Me vs. Corporate America

In February, I tagged along with Dustin Craven, Andrew Hardingham, Scott Shaw and Mike Fikowski for a few days in Revelstoke, BC to shoot photos. They were filming for Andrews upcoming movie Thunder Mouth. We had 4 days of super shitty light and we didn’t really get much accomplished, but it was a super fun trip and the snow was deep. I got a few shots which will be published this winter in various magazines etc. So, yes, a success for the most part.

Dustin mentioned that Grenade Gloves (his outerwear sponsor) were looking to buy shots of him in next years gear. Great I thought!
It’s pretty standard practice after shooting riders, you preview shots with them, they show their sponsors, if their sponsors are feeling the shots, they buy them for a price based on how they intend to use them.

A while later, Dustin mentioned that Grenade were stoked on a shot and were gonna use it. I was pumped.
I checked out their website for whatever reason and low and behold, in the news section, under the headline “Let Craven RIde’ which was supporting Dustin’s trip to the Olympics, was my photo. I was stoked it was being used, but then a warning light came on in the back of my head. Wait a second, no one even asked me if they could use this photo and I’m pretty sure I’d remember being paid, or at least discussing it?

I hopped on the email machine and Dustin provided me with an address for Jordan Brown, his team manager at Grenade.
I introduced myself and we communicated about the situation. After about a month of friendly chats that lead nowhere, a fellow photographer hooked me up with a different email address at Grenade. This new address belonged to the CEO of the company, Jospeh Condorelli.

http://www.yobeat.com/2009/11/04/hump-day-throws-a-grenade-at-joseph-condorelli/

So anyway, here’s some emails between them and I starting with Jordan Brown and ending with Joseph Condorelli:

___________________________________

from chris messervey
to “jordan@grenadegloves.com”
date Fri, Mar 5, 2010 at 10:19 AM
subject Dustin Craven Photograph
Mar 5

Hey Jordan,

I was checking out your website today and noticed a photo of Dustin in the news section, under the heading “let craven ride” that I had recently snapped while in Revelstoke. Stoked!! Glad you liked the image! Just wondering where I can send an invoice? Do you handle that sort of thing yourself or?

Thanks Jordan,
Looking forward to hearing from you!

Chris Messervey

http://www.messerveyphoto.com

________________________________________

from Jordan Brown
to chris messervey
date Fri, Mar 5, 2010 at 11:50 AM
subject RE: Dustin Craven Photograph

Mar 5

Totally. Let me know what we are working with. Get me what you require!
The photos are great. Keep em coming if you got em!

Thanks Chris!
Jordan Brown
Team Manager

___________________________________________

Thats the last I heard from Jordan until March 25th.

___________________________________________
Mar 25

Hey again Jordan,

We really need to get this matter settled asap. Its been a while since I’ve heard from you.
Heres an invoice and licensing agreement for you.
Please respond within 3 business days so I know we’re on the same page here.

Chris

_____________________________________

No reply to this one. At this point, I contacted Grenades CEO Joseph Condorelli. Now the fun really begins.

______________________________________

from chris messervey
to JC@grenadegloves.com
date Sun, Apr 18, 2010 at 4:56 PM
subject Dustin Craven image on your website
Apr 18

Howdy,

I was given your email address by a fellow photographer who has worked with you in the past.

I’ve been communicating with Jordan Brown via email regarding an image of Dustin Craven that was posted on your website in early March in support of an article titled, ‘Let Craven Ride’. The image is one I snapped this winter and I assume was given to you by Dustin.

Jordan has assured me that this is high priority and I realize you are all busy with Grenade Games and such, however, this matter needs to be dealt with ASAP. I have sent Jordan an invoice and license agreement numerous times and so far nothing has been done. It has been weeks since I’ve heard from him.

