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AttorneyTom, Attorney
Category: Intellectual Property Law
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Experience:  Attorney
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A friend of mine sent me a photo from her phone to mine. I

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A friend of mine sent me a photo from her phone to mine. I liked it and put it on the back of a cd demo jacket for my band. Turns out the photo was not taken by her but by a local photographer. There was no watermark or copyright on the photo. The demo cd is not being sold. Simply distributed to places of business for us to get hired. Where do I stand? Destroy the cd jackets? They've been ordered but not delivered
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Expert:  AttorneyTom replied 4 years ago.
Thank you for the opportunity to answer your question. I am sending this answer to you only a few minutes after you submitted your question.
If the photographer doesn't have an actual copyright, he would still have a common law copyright. He could sue you for injunctive relief preventing your further use of the photograph, along with any actual damages he has sustained as a result of the use. It may be possible to negotiate with the photographer for a license to use the photo. In fact, you may even be able to work out a deal where the photographer allows free or very affordable use in exchange for prominent credit within the album or on the cover. If he pursues the matter, his attorney will likely advise him to demand some reasonable compensation for future and prior use of the photo and that that could resolve the matter.
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