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alex reese
alex reese, Attorney
Category: Legal
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Experience:  BS, MS, JD
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I have a self-published book on Amazon and the cover is created

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I have a self-published book on Amazon and the cover is created partly using a photo that was taken by an acquaintance. Before the book was published I received her verbal permission to use the photo.

The book is now more of a success than I anticipated. I am also producing an audio version. I asked her for written permission to use the modified image created using her photo, and we agreed to $200 as a fair price.

I mailed her an agreement and a check for $200. I wrote on the front of the check, "for permission to use photo on cover of book." She quickly cashed the check, but now it seems she has no intention of returning the signed form, which she also agreed to verbally and via email.

How safe is it to keep using the cover as it is? Is it realistic for her to file a copyright suit at some point, especially after the book has earned six figures?



alex reese :


alex reese :

a verbal agreement can be enforceable, especially if you have some evidence of it like the cashed check and emails

alex reese :

obviously there should have been a more complete and formal agreement in place, but you have the better position


okay, so it's reasonably safe because I have the check and emails of our conversation (i.e. she saw the agreement via email and said, "yes" and cashed the check)? So I'm solid even if the book earns > $100,000?

alex reese :

yes, it should not matter how much the book earns


Okay, I feel better now. I'm satisfied - have a great weekend

alex reese :

sure, best of luck

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