Forums > Photography Talk > DKNY uses 300 photos in displays w/o permission

Photographer

SME

Posts: 21432

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, US

This kind of amazed me to read today:

http://www.humansofnewyork.com/post/439 … -york-city

Feb 25 13 07:29 am Link

Photographer

Mortonovich

Posts: 5746

San Diego, California, US

Holy crap.

Feb 25 13 07:34 am Link

Photographer

SME

Posts: 21432

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, US

ChiMo wrote:
Holy crap.

Right?  Wow.

Feb 25 13 07:45 am Link

Photographer

Cherrystone

Posts: 37123

Columbus, Ohio, US

Has that story been substantiated?

Feb 25 13 07:52 am Link

Photographer

Caveman Creations

Posts: 580

Fort Worth, Texas, US

Oh, but the exposure was great. big_smile

Feb 25 13 07:52 am Link

Photographer

SME

Posts: 21432

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, US

Small Fruit Pits wrote:
Has that story been substantiated?

Nope!  Just taking his word for it.  smile

Feb 25 13 07:59 am Link

Photographer

M Pandolfo Photography

Posts: 12116

Tampa, Florida, US

If that's accurate I hope they're held to the fire for more than a $100,000 donation. That's about a willful infringement as you could have after initially offering him payment.

On another note, I absolutely hate this mindset, "A friend in the industry told me that $50 per photo was not nearly enough to receive from a company with hundreds of millions of dollars of revenue. So I asked for more money."

Now, if he had said $50 per image isn't enough for unlimited usage and worldwide distribution I would have no problem. But the idea that you should charge more "because they can afford it" really bothers me. That's just him listening to a friend who is telling him to milk the company.

Also, you wouldn't price this on a per image basis, it would be a blanket license for 300 images. So, saying $50/image isn't enough doesn't sound like it's from someone who really is in the industry.

Feb 25 13 08:10 am Link

Photographer

SME

Posts: 21432

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, US

(Just posting to make Michael's post appear.)

Feb 25 13 08:18 am Link

Photographer

SME

Posts: 21432

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, US

Michael Pandolfo wrote:
Also, you wouldn't price this on a per image basis, it would be a blanket license for 300 images. So, saying $50/image isn't enough doesn't sound like it's from someone who really is in the industry.

I don't think he is in anything like the photographic industry.  I think he's an artist, so this is probably all new to him.

But yes, I take your point!

Feb 25 13 08:21 am Link

Photographer

M Pandolfo Photography

Posts: 12116

Tampa, Florida, US

Sita Mae wrote:
I don't think he is in anything like the photographic industry.  I think he's an artist, so this is probably all new to him.

But yes, I take your point!

It sounds that way to me too.

But I'll also say that his reasoning confuses me a bit. I think it's honorable that he wants a donation made to a local organization. But if it wasn't about the money, why did he reject the $15,000 because it wasn't enough money? Mixed signals to me.

I'm sure the idea for the donation was so that he's not perceived as having it be about the money and requesting payment as a donation would add credibility to his argument.

Regardless, he's a better man than I. I would have taken that $15,000 without blinking. DKNY could easily have used 300 RF stock images and most likely paid less than $15,000.

Edit: Why are posts not immediately posting? I think I need to take a trip over to "site-related" for an explanation so I don't threadjack.

Feb 25 13 08:30 am Link

guide forum

Photographer

studio36uk

Posts: 22187

Tavai, Sigave, Wallis and Futuna

a DKNY store in Bangkok

ROTFLMAO   Good luck with that!

Studio36

Feb 25 13 08:33 am Link

Photographer

Mark Laubenheimer

Posts: 8867

Seattle, Washington, US

i smell fish. really.

Feb 25 13 08:33 am Link

Photographer

M Pandolfo Photography

Posts: 12116

Tampa, Florida, US

Sita Mae wrote:

I don't think he is in anything like the photographic industry.  I think he's an artist, so this is probably all new to him.

But yes, I take your point!

I also don't think he got the best advice. His friend in the industry doesn't sound all that knowledgeable either.

