logo

logo

Blog

This stream contains blog posts about photography, technology and other things that interest Rohan as a creative professional.

Flight Lease Theft

This is a particular situation that I’ve been dealing with for well over a year now, and today I’ve decided to finally write about it.

In April 2014, I was hired to cover the Australian Powerboat Series as my friend who normally covers the event was unable to do so. I was paid a very little amount for the event, but agreed as it involved hanging out the side of a helicopter taking photos, as if I’d say no! The event consisted of powerboats racing around a course and two helicopters were involved in the event. The heli I was in was a support aircraft incase of emergency and we had a qualified diver in the back ready to jump out at any moment. The second aircraft was a Robinson R44 operating with a camera crew on board filming the event. That particular aircraft was owned and operated by an Australian company named Flight Lease and had “Hnrge” branding on the side; a sister company to Flight Lease.

During the event I captured many photographs, including the one shown below.

As you can see above, the image contains the R44 aircraft along with a Navy Health and Brig sponsored super boats. Navy Health in the following weeks would purchase images off me from the event for promotion as I retained all copyright and any commercial use would require payment.

Following the event I was contacted by Jem Rowe, the CEO of Solarpv (the owners of Flight Lease). Jem wished to purchase the image above for use on his website, an extract from his email to me:

“…I think we might just want a digital version to put on our Chopper website??
How much to get access for that?
Jem”

I responded telling him I would be happy with $140AUD for a 2 year licence. I never received a response to this email.

In October 2015, I signed up for Pixsy, a reverse image and licensing platform that searches the internet for your images and on request will chase infringers for removal of the images and payment for its past use. Upon signing up, one of the first websites I saw using my images, was www.flightlease.com.au, the operators of the Hnrge aircraft. I was perplexed and immediately went back through my emails to confirm that I had responded with pricing to Jem’s request. Knowing he needed to pay for it’s use, they used my image as advertisement for their services anyway, possibly hoping I’d never notice. Check out the infringement below.

web-screenshot

I decided to submit the case to Pixsy as I didn’t have the time or energy to deal with chasing up this infringement. After their initial investigation, they sent a letter to Mr. Rowe demanding the image be removed and compensation for it’s use to be paid.

The day Flight Lease received the letter, I received a phone call from Jem Rowe who proceeded to swear at me and abuse me over the matter. I briefly explained that I had provided him with pricing for the images but he never returned my emails and did not have rights to use the image and that the matter was now with Pixsy’s lawyers. Jem stated that he didn’t need to pay for the image as it’s a photo of his aircraft, he clearly does not understand IP law.

Months passed and Pixsy received absurd low-ball responses to their letters and therefore were not accepted.

In February of this year, I received a phone call from a friend who was aware of the situation with Mr. Rowe, and informed me that both he and my client from the event had received heated phone calls from Mr. Rowe demanding to know why I had been hired.

On several occasions, Mr. Rowe has tried to file a counter-claim stating that my image contains his branding, and I am therefore breaching his copyright. Clearly his lawyers are not IP lawyers, as this has no legal standing. The aircraft was photographed in public airspace as well as the fact I am not using his branding for monetary gain (the image has never been purchased by any party).

At this stage the image has been removed, but Mr. Rowe and his representation have been dodging any contact from Pixsy. Hopefully enough of his funds have been spent on his legal representation that this has become a very expensive lesson for him.

If you want to use imagery to promote your business, pay for it. You charge clients to use your skills as a pilot along with the aircraft, why shouldn’t I be paid for my skills as a photographer along with my camera gear?

 

Close Post

Happy? I’m not.

I’m not new to the image theft game, my images have been stolen dozens of times by many people and media outlets. Most famously Red Jumpsuit Apparatus and Miley Cyrus.

This weeks saga is dealing with a Sydney based media outlet named “Happy”. They are a for-profit business who sell their magazine subscriptions online.

I discovered my image of Battles (below) being used via Pixsy (read my review of Pixsy here). Although they had credited me (which is a start) the image was cropped, possibly to remove my watermark. The image accompanied a review of the Manning Bar show, which is where I captured the image.

