In their press release, the mention as one of the two principal credits, along with a group of 7 interns that I worked with in multiple conversations. They initially did not put my name on the images, and now they have "(c) [Name of intern], courtesy of [name of Mexican firm] and [my name]." So I'm getting some recognition. He also promised me that they would send me all the images without a watermark, but have not done so.
As the images have gained increasing attention, the firm has managed the press release process to minimize my role as originator of the idea and as co-art director.
As far as documentary evidence that I am a joint author, there is an email in which I say that I am spending time on the images; he requests that I be on a several hour long call to review and give feedback on the images; numerous text messages (50-100) in which I am discussing the images with the head of the firm and one or two specific images with an intern. In an interview, a member of the Mexican firm said that "H. Ladha [that's my name] was one of the two leaders of the process."
Here are my questions:
1. I believe I am a joint author of these images. Would you agree?
2. I have these images on my website with the formula that the firm has provided "by courtesy of H. Ladha". Am I allowed to use them?
3. My academic colleagues told me to file a copyright
of the images. The firm had told me multiple times that they would send me the images clean but didn't do so. I sent the images to someone in India to remove the credit on the images and then registered the image as co-author, along with the firm. I did so without the firm's knowledge, since they are being completely uncooperative and acting in bad faith. I realize just after registering that the person in India that the credit is a "watermark" and that the helper in India just photoshopped the existing watermark out. I was unaware of that and of the rules around it. Am I in trouble? What should I do?