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Old August 16th, 2013, 07:36 PM   #16
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Re: Former Client Using Video w/o Premission

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Old August 17th, 2013, 05:02 AM   #17
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Re: Former Client Using Video w/o Premission

It's an interesting read if you have put your own work online and someone has copied and re-used it, but I'm not sure that it would be relevant to the situation that the OP was describing.

I think there must be a definite legal distinction between straight stealing of someone else's work, compared to a client who has paid for a finished product and then chooses to use it differently. That must be down to a clear contract and if you don't have one, it is open to all sorts of misunderstanding.

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Old August 19th, 2013, 05:56 PM   #18
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Re: Former Client Using Video w/o Premission

This is probably in the category of "tough love" but so be it.

Stop wasting your time on this.

You got asked to make a video for someone. Great. You delivered. Also great. You got paid. BEYOND great.

Now move on.

Trying to squeeze more cash from the party who commissioned the video in the first place for "extra use" will be seen by many in business as bush league UNLESS you specifically agreed in writing that you were withholding re-use rights. That's just the cold, hard, truth. Usage rights are "inside baseball" to 99% of clients below the video production major leagues. There's no reason they would even think that they don't have full rights to use what they "bought" from you. And if you try to "educate" them about it, they'll just mark you down as someone who's trying to wheedle more money out of them for the same work and they'll holler about it to everyone they know.

Sure, "technically" you might well have all the "legal" rights as the works creator. What I'm telling you is NOT to pursue this. You'll simply brand yourself as someone who's "difficult" to work with and who makes problems for their clients.

You have the ability to make more - and better video - than the one that's already done.

So spend your time and effort finding the NEXT client and doing even a better job for them. If you get to be REALLY good - then you can start writing new contracts that involve additional usage rights and start defending your technical rights.

But don't do that now. Building a reputation as a producer who comes back after the fact to leverage more profit from a completed project will probably hurt your reputation far more than the value of what you can squeeze out of that client going forward.

It's your call, but that's my 2 cents.

Take it or leave it.
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Old August 20th, 2013, 12:25 AM   #19
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Re: Former Client Using Video w/o Premission

Condescending much?

I was not "asked" to produce the video - it was made on spec . I built the miniature set for the products (even buying the products, myself) for the demo.

And, if you read what I said earlier: I wanted them only to remove the portion, which I did not give permission to use - that would have been my first and, hopefully, only request - if they want to pay to keep it in there - that's their call.
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Old August 20th, 2013, 08:31 AM   #20
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Re: Former Client Using Video w/o Premission

You created this on spec and then gave them a copy for money.
Do you have anything to prove any of this?
Do you have the money to go to court?
Do you think you will receive more money than you spend on legal counsel?
Do you have material proof that the financial transaction took place such as copy of canceled check?
Do you have material proof that you were the content creator?
Do you have recorded masters and original material and files?
Do you have material proof that you paid to produce this spec piece?
Did you save any communications with them such as emails, letters, recorded phone calls?
Have you distributed the material independently and preceding their public use?
Have they previously used the material publicly you gave them in its original form?
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Old August 20th, 2013, 08:47 AM   #21
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Re: Former Client Using Video w/o Premission

I'd add:

Did you register your copyright?
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Old August 20th, 2013, 11:15 PM   #22
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Re: Former Client Using Video w/o Premission

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenn Christenson View Post
Condescending much?

I was not "asked" to produce the video - it was made on spec . I built the miniature set for the products (even buying the products, myself) for the demo.

And, if you read what I said earlier: I wanted them only to remove the portion, which I did not give permission to use - that would have been my first and, hopefully, only request - if they want to pay to keep it in there - that's their call.
Condescending? Quite likely a bit. But maybe I've earned a little bit of a condescending tone by delivering more than 500 paid videos over 25 plus years of professional production. Look, I too screwed up in my early days too by "thinking" I knew better than others about how things should work. When they didn't, I took my lumps. Learned my lessons. And eventually grew to understand that nobody cared even a tiny bit about protecting me from my own lack of experience of unfamiliarity with how things actually do work - compared to how I might have thought it was "fair" for them to work. I'm trying to pass that lesson on to you so you don't have to waste your time like I did. But if you think differently or don't want the advice, fine.

I'm telling you that in my experience, the best thing you can do is NOT waste time trying to squeeze more money out of this. If you want to do differently - feel absolutely free to take your own council on this.

Spend your time becomeing the biggest thorn you can in the side of your former client/partners/whatever. Maybe that will work for you. Maybe they won't resent it. Or bad mouth you. Nobody knows about any of that.

We just know what you told us. And some of us know what WE learned when we were in the same place in our careers.

Listen or not. Learn or not. Do it your own way. In the final analysis it's your career and you are absolutely empowered to steer it as you like.

I'm just one voice. Listen to someone else if you like. Or to your own opinions Free country.

Good luck.
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Old August 27th, 2013, 02:26 PM   #23
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Re: Former Client Using Video w/o Premission

I agree with Bill.

Also, and it seems tangental, but it's not - this all goes back to my #1 rule, which is "don't do work on spec".

Also, if you think Bill is condescending, you should be glad he answered first and not I, because I would have been more blunt.
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Old August 27th, 2013, 05:59 PM   #24
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Re: Former Client Using Video w/o Premission


That was a good read. I realize this isn't the OP's situation but thought others might be interested. I spent most of last week searching over 500 youtube and vimeo videos that used some of my footage w/o permission. It resulted in me filing 36 DMCA Take-Down Notices on Youtube and 16 on Vimeo. I must say both sites were very responsive and closed 6 accounts, removing all their hundreds of videos. The guilty culprits were not happy and offered to purchase the footage but I refused because I don't do business with folks that steal from me.
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Old August 27th, 2013, 07:53 PM   #25
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Re: Former Client Using Video w/o Premission

Good for you. Most people are ignorant of what registration affords them and those who steal creative works know that and take advantage of it.
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Old August 30th, 2013, 05:40 PM   #26
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Re: Former Client Using Video w/o Premission

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Gunkel View Post
As an analogy, if I pay a builder to build a house for me, once completed, I expect to have full rights to do as I wish with it. .........

Others may well have different opinions :-)
It may not be what the original poster wants to hear, but I'm afraid that's a very good analogy.

Yes, it all depends on the contract, and if that says the person who did the work retains the copyright it's a different matter. An example of that may be if you have a photo portrait done and it's explicit that the photographer retains the copyright. All you then have rights to are the prints you've paid for - you have no right to make other copies.

But that type of agreement is probably becoming less acceptable now with all the uses to which media can be put to. Clients are increasingly looking to have full rights over material they commission - it's as Roger says, if asked to do a commission, you quote a price and the clients expectation is that they are then buying full rights over it. Just like buying a house.

You COULD insist on writing a clause into contracts to keep control - but they then may just go elsewhere. Or at the very least argue that if you're keeping control, you lower the price.
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