Original:
26539239183_dd3c8ba689_b

Screen shot from the Happy website:
battles-happy-screenshot

I was going to chase payment for the image, but decided to just request them to remove it, I did so via facebook message to them:
fb-message-1

After about 14 hours, they swapped the image for one from the bands press agency and didn’t respond to me. So I explained to them what they did was wrong and requested confirmation that the image was not used in their magazine:

fb-message-2

And now, for their sass-filled response:

fb-message-3

Thinking they made have made a mistake (swapping the image out then thinking I was calling them out on the new image, not the old one):

fb-message-4

And once again, requesting confirmation it wasn’t printed, they had the audacity to direct me to purchase a subscription:

fb-message-5

I’m not sure if Happy realise that I’m unpaid in what I do and any sales come after the fact to artists, websites, etc. In a city filled with small music agencies and photographers doing what they love, it’s a shame a few assholes like these guys can’t play by the rules and get sassy when called out on it. Unfortunately, today I’ve learnt that this isn’t the first time these guys have used images without permission, so unless someone calls them out on it, they’ll keep doing it.

Next time, guys, suck it up, apologise and learn from it.

 

Close Post

Pixsy Review

Being a photographer, especially a professional one, can be an extremely difficult task in the digital age. I read a very good quote the other day; “Everyone loves your work until they have to pay for it”, this has sums up how I feel a lot of the time. As a digital creative, my work is often overlooked as having value, the phrase “we’ll give you credit” is mentioned more times than I’d like to remember but I stick with it because I love it.

Part of the reason digital creative works; photography, graphic design and music, are seen as being worth less and less is the ease in which you can get it for free. Why buy something when you can get it for free? Good question right? Because the creatives who slave to create the works that you enjoy deserve to be paid. They are providing a service and deserve remuneration.

As a digital creative myself, I spend a decent amount of time uploading my works to get them out into the world via Flickr, Instagram and Facebook. But because of past experiences (most notably the Red Jumpsuit situation) I watermark my images. Although not all of my images online have watermarks, the works that I capture for The Music are posted by them online without watermarks.

This is where Pixsy come in. I don’t recall when I first read about these guys from the states, but I remember being very excited by their concept; Pixsy helps photographers find where their works are being used online and will licence, invoice and chase up the copyright infringer. The best part? They do it for 50% of the licensing fee they receive from the infringer.
I know what you’re thinking, 50% sounds like a lot right? But when you consider that lawyers and court costs can rise into the 100’s of thousands of dollars, getting 50% of a licence fee that I wouldn’t have seen is certainly a win. Part of the benefit of using Pixsy for me, is having the backing of their name, I have had issues in the past issuing invoices to infringers, as a single photographer is not seen as a threat and will generally go un-paid.

I highly recommend that you head over to Pixsy ( http://www.pixsy.com/ ) and request an invite to join their absolutely fantastic service. At the moment they’re still in the early stages and aren’t quite ready to open the flood gates to what I’m sure will be a massive influx of photographers. Once you’ve gotten your invite, simply link pixsy to your flickr, instrgaram, 500px, website and more and they will search the web for every place using your images. For example, see below, two of the literally thousands of instances of my images being used (luckily both of these are legitimate!).

11722047_10153041253804366_5895036944000798139_o

Pixsy is a significant step to giving the power back to photographers everywhere and in stopping online image theft, maybe we can remind the world that there is value in our works and we won’t give up quietly.

 

Close Post

Miley Cyrus Copyright Violation

Update 21st Oct:
Both images have been removed from Facebook and Instagram due to the DMCA take-down notices I issued. Please be aware that the blog post below is just my account and opinion of the matter and I now consider this situation resolved. I completely understand that these things can happen and don’t take the matter personally, I won’t be requesting payment or taking the matter further in any way.

Original post 20th Oct:

People or companies violating my copyright is not something that’s new to me, I’ve dealt with it on multiple occasions, most notably, the Red Jumpsuit Apparatus saga in April of 2014.

Last week, on the 17th October, 2014, I shot Miley Cyrus at Allphones Arena in Sydney, Australia. As usual, I posted one or two images on social media on the evening of the event, including Instagram, Facebook and Tumblr. All images are always posted in full (eg. not cropped or edited) and contain my watermark and usually text stating not to use without my permission. Incase you’re wondering, when I post images to instagram I post portrait or landscape images with black bars at the top and bottom or sides to be able to post the images in full.

Original image (please be aware the watermark was originally located in the bottom left hand corner):
DX2_6722

Please be aware that I did not sign a waiver or form for shooting this show, therefore all copyright belongs to me.

