Alan in Seattle area asked:
Last year, I shot a $20 million dollar home. Last evening, an evening magazine show on Seattle’s King 5 (TV), ran a story about that house. They used 14 of my images, which I shot for a realtor when the house was going on the market. Though I was credited for the photos with a 20-second graphic, which I was never contacted for, nor gave permission to use. Do I have any recourse? Is it worth the effort?
I asked Alan if he had a signed photo licensing agreement and he said yes. It reads as follows:
All images produced for an Agent or Broker (Client) may be used by the Client for all marketing materials and campaigns associated with the property and for the Client’s self-promotion. The photos may also be used by the Client’s parent company for the sole purpose of marketing the specific property photographed. Ownership of the images remains with the photographer, and license is granted only to the Client and Client’s parent company, and not to any third party. Any usage of the images by a third party, including and not limited to, architects, builders, stagers, designers, sellers or buyers, is strictly prohibited unless approved in writing by the photographer.
Don't consider this a legal opinion but to me, the above license agreement clearly states that the client can use the photos to promote themselves any time, even well after the property has sold. Alan seemed to think that since the King 5 TV spot was well after the property sold, it was in violation. But there's no time limit specified for self-promotion.
What do you think?