But I don't mean that criticism to detract from the real issue...the fact that what DKNY did was inexcusable.

Feb 25 13 08:34 am Link

Photographer

Cherrystone

Posts: 37123

Columbus, Ohio, US

studio36uk wrote:
a DKNY store in Bangkok

ROTFLMAO   Good luck with that!

Studio36

I would assume corporate in NYC could be held liable.

Feb 25 13 08:36 am Link

Photographer

M Pandolfo Photography

Posts: 12116

Tampa, Florida, US

studio36uk wrote:
a DKNY store in Bangkok

ROTFLMAO   Good luck with that!

Studio36

What better place to go for a tourist after being the victim of a violent crime than a DKNY shop?

Feb 25 13 08:37 am Link

Photographer

KMP

Posts: 4834

Houston, Texas, US

However this goes down and whatever the truth is,   I find the concept interesting.

I enjoy the short, story behind the images... smile  I could spend a long time looking over the images and their stories wink

Feb 25 13 09:09 am Link

Photographer

Matt Knowles

Posts: 3569

Ferndale, California, US

All I know is I want a lifestyle where someone could offer me $15k for photos already on my hard drive, and I'd tell them to go fuck themselves.

Feb 25 13 09:42 am Link

Photographer

SME

Posts: 21432

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, US

Matt Knowles wrote:
All I know is I want a lifestyle where someone could offer me $15k for photos already on my hard drive, and I'd tell them to go fuck themselves.

lol

Feb 25 13 09:52 am Link

Photographer

SME

Posts: 21432

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, US

KevinMcGowanPhotography wrote:
However this goes down and whatever the truth is,   I find the concept interesting.

I enjoy the short, story behind the images... smile  I could spend a long time looking over the images and their stories wink

I agree.  I have one of his prints in my house, and really dig it.  smile

Feb 25 13 09:52 am Link

Photographer

Dan K Photography

Posts: 5488

STATEN ISLAND, New York, US

Matt Knowles wrote:
All I know is I want a lifestyle where someone could offer me $15k for photos already on my hard drive, and I'd tell them to go fuck themselves.

Is that what really happend? I would assume he just asked for more money and DKNY said no thanks we will go with something else.

NEXT!

Feb 25 13 09:55 am Link

Photographer

fullmetalphotographer

Posts: 2797

Fresno, California, US

There is another nasty issue here. No model releases. If they took the images they did not get the releases, if there are model releases. This is commercial use not editorial, of course this is Bangkok good luck.

Feb 25 13 09:58 am Link

Photographer

Jean Renard Photography

Posts: 2145

Los Angeles, California, US

http://www.adweek.com/adfreak/dkny-accu … her-147526

tad more info from Adweek, who  are on it

and look at the facebook posting on dkny's site...


https://www.facebook.com/DKNY

It is awesome when our community can come together, like for the Instagram situation.  We are fighting a losing battle I fear but we might not lose quite as much with this kind of support.

Feb 25 13 10:02 am Link

Photographer

Andrea Acailawen

Posts: 953

Tampa, Florida, US

Dan K Photography wrote:
Is that what really happend? I would assume he just asked for more money and DKNY said no thanks we will go with something else.

NEXT!

Agreed.

Feb 25 13 10:03 am Link

Photographer

SME

Posts: 21432

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, US

Jean Renard Photography wrote:
http://www.adweek.com/adfreak/dkny-accu … her-147526

tad more info from Adweek, who  are on it

and look at the facebook posting on dkny's site...


https://www.facebook.com/DKNY

It is awesome when our community can come together, like for the Instagram situation.  We are fighting a losing battle I fear but we might not lose quite as much with this kind of support.

Thank you for the additional resources, Jean!

Feb 25 13 10:05 am Link

Photographer

SME

Posts: 21432

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, US

From the DKNY Facebook page:

Since its founding in 1989, DKNY has been inspired by and incorporated authentic New York into its imagery. For our Spring 2013 store window visuals we decided to celebrate the city that is in our name by showcasing "Only in NYC" images. We have immense respect for Brandon Stanton aka Humans of New York and approached him to work with us on this visual program. He declined to participate in the pr...oject.