The next day, the 18th October, I was scrolling through instagram and came across my image (see below) posted by Miley Cyrus on her instagram and as you can see, with no credit or text what so ever and liked by hundreds of thousands of people.

Screen Shot 2014-10-20 at 5.27.57 pm

I searched all images that Miley Cyrus was tagged in and it appears that a fan has taken it off one of my social media accounts (likely facebook or tumblr) and cropped it just enough to intentionally remove my watermark. I believe Miley has then taken it from her fan. Yes I understand she personally didn’t intend to breach my copyright, but it is still her responsibility to ensure she has the rights to post the image.

It appears that Miley has been taking images and posting them without permission for some time, most of which are phone photos from fans, but a few a clearly professional grade images, including mine. I’m not condoning taking any images, even phone photos are covered by copyright laws, but it should be obvious that any professional grade images were taken by professionals who would only be allowed in with photo/media passes.

I soon after filed a DMCA takedown notice with Instagram, which still has not come into effect, now 2 to 3 days later.

Yesterday (Sunday 19th Oct), the photo was then posted on her facebook page and has since racked up over 300,000 likes and 5,000 comments. Once again, the image did not contain any credit. Considering I was not paid to shoot her show, all income comes from the sale of my images to the artist or media outlets, and Miley Cyrus (or her management) has taken that sale from me. As a matter of fact, I’m actually minus $25 because I paid for parking to attend the show.

Screen Shot 2014-10-20 at 5.27.38 pm

I have also filed a DMCA takedown notice with facebook, which is the same process as instagram, but once again, this has yet to be enforced.

Now Monday the 20th Oct, I’m still waiting for something to be done about this and finding it extremely difficult to find appropriate contacts for Miley or her management. At this stage, I have no intention of requesting payment from Miley Cyrus or her management, I just want the image removed. I’ve even offered them the original image (un-cropped) for posting on their social media accounts, on the proviso that my name and a link to my website is attached to the image, I think that’s a pretty fair deal considering the potential legal costs if I were to pursue this further (not that I am in any way threatening that).

Am I ecstatic that my image was apparently good enough to represent a huge international artist? You bet your ass. But It was not done in the right or legal manner in which I expect, especially someone in the creative industry that should know better.

Lets just say, that I’ve revised my watermarking practices after this event.

If you’d like to email me about this, to give your opinion or to say hello, feel free: rohan@raphotography.com.au

P.S: On a semi-related matter, after reading through some of the comments she receives on her images, I’ve realised how much hate and abuse she gets for her new image. I respect her for doing what she wants to do and saying fuck the haters! She has my respect.

 

Close Post

Photographers Rights and Responsibilities

I was once involved in a bit of a situation regarding image theft by an American band by the name of Red Jumpsuit Apparatus (read about it here). Since then I have received many emails asking questions about copyright and people in similar situations. I’ve decided to write a large FAQ post about photographers rights, both in regards to legal rights and obligations and your copyright rights and obligations. Please keep in mind that I am Australian and many of these answers will relate to Australia, I will try to include other countries if I can. I’d also like to remind you, that I am not a lawyer and it is your responsibility to research your issues on a case-by-case basis.

Can I take photos of a person without their consent?

I get asked this question a lot, yes, presuming you’re in a public place and there isn’t a reasonable expectation of privacy (public bathrooms, change rooms, etc). While it may seem odd that you can stick a camera in someones face and take a photo of them, I’d obviously advise you be a little more discreet, as you can be legally right, but nothing is stopping that person giving you a punch in the nose or smashing your camera. You are only allowed to use the image of a person if you’re not using it for a commercial purpose, it isn’t offensive, indecent or demeaning to the person and the image isn’t defamatory.

When do you need to get consent to take a photograph of someone?

There are a few very small points that you must remember when taking someones photograph, as to wether you need to ask permission:
– In a place where there is a “reasonable expectation of privacy” (change room or toilet) AND the images are of sexual nature AND they are for sexual gratification purposes.
– If you are an employer, you must have consent to film or record your employees in a workplace.
– If the persons identity is protected by a court order (eg. witness protection, child custody dispute, etc)

Can you photograph children without their parents consent?

Children are not awarded any special protection under the law, the same rules apply to both adults and children.

Can I take photos on private land?

