Dealing with Copyright Theft from a Wedding Photographers Viewpoint- Ok, this is isn’t just about dealing with it from a photography standpoint, but the principle is the same:
- Ascertain what the issue really is
- Request a Stop
- Gather Evidence
- Take Action
Ascertain What The Issue Really Is
You need to be sure what has been ‘stolen’ / used without your consent and in what way. How has it caused you damages? How has it affected your business? What EXACTLY happened?
Get the screenshots together etc.
My page on Copyright Theft shows you what to do to help gather the evidence.
Request a Stop to the Use of the Image/s
A nice polite recorded / signed for letter, followed up by a copy attached to an email is the best way to start.
Explain who you are, why you are writing to them, what they have done and what action you would like them to take to rectify the issue.
99% of the time it will probably be down to people who have no idea of the law surrounding copyright theft. This is the time to educate them.
If nothing happens as a result of you being nice and polite
Screen shot everything, keep copies of all email’s, images, FB chats, tweets etc.
You need to be able to prove that your work was used without your consent and that despite you asking for it to stop the other party continued. When dealing with copyright theft the more evidence you can gather the better your case and stronger your case will be.
You can either write a more strongly worded letter, again signed for / recorded delivery or take some advice from a solicitor on the matter.
Take Action in Dealing with Copyright Theft
From my perspective If a polite letter doesn’t work, then I just write another more strongly worded direct letter threatening legal action via the Small Claims Court in compensation for the use of my images. I also comment that I will have no hesitation in using a wide range of social media channels to publicise my actions, which often results in very bad PR
The Small Claims Court is a much better bet than taking civil action of breach of copyright. it’s easier, cheaper and quicker. However, I am sure your business insurance people will be able to advise you further.