Can I get any money from this? Is it worth it?
April 2, 2010 3:49 PM   Subscribe

I just discovered this album on Amazon. The cover art is a photo I took at Uni.

I put it online as a wallpaper a long time ago - which is how it got on the interwebs. Ive never been asked for permission to use it on anything by anyone.

Is it worth me trying to get any money from it's use? How would I go about doing that?
posted by lemonfridge to Work & Money (14 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Did you specify that you wanted users to ask your permission? What website/hosting did you use, and what policies did it have about use of posted photos?
posted by sallybrown at 3:54 PM on April 2, 2010

I had it specified at the time that I had to be contacted prior to it being used for anything - an that I would need to be credited if it were used.
posted by lemonfridge at 3:57 PM on April 2, 2010

Sallybrown makes good points, but unless you specifically release your copyrights, you generally get to keep them. Even if you released the image for wallpaper imagery, you didn't release it for commercial use.

If you are the do it your selfer type, send them a letter. If you aren't, get a lawyer.
posted by gjc at 4:00 PM on April 2, 2010 [2 favorites]

I am not the OP's attorney. This is not legal advice.

If you were in the US, I'd recommend contacting Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts. Is there any sort of equivalent organization in the UK?
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 4:05 PM on April 2, 2010 [2 favorites]

Are the other photos yours too? It looks like there are four volumes all with iPod earphones.
posted by smackfu at 4:05 PM on April 2, 2010

Yeah possibly one other is mine as well.

I'm not really sure if it's worth the time and effort. I've ordered myself a CD so I can check out the covernotes and see if I'm credited at all (plus I think it's pretty neat!)
posted by lemonfridge at 4:09 PM on April 2, 2010

Please follow up with us on what happens afterwards! A similar situation occurred with a friend of mine a few years ago: an article that he had written for Sleazegrinder was reprinted in the liner notes of the HOLLYWOOD ROCKS box set--without ANY attribution whatsoever.
posted by polexxia at 4:13 PM on April 2, 2010

I am not a lawyer but I do manage content under copyright. Yeah, they didn't ask first. You could sue, but there doesn't seem much point. You'd be making the career choice of something in the legal field more lucrative, but you wouldn't likely profit. I like the idea of sending a letter. Decide what's most important to you. If it's giving credit, drop them a line and ask for it. Their response is going to tell you much about the most appropriate second step.
posted by Toekneesan at 4:16 PM on April 2, 2010 [2 favorites]

Yea, please follow up, I'd be curious to see if you get any credit.
posted by ifranzen at 4:26 PM on April 2, 2010

It's hard to find who's behind the release. has no real info, and searching for Phantom Sound & Vision doesn't turn up any website of their own. has an Italian nameserver (, according to, so it may be an Italian label. All Record Labels doesn't list Phantom Sound & Vision or just Sound & Vision, and none of the Italian labels listed have much information.

Phantom Sound & Vision is listed on Discogs (as is Phantom Sound AND Vision, though it's possibly the same), though no address is given for either label, and the country of origin for those releases vary (US, France, Australia, and Europe).

On Preview: Hopefully the CD itself is more informative.
posted by filthy light thief at 4:30 PM on April 2, 2010

Yes, you should follow up on it. The default question for anyone who wants to use a piece of art for marketing/advertising/whatever is whether or not they created the piece. If not, they shouldn't presume to use it without getting permission first, or confirming the type of license that it falls under. If they can't figure that out, then they take a pass, less they risk infringing on someone else's intellectual property. The fact that they did anyway was pretty careless, and to be frank, kinda ridiculous, considering it was going to be on Amazon.
posted by SpacemanStix at 5:01 PM on April 2, 2010

if those are recognizably ipod earphones, technically the label would need to get permission from Apple as well, though there's like a zero percent chance they'd give it.
posted by apostrophe at 6:56 PM on April 2, 2010

not worth the time and effort dealing with a tiny overseas electronic label on a cd that's probably already out-of-print. the comp is full of unknowns who probably gave them the tracks for free anyway, and from the looks of the rest of the covers all the imagery is unauthorized.
posted by SeƱor Pantalones at 11:34 PM on April 2, 2010

The other shots look kind of similar but different. It looks to me like the images come from a stock photography site. If I was you and I couldn't find any contact details for the CD manufacturer, I'd have a look around on some stock photography sites like IStockphoto and Shutterstock.

See, here's the green couch from their iLounge 2 CD.

If you want to spend the time, you could hunt around for the other images and then contact the relevant stock agency. They may be able to find a common buyer (and you may find your image being used in more places than this CD).
posted by Sutekh at 6:25 AM on April 3, 2010

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