When taking images on private land (this includes train stations, shopping centres, restaurants, etc) you must abide by the rules of the owner of that land, if they request for you to stop taking photographs, you must do so. Remember, that property having public access, like a shopping centre, does not mean it is public land.

A security guard has approached me saying I can’t take a photo of a building because of ‘copyright’, and I’m on public land, what do I do?

Simply explain to him that you are on public land, and legally you are within your rights to take a photograph of the building. Ensure you are actually on public land before arguing. No copyright act prohibits photography as photographing a building does not constitute copying.

Can police or security guards take your memory cards or ask you to delete files?

Simple answer, no, not without a court order. If a police officer has requested this, then it is likely they are misinformed about the law. Ensure you approach the situation carefully as you may be right, but police can make life difficult for you.

I took photos of a band, are they allowed to use those images?

If you are shooting on behalf of a media company and have permission to be there and you didn’t sign a release form before entering the venue, then no, the band must pay you for the use of your image(s). The only case in which they are able to use the images is if you signed a release form before shooting saying that they reserve the right to use the images taken without payment.

A company/band has used my image on their facebook page arguing that it’s not for monetary gain

This is an interesting one that I have discussed with many people. In my view, any facebook page for a company or band is there for promotional purposes. If Coca-Cola posted a picture of one of their drink products, that’s considered advertising right? Why wouldn’t an image of a band member also be considered advertising to buy tickets to their show? Many photographers are happy to allow bands to share their images, presuming they’ve given you credit. You need to think about this one on a case-by-case basis as to whether you’re happy with the resulting publicity or not.

I’ve uploaded an image of a person/artist/company on social media, are they allowed to re-upload my image and use it?

Firstly, you need to determine whether it’s for a commercial purpose or not, if it’s a friend using it as a profile picture, then no, you can’t fight it. If it is being used by a company or artist to promote their product or service, then yes, you are entitled to financial compensation, if you feel you should pursue it. Essentially, if you do not want your images shared on taken from social media, don’t upload them.

Someone has used one of my images without permission, what should I do?

If you are absolutely positive that they have no legal claim over your image, then you should contact them privately via email or phone, to inform them of the infringement. You must remember that often people are unaware that they may have infringed on copyright, many people are ignorant to the laws surrounding this. Approach them in a very calm and professional manner, perhaps something like the following: “Not sure if you guys are aware, but you’ve used one of my images without permission, could you please remove it? If you could ask permission next time that’d be great”. Depending on their response you, that may be the end of it, if they do however begin to argue with you, you need to know your rights and explain to them what they have done is illegal and you may consider writing a cease and desist letter.

A client provided my images to a third party, what do I do?

If you’ve done work for a client, say a fashion agency, and they’ve then provided those images to other companies, say the clothing manufacturer, can I / should I fight it? This is a tricky one that has a lot of if’s and but’s attached. Firstly, you need to go back and look at your arrangement with the client, have you agreed to or signed anything allowing them to do this? Have you specified that only they are allowed to use the images? Are you sure the company is a third party and not owned by the client? Often if it hasn’t been discussed or agreed upon prior to providing or shooting the images, it’s difficult to fight and you may loose that relationship with the client. You always need to outline where and how your images are to be used prior to taking the job. This is something you often need to learn from and move on and ensure you do next time. If you are likely to get more work from the client, then I’d let it go and make sure you specify next time around.

If you have signed an agreement that says they are no allowed to provide the images, then consider emailing the client informing them that what they did was in breach of your agreement. Once again, you need to think about whether this is worth your while and do you want to keep a good relationship with the client.

I posted a photograph to a company social media page, and they’ve shared my image without credit

This is something that is happening more and more. You need to go to the about me section of the page and ensure there’s no terms and conditions that says something along the lines of “We reserve the right to post any images that are shared on this social media page”. Many companies, including Destination NSW, are known to do this.

Someone is using my image and claim they’re allowed as it features their brand

Many assumptions are made when it comes to branding/image, people and companies assume that because an image features their brand, they’re free to use the image as they see fit, this is not the case. As long as the image was not created for the company who owns the brand and you still retain the copyright to the image, the company/person must pay for the use of the image (presuming it’s for a commercial purpose).

Someone has posted my images to social media without my permission, how do I get it taken down?

