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-   -   Unauthorized photo use advice, please (http://www.railpictures.net/forums/showthread.php?t=17606)

JimThias 12-05-2015 12:47 AM

Unauthorized photo use advice, please
 
This was just brought to my attention. I was never contacted for use of my photo.

Does CSX have a right to use my photo without permission since it's a photo of their property?

Advice, please.

[photoid=413553]

(photobucket-linked image removed)

railfanzone 12-05-2015 01:10 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JimThias (Post 186661)
Does CSX have a right to use my photo without permission since it's a photo of their property?

Advice, please.

(usual disclaimer - I'm not a lawyer, nor do I play one on TV)

My understanding of the law is no they do not have the right to do that. They need your permission to use it, plain and simple (and really should pay you for it). You can photograph their property at will - their ownership of that property does not govern the use of the photo. Now if you were on the property, and signed a waiver giving them rights to your photos, that's a different story. But if you were at a grade crossing, and haven't signed anything, they have no right to use your work.

As an aside, I'm getting a chuckle from the irony that they use the word "integrity" on a sign that uses a stolen photograph as a background... :)

Kyle Yunker 12-05-2015 02:42 AM

Send them an invoice. That will get their attention.

magicman_841 12-05-2015 02:54 AM

If you have a lawyer friend, now is the time to give him a ring.

I wouldn't let this slide for sure.

KevinM 12-05-2015 03:14 AM

Amen to all of the posts above. If you can show that the image is yours and you have a major corporation pirating that image, you have a pretty solid case and would probably be justified in asking a pretty steep price, with the implied threat that defending against the impending lawsuit will cost them far more than what you are asking for the photo.

MassArt Images 12-05-2015 03:24 PM

Now you can ditch the 25' tripod and get a drone with your photo usage fee!! CSX backwards is X-citing Stuff for Christmas :lol:

troy12n 12-07-2015 01:34 PM

Ballsy....

Noct Foamer 12-07-2015 02:17 PM

I've been in western PA, eastern OH, and northern MD for the past week and couldn't respond. I once ran into this issue myself. My brother is a private practice attorney in Dallas and I asked him about it. He said that any photo you take automatically has a copyright unless you've signed that right away. According to what he told me, the railroad is illegally using your photo and you can demand payment. What I did in my instance was send the company an invoice with letter of explanation, and when I got no response after two weeks I had my brother send one to their legal department. I would ask for $500 here, so it's worth doing.


Kent in SD

Sean Mathews 12-07-2015 06:45 PM

Time to collect. Beautiful photo by the way. I can see why they stole it.

John West 12-08-2015 12:03 AM

It would be interesting to find out who authorized and put up the sign. It is rather strange that a large sophisticated corporation with law, public relations, and advertising departments would overlook something like that. These folks routinely pay for images for their ad programs, they know the drill. I'd put my money on some local managers, maybe even railfan managers (who else would have found the image on RP) who might know how to run trains but never even thought about copyright law, figured anything on the internet was fair game, and/or figured any railfan would be thrilled to see his picture used that way. Nice picture, interesting use.

Noct Foamer 12-08-2015 12:46 AM

Just took a quick look at a few photos here, and under each it clearly says, "Copyright by (photographer's name.)" They're on the hook here. I would be nice about it, but firm.


Kent in SD

KevinM 12-08-2015 02:16 AM

Interesting that they would choose a shot of a light power move, vs. one of their trains. It's just odd seeing the track curving away behind the locomotive and not seeing a train there.

nikos1 12-08-2015 03:36 AM

I don't think you are going to get much cash out of this, I think its pretty unlikely that this sign came from the corporate level, probably some yard master just put it together with MS Office and had it made at a sign shop print it.
On one hand I'd like to get some free money from CSX too, on the other hand they aren't making money off using the photo and its unlikely it was done by CSX corporate.

Noct Foamer 12-08-2015 04:08 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nikos1 (Post 186689)
On one hand I'd like to get some free money from CSX too, on the other hand they aren't making money off using the photo and its unlikely it was done by CSX corporate.

