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Thread: Legal Advice Needed!!!

  1. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by kongg
    USM, In the business world, personal relationships with your clients/suppliers are very important. The middleman's position is not an enviable one although can be quite a lucrative one. Instead of resorting to lawsuits or threats, may I suggest an arrangement below to move things forward productively??

    Call your middleman today and discuss with him the details below:-
    Tell your middleman that you can forgo the servicing fees for this time;only for this time. Since the middleman is always getting new assignments from this BIG client, u can arrange with the middleman to give u a cut of the commission earned for future projects. Example:- the fees for this assignment is S$1,000.00, the middleman gets new future assignment from client at S$10,000.00. He gets a com of S$1,000.00. He gives u a cut of S$250.00. You can be fully compensated after 4 installments. On top of that, if your middleman "A hiao jo lang", he may even give u a small angpao for this unpleasant turn of events. If your middleman is reluctant to this arrangement, show him your middle finger(No pun intended) and u know wat kind of middleman he is.


    Y this arrangement may work
    1) U give the middleman "face"
    2) U preserve your relationship with your middleman and the middleman's relationship with his BIG client
    3) Private arrangement, the BIG client does not need to know
    4) Shows that you are a flexible person and not a petty vindictive person; very impt in the business world.
    5) Save on potential legal fees to be incurred


    The above is merely my personal suggestion based on my experiences in my field of work. U may have other more effective alternatives, feel free to explore them.
    I can forgo the payment like what Kongg had suggested. But one thing is that I really don't understand is that as the event organiser, wouldn't they be puzzled or anxious if the photographer didn't show up? Would they give a call to the middleman and ask where are your guy, etc? Why kick a fuss up after the event? Given that the organiser is quite well known in S'pore, can't they afford the miserable small amount of $100++ or more?

    Furthermore, they have eyes to see. Even if I didn't report to them, can't they see one photographer standing on the stage shooting??? Since it was private function, strictly by invitation, who the hell will come in with big gun shooting on the stage? Unless I am using a P & S digicam, maybe they would mistake me as one of the invited guests. Why didn't they give me a benefit of doubt by approaching me and ask me who am I, etc?

    I am told by the middleman to report to the organiser, but like what I had said earlier on - when I reached there, the event has already started. So what is your first reaction? Of course, take out your big mama and start shooting. You can't afford to miss certain scenes, etc, right? Moreover, there were hundreds of people moving in and out, the organiser was busy, he/she won't be standing there at the entrance to welcome me, right? If I were to spend time locating them, I would miss more shots. Then they were also jumped after event by saying why you missed this and that. I have also checked with the videographer what did I miss. He told me that I only missed a dance performance which was not the highlight of the event, trivial stuff.

    The question here is not because I was late or what. This issue here is because I didn't report to the organiser.

    Actually, I have spoken to one guy and lady at the later stage but they were just the organiser subordinates (later I found out from the middleman). I told them that I was told by the middleman to come here to shoot, and they acknowledged because they knew the middleman. So I took it for a granted that I have "reported".

    Maybe I was a bit "ken cheong", so forget about finding the actual event organiser.

  2. #42
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    USM, based on the info gathered, can I assume that this is a last minute informed kinda assignment??Correct me if I am wrong. It seemed that the middleman concerned did not do a good job in coordination. Thus lotsa "misses" and missing links.

    Part of the duties of the middleman is not just to collect $$$, he/she has to troubleshoot when matters crop up like in this instance. Maybe our middleman is not working hard enough?? Or simply bo chap.

    In the business environment, some clients are F clients. F clients = Company/organisation that Ai Pi Ai Chi, Mai Heng Lui[Want cheap n good but dun wanna pay for it/or delay payment]. Let these clients go, they only bog u down with pain and anxiety. Y waste time with them. Try if possible to work with A,B and C clients. These clients appreciate and respect yr efforts/services and tend to pay promptly. But they are hard to come by. Work with pple whom u know have integrity and are committed to a win-win arrangement.

    USM, take this episode as a learning experience (A S$100++ lesson??). I am sure u will be ready next time when a more lucrative project comes along next. Cheers!!

  3. #43
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    Dude. You definitely have a case against them according to what you have been telling us.

    1. Your middleman screwed up. Gave you wrong time.
    2. The organisers is trying to get a free service thru underhanded means. They have no sincerity in this deal. C'mon, you talked to his subordinates right? and you are not transparent. If you didnt report to him, I dont think he was so busy that couldnt send someone to look for you.
    3. You were not told to report DIRECTLY to the organiser.
    4. Refusal to pay without a valid/reasonable cause is tantamount to breach of contract.

    Thw whole world knows you were there except him, he has to be a damn big pain in the arse if he doing all this. I say sue him and disclose the company's name so everyone would know what to expect the next time. Of course all this still depends on what kind of written or verbal agreement you have with the organiser and the middleman. You got a copy of it?
    Last edited by tmc17479; 30th June 2004 at 11:18 AM.

  4. #44
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    Hi USM,

    The film still remains intact in your hands right?
    If yes and the middleman not your big client, then let's do a "lure turtle to the pot" trick.