The easiest and most direct route is to file a DMCA copyright takedown notice, I know this sounds serious and tricky, but most, if not all, major social media sites have a form you can fill out. The form generally consists of: Your details, a link to the image that you want removed, a link to the original (on your website, flickr, facebook, etc) and any other details. Essentially the social media site needs proof that you do indeed own the image. In every case that I’ve issued a DMCA takedown, the images have been removed within 24 hours, this includes high-profile accounts like Miley Cyrus’ instagram account. Below is a list of sites and links to their DMCA takedown forms.

Facebook
Instagram
Tumblr
Twitter & Vine
Pinterest
Google (Google+, Google Ad, etc)
Linkedin

Do you have any questions I haven’t answered? Feel free to email be at rohan@raphotography.com.au, I will continue to add to this page over the next few weeks.

I’d like to thank 4020.net for help with answering some of these questions. You can find them here: http://photorights.4020.net/

 

Close Post

Australian Superboat Series

Last week, I got a phone call from my mate Owen who shoots sports, mainly beach vollyball, around Australia and the world. Owen often shoots the Australian Powerboat Series, and last weekend was called away to shoot Beach Vollyball in China, so was unable to shoot the Newcastle Harbour race. Owen gave me a call and gave me the opportunity to shoot the event from the support helicopter which follows the boats and carries two drivers incase of an accident.

It was an absolutely awesome day, it’s not very often I get to hang out of a helicopter taking photos and being paid to do so. Check out some of my photos here:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/rohan3au/sets/72157644390150754/

 

Close Post

Red Jumpsuit Apparatus Copyright Violation

Edit 22nd April

Just thought I’d let everyone know that the money from Red Jumpsuit just landed in my account and this has all been resolved. Thanks again everyone for your support.

Edit 21st April
Red Jumpsuit have publicly apologised to me on twitter and have agreed to pay my invoice. I’d like to say thank you to the thousands of people around the world for supporting me in this matter, I think this is a big win for not only me, but all photographers around the world.

Screen Shot 2014-04-21 at 8.08.18 pm

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Previous blog post starts here:

I was recently scrolling through my Facebook feed and came across a familiar image, one of mine from a show in November 2013.
This happens every now and then, and usually it’s accompanied with something along the lines of “Thanks Rohan Anderson for the photo!”, and generally I’m ok with it, I’d prefer permission to be asked, but the fact that they’ve looked for the photographer to credit makes it a little more ok for me.

This image, posted by the band Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, was taken at UTS Glasshouse in Sydney on the 14th of November 2013, and was not credited, all that accompanied the image was “Shredder”.

Screen Shot 2014-04-20 at 12.08.04 pm

This hit a nerve for me, they’ve used an image of mine without permission and without credit, on top of this, the image was cropped, had a filter added (presumably from Instagram) and the quality was severely reduced. Here’s the original (notice the watermark that has been cropped out).

Screen Shot 2014-04-20 at 12.11.09 pm

I did a bit of digging and found an email for Red Jumpsuits management and sent them the following email:

“Hello,

I’m just contacting you today about a violation of copyright to do with one of my images, this is my original: https://www.flickr.com/photos/rohan3au/10939150575/

The official Red Jumpsuit Apparatus Facebook posted one of my images without permission or credit and was cropped and edited. This is the photo in question: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=690622494309165&set=pb.107159332655487.-2207520000.1396505956.&type=3&theater

I’m a practicing photographer and I don’t shoot to just have acts steal the images for use wherever they please, I shot this show for a Sydney media publication. If you would like to use the image, you will need to discuss a payment with me beforehand.

Please remove the image immediately or you are welcome to keep it up if a payment is discussed.

If you do not comply. I will be seeking legal advice.

Regards,

Rohan Anderson

On top of this email, a few friends and myself commented on the image stating the copyright of the image didn’t belong to them. After the email and multiple comments (which were quickly deleted), my name was added to the image after 5 hours.

Screen Shot 2014-04-04 at 12.10.53 pm

I had multiple issues with this:
– I had requested the image be removed, not credit added
– The image was not the original and was posted in less than reasonable quality
– The credit was not a link to the original or anything of the sort
– My name was added 5 hours after the original post, hours past the time where the image the most impact to its audience.

I decided to send another email requesting the image be removed, the following email was sent:

“Hello,

I’ve noticed you added my name to the photo. That’s not the issue.

My issue is that my image has been posted without my consent, cropped and edited in low quality. I demand that it be taken down as this is a breach of copyright.

