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Drew Bedo
21-Jul-2013, 06:39
Hello all,

Last week I was contacted through my professional website by someone wanting to license a specific image for an ad campaign . . .in Switzerland. This has never happened before and I was initially a little excited. Then I thought about it some and realized that for this to move to compleation, there would have to be an international transfer of funds and an exchange of information. Just because th contact seemed nice in the e-mails didn’t mean that he was not a “high government official” from Nigeria . . .right?

Anyway, I politely declined and left it at that.

Over-cautious? Foolish? How to check the validity of such an offer in the future?

Otto Seaman
21-Jul-2013, 06:45
Look at the advertising agency's website and search for the person and agency on Google to start with. Did the image they wanted to use make sense given the context?

Money coming IN is usually a good thing. It could have been as simple as PayPal or a check. What did you have to lose?

Drew Bedo
21-Jul-2013, 08:28
Wasn't an ad agency, it was someone connected with a bank's marketing dept. They saw an image of a nautilus shell I did . . .just like Westen's, and wanted to say things like"We want to grow with you . . ." or similar.

I was dubius because I'd been burned by a scam from the Slovac Republic by Construct Data Publishing last year. The other thing that raised a flag is that similar to identical images are available for low or no royalty online. Just Google "Nautilus" and se how many images come up.

It may have been a genuine oppertunity . . .

Daniel Stone
21-Jul-2013, 12:22
Drew,
Did you actually look up the bank(who's supposed marketing dept contacted you)?
I would assume that in the EU there are many small, private banks, like here in the USA. One's that cannot afford to outsource marketing to outside ad agencies and the like. So they have in-house people :)
I'd have required a single-use(or however you wanted to license it) right-of-use, for their use only. I'm not a lawyer, but it potentially sounds legitimate.
Now, if they didn't want to pay more than the $5-20(depending on file size and usage) or so it costs to license a stock photo from the gazillions of stock websites out there, ya, I'd forget about it.
-Dan

Greg Davis
21-Jul-2013, 12:42
I had something similar last year. It was the Russian edition of Esquire magazine, but just in case, I looked up their own site and found the individual's name and email that had contacted me. It was the same, so I went ahead and did it. I got paid and they sent me a copy. I would not have done it if they hadn't checked out. To really be on the safe side, I didn't reply to the email directly, but wrote a new one and sent it to the address listed on the site to be sure it wasn't a spoofed address.

Don Dudenbostel
23-Jul-2013, 03:53
I've licensed works through a publisher in the UK and don work for companies around the world including Italy and India with no problems. I have representation of my X-ray art in the UK as well. Never a problem. I have fewer problems with foreign business than I do with US.