For the Spring 2013 windows program, we licensed and paid for photos from established photography service providers. However, it appears that inadvertently the store in Bangkok used an internal mock up containing some of Mr. Stanton's images that was intended to merely show the direction of the spring visual program. We apologize for this error and are working to ensure that only the approved artwork is used.

DKNY has always supported the arts and we deeply regret this mistake. Accordingly, we are making a charitable donation of $25,000 to the YMCA in Bedford-Stuyvesant Brooklyn in Mr. Stanton's name.

Feb 25 13 10:06 am Link

Photographer

Mortonovich

Posts: 5746

San Diego, California, US

Jean Renard Photography wrote:
http://www.adweek.com/adfreak/dkny-accu … her-147526

tad more info from Adweek, who  are on it

and look at the facebook posting on dkny's site...


https://www.facebook.com/DKNY

It is awesome when our community can come together, like for the Instagram situation.  We are fighting a losing battle I fear but we might not lose quite as much with this kind of support.

Well whaddya know!

Feb 25 13 10:12 am Link

Photographer

curiosa des yeux

Posts: 1458

Seattle, Washington, US

Michael Pandolfo wrote:
It sounds that way to me too.

But I'll also say that his reasoning confuses me a bit. I think it's honorable that he wants a donation made to a local organization. But if it wasn't about the money, why did he reject the $15,000 because it wasn't enough money? Mixed signals to me.

I'm sure the idea for the donation was so that he's not perceived as having it be about the money and requesting payment as a donation would add credibility to his argument.

Regardless, he's a better man than I. I would have taken that $15,000 without blinking. DKNY could easily have used 300 RF stock images and most likely paid less than $15,000.

Edit: Why are posts not immediately posting? I think I need to take a trip over to "site-related" for an explanation so I don't threadjack.

I think that it is pretty much industry standard to charge usage based partly on the company's revenue in the formula. If it was a mom and pop store, same usage otherwise, I know that I would charge them dramatically less than I would charge DKNY. I've done many commercial jobs with similar usage (in terms of say, website use or distributed ad use etc.) where if you went specifically by the number of photos, the price is more or less different only because of who the company is and what there revenue is.

While it may sound like you're sticking it to the man, the other way to look at it is that perhaps you are giving a break to the companies who can't afford the kind of advertising assets that a large revenue company can. Regardless of how you view it, I know many others who have a pricing matrix that takes revenue into account and it is not an uncommon practice.

Even for something as simple as corporate portraits, I charge far less for the middle management guys/gals than I do for the executives. It takes no more or less work to do one or the other, but the value that the company places on those images is, in fact, different and they do not hesitate to pay differently.

It is funny in a way, because when it comes to purchasing power, the larger revenue company usually gets things for less than the smaller companies. But when it comes to advertising, they pay more. In some ways, it makes sense because the bulk of expense is in the product, and spending more on the advertising is what allows them to move more products which they have a higher profit margin on.

Obviously, they wanted this photographer's specific work for their concept and there was not an option of getting a replacement via stock images. I imagine that the unique perspective and cohesive appearance was the driving force. If the report is true, I do hope the photographer makes them pay. It isn't about the money, it's about the ethics.

Feb 25 13 10:13 am Link

Photographer

curiosa des yeux

Posts: 1458

Seattle, Washington, US

Sita Mae wrote:
From the DKNY Facebook page:


Awesome for the YMCA.

(though I don't necessarily believe the explanation)

Feb 25 13 10:15 am Link

Photographer

MKPhoto

Posts: 5665

Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Armchair lawyer wink

For copyright infringement, all 300 images could be considered one work and


(c) Statutory Damages.—
(1) Except as provided by clause (2) of this subsection, the copyright owner may elect, at any time before final judgment is rendered, to recover, instead of actual damages and profits, an award of statutory damages for all infringements involved in the action, with respect to any one work, for which any one infringer is liable individually, or for which any two or more infringers are liable jointly and severally, in a sum of not less than $750 or more than $30,000 as the court considers just. For the purposes of this subsection, all the parts of a compilation or derivative work constitute one work."