I have spoken to my lawyer and I am well within my legal rights, and I will not hesitate to take legal action.

Thank you.

Regards,

Rohan Anderson

After not hearing back from either of my emails, I wanted to ensure they did receive them, so I sent a quick message to their facebook page and the response was the most unexpected and unprofessional response I’ve ever received, especially from a band as large as them:

Screen Shot 2014-04-09 at 5.39.33 pm

Shortly after, I received a very unexpected response from their management email:

“You have no legal claim as the photo is credited and is not posted for a monetary gain and features our likeness and image not yours. Also you have just got your self banned from any festival or show we ever play again in that region for life! Congrats!

Sent from my iPhone”

Many things shocked me about this response, usually I receive an email saying something along the lines of “Sorry! We weren’t sure of the original owner, we’ve taken it down for you.”. The fact that they decided to “ban” me from any future shows simply for standing up for my intellectual property absolutely stuns me.

I was also very surprised at their lack of understanding of intellectual property laws, there are multiple things wrong with their response:

– Just because a photo is credited, doesn’t mean you’re allowed to use it. Do you think magazines are allowed to steal photos and credit the images without any legal implications?
– The image was posted for monetary gain, what do you think a facebook page for a band is for? Advertisement and press.
– Just because an image features someones likeness, doesn’t mean they’re allowed to use it as advertisement. Permission needs to be given.

I sent the following response back:

“Hey Guys,

Thanks for getting back to me. 

Just because the photo is credited to me, it doesn’t mean that you have the rights to use it. If any website or publication posts the photo, they require permission from the copyright owner, in this case, it’s me.

In regards to monetary gain, the Red Jumpsuit Apparatus Facebook page is there purely for the purpose of marketing and advertisement for the band, therefore any image posted can be considered advertising; if Coca Cola posts an image of their bottle on Facebook, that’s advertising, why isn’t an image of a band member just advertising for the band?

I’d like to turn the tables here, if Red Jumpsuit had their music illegally posted online, whether that be on youtube or anything, I’m sure you would be ensuring it is removed as that is music piracy, this is absolutely no different.

At the end of the day, if you enjoyed my image enough to post it, you should request permission, in most cases I would usually say yes, no questions asked or money requested.

I also believe in future, you should attempt to act a little more professionally; sending an emoticon and “lol” in a Facebook message is not an appropriate response to being informed you have broken the law.

I will give you 24 hours to remove the image and apologise via response to this email or you will be hearing from my lawyer. I advise you seek advice from a lawyer before dismissing this as you are in the wrong.

Regards,

Rohan Anderson”

Once again, I received an extremely unprofessional and downright offensive email in response:

“We welcome the “lawyer” and his response. As for the lol it was funny, life is funny. If you want to take it any other way that’s fine with us. As for the “tables turning” remark our music is everywhere illegally and we let it go like all other “professionals” try it out sometime. Most unknown photographers are happy to have world  wide known bands use their photos and consider it an honor, you are clearly an example of the opposite.
Don’t send anymore threats or you’ll be hearing from our Lawyer!
Have a nice day 😉

Sent from my iPhone”

The absolutely outrageous notion that I should “consider it an honor” that they posted my image shocked me the most. That is possibly the single most stuck-up response I’ve ever received, get over yourselves. At this stage, it’s becoming more clear that I’m not talking to a band manager, most managers would be more professional and cautious as to what they say. I’ll admit, the last line of the email made me chuckle, I’m sorry Red Jumpsuit, but you can’t sue somebody for threatening to sue you. I am yet to hear from their lawyer, I would welcome that phone call, purely so I can ask the question “Has your client told you what they’ve done? Can you please explain to them why they are so clearly in the wrong”.

I sent the following response:

“I’ve booked a meeting with my lawyer next week. You’ll be hearing from them shortly after.
Don’t consider it a threat, consider it an opportunity to remove the image before things get expensive and complicated for you.
Most people would go straight to a lawyer, I’m sorry you didn’t take the opportunity to remove the image and avoid this situation.



Rohan Anderson”

I also sent a quick email to their Australian tour manager to see if they could be of any help, I was met with a much more reasonable and extremely polite and professional response, I don’t feel it’s appropriate the post this response, but it was very apologetic and they contacted Red Jumpsuit for me to have the image removed.

