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luis belmonte diaz
Looking for contact with photo editors in AFP, AP, Getty, Reuters and EPN (issue dealing with unfair
I am looking for contact with AFP, AP, Getty, Reuters and EPN photo editors as I have been trying to contact unsuccessfully anyone in these agencies in relation with a copyrights issue that I published in a previous post in LS, http://www.lightstalkers.org/posts/afpgetty-image-is-using-one-of-my-photos-without-crediting
What happened is that two of my photos have been published worldwide without anyone paying me for that, though it was agreed. Now I am trying to contact the agencies that distributed the images to invoice them for their use.
Very little I have advanced with this since first post in LS but I understand this situation is not just a personal thing. I do believe that it is about the lack of respect for our rights as professionals and the abuse of our work by agencies and media. For this reason I ask you again for help to make my/our rights prevail.
Below a more detailed description of what has happened:
By the end of December 2009 I learned that Akmal Shaikh was to be executed in about one day time in China accussed of drug smuggling. As I had been working with him as the subject of one of my photographic projects dealing with homeless people in 2007 I contacted Reprieve, NGO fighting against death penalty and responsible for the international public campaing defending Akmal ShaikhÂ´s cause. I contacted them not as a photographer to sell them pictures but as a person who had met Akmal before and willing to act against death penalty.
I was asked by Reprieve Director, Clive Stafford, to pass them someÂ pictures ofÂ Akmal Shaikh Â assuring me that they would make the pics to be credited and that I would be payed what I was meant to.
As I was in that momentÂ travelling and I didnÂ´t have access to my archives I just sent them two pictures in low resolutionÂ (150 KBs aprox), though in no moment I offered these pictures for free.
Before having access to my archives to send the complete set of pictures of Akmal Shaikh in high resolution to the agencies I found out that those two pictures mentioned before had been distributed worldwide without anyone contacting me.Â
Both the NGO and the agencies broke the agreement as no agency got in contact with me to check in which conditions the images had been released or to pay me for their use and they were widely used both crediting and not crediting me, printed, electronically and in TV. The pictures have been published as I sent them in the files as well as cropped, rotated, altered in colour and contrast, even distributed as a 8MB file blown up from the low res. files I passed to the NGO. Of course some agencies had kept them in their archives without my permission.
After all I keep record of more than 200 uses of the pictures worlwide, and I suppose they are much more.
I contacted different lawyers dealing with intellectual property issues in Poland and Spain, who advised me to send invoices to the agencies for the use of the pictures, as well as sueing the Reprieve. For what the lawyers say it seems that an agency cannot accept an image just because someone says, the NGO here, they give it for free, and it seems that it is what happened here.
Thank you in advance for your help,