April 16, 2024 at 11:36 am

A Company Didn’t Pay This Photographer And Used Their Photos Without Permission. They Got a Lawyer And Made Sure They Paid Up.

by Matthew Gilligan

Source: Reddit/AITA

Why, oh why, can’t people just pay up when they’re supposed to?

If you spend any time on Reddit, you probably know that there are endless stories about people getting stiffed and then having to exact some form of revenge.

It never ends!

And here’s another one for you to chew on!

Check out how this photographer handled such a situation…

Don’t want to pay me for my work? Let me remind you of our contract terms.

“So back in the day, I worked as a commercial photographer. Most of my clients were great, but a few liked to drag payment out or think they could just not pay me because they were a big company and I was just one guy.

I had one assignment where I delivered about two dozen images of models with their products. It was a pretty big deal for me. At every step of the way, they expressed their delight with all of the images I delivered.

They’d paid me 1/3 up front and after delivering the images, I billed them for the balance. And I waited and waited and waited. Nothing. Every time I called, I got some excuse until they just stopped answering my calls.

Wait for it…

Then it happened. They published the images and in ways that went beyond what our licensing agreement had covered. So not only had they not paid me for the usage we’d agreed to, they’d used the images in ways that went well beyond what we’d agreed to. They still weren’t answering or returning my calls.

OK, they wanna **** around, they’re gonna find out. So one of the things in my standard licensing agreement is a condition that says, “ licensing is contingent upon payment in full”. So by not paying me, all of their usage is considered infringement, not just the usage outside of our agreement terms.

This was gonna get bad for them.

One thing I did when setting up my business is establish a good relationship with a lawyer. It helps that my cousin is a lawyer with good friends. So I call my lawyer and detail everything that’s gone down.

He sends them a letter letting them know we intend to sue for infringement since the images were never licensed, and that the penalty is like $150k per image and block their use of the images altogether.

I know they got the letter because they called me freaking out. Offering excuses “we were in the process of paying you”. It’s been 3 months past the due date. Accusing me of poisoning our working relationship.

Nice work!

If you wanted a good relationship, you would have stuck by our original agreement and paid me. I ended the call by telling them they needed to deal with my lawyer.

They must have consulted with their own lawyer who evidently told them just how screwed they’d be if they went to court over this.

In the end, I settled for less than what I asked for in the initial demand, but it was far more than if they’d just paid me and negotiated for the additional usage.”

Check out what folks had to say on Reddit.

This person gave a lawyer’s point-of-view.

Source: Reddit/AITA

Another reader made a good point.

Source: Reddit/AITA

This individual was impressed.

Source: Reddit/AITA

Another reader loved this story.

Source: Reddit/AITA

And this person just doesn’t get it…

Source: Reddit/AITA

Pay up! Or else!

If you liked that post, check out this one about an employee that got revenge on HR when they refused to reimburse his travel.