Local photographer has trouble getting compensated for photo use

Better Call Jackson

If you take a picture and a company uses that picture for commercial purposes, should you be compensated?

Mike Gonnella contacted Better Call Jackson after a photo he took was used without pay or courtesy credit to him. He doesn’t consider himself a professional but rather a hobby and felt he had reached an agreement with a local venue.

“Our agreement was I provide photos as long as you get me access and provide me with a little bit of credit when you use them,” says Gonnella.

But when his pictures were used without a watermark or courtesy credit, he contacted the organization.

“They said, it was a mistake and everything kind of held there for a while until another photo was used and it seems like it really wasn’t a mistake and they weren’t doing anything to fix the problem,” said Gonnella.

Michael Smith practices business law and securities law at Carile Patchen & Murphy. He says even amateurs have rights.

“It doesn’t make a difference from the standpoint of the person using your video or your photograph you should have the same rights as a professional,” says Smith.

To avoid a similar situation, Smith suggests spending a few dollars to register your copyright.

“You can go online, you can do it yourself the online registration is $35 if you do it on paper, $65. So not much cost to it, most people can do it themselves they don’t need counsel to handle that for them,” says Smith.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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