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Thread: Copyright infringement by a million dollar corp...what would you do?

  1. #1
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    Default Copyright infringement by a million dollar corp...what would you do?

    I recently had one of my images taken by a multinational corp - Avis or its agents...yes, the giant car rental company. They took my photograph, modified it, and used it without permission or license, and used it in a US advertising campaign.

    I am not sure what I can do...sitting here in Singapore and they in the US...plus I am surely not able to afford the legal fees to fight them and their high powered lawyers.

    And would appreciate your comments. Thanks.
    Last edited by pchong; 23rd June 2011 at 11:31 AM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Copyright infringement by a million dollar corp...what would you do?

    Use the Avis Singapore office. Voice your concerns. Stomp it.

    Use their worldwide telephone numbers to get their marketing head on the phone:
    http://www.avis.com/car-rental/conte...navId=T5M13S00

    Write your cencern to the newspaper at their HQ which is located here:

    6 Sylvan Way, Parsippany, NJ 07054
    (973) 496-3500

    (call that number too, talk to their marketing folks)

    Lots you can do.
    Alpha

  3. #3

    Default Re: Copyright infringement by a million dollar corp...what would you do?

    I second Rashkae. Voice your concerns. Some design firms foolishly think that they can just grab any images off the internet without buying royalty or getting consent from the owner of the pic and get away with it.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Copyright infringement by a million dollar corp...what would you do?

    I posted your blog link on my facebook page, I was very tempted to post it on their facebook page, which already have some postings complaining about their services..
    WTB Manfrotto RC4 L Bracket

  5. #5

    Default Re: Copyright infringement by a million dollar corp...what would you do?

    I would send them an invoice first and if they still refuse to pay, I'd do what Rashkae said.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Copyright infringement by a million dollar corp...what would you do?

    You might not be able to afford legal fees but what large companies fear the most is bad publicity, not lawsuits. They already have money set aside to pay the suit.

    See if this guy will link to your post for example.
    http://www.aphotoeditor.com/
    Last edited by Tyrov; 25th May 2011 at 06:46 PM.
    Tyrov
    Flickr

  7. #7

    Default Re: Copyright infringement by a million dollar corp...what would you do?

    I do sympathize your situation.

    However, there are many aspect that you need to consider.

    Even though the image is clearly used by AVIS, however, most big company has their marketing such as advert subcontracted to outside resources.

    Typically, they are protected against any claim as the sub con will be liable in this case (assuming that they are using one) and that's probably why they don't reply to your email as it is not their "issue".

    So the best way to go around it is you will need to email them who is responsible for the online advert campaign for this particular advert before taking any action.

    If you need to sue someone, you need to sue the right people.

    Second issue is to really if you want to sue them, is to build a case on how much they actually benefit from this advert... (they might not make anything) so you can't really sue if there isn't much benefit to you in the sense.

    Regardless of what you want to do, it is still poorly reflected on how business just pick up someone's pictures and use it without any consent. I do feel artist being rip off all the time, especially for those of us who depends on images that we created for a living.

    Most of the time, I would just let it go because it takes too much resources (both time and money) to build a case and it is not worth it. It has happen to me many times but guess my main analogy is, if the picture is good enough to be steal and can be steal, it is still partly my fault not to control it enough and perhaps, you ought to pat yourself at the back and say well done.

    Another way if you want to do this if you really want to pursue, is to contact the watch manufacturer and let them know the infringrment from AVIS against their product and let them take action.

    Chill down and think what you want to do.

    You can't act in emotional way in dealing with this as it won't help you think clearly.

    Good luck and hey.. Well done! For producing great image that people want to steal.

    Regards,

    Hart

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Copyright infringement by a million dollar corp...what would you do?

    When this kind of infringement professional photographers turn to him Samuel Seow Hope he can help you.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Copyright infringement by a million dollar corp...what would you do?

    Facebook it on their facebook page if there's any. and screen shot every evidence while you build your case against them. if they remove it, they're guilty.

    use social media. power to the... people

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Copyright infringement by a million dollar corp...what would you do?

    Quote Originally Posted by kei1309 View Post
    Facebook it on their facebook page if there's any. and screen shot every evidence while you build your case against them. if they remove it, they're guilty.

    use social media. power to the... people
    Good way. It will embarrass them to take some form of action, at least...
    Don't brag about your accomplishments; Show us your future works.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Copyright infringement by a million dollar corp...what would you do?

    Avis is probably unaware of the sources of the images used. It is probably the ad agency and specifically the graphic designer whom stole your image. I am unsure if tracking down the ad agency will help.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Copyright infringement by a million dollar corp...what would you do?

    Avis can not claim they have no knowledge or legal stake at this. The image was use for their commercial, they at lest have to redirect the TS to AD agency that did the commercial for them or they do face legal issue here. Just claim they are the end user does not excluded them from liable, they did use the image regardless how they get the image.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Copyright infringement by a million dollar corp...what would you do?

    Quote Originally Posted by ManWearPants View Post
    Avis is probably unaware of the sources of the images used. It is probably the ad agency and specifically the graphic designer whom stole your image. I am unsure if tracking down the ad agency will help.
    Many agency will just close up and change their name. In Singapore such infringement can cost the offender up to the maximum of S$70K in damages to copyright owner.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Copyright infringement by a million dollar corp...what would you do?

    Please note that editing/removing a watermark on an image is a violation of the US DMCA law. Quite serious, and since the Avis HQ is in the USA, they will take it very seriously.
    Alpha

  15. #15

    Default Re: Copyright infringement by a million dollar corp...what would you do?

    Key is, consult a (good) lawyer. Call up a few offices and see if they're interested and what they can offer.
    If there's a high enough chance of winning, perhaps one might just be interested to take it on without cost to you upfront collect higher % of fees from the settlement if you win.
    Looks like it could be potentially high-profile too.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Copyright infringement by a million dollar corp...what would you do?

    thanks to all for responses. I have got in touch with a lawyer friend practicing in the US, and seeking his advice. Thanks.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Copyright infringement by a million dollar corp...what would you do?

    You are due payment and compensation which should be several thousand dollars

    http://www.epuk.org/The-Curve/491/en...your-copyright

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Copyright infringement by a million dollar corp...what would you do?

    Quote Originally Posted by pchong View Post
    thanks to all for responses. I have got in touch with a lawyer friend practicing in the US, and seeking his advice. Thanks.
    let us know the outcome...

    thx
    ~PeaceNoWar~

  19. #19

    Default Re: Copyright infringement by a million dollar corp...what would you do?

    All the best

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Copyright infringement by a million dollar corp...what would you do?

    Final update: Both Avis and I have come to a fair and equitable settlement, and that is as much as I can say on this.

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