said, since the time is crucial, it would be advisable to get the middleman by email correspondence or otherwise to send you an email acknowledging the time he informed you to show up. this would be your evidence in the event the case escalates further.


    Quote Originally Posted by headlesschook
    too late now.
    in future,
    get a contract or a deposit. that way, you're protected from ridiculous trespass claims.
    Also, always get there 15-30mins before the requested time. If you dont have a contract, you cant claim that they told you the wrong time. Even if you have a contract, it's good to get there early.

  15. #15

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    Check the subordinate court for Small claim tribunal procedure .. ya all the bussiness stuff came back again ..
    AMPA * WPPI * J team

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ah Pao
    Argh...all the business law stuff comes back to me again.
    Anyway, if you think the money is worth the hassle, then I suggest you bring it up to the Small Claims Tribunal. Can't remember the procedural details, but I think it's the cheapest way to fight your case.
    Claims SGD$2000 and below can be processed by the Small Claims Tribunal.

    Anything above that amount (up to like $500,000 I think) would be put forward to the Subordinate Courts.

    Of cos, we're not talking in excess of a few hundred thousand or a few million, so the High Courts is outta the question.

    Its not abt 'whether its worth the cost or not', but its a matter of justice.

  17. #17

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    if I remember my law module properly, the problem is with your agent and the organiser, you still have a proper agreement with the middle man for the shoot and the payment

    now secondly.......

    who is your middle man ? and who is the organiser ?

    addition,
    if they claim copyright, then destroy the film infront of them.... else make them at least pay for the cost of the film + transport to buy the film etc etc.....

    another addition,
    a company that is satisfied with P and S photos for their event is quite unlikely to sue you for just event photos....... which most of the time are just record shots which won't see the light of day again......
    Last edited by rueyloon; 29th June 2004 at 01:41 PM.

  18. #18
    vince123123
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    erm actually,

    small claims - $10k, can up to 20k if parties consent

    in between HC and small claims we have:

    magistrates court - up to $60k
    district court - up to 250k
    above 250k - high court

    Quote Originally Posted by jsbn
    Claims SGD$2000 and below can be processed by the Small Claims Tribunal.

    Anything above that amount (up to like $500,000 I think) would be put forward to the Subordinate Courts.

    Of cos, we're not talking in excess of a few hundred thousand or a few million, so the High Courts is outta the question.

    Its not abt 'whether its worth the cost or not', but its a matter of justice.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by vince123123
    erm actually,

    small claims - $10k, can up to 20k if parties consent

    in between HC and small claims we have:

    magistrates court - up to $60k
    district court - up to 250k
    above 250k - high court
    Hmm... Memory lapse...

    Its been a while since I'd read on Business Law after I'd left school...
    Thnx for the correction

  20. #20
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    Yo Brudder.

    Did you create a quotation of agreement to the company? If thru a middleman. did you have a signed agreement of acceptance for your service on this day for the event by the middleman?

    If so, you can still claim for payment for service provided THRU the middleman. The middleman has to settle with the company for his claim.

    1st rule of business: Protect your interest first.

    If they play punk, just take it as a lesson learnt and destroy the negs & prints infront of the company rep and your middleman like RueyLoon said.

    DO keep us posted on the outcome

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