So they might simply think; screw it, $15,000 is too much if our legal risk is 30K max, as the photographer will be hard pressed to show his actual damages were greater than that.

Feb 25 13 10:36 am Link

Photographer

Mark Laubenheimer

Posts: 8867

Seattle, Washington, US

Sita Mae wrote:
From the DKNY Facebook page:
Since its founding in 1989, DKNY has been inspired by and incorporated authentic New York into its imagery. For our Spring 2013 store window visuals we decided to celebrate the city that is in our name by showcasing "Only in NYC" images. We have immense respect for Brandon Stanton aka Humans of New York and approached him to work with us on this visual program. He declined to participate in the pr...oject.

For the Spring 2013 windows program, we licensed and paid for photos from established photography service providers. However, it appears that inadvertently the store in Bangkok used an internal mock up containing some of Mr. Stanton's images that was intended to merely show the direction of the spring visual program. We apologize for this error and are working to ensure that only the approved artwork is used.

DKNY has always supported the arts and we deeply regret this mistake. Accordingly, we are making a charitable donation of $25,000 to the YMCA in Bedford-Stuyvesant Brooklyn in Mr. Stanton's name.

see? i knew i smelled fish.

Feb 25 13 10:52 am Link

guide forum

Photographer

studio36uk

Posts: 22187

Tavai, Sigave, Wallis and Futuna

Small Fruit Pits wrote:

studio36uk wrote:
a DKNY store in Bangkok

ROTFLMAO   Good luck with that!

Studio36

I would assume corporate in NYC could be held liable.

You might assume that but it wouldn't make it so.

Studio36

Feb 25 13 11:20 am Link

Photographer

MC Photo

Posts: 4144

New York, New York, US

Sita Mae wrote:
From the DKNY Facebook page:


Making an unlicensed copy of a photo is still a copyright violation when it's an internal use.

Feb 25 13 01:26 pm Link

Photographer

MC Photo

Posts: 4144

New York, New York, US

curiosa des yeux wrote:

I think that it is pretty much industry standard to charge usage based partly on the company's revenue in the formula. If it was a mom and pop store, same usage otherwise, I know that I would charge them dramatically less than I would charge DKNY. I've done many commercial jobs with similar usage (in terms of say, website use or distributed ad use etc.) where if you went specifically by the number of photos, the price is more or less different only because of who the company is and what there revenue is.

While it may sound like you're sticking it to the man, the other way to look at it is that perhaps you are giving a break to the companies who can't afford the kind of advertising assets that a large revenue company can. Regardless of how you view it, I know many others who have a pricing matrix that takes revenue into account and it is not an uncommon practice.

Even for something as simple as corporate portraits, I charge far less for the middle management guys/gals than I do for the executives. It takes no more or less work to do one or the other, but the value that the company places on those images is, in fact, different and they do not hesitate to pay differently.

It is funny in a way, because when it comes to purchasing power, the larger revenue company usually gets things for less than the smaller companies. But when it comes to advertising, they pay more. In some ways, it makes sense because the bulk of expense is in the product, and spending more on the advertising is what allows them to move more products which they have a higher profit margin on.

Obviously, they wanted this photographer's specific work for their concept and there was not an option of getting a replacement via stock images. I imagine that the unique perspective and cohesive appearance was the driving force. If the report is true, I do hope the photographer makes them pay. It isn't about the money, it's about the ethics.

It's based on the ad budget, not the company's revenue. There are company's with negative revenue who still pay for ads and license photos.

Feb 25 13 01:28 pm Link

Photographer

Barry Kidd Photography

Posts: 2602

Red Lion, Pennsylvania, US

Sita Mae wrote:
From the DKNY Facebook page:
Since its founding in 1989, DKNY has been inspired by and incorporated authentic New York into its imagery. For our Spring 2013 store window visuals we decided to celebrate the city that is in our name by showcasing "Only in NYC" images. We have immense respect for Brandon Stanton aka Humans of New York and approached him to work with us on this visual program. He declined to participate in the pr...oject.