The image was used without permission and/or payment.
Not trying to cause trouble, just would like this matter settled.
Thanks
Chris

_____________________________________

from JC
to chris messervey
date Tue, Apr 20, 2010 at 8:54 PM
subject RE: Dustin Craven image on your website
Apr 20

I appreciate your communications but it was given to me from a rider as do all the pics on the blog
I do not pay for website photography if you would like me to take it down I will
I do not wish you any harm but you should not give your art to someone if you are looking to sell it

Thank you
Joseph L. Condorelli
Chief Executive Officer
Grenade INC

_______________________________________________

Hey Joe,
Thanks for the email.
Regardless if a rider gave it to you or not, you still used my copyrighted work on your website without my permission. Which I am sure you are aware is illegal. http://www.copyright.gov/help/faq/faq-fairuse.html

I normally charge $XXX/per month for web based images. Seeing as how there has been some confusion between you and Dustin, Im willing to overlook this misunderstanding and only charge you a flat fee of $XXX which will give you permission to use that photo on your website for one year.

I preview shots with all my riders. They send them to their sponsors. Their sponsors pay me. Its a pretty standard routine.

Not looking to make enemies here Joe.
Chris

___________________________________

I am confused but I do not have any copyrighted photos of any one please let me know what you are trying to do?
If it is business you want let me know if it is money please do not keep bothering me about this you know where I stand.

Thank you
Joseph L. Condorelli

________________________________

Joe,

Although I’m glad to hear where you stand on money and Im sorry for bothering you, unfortunately, you have used one of my images without permission or payment. If you aren’t willing to settle this professionally, I will be contacting the US copyright office as well as the better business bureau. In the future you should make sure the images your athletes ‘give’ you are not the property of someone else.

Please note that if you would like me to pursue this further, I will be charging my 5x rate for unauthorized, uncredited work.

Here’s some light reading for you.
http://www.llrx.com/features/bloggersbeware.htm

http://webdesign.about.com/b/2007/09/29/its-still-theft-even-if-you-credit-the-author.htm

I doubt you want to be a news headline.

Please find attached the image in question. A Dustin Craven image that is my copyrighted property. Also find attached an invoice and license.

Thanks for your time.
Chris

_________________________________

I looked all over the website and I do not see what you are talking about but I can tell you this if you are such a great photographer
This must be why I never heard of you because you waste people’s time.
This will be the last time I write the next time I will contact an attorney
PLEASE DO NOT HASSLE ME AGAIN AND IF YOU DO NOT WANT PEOPLE TO USE YOUR ART HAVE THEM SIGN A CONTRACT STATING THAT THE REAL ISSUE IS WITH DUSTIN NOT GRENADE

Thank you
Joseph L. Condorelli

____________________________________________

Thanks again Mr.Condorelli,

If the screenshots I’ve been sending you wont do, here is a link to MY image on YOUR website.

http://grenadegloves.com/Home/tabid/64/EntryId/10/Let-Craven-Ride.aspx (they removed the photo)

I would love for you to contact your attorney. Please do! When he informs you that you have in fact infringed on my copyrighted work you can pay me. Simple as that. Don’t wait too long as the price will increase 20 percent for every 15 days that you don’t pay.

You can contact Dustin and deal with him if you like, but either way MY image was used without permission, as I NEVER gave Dustin or yourself permission to use MY image.

Dustin did not use MY image for promotional use, GRENADE did. You will be hearing from my attorney if this matter persists.

Again here is the invoice and web screen grab attached. As of the usage date, you are owing for usage. If you would like I will add in the overcharges now for late payment, plus additional usage fees for not being released nor credited for my work.

I know my rights Mr. Condorelli and I also know yours. You/Grenade, in this matter have none and since Grenade should have asked if this image was released, Grenade is in the wrong. Feel free to ask your attorney, I’ve done this more than once and if you would like to try to scare me, have fun. I am protected under international copyright laws, you have nothing to stand on as I never gave you or Dustin permission to use this image.

Thanks for the comments re: not knowing me. Shows me how professional you are.

Please provide me with your attorneys contact info so I can have my attorney contact yours directly. Please understand I am being quite serious and if you would like to bring lawyers into this, by all means do so. It will only solidify your wrong doing and make this quite expensive for you considering what my invoice is now.

