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Author Topic: Wait... that's ME!?!?!  (Read 7057 times)

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PeasNCues

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Wait... that's ME!?!?!
« on: March 31, 2011, 10:05:56 AM »
Okay, so I have a little bit of a situation and I don't know how to deal with it.

As some of you may know, I work in Human Resources. Part of that is recruiting, so we go to a lot of job fairs. A LOT of job fairs.

An example of this year's informational pamphlet that will be handed out at the job fairs made it to my desk this morning for my boss. This is the first time I've seen it.

My picture is right on the front of it. It's an old picture and, frankly, I look horrible. I hate the picture. I hate that it's going to be passed around. I don't remember that picture ever being taken (it's not a posed picture).

I called the person who designed it and told him I was uncomfortable with my picture being used for promotional purposes and was told that it was too late - the pamphlets (THOUSANDS of them) had already been printed, paid for and delivered to the recruitment division who then mailed it out to colleges and universities and other usual contacts.

I don't want to sound dramatic, but I feel extremely violated. I feel uncomfortable and exposed. I feel ANGRY most of all.

I don't want to be the "trouble maker" and I certainly don't want to cost the taxpayers money, so I am thinking of just going to my boss and telling her how it made me feel and recommend that the designers be required to request permission from whoever they are using for visuals in the pamphlet, when possible.

Am I out of line? Overreacting? Please let me know.
'I shall sit here quietly by the fire for a bit, and perhaps go out later for a sniff of air.  Mind your Ps and Qs, and don't forget that you are supposed to be escaping in secret, and are still on the high-road and not very far from the Shire!' -FOTR

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MamaMootz

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Re: Wait... that's ME!?!?!
« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2011, 10:08:47 AM »
No I don't think you are overreacting at all - they should have cleared the photo with you. But I have to ask: when they hired you, did you sign a photo release stating that images of you could be used for promotional purposes? I don't know what the laws are like where you are, but if you signed something like that your option to file a complaint will be lessened.

I still think it was rude of them to do that without at least running the photo past you first.
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bobsyouruncle

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Re: Wait... that's ME!?!?!
« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2011, 10:09:04 AM »
I would be unhappy too, and I think its strange that no one gave you a "heads up" before they did this.  If you think your boss would understand I'd talk to them.  Good luck!

PeasNCues

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Re: Wait... that's ME!?!?!
« Reply #3 on: March 31, 2011, 10:10:20 AM »
No I don't think you are overreacting at all - they should have cleared the photo with you. But I have to ask: when they hired you, did you sign a photo release stating that images of you could be used for promotional purposes? I don't know what the laws are like where you are, but if you signed something like that your option to file a complaint will be lessened.
No, I didn't sign anything like that.
'I shall sit here quietly by the fire for a bit, and perhaps go out later for a sniff of air.  Mind your Ps and Qs, and don't forget that you are supposed to be escaping in secret, and are still on the high-road and not very far from the Shire!' -FOTR

http://inanitiesofanidlemind.blogspot.com/

MamaMootz

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Re: Wait... that's ME!?!?!
« Reply #4 on: March 31, 2011, 10:12:48 AM »
No I don't think you are overreacting at all - they should have cleared the photo with you. But I have to ask: when they hired you, did you sign a photo release stating that images of you could be used for promotional purposes? I don't know what the laws are like where you are, but if you signed something like that your option to file a complaint will be lessened.
No, I didn't sign anything like that.

Oh then I would be raising holy heck.
"I like pie" - DD's Patented Bean Dip Maneuver

Miss March

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Re: Wait... that's ME!?!?!
« Reply #5 on: March 31, 2011, 10:15:36 AM »
Go talk to your supervisor. Now. They had NO RIGHT to use your image and they know this!
I assume you heard the way she spoke to me at dinner.
Of course, but how does it help to answer rudeness with rudeness?             --Downton Abbey

LadyClaire

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Re: Wait... that's ME!?!?!
« Reply #6 on: March 31, 2011, 10:16:21 AM »
I'd be upset, too. They didn't ask you if you minded, and they really should have,

My picture is in a brochure that's going to be distributed to goodness knows how many places. But they used my professionally taken company profile photo, and asked for my permission first.

Surianne

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Re: Wait... that's ME!?!?!
« Reply #7 on: March 31, 2011, 10:22:56 AM »
Yikes, you are absolutely not overreacting.  I'm really shocked they were able to do this without asking your permission or having you sign a photo release.  I think taking this up with your boss is a good idea.  Even if you decide it isn't worth fighting to have these reprinted, getting them to develop a policy for future photo use might keep this happening to someone else.

Spoder

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Re: Wait... that's ME!?!?!
« Reply #8 on: March 31, 2011, 10:26:13 AM »
 :o >:(

Wow! That's all kinds of wrong! Of course they should have run the whole thing by you before printing and distributing thousands of copies of your image. I find that just so presumptuous and plain rude. You're not overreacting at all!

I would be livid. But it's sticky because it's your *job*.

I think a calm but firm conversation with your boss is in order.