    You submit the film unexposed to the client and middleman.
    Better if you can get someone from the company to watch.
    One day when they use the photos you took, sue them and get back what you deserves. get it?

  5. #45

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    Quote Originally Posted by justdoit
    Hi USM,

    The film still remains intact in your hands right?
    If yes and the middleman not your big client, then let's do a "lure turtle to the pot" trick.

    You submit the film unexposed to the client and middleman.
    Better if you can get someone from the company to watch.
    One day when they use the photos you took, sue them and get back what you deserves. get it?
    can he even claim intellectual rights to the images without the film in his possession? i always thought that whoever possesses the film, can prove he/she owns the images?

    anyways, i just had another "idea". supposing you still had the film, you could have made this nice black and white poster which reads "COPYRIGHT USM" and use back those rolls of film for double exposure! make sure every frame on the film gets your name all over it!!!

  6. #46
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    Well, i can see the problem using film now. However, I never let anybody (except the lab assistant) touch my film. Learn a lesson from this.

  7. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by USM
    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...
    Here are my tots:

    1. ur friend surrender the films coz he does not want to get embroil in this squabble between the organizer and the photographer. Afterall, it's not his work.

    2. legally speaking, u were at the event and no one stopped you. that is an implied permission given to you to cover the event and also an assumption that they know your presence and the purpose of it. therefore, if payment is defaulted (assuming there is a contract signed somewhere between the organizer and ur friend), no goods need to be delivered.

    3. as for rights of films, organizer definitely has the rights over use but since no payment made, you can reserve the rights to hold on to the goods but not the rights to use the pictures or re-sell the pictures.

    But since the episode is closed with the surrendering of the films by your friend, the lesson learnt here:
    1. know ur rights
    2. learn from history of this event
    3. middlemen are afterall middlemen who ultimately protects their interest more than yours since it is their customer...


  8. #48
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    Take a look at this in dpreview (not totally related)

    http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/re...essage=9382981

    My 1 cents worth

    1) Claim everything from your middlemen
    2) If film handed over ask them to sign a form indicating that they will either destroy or not used the film and what they have taken from you. May come in handy later in case of dispute.
    3) If you don't have good relationship with middlemen go to small claims tribunal and make claim against middlemen and organiser if possible. May be a good idea to write a black and white letter 10-14 days in advance to all party to inform them if they want to settle it peacefully.
    4) At least get back your cost.

    They were clearly trying to take advantage of you.

  9. #49

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    sounds like event organizer trying to get a freebie. won't be surprised if your film eventually ends up with them.

  10. #50

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    me no lawyer here,
    is the film still with you?
    if no, then you have no "bargaining chip". it is all in their hand now.

    most probably the middleman will just surrender the film to the organiser.
    as for how the organiser uses the film, nobody here knows.

    not sure whether u have the time and money to fight your case in court.

    BUT, its good to share your bad experience here (even though you did not state the middleman and organiser). In this way, at least fellow photographer can at least take some precaution to avoid the same situation that you faced.

    Treat it as a lesson learned.

  11. #51
    vince123123
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    Although its not really related to the current, nevertheeless I thank Dennis for drawing this thread to our attention.

    The PDF article in the thread is a good article for those who consistently get bullied and on photographers rights, especially on that security guard crap that are often posted in the forums and which I had previously posted on too

    I would think that it generally applicable but do be aware of differences in specific US legislation and their Singapore counterparts (or lack thereof). I highly recommend it to photographers who are unaware of their rights. With more people standing up to "nonsense", the Photgraphers community as a whole would be strengthend and after some time, the industry would know that photographers in Singapore are no pushovers




    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis
    Take a look at this in dpreview (not totally related)

    http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/re...essage=9382981

    My 1 cents worth

    1) Claim everything from your middlemen
    2) If film handed over ask them to sign a form indicating that they will either destroy or not used the film and what they have taken from you. May come in handy later in case of dispute.
    3) If you don't have good relationship with middlemen go to small claims tribunal and make claim against middlemen and organiser if possible. May be a good idea to write a black and white letter 10-14 days in advance to all party to inform them if they want to settle it peacefully.
    4) At least get back your cost.

    They were clearly trying to take advantage of you.

  12. #52
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    My 2 cents worth:

    1. It seems to me that it is not USM's intention to sue the middleman, organizer, etc. Right?

    2. USM, you may want to check what is the penalty of not reporting to the organizer in the contract (verbal or written) agreed between the organizer and you or the middleman BEFORE the event? Did they explicitly say, before the event, that you must report to the organizers first, otherwise they are not oblidge to take up your service?

    If I were you, this is what I would do:
    1. If the middleman is a nice guy, and/or you want to continue the working realtionship with him etc, forget about sueing him. Give him some leeway, see if he is willing to compensate you on the expenses, etc.

    2. As for returing the films to the organizer - I see there are only 2 options: either destory them, or sell them. Tell the organizer that you will destory the films. If their concern is about tresspassing, you profiting from the photos, etc., I think they will agree to you detory them. However, if they cry-father-cry-mother over this suggestion, most likely they want to use what you have taken to complement/supplement their P&S efforts. If this is the case,.... you decide what you want to do...

