When you put your blood, sweat, and tears into creating a masterpiece that showcases your uniqueness, the last thing you want is your work being improperly used or even stolen, especially if your art is your livelihood. Unfortunately, many professional photographers of all backgrounds and fields deal with copyright infringement every day.
Granted, those who have high enough incomes predominantly benefit from today's current laws, but the same can't be said for the average professional, like Renee. Check out Renee's story on her battle for the rights to her own concert photography:
Renee is an established Professional Live Concert Photographer who derives her living from licensing her concert photographs for use in magazines, newspapers, posters and other items for sale. It takes many years to build a career as a professional concert photographer and requires establishing trust with an intricate network of contacts in the music industry in order to be allowed on stage and backstage with celebrities to create unique, valuable photographs.
Renee posted a series of time-sensitive concert photographs on her website indicating that they were available for licensing and to contact her for pricing. A company lifted Renee's photographs directly from her website, removed her watermark and copyright notice and began illegally selling them for profit without authorization from, nor payment to Renee.
The infringing party did not respond to Renee's repeated written and verbal demands for payment and to stop selling/using her images going forward. Instead, the infringers continued to illegally profit from re-selling Renee's images for promotion, advertising and magazine articles as well as products for sale.
Renee looked into suing the infringer in Federal Court as the law provides, but found that it was too costly for her to pursue in that venue. She strongly feels that a Small Claims option would help her protect her copyright and livelihood while punishing the people and companies that illegally profit from her hard work.
This story and many others are the reason that a Small Claims process can be a game-changer for photographers and creative artists. It will help them enforce their copyright in cost-effective and efficient ways. We need everyone to support Small Claims at PPA.com/SmallClaims!