DottyG

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Re: Wait... that's ME!?!?!
« Reply #9 on: March 31, 2011, 10:30:23 AM »
I would be livid.

Exactly the word I was about to post.


bah12

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Re: Wait... that's ME!?!?!
« Reply #10 on: March 31, 2011, 10:34:37 AM »
I'm going to differ slightly from everyone else.

First, I don't think you are overreacting at all.  You have a right to be upset and there's nothing wrong with calling the designer and asking them to remove your picture.  If it wasn't "too late", I think he should have complied with your request.

But, I'm not sure if it should be required that company promotional activities need to have images cleared by employees before being distributed.  I work for a large organization, so this is coming from that perspective (for smaller companies, it may be more practicle).  Often when we are out working, or during a company event, we have someone from our Public Affairs office there taking pictures.  It's reasonable to assume that any of these pictures may be published on a website, or in a pamphlet.  Though they are also used for historical documentation, most of them are being taken for the purpose of using them for promotional purposes.  I don't know why else the pictures would be taken.  I have appeared on a lot of these newsletters, pamphlets, etc, and not all the pictures are the most flattering.  But, I expect that is a "hazard" of my job.

So, I'm torn.  While I totally understand why an employee would want to clear a picture first, I'm not sure it's practicle or that it even should be required to clear every single picture with everyone in it before it's published.  

I do think that you can talk to your supervisor and tell her how the picture makes you feel.  Perhaps it's really not too late to remove your picture from the pamphlet and she can help you out by seeing if it's possible to, at least, remove the picture before there are future printings.

Winter

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Re: Wait... that's ME!?!?!
« Reply #11 on: March 31, 2011, 10:52:05 AM »
Not out of line at all to be mad!
I work in marketing, and an image release form is considered absolutely essential for anything we print/put online - not just for legal reasons, which I won't get into, but precisely because we don't want this sort of thing to happen! I've had many a funny photo from a corporate event vetoed because the person felt uncomfortable with it. Disappointing to my department, but that's how it goes.

Is the designer in-house? If not, I'm wondering if they asked for photos they could use and someone at your company handed them a file without thinking too hard about it - the designer might then reasonable have assumed that the proper sign-off had been done and they were good to go.

starry diadem

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Re: Wait... that's ME!?!?!
« Reply #12 on: March 31, 2011, 11:53:44 AM »
Not out of line at all to be mad!
I work in marketing, and an image release form is considered absolutely essential for anything we print/put online - not just for legal reasons, which I won't get into, but precisely because we don't want this sort of thing to happen! I've had many a funny photo from a corporate event vetoed because the person felt uncomfortable with it. Disappointing to my department, but that's how it goes.

Is the designer in-house? If not, I'm wondering if they asked for photos they could use and someone at your company handed them a file without thinking too hard about it - the designer might then reasonable have assumed that the proper sign-off had been done and they were good to go.

This.  I worked in communications in government (UK) for years.  We wouldn't dream of using anyone's photo without a signed release.   You aren't overreacting.  Make sure that this goes higher and that proper permissions are used in future. 
 
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Oxymoroness

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Re: Wait... that's ME!?!?!
« Reply #13 on: March 31, 2011, 12:03:43 PM »
Are you over-reacting? Well, you're feelings are yours and therefore valid. However the question of "can they do that" all depends on the country and company's policies.

Where I work, I don't have to get anyone's permission to use an employee's photo for marketing purposes. (I'm the one taking the photos and designing the brochure.)

However, because it's such a touchy area, I do get at least a verbal okay before I even take the photo. Mostly because there are some people who would have your reaction AND because I get better photos when people aren't ducking from the camera.  ::)  ;D

But if push came to shove and I had to use a specific person's image or a specific photo I would try and make it as comfortable for that person as possible, but sometimes there is nothing I can do. (This is an incredibly rare scenario.)

In your shoes, I would make a formal complaint to the art director (or whoever the designer works for) and cc your boss. Don't blame the designer. Just tell them that you are uncomfortable with your image being used and request that for the next print run that the photo be replaced. This will most likely get you the best result.

frogonmytoe

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Re: Wait... that's ME!?!?!
« Reply #14 on: March 31, 2011, 12:07:43 PM »
Note: not legal advice, as I don't even know exactly what the law is regarding this in your country of residence, but some advice to look into the laws before going to anyone in your company about this.

I'd look into copyright laws in your country, and possibly talk to the company legal department. As you work in HR, you probably are aware whether or not there's anything in the contracts you signed when you were hired (look carefully!), and if there's no section on being able to use images of you, I believe you need a model release form in the US. You may be able to take legal action, I don't know, but then that's a sticky situation as it's your employer.

However, if you just discuss it with your boss to try to avoid this happening to you or anyone else in the future, you should get a clear answer so you can tell your boss if it happened to someone else, they could ____ (sue? file for damages? whatever the implications are) to back up that what they are doing is wrong or possibly illegal. (If it is. If not, then you just would be asking them to change their policy out of politeness to the employees.)

US links for you to get started - http://copyright.gov/   http://asmp.org/tutorials/property-and-model-releases.html  http://www.danheller.com/model-release.html