The image was finally removed, after 48 hours live on facebook. If the image was removed as soon as I’d asked, that would be the end of it. The fact that Red Jumpsuit were so abusive, rude and unprofessional meant I was going to seek financial compensation for the image, I then sent the following final email to them:

“Hey Guys,

I notice that the image has been removed from Facebook and Instagram, but the use of the image must still be paid for for the following reasons:

– The image copyright belongs to me and Red Jumpsuit did not have the permission or legal rights to post this image, the use of the image for 24 hours to an audience of approximately 1.4 million people must be paid for.
– The image was edited (filtered and quality reduced), which also breaches copyright use of the image
– The edited image then had my name attached to it 5 hours after posting (after I requested it to be removed), which I believe may have damaged my reputation as a photographer.

I have attached the invoice to this email. The invoice must be paid within 30 days.

Please note that paying for this image does not give you permission to use it again, this cost is purely for the previous use. If you would like to use the image further, we will need to discuss a further payment.

I am well within my rights to seek legal advice in regards to this, but I am giving you the opportunity to pay my invoice and avoid legal action.

If you do not pay the invoice within 30 days, I will continue with legal action against Red Jumpsuit Apparatus Management.

Regards,

Rohan Anderson

I don’t want to go into the amount that the invoice was for, but I will say that it wasn’t an unreasonable amount and was a similar figure listed on the Getty images pricing structure guide.

I received a final response directly from their management:

“This conversation is officially terminated and you have been flagged as abusive. You will be hearing from our attorney shortly. Any e mails received from here on will be deleted. Do not attempt to respond unless via legal council. 

Sent from my iPhone”

I never heard from their lawyer and it seems they have a warped sense of what is abusive.

I figured this would be the last response I got from them until I spoke to my lawyer, but I got one more surprise late one night. They looked up and found out who I photographed their show for and sent the editor the following email bagging me out (I think need a lesson on the use of quotation marks):

” Howdy, this is The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus. We recently granted you (blanked out) show access and gave guest list spots to film/photo and review our Aussie tour with the assumption we would be able to post those pics and/or reviews because that is industry standard. We were later approached by “Rohan” with absurd demands and threats of all nature which is quite strange and annoying. We just wanted to let you know the image he is portraying on your company is a bad one and we hope you will help resolve this matter ASAP seeing how you placed him “Rohan” at our show to begin with. Thanks for your time.
Sent from my iPhone”

And a more detailed email from them after more detail was requested from the media outlet:

“Apparently one of our members posted a pic from the Sidney show that he took for you guys with our permission. That pic was posted on our FB and didn’t have a “thumbnail” so he (Rohan) reached out and demanded we pull it or he would sue us ect. We posted his name with credit within hours to the photo as soon as we knew who he was in good faith then he demanded we pull it anyway saying he is going to sue us again ect ect. We thought that was silly so we pulled it out of good will(again) and he now persists to threaten us with legal action to which he has no right or claim in doing so as well as demanding an outlandish fee for said photo even though it was pulled. If we didn’t grant photo access to begin with no photos would have been taken so this matter is pretty small to us however this guy “Rohan” has really gone out of his way to insult and harass us via e mail. I can not share those e mails because if this goes any further they will be subject to possible litigation. I realize he may not work for you directly and just wanted you to know that when this is all said and done he won’t be shooting many bands in the near future. Word travels fast in the rock business and we have a lot of friends because we try to avoid conflict when possible but “Rohan” is the absolute most disrespectful photographer we have ever had the unpleasure of dealing with. Thanks for the quick response, any help would be appreciated.

Sent from my iPhone”

After being CC’d in the email response back to Red Jumpsuit from the media outlet, I read the correspondence between them and quickly emailed the editor to clear the air, and included all of the emails sent back and forward. The response from the absolutely lovely editor at the media outlet in question responded to me with the following:

“Hi Rohan,

Thanks for sending the email correspondence through.

As I suspected, you have been entirely professional against a barrage of unprofessional and juvenile behaviour from the band.

I don’t think you’re ever going to see compensation from the band, so I wouldn’t continue to push it. However, rest assured that the band is now blacklisted from (removed).

It’s a shame that they’ve acted in this manner. (Removed) supports you 100% on this.

I’m quite frankly surprised by the bands flagrant disregard for copyright, suggesting you should be honoured for them to infringe it. Unbelievable.

