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Acting School - Use of Images/Photos on Promotional Flyer?

Discussion in 'Intellectual Property Law Forum' started by anonymous14, 4 July 2014.

  1. anonymous14

    anonymous14 Member

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    I run an acting school and as part of our program we organised a casting director and an actor trainer to come along to teach our students. As part of our marketing the program to our students and the public, we used a photo or logo of the place where the session is to be held and it is also a casting studio as well as a photo of the actor to be holding the session. Having told my mum that I had 4 places waiting to be filled, my mum who owns a small business of her own within her neighbourhood, decided to create a flyer and on her way to Safeway in the evening placed it on a couple of cars windscreens.

    Little did she know she handed it to the sister of the casting director,seeing her logo on the flyer she was very angry and appalled. My mum only did a few as it was on her way to the shops it was where she parked a couple of cars. The casting director is now threatening to sue me because I have violated her terms and conditions, which when I retread stated nothing about advertising or the use of her logo ,and when I asked my mum where she got the picture she said on google which when we researched further was being used by another school to advertise their program.I think perhaps she is more angry that it was on windscreens on cars. Under those circumstances what should someone do?

    It was clearly unintentional to defame anyone and nothing stated anything defamatory about them or to infringe copyright, it was just being used as promotion for the upcoming program.
     
  2. John R

    John R Well-Known Member

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    Hi anonymous14,
    1. A likely issue is copyright infringement - that is, unauthorised use of the logo and photo.
    2. Using logo or photo that belongs to someone else (even if it is freely available on Google) and especially if it is to be used for commercial purposes (including promotions), should only be done once permission has been obtained from the copyright holder.
    What are the "Terms and Conditions" that the casting director is referring to? The "Terms and Conditions" that you agreed as part of the Acting School or the Terms and Conditions of her Website (which generally cover copyright)?
     
  3. anonymous14

    anonymous14 Member

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    Terms and conditions
    Thank you so much,the terms & conditions agreed upon for the casting
     
  4. anonymous14

    anonymous14 Member

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    But it seems that everyone else who have held these sessions have used her logo as a visual image as part of her held workshops.
     
  5. Tim W

    Tim W Lawyer

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    1. Do nothing.
      If somebody else has a problem with what happened,
      leave it to them to pick a fight.

    2. Why would an explanation and an apology not be sufficient?
     
    John R likes this.
  6. DennisD

    DennisD Well-Known Member

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    Frankly if I had a logo whether trademarked or not and which appeared on a flyer someone handed to me for their own business I would be a bit annoyed too. Apologise, promise not to do it again then let sleeping dogs lie, ie do nothing. Anyway, as your last message was in July most likely you resolved this matter some time ago.
     
  7. Sarah J

    Sarah J Well-Known Member

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    Hi,

    I agree with the above. This appears to be a case of misunderstanding and over-reaction by the casting director/studio for being taken off-guard. They are correct, you likely have innocently infringed copyright laws. Just because everyone else is able to use the studio's logo and photograph does not mean that those other companies did not get the prior consent of the studio before doing so. To use someone's logo or be associated with someone, for a commercial purpose, you will need their consent. If the terms and conditions did not give you the right to use or associate, then you will need subsequent consent, preferably in writing. However, I don't believe they would get too worked up about this had they had prior notice of the use and association.

    I would apologise to the studio, assure them that the flyers have been retracted and that you will work with them in the future to design a flyer that has their approved use of their logo/photo.
     

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