  13. #53
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    Sorry to say, USM, it is your fault that started this episode.

    I am sure you are given the name of the organiser. It is basic courtersy to meet up with him as soon as you can. If upon reaching there and there is an important things to shoot, shoot it. Than "report" to the person incharge directly and explain to him/her whatever reasons you were told the wrong time. That should avoid what had follows.

    I can tell from your story the middleman is also a 'guai lan' fellow. So, no point carry on argue with him.

    Just wandering, should'nt the middleman give the film to shoot? What I know is in jobs like these, you are paid for doing the shooting and the rest is done by the middleman. So he will give you a job, plus film, you shoot, return him the film, period.

    Your libility is to do the shooting. Any copyright, payment, prints, albums, are not your problems.

    I dun thing the orginser even bother who shoot. Most likely the middleman still get some payment, just that he is not happy with you so he refuse to pay you.

    If you still wants to take jobs from him, just let the matter rest and move on.

  14. #54

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    I guess that some of you would think it was my fault for not reporting to the person-incharge.

    Why don't we reverse the angle and ask "Why didn't the person-incharge approach and ask me am I the engaged photographer? He/she could simply see that there was only one man shooting on the stage? Why didn't he/she give a call to the middleman and ask him where are your guy if he/she didn't see me?

    Of course, I am not trying to shift the responsibility. Yes, it was my fault of not reporting, ok... I will treat this as a learning lesson.

    I had passed the films to the middleman right after the event. I bought the films myself as I was told by the middleman to do so. He would then pay me back later once I have returned the films to him but when I met up with him, he was too busy to settle payment. So he suggested to pay me later together with the service fee.

    Anyway, it's more convenient. Why waste time just by meeing the middleman to collect films only?

    I guess that this "person-incharge" was very particular about reporting.

    The middleman is more worried about future contracts than this incident.

    As some of you mentioned about contract, there was no written contract signed whatsoever? Do you really need to sign a contract bet the middleman, organiser and photographer for a few hundreds dollars? It's all based on verbal agreement and trust.

    I will move on...

  15. #55
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    USM, just move on.

    This so called "well known" organisation is so petty. Call Father Call Mother over S$100++ expenses. Even wanna blackmail the middleman. Wa lao eh, if S$100++ already like that, S$10,000.00 project how???

    Don't waste any more of your precious time with these pple. Move on, live and learn.

    PS- Tell the middleman to have abit more backbone lah. If he service this organisation long term, he will kena squeeze until jialat jialat.

  16. #56

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    Sounds like they have resorted to some high-handed "scare tactics". I am quite positive that if occur in the states, I'll sue their *ss till they broke.

    I would suggest that you file a police report if you receive anymore of these "threats". You have a case IMHO.

  17. #57

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    Quote Originally Posted by USM
    I guess that some of you would think it was my fault for not reporting to the person-incharge.

    Why don't we reverse the angle and ask "Why didn't the person-incharge approach and ask me am I the engaged photographer? He/she could simply see that there was only one man shooting on the stage? Why didn't he/she give a call to the middleman and ask him where are your guy if he/she didn't see me?

    Of course, I am not trying to shift the responsibility. Yes, it was my fault of not reporting, ok... I will treat this as a learning lesson.

    I had passed the films to the middleman right after the event. I bought the films myself as I was told by the middleman to do so. He would then pay me back later once I have returned the films to him but when I met up with him, he was too busy to settle payment. So he suggested to pay me later together with the service fee.

    Anyway, it's more convenient. Why waste time just by meeing the middleman to collect films only?

    I guess that this "person-incharge" was very particular about reporting.

    The middleman is more worried about future contracts than this incident.

    As some of you mentioned about contract, there was no written contract signed whatsoever? Do you really need to sign a contract bet the middleman, organiser and photographer for a few hundreds dollars? It's all based on verbal agreement and trust.

    I will move on...
    OK have u ever thought of such scenario like this?

    1) The organiser never bother to look for you because he/she has already hired more than a photographer to take pics of the events. He/She actually has the mind to sabotage you just to save cash of paying u and the middleman if the backup photographer's pics turned out to be good (I assumed he is supposed to pay you and the middleman too).

    2) Your Middleman wanna take the credit and refused to pay you laying the blame to the organiser instead. Have you ever check with the organiser personally????

    Sorry to hear that you met such people.. .
    Last edited by tokrot; 3rd July 2004 at 09:54 AM.

  18. #58
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    USM, did the organizer demand directly from you the films? or was it just the middleman who communicate for you with them?

    You may be con by the middleman if all the conversation were thu this guy. Did the middle man say the organiser will sue you or did you hear it from the organiser themself? If not directly from the organiser, I really question what the middleman say.

    The organiser has no legal right for the films nor the pictures taken. They could have stop you from taking the pictures during the function but they didn't, so the right is yours.

    But I doubt there is anything you can do now. What you should do now is to expose the name of the middleman and the organiser, there is nothing wrong with this and it will help to serve all other photograper here a warning, so as to prevent the next photograper being "makan" by these hooligan.

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