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Jerry Englehart Jr.
I have had an unfortunate incident with one of my images being used online by a bigger publication. I do not feel comfortable disclosing the company’s name because I do not want to have a bad professional working relationship because of this inquiry for advice.
I was covering an event for the sheer fact that I love photography. I photographed all day and decided I would contact a few publications about the images and also mentioned to the event coordinator about possibly using my images. The event coordinator informed me that they had already hired someone and that my images would only be useful if I wanted media credit only. I did not agree to those terms in person and only asked him to keep in contact about future work.
When I came home I decided to send an edited down selection of the photographs from the day to 5 different publications and to the company’s media department, inquiring if they would have any use for the images. Again, I was not tell them they had a right to use them, but would they have a use for them. The other five publications understood this and currently one of them was thinking about buying some of the images if no one else was going to publish them. They wanted exclusive rights and I was fine with that.
Then came the monkey wrench. The company that I had sent the images too, as an inquiry, published one of the last images in which the publication who was interested in my photos they selected.
The company contacted me right away after I sent them an email requesting they take the image down and we need to talk, but now I am not sure what to ask for as compensation for this folly from the company because I stand to lose clippings and money from the publication while the company (again this is a bigger, well known company) might only want to try and compensate me with merchandise other than a monetary settlement. I contacted the publication and told them that I was dealing with the company about publishing one of my images without authorization, so I am hoping they do not pull out now because of this.
With that vague overview, what does everyone think I should do about dealing fairly with the company for compensation vs. just having the image pulled permanently and still trying to get the publication to buy my images. Or do you think I am just screwed?