For the Spring 2013 windows program, we licensed and paid for photos from established photography service providers. However, it appears that inadvertently the store in Bangkok used an internal mock up containing some of Mr. Stanton's images that was intended to merely show the direction of the spring visual program. We apologize for this error and are working to ensure that only the approved artwork is used.

DKNY has always supported the arts and we deeply regret this mistake. Accordingly, we are making a charitable donation of $25,000 to the YMCA in Bedford-Stuyvesant Brooklyn in Mr. Stanton's name.

Despite the niceties of the statement above and the very real possibility of miscommunication or mistake. It's my own experience that serious infringers do their dirty work in China.

For those of you that have never had to deal with, for profit, infringement it bites. Though it doesn't happen often at least 90 to 95% of the time that my photos are infringed upon for profit it either happens in China or Romania where nobody gives a shit.  US copyright laws, international agreements and registration with the copyright office mean absolutely nothing.

Feb 25 13 01:29 pm Link

Photographer

MC Photo

Posts: 4144

New York, New York, US

MKPhoto wrote:
Armchair lawyer wink

For copyright infringement, all 300 images could be considered one work and


(c) Statutory Damages.—
(1) Except as provided by clause (2) of this subsection, the copyright owner may elect, at any time before final judgment is rendered, to recover, instead of actual damages and profits, an award of statutory damages for all infringements involved in the action, with respect to any one work, for which any one infringer is liable individually, or for which any two or more infringers are liable jointly and severally, in a sum of not less than $750 or more than $30,000 as the court considers just. For the purposes of this subsection, all the parts of a compilation or derivative work constitute one work."

So they might simply think; screw it, $15,000 is too much if our legal risk is 30K max, as the photographer will be hard pressed to show his actual damages were greater than that.

The photographer never made them into a collection and if he did it was not that collection.

The only way for those photos to be considered one work is when you look at the derivative work authored by DKNY with his photos.

Feb 25 13 01:30 pm Link

Photographer

MC Photo

Posts: 4144

New York, New York, US

Sita Mae wrote:
From the DKNY Facebook page:


And now they've spent $25k plus the cost of whatever they used instead.

Too bad for everyone that they didn't offer him $20k.

Feb 25 13 01:32 pm Link

Photographer

KirstyWiseman

Posts: 48

Wigan, England, United Kingdom

it looks like its been resolved:

Response from DKNY
Since its founding in 1989, DKNY has been inspired by and incorporated authentic New York into its imagery. For our Spring 2013 store window visuals we decided to celebrate the city that is in our name by showcasing "Only in NYC" images. We have immense respect for Brandon Stanton aka Humans of New York and approached him to work with us on this visual program. He declined to participate in the project.

For the Spring 2013 windows program, we licensed and paid for photos from established photography service providers. However, it appears that inadvertently the store in Bangkok used an internal mock up containing some of Mr. Stanton's images that was intended to merely show the direction of the spring visual program. We apologize for this error and are working to ensure that only the approved artwork is used.

DKNY has always supported the arts and we deeply regret this mistake. Accordingly, we are making a charitable donation of $25,000 to the YMCA in Bedford-Stuyvesant Brooklyn in Mr. Stanton's name.

Feb 25 13 01:32 pm Link

Photographer

KirstyWiseman

Posts: 48

Wigan, England, United Kingdom

ooops sorry, didnt realise this had been posted above.
Im such a dork

Feb 25 13 01:33 pm Link

Photographer

Christopher Hartman

Posts: 54153

Buena Park, California, US

Sita Mae wrote:
This kind of amazed me to read today:

http://www.humansofnewyork.com/post/439 … -york-city

Is this what they apologized for? I saw something on twitter about them apologizing for something...

Feb 25 13 02:39 pm Link

Photographer

T Urban Photography

Posts: 273

Somerset, Pennsylvania, US

Considering the publicity this is getting, DKNY really should have ponied up and made the requested $100K donation.  It's a tax write off and would make them look like they were truly sorry for the "mistake".  I don't think they intended to steal these photos, but giving $25K just makes them look cheap, imo.

Feb 25 13 02:46 pm Link