Yeah, that's right. My image is being used for a pornographic movie called 'Body Magic'.
Did they have permission? Did they hell.
This happened a few months back (well, since I found out). Somebody noted me saying this company was using one of my pictures.. actually let me get this straight - a SELF PORTRAIT that I took at the age of FOURTEEN.
I don't know if you can see the descriptions too well but it is qouted as 'Hustlers Highest Rated' and a 'pleasure to watch'. The back of the cover was disgusting.
I looked it up on the internet and found out that Hustler.com was stocking it and a range of other dirty video websites that took pleasure in this.. what I ALSO found was that there was a note on the back
saying 'Everyone associated with this DVD is 18 or over'. 18 or over? yeah right.
I contacted hustler and they gave me the name of the company - TVX Films. After doing some good old fashioned research I found that the company makes new covers for the dvds and that the movie was actually pretty old!
As soon as I'd found out relevant information and I send a long and 'friendly' letter to TVX Films - to my suprise I got an abrupt e-mail back from the owner who claimed that 'his company does NOT steal pictures off the internet and he recieved it from a company they've been in business with for 25 years'.
I found it hilarious, since I still remember taking that photograph back in 2004, I even have one of the first prints at my local walmart store with the date on! AND my small watermark on the dress which had been removed on the dvd cover..
After a few e-mails I found it obvious that I wasn't getting anywhere and that the owner was definately a sleaze himself. This is what he said in reply to me, in big bold capital letters to make a statement -
"I'M SURE BY THE END OF THE MONTH YOUR FACE WILL BE HISTORY. WE HAVE STOPPED SELLING THE DVD UNTIL COVER IS REPLACED. WE HAVE FURTHER CHECKED OUT YOUR NAME AND ITS NOT LIKE IT'S A HOUSE WHOLE NAME. ACTUALLY, REMOVING YOUR IMAGE WILL HELP IMPROVE THE SELL OF THE DVD .. SO FAR IT BOMBED"
He also claimed I was 'scheming' and had set him up - placing the image on a public domain so companies can steal it and I can sue them... er, what? I actually had this image on only one website for a few years until I joined flickr - just DeviantART and it was clear that wasn't a public domain when underneath each of my picture there is a disclaimer CLEARLY stating the obvious (that's it's copyright)... and ALSO i had a bloody © symbol and my name written across my dress!!! Isn't that enough to warn anyone off anyway?
When I asked for compensation he said "AS FOR COMPSENSATION;YOUR SILLY!". and this was one of the end comments he made -
"THEY ARE REMAKING THE COVER AS WE SPEAK SO YOUR TEN SECONDS OF FAME WILL SOON COME TO AN END"
My so called ten seconds of fame was from a porno dvd? No thanks.
I've contacted about three solictors near to where I live - they all say they cannot do anything because the company is based in Texas, USA. I've tried contacting lawyers over in America but not a lot of them will reply, a few lawyers that have told me I need at least £50,000 to take it on. I've even tried contacting the news but absolutely no reply from them either.
I feel like Im wasting my time, my image hasn't been removed, they sent me another cover claiming they'd removed it in the end.. I researched in on the net and they'd just shown me the cover that was originally on in the 80s.
REMOVED? I don't think so. Look, here's where it is STILL featured and this is from a quick web search -
(Warning, please do not click the links unless you are 18 years and above, it does contain some adult content).
Please could someone help me with this? It feels like I'm pulling at loose strings and that I have no power over people like this. I'm still only 17 and trying to make my way in photography. I feel like I cannot display this picture anymore in case someone knows it from the movie.. or even the fact that someone THINKS im in the movie and it gives me a bad name..
Please repost this, on news sites, blogs. ANYTHING. I'd really like some help with this case. I'd appreciate ANY advice you guys could give to me. Thank you very much for reading.
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