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Stout Pubs Copyright Infringement.



https://www.flickr.com/photos/toxicsanity/11829588264/in/album-72157632442097060/ 

Well you are now probably wondering who is Stout Pubs? Well Stout Pubs LLC is owned by REDER ENTERPRISES  . The same folks that own Tap House Grill. The owner .. PAUL REDER..

Last week I was surfing Facebook on my phone on my lunch break. Quickly swiping through my Facebook feed something caught my attention. I recognized one of the images in the advertisement. It turns out it was one of my images I captured from Kerry Park in 2014. I did not give permission to anyone to use this image for marketing.

At first I felt honored that someone liked my image so much to use it on their advertisement. I was happy and excited. But as minutes were going by I was getting more and more upset. I realized that someone is profiting from my work without giving me the recognition. At this point I'm disappointed, but I decide to find out more about this Stout Pubs and give them a chance to make it right.  I pickup the phone, call them and request to speak with a manager. I tell the manager what the problem is, he apologizes and blames it on the marketing company that they work with and he will get back to me after speaking with the owner.

After the call he contacts me via Facebook to confirm the call and the message from me.  The next day I get a phone call form the manager offering me two tickets to the beer festival and $200 credit at their pub. I didn't make any demands or ask for a sum, because I wanted to play nice given that they are a local company. I didn't realize they were going to take me for a fool. During this phone call, I told the manger I prefer cash instead and I thought that $200 was a little on the low side. I told him that I think it's worth at least $400. I came up with that number by asking other photographers what they sell their work for because I didn't want to be ridiculous.  His response was "Let me talk to the owner to see how to make this right, I will call you later today or early tomorrow".

I did not hear from the manger in two days, so I called them again. This time I ended up talking to a different manger who claimed that she was aware of the situation and that their best offer now was $150 pub credit. Take it or leave it.  She also said that the other manager that I spoke to got the image from a public blog via google and that they don't need to compensate me.

Here is the blog she was referencing:
https://www.thrillist.com/entertainment/seattle/cheap-seattle-dates-20-things-to-do-under-20

It seems that their story has changed, No longer a marketing company responsible but the other manger I was talking to. There are two stories here and there is only one thing I'm sure of: THEY STILL DON"T HAVE THE RIGHT TO USE MY IMAGE. The blog where they found it on, gave me credit for the image at least.

I said no to the $150 value pub credit offer because not only did they decrease the offer but it sounds like they don't give a rip about the little guy as long as they get maximum profit. At this point I am angry and I feel cheated. I froze my fingers off to get the photo of that sunset and spent a few more hours editing the image to an HDR. All for what?!,  someone else to profit using my work. My friends and I have been going to the Tap House in Bellevue and Seattle for many years now, but I didn't offer the owner "photography credit" as means of payment for my drinks and food.

If you feel that this is unfair treatment please share and don't let them get away with this. If you think this is what is deserved, leave your comments below.

Screen shot of their website.

Screenshot of the advertisement they were running on Facebook.

7 comments

  1. 1. Document all offenses, screen captures, etc. and especially the communications (admission of guilt)
    2. Send cease and desist letter along with an invoice. This is not a negotiation. General rule is anywhere from 300-800 for rights to use a photo, when they ask permission. If they are caught using without permission, you times that value by a factor of 3. Ex 400 x 3 = 1200. This is very standard. Give them 48 hours to respond to settle the bill, if not you'll have your attorney (line one up so you can give a name) contact them for the bill plus legal fees to start a claim.

    3. Register your works with the copyright office (you can submit a "body" of works for 35 bucks electronically). One establish with the copyright office (3 months from submission) you can automatically claim $150,000 per offense, no questions asked.

    I've gone through this shit show many times as an established, full time photographer. People choose to not respect you or your copyrights and then take it to the next level and use your works for profit.

    Go get 'em

    -Matt
    Matty Photography

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you for your response Matt. I am in the process of putting together a cease and desist letter. I didn't think about attaching an invoice to it, but now that you mentioned it, I will. I appreciate your time.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank you for your response Matt. I am in the process of putting together a cease and desist letter. I didn't think about attaching an invoice to it, but now that you mentioned it, I will. I appreciate your time.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Any time. I'm just down here in Tacoma. Feel free to stop by my studio any time!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Absolutely unacceptable. I'll be sure to spread the word around my Navy friends, as we like to travel to Bellevue quite often.

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  6. To give you guys a little update. I talked to a friend who is a lawyer. He was supposed to send out the cease and desist letter. It never happened. The pub took down the image after the beer festival started.
    I spoke with other folks that work in the legal dept. and have heard all sorts of stuff.
    1. Small Claims Court doesn't handle IP cases. This would fall under IP.
    2. Only federal court handles Copyright issues.

    The screen shots are all I have right now. And good idea who I thought my friends were.
    I have learned two valuable lessons with this. I do hope they plenty of people saw this post and have drawn their conclusion to boycott Stout Pubs for their inappropriate behavior. I know I would if this happened to another local photographer.

    In conclusion I have nothing, but I have the satisfaction that I didn't give in to them.

    ReplyDelete