The Photo Lawyer™
Are you a commercial photographer in San Diego, Los Angeles, Orange County, Coastal California or San Francisco, Bay area? Our boutique intellectual property law firm can help you recover from photo infringers who steal your photos without paying license fees, and use them on their commercial websites, and even more boldly, on products that they try to sell. With sites like Etsy and Shopify, Amazon.com stores and eBay, the types of photo infringements possible are too numerous to mention. We help artists recover for their valuable works at the hands of online copyright infringers.
Photos, paintings, art and illustrations are protected by copyright laws – whether or not they are actually registered with the U.S. Copyright Office. Typically, however, we like to represent clients that have ACTUALLY REGISTERED their copyrighted photos, drawings, illustrations and digital images. This triggers more enhanced penalties for copyright infringement under the Copyright Act. For example, registration of the photo can entitle you to:
- File suit in federal court for infringement;
- Monetary damages from $30,000 to $150,ooo for “willful copyright infringement“
- Recovery of reasonable attorney fees.
These items can give a photographer substantial leverage when an infringer is caught distributing or copying your art online without permission.
Typical recovery scenario (note: results are not guaranteed and past performance is no indication of what may happen in your case)
Let's say you are an artist and you paint ocean scenes or nature scenes. You are well known in your field, and may have licensed your photographs, vectors, videos, or illustrations in the past. You search online using a website like TINEYE and you notice a slew of infringers using your photos without your permission or consent. For example, using your photo or image on:
- Bumper sticker
- Wall art
- Book covers
- Selling your photo
- Coffee mugs (ex. on SmugMug)
- Household items
You wonder if there is anything you can do about it, and the good news is in many cases there is something you can do, and we can help by sending a cease and desist letter and seeking recovery for licensing fees not paid, recovery of lost profits, and for general copyright infringement damages as permitted by the federal statute.
The so-called “innocent infringement” defense explained in the photo infringement context
PODCAST: In this episode of Vondran Legal Hour, Attorney Steve® discusses the common defense of “innocent copyright infringement” and what would need to be proven to be successful. Many people will claim that they “didn't know they were doing anything wrong” but most people know ignorance of the law is no defense.
Contact a California Photo Infringement Law Firm
We offer contingency fee photo recovery services for artists, videographers, photographers, graphic designers, fashion designers and other creative professionals who are dealing with online infringement of your work. If you are not sure if infringement is going on, check out our video about TINEYE. This can help you locate potential internet photo thieves. We can help recover, usually on a CONTINGENCY FEE BASIS – meaning if we do not recover, you do not pay us anything. We take the risk. Contact us for more information. You can email me at the address at the side of this page, or call us at (877) 276-5084.
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