The fact that Red Jumpsuit has now been blacklisted from the media outlet is comforting, it’s just piece of mind knowing that I’m not alone in this fight and I’m not the only one who believes that their responses and the way they dealt with this situation was downright awful.

This situation isn’t over, a letter of demand has been delivered to them, and after 21 days, legal proceedings will begin.

Many of you might believe I have taken this too far, which may be true, but I’m standing up for all live music photographers in Sydney and across the world. We’re sick of being paid very little, if at all, and then having our images stolen. If you swing us an email asking permission, most of the time we’ll be more than happy to say yes if you just put our name on it. If you react like Red Jumpsuit Apparatus have, expect us to fight back.

I hope you can all learn from this, and if there are any fellow photographers reading this, I hope you have learnt not to deal with Red Jumpsuit in the future.

Comments? I’d love to hear what you guys think, swing me an email: rohan@raphotography.com.au

Edit: 21st April:

I’d just like to thank everyone who has sent me an email supporting me, I really appreciate you taking the time to back me in this. Obviously with all good things, some people just have to chime in with childish behaviour (that’s how this all started after all). I’m not going to give them the satisfaction of posting their email.

Thank you again everyone for your support.

After reading a few comments online, I’d like to clarify that no released was signed prior to shooting the show, meaning all copyright to the images belongs to me.

Along with this, I’d also like to clarify the reasons for me taking this as far as I have. I honestly couldn’t care about the money, it’s the blatant disregard for copyright and the extremely unprofessional and childish behaviour that has got me worked up. At the end of the day, if you don’t fight for your rights, everyone, not just bands, are just going to steal images, post them for 2 days till everyone has seen them, then delete them, without paying for the use of the image.

This sets a bad precedence for the industry, and I’m trying to ensure this doesn’t happen again.

Edit: 21st April:

When Red Jumpsuit got word of this blog post, this was their response, starting a hashtag of “Rohanisatool”. Way to continue your professional responses there guys:

Screen Shot 2014-04-21 at 5.02.01 pm

 

Close Post

Watagans Glow Worm Caves

This weekend I went on an adventure to the Watagans Mountains, about 40km outside Newcastle, to fine a glow worm cave I was told about. We went during the afternoon to scope it out and then waited for the sun to go down. We then geared up and went back when it was dark. The cave was absolutely spectacular, a little hard to get into and a little wet, but still absolutely amazing. It was by far the most challenging shoot I’ve ever done, the image above is a 21 minute exposure.

 

Close Post

Sydney in Motion Series

I recently completed a series of six images that look at the motion of pedestrian traffic in the Sydney CBD. These works were heavily influenced by the series ‘City of Shadows’ by Alexey Titarenko.

 

Close Post

Title Seqence

I recently completed my first assignment for Digital Video 2 (as part of my Digital Media degree at COFA in Paddington). This is the first time I’ve used Adobe After Effects, it was a good learning experience. Check out my project below.

Title Sequence – Digital Video 2 from Rohan Anderson on Vimeo.

 

Close Post

Mac Pro How-To: Installing an SSD Drive

This tutorial video explains how to install a SSD into a 2012 Mac Pro.

You will require an adapter due to the fact SSD’s are 2.5 inch and standard HDD’s are 3.5 inch. I used an OWC Drive Sled (http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Other+World+Computing/MMP35T25/). It is a custom sled designed to align the SATA ports of the SSD with the motherboard.

The SSD I installed was a Samsung 840 Pro (http://www.samsung.com/au/consumer/pc-peripherals/solid-state-drive/solid-state-drive/MZ-7PD256BW).

You will require a phillips head screw driver to install the SSD onto the adapter. The screws should be supplied with the adapter. A 3.5 to 2.5 inch adapter would also work.

 

Close Post

Mac Pro How-To: Installing RAM

I recently bought a 2012 Apple Mac Pro tower and much of the information on customising out there wasn’t overly useful. With this in mind, I created a how-to video on how to install RAM into a Mac pro.

Just a note that Mac Pro’s require ECC (Error Checking) RAM.

The RAM installed was Kingston 1333MHz Ecc, 2x 8GB Sticks. (Part Number: KVR13R9D4/8I ).

Just something to mention, that the computer would not boot with both the stock Apple RAM and the Kingston RAM installed. The power light will flash indicating a memory issue. I have a feeling this is something to do with the stock RAM being unbuffered/unregistered and the new ram being buffered/registered.

 

Close Post