From a legal standpoint none of that matters. Might be able to swap use of the photo for a cab ride. :D


Kent in SD

nikos1 12-08-2015 04:14 AM

Sure, I guess if you really want to waste your time going to court over it. Probably the best you are going to achieve is to get the sign removed.

KevinM 12-08-2015 04:45 AM

If it were just some clown selling T-shirts on eBay, Jim probably would spend a lot of money stopping it, and gain very little. In this case however, he has a major corporation, with deep pockets, committing a flagrant, public, copyright violation. As others have stated, it doesn't matter who within CSX authorized this. Any low-level employee can put a major corporation at risk by doing something illegal while under their employment. In my company, all employees take periodic training that educates them in the dos and don'ts.

I do think that a simple, registered letter to the CSX Legal Department will do the trick. The letter should provide a photo and details of the sign, as well as a print of the image. It could also provide a link to the RP URL. It should simply state that Jim is the owner of that image and that it is being used in a very public way by CSX without permission, and that all he is asking is $XXX dollars (pick something reasonable, but meaningful) to resolve the license issue. The letter should give CSX 10 days to respond, or the issue will be turned over to Jim's attorneys for litigation. If Jim is asking for $500 or $1000, no corporation in the world is going to quibble over that, especially when he clearly has them dead to rights.

ATSF666 12-08-2015 05:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by KevinM (Post 186694)
If it were just some clown selling T-shirts on eBay, Jim probably would spend a lot of money stopping it, and gain very little. In this case however, he has a major corporation, with deep pockets, committing a flagrant, public, copyright violation. As others have stated, it doesn't matter who within CSX authorized this. Any low-level employee can put a major corporation at risk by doing something illegal while under their employment. In my company, all employees take periodic training that educates them in the dos and don'ts.

I do think that a simple, registered letter to the CSX Legal Department will do the trick. The letter should provide a photo and details of the sign, as well as a print of the image. It could also provide a link to the RP URL. It should simply state that Jim is the owner of that image and that it is being used in a very public way by CSX without permission, and that all he is asking is $XXX dollars (pick something reasonable, but meaningful) to resolve the license issue. The letter should give CSX 10 days to respond, or the issue will be turned over to Jim's attorneys for litigation. If Jim is asking for $500 or $1000, no corporation in the world is going to quibble over that, especially when he clearly has them dead to rights.

There goes your get out of jail free card if you ever to, uh, happen to step on to CSX property while foaming! Not that any foamers ever do that.....:twisted:

troy12n 12-09-2015 02:05 PM

To hell with money, tell them you want a locomotive named after you...

"The Spirit of Jim Thias" on a new ES44AC or whatever they are called now

bigbassloyd 12-09-2015 02:09 PM

Yes they will pay. Quickly and handsomely.

I love it when people screw up and use my photographs without permission.

Loyd L.

John West 12-09-2015 05:43 PM

Gotcha works two ways
 
Careful what you wish for. Many years ago I was running the GATX loco lease fleet. Some railfan wanted detailed roster info for the roster book he was selling. The info was not readily available and I did not have the time to do the research to meet his deadline. So he wrote a nasty letter to our President who called me in and asked what the shit is this all about? Needless to say the railfan never got any info about our lease fleet. I also suspect CSX will pay off, but is it worth it. Now maybe if you asked the guy in charge of the yard for a cab ride.....

Ween 12-30-2015 03:41 AM

How did this play out, James?

JimThias 12-30-2015 10:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ween (Post 186899)
How did this play out, James?

Haven't done anything about it yet. A death in the family in early December has kept my mind elsewhere.

I need to contact the guy who sent me the photo to ask him if the sign is still there. If so, then I'll proceed with some kind of action.

Ween 02-12-2016 02:37 AM

Well????????

troy12n 02-12-2016 03:12 AM

CSX gave Jim the Clinchfield RR

JimThias 02-14-2016 04:40 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ween (Post 187295)
Well????????

I forgot about it. I guess I should probably contact them.


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