Great BritainCopyright infringement in the USA - how much to charge?
I need a ballpark figure for what to charge a client who breached our licensing agreement by using three of my images on the internet. One of the images in on 5 pages, and is quite prominent, the other two are on two pages each. They wil be up for approximately two weeks. They are a very major USA retailer. Is it ethical to charge more because they have breached the original contract (which was for use in store windows)? I've spoken to them , and they want to settle, but I don't know how much to ask for!! HELP
Rick makes a number of good points and future work may present itself if you handle the infringement well. Finding an Intellectual Attorney should be fairly easy. The communication can be done by phone or emails, so time is of the essence. I also warn that attempting to reach a settlement yourself may result in a much lower figure than an Attorney may negotiate.
First congrats on a major US retailer using your work! If you wish to do more work for this company I would not try to take them to the cleaners. I would figure what the images would have been charged out for the Internet usage then perhaps add 50%-75% for not abiding by your original agreement. I would explain that you would except the small penalty because mistakes can be made but you need them to know they cannot use your images any way they wish and that you have incurred costs to get the matter resolved
I would also contact the person you originally made the agreement with and feel them out on more work. I would be diplomatic at this stage but just let them know you don't see this as a future deal breaker.
They of course want to settle because you have a strong case and they know it. But, at least they are not just telling you to go hire an attorney and see them in court. Good luck!
Don't go to a lawyer. Just ask for what you would usually charge. Be fair to the as well as yourself. It was probably a mess up. You may keep a client. Play hard ball and you will never do business with them again.
Before you go calling any lawyer it is critical to know if the work is registered or not. If the work is registered than you may be entitled to collect legal fees as well as statutory damages. If the work is not registered you can't collect legal fees and you are only entitled to actual damages .
If it is registered you will want an IP attorney who will take the case on contingency.
Be careful before you get into ant contact agreement with a "copyrights lawyer".
Make sure that his payment will be mostly by % out of what he gets for you.
Here In Israel the lawyers asking for so much per case that they are the only one
who really makes money from copyright infringement.
I have 2 cases that I stepped back from going into court.