Intellectual Property Law

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I am a photographer. I just found out that a photograph I…

Customer Question
I am a photographer. I...
I am a photographer. I just found out that a photograph I took is being used on a newly released book, written by a local author.
I was not asked, and did not give permission to use the photograph.
I talked to the author and he claims that his daughter took the photograph and gave it to him.
The photograph has been published before with my permission, both online and in print.
I still have the electronic negatives.
Should I send him a letter demanding payment?
Submitted: 2 years ago.Category: Intellectual Property Law
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Answered in 6 minutes by:
2/26/2016
IP Lawyer: Kendell Kelly, Esq, Lawyer replied 2 years ago
Kendell Kelly, Esq
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 595
Experience: Lawyer practicing in all areas of intellectual property, including patents, trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets and new media.
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Hello, my name is Kendell! Happy to help! Please remember that this is a tool for information only, we cannot give you legal advice and thus cannot tell you what to do or not (since that is prohibited).This should not be considered a attorney-client relationship. Also, please reserve your feedback until we have fully answered your question -- I will stick with you until we do.

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Customer reply replied 2 years ago
Ok.
IP Lawyer: Kendell Kelly, Esq, Lawyer replied 2 years ago

Yes, you will want to send him a formal letter to 1) put him on notice of the infringement and 2) start a proper file for yourself. Additionally, if you have not federal registered your photograph, you will want do that -- there is a three month period that must lapse before you will be eligible for full damages from the time of registration.

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Customer reply replied 2 years ago
But registration of an image in not required, as I'm aware. Unless under a contract at the time, the copyright belongs to the photographer automatically, correct?
IP Lawyer: Kendell Kelly, Esq, Lawyer replied 2 years ago

It does not have to be registered, but the damages are limited to actual losses rather than increased statutory damages. (see: https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/17/504).

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Customer reply replied 2 years ago
Perfect, thank you.
IP Lawyer: Kendell Kelly, Esq, Lawyer replied 2 years ago

So yes, you are correct!! However, a $39 registration gives you way much more threatening power!

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IP Lawyer: Kendell Kelly, Esq, Lawyer replied 2 years ago

No problem! Happy to help!! Please rate your answer so my time is credited -- should you feel your current rating would be anything less than Good, make sure to give me the opportunity to fix it!!

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Use of this service does not create an attorney-client relationship. Inasmuch, our conversation is merely informational and should be used to find an attorney licensed in your local area that can further assist you.

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Kendell Kelly, Esq, Lawyer
Category: Intellectual Property Law
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