We have two competing country music stations here in Denver:  KYGO and the Wolf.  A photographer has had exclusive arrangements with the former for a number of years.  Apparently, he took some photos at a recent Jason Aldean concert, and KYGO posted them to their website.  These photos eventually made it over to the Facebook page for The Wolf.  Now the photographer is trying to pursue some measure of justice, and is being met with stiff resistance.  The sad thing is that he will unlikely get any justice because even though The Wolf is in the wrong, the cost of hiring a lawyer and delay tactics that the station can make to draw out the process make any financial restitution meaningless for most photogaphers.  This brings a salient point into question for my mind:  Isn’t copyright theft punishable with punitive damages?  I have thought always understood that if he had them registered, such form of restitution was permissible.

Anyway, the full story is here:

http://blogs.westword.com/latestword/2012/02/jason_aldean_photos_country_station_takes.php

It just goes to show that registering your work is crucially important, because without registration, he literally has no options.  The station was notified, the images removed, and he has no recourse anymore without the benefits of copyright registration.  Your work is copyrighted as soon as you take the picture, but it’s not registered until you have it submitted to the Copyright Office!  Register your work today!  (Oh, and if you are as outraged as I was, let the station know…bad PR may ultimately put them in a position where they are better off giving in to do the right thing!)

They (of course), have no email address but do have a mailing address and a phone number:

92.5 THE WOLF
KWOF-FM
720 S. Colorado Blvd.
Suite 1200 N
Denver, CO 80246

Business Office: (303) 832-5665

Call, or take the time to send them a letter registering your voice as an artist that does not appreciate their callous attitude toward image theft!  You can also tweet them your thoughts: @925TheWolf

4 thoughts on “Radio Station Steals Photos

  1. Another Photographer says:

    jonathan@925thewolf.com He is the Program Director. It is the only email shown on their website:

    Letters should be addressed to the boss of the person who stole the work and if we can find out who the investors are, send a copy to them too. Eventually they will wear down and either let go of the that person, or pay the Photographer at least $8500-$95000 of the $10,000 something he is asking for. A compromise and apology is a fair ending to this…

    Hit ’em where it hurts, right in the wallet. I read the Photographer contacted advertisers and some stopped working with the station. Read more here:

    http://www.talkers.com/2012/02/28/photographer-takes-radio-station-to-the-court-of-social-media/

    What goes around comes around. The radio station would have to prove the Photographers intention was what they claim. They told him he could be sued…actually, he didn’t make them do anything. He informed them of the situation. The advertisers chose not to do business with the radio station. How do we know they had not already heard about the story and were reconsidering before the Photographer had contacted them? Maybe the advertisers do not want to work with liars and rather than be screwed over by the radio station in the future, realized that was a smart business move to end the relationship. This makes me wonder…if they are willing to do this to a Photographer…what secrets do they have regarding their taxes…hm, I wonder if someone should look into that. I would be very surprised if screwing over a Photographer was the only problem these people have…

  2. The photographer should sue the radio station in small claims court. This doesn’t require an attorney, filing fees are nominal and s/he can sue for up to $10K or $15K, depending on the state he’s in. Should be a very easy copyright infringement case to prove in court and it will the radio station to prove they had the photographer’s permission to use said photos. The images do not need to have been registered in order for the photographer to claim exclusive ownership.

  3. Jason,
    Depending on when this violatoin occurred, the photographer still has a time frame to register images even after the infracion is noticed. After registration, the matter can be pursued in Federal court and I am pretty sure that if he has a clear cut case of violation by the station that he could find a copyright attorney who would be happy to work on commission.

  4. i had thought in the US that if they were registered, the Copyright Office would take action on your behalf if notified and if not a layer would take the case on knowing their fees would be recovered buy the proceedings? but then again i’m not even certain of how it works over here never mind over there.
    Please keep us posted on how it unfolds

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