Have a great day.
Chris Messervey

______________________________________

At this point, Jordan Brown and I had a couple phone conversations about the situation. He’s a pretty nice dude and he said he’d do whatever he could to get me paid. He’d talk to Danny Kass and he was ‘down for me’. The trail then went cold until I sent him one final email on July 3rd
______________________________________

Jordan,

Im sure you’re a nice guy. In fact Facebook tells me we share a few of the same friends.

That said, this is your last chance. While you’ve been ignoring me, I’ve been talking to the Better Business Bureau of California about this situation and they have provided me with legal advice. They have also suggested I file a case with Small Claims Court of California and have given me all the information I need to do so. You can be sure I will be asking for a great deal more than the original $XXX I quoted you and I can guarantee that I will also be awarded legal fees since the photos are copyrighted. Legal fees that Grenade will be responsible for paying. I somehow doubt I even need to tell you that if you decide to go further with this, I will win. Grenade has infringed on my copyrighted work and is therefore is in the wrong. I will win.

I have screen shots of my photo on your website and I’ve saved all of our email conversations.

Your call. You have 3 days.
Chris
____________________________________

Hey Chris

I have not been ignoring you. I am in Europe with our team right now.
Please do not take anything personally.
I do not deal in finances for Grenade. I do my best to influence the correct decisions on our end.

I agree with you that if we receive a photo from you directly of any of our athletes and we choose to use it on our site that you should be compensated.

In the case of the photo of Dustin Craven on our Blog. It was forwarded to me by Dustin himself not from you direclty. Prior to receiving it we have never been in contact. We were not even aware it came from you until you reached out. That being said I am acknowledging that it is your photo. That being the case it probably should not have been sent to me via Dustin without any introduction or background on where it came from and if it is something we are required to pay for however much it may be.
The photos I received were not watermarked or noted as your work so I had no way of knowing if they belonged to you or anyone else.
Merely a blog photo to promote Dustin from a grass roots level.
Danny, Joseph, and Craven are all CCed on this email.

I think it is in all our best interest to get it sorted out ASAP. Due to us being in Europe however it might not happen over night. And once again any financial decisions from Grenade are not mine but I will due my best to influence the right course of action.

Please let me know when you receive this.

Thanks
Jordan Brown
_____________________________

from JC
to Jordan Brown
cc info@messerveyphoto.com
date Wed, Jul 21, 2010 at 3:16 PM
subject Re: Dustin Craven image on your website
3:16 PM (16 hours ago)

I told you ten time stop communicating with this guy please he is unstable or something I will report you to the authorities and you know if you are begging for a XXX dollar handout you must be living in the streets now stop

Sent from my iPad
Jospeh Condorelli
_______________________________________
The End.

the snowboard industry is full of dickbags and theives.

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91 Responses to Me vs. Corporate America

  1. Stevil says:

    The snowboard industry, the bike industry, the motor sports industry… It’s all the same. Opportunistic thieves thriving on the backs of others. This is profoundly upsetting, and I hope that it eventually gets resolved. It’s impossible to operate in the fashion that Grenade has within an industry as intimate as this without developing a reputation, and I suspect a grass roots smear champaign is in order. I.P laws exist to protect people like you from people like them, though unfortunately sometimes engaging in strong armed tactics is the only way to get through to people. Good luck.

    • Marty says:

      No one should support a company that is run by such d-bags…. Asides from putting some blog/ out which is upsetting Grenade for a while, here is what you really should do to avoid the Jospeh Condorellis explointing the lifestyle we created…& save money on lawyers.
      - Get a list of Grenades 50 most important retailers/ buyers in Cal and cc. them on the blog emails exchanged.
      - The same goes to their worldwide distributors, US sales reps and team riders which you can pretty much all all google.
      - Send the local SoCal press a link to this blog; I guess everybody likes to know who lives in his neighbourhood….
      I would put a bet out that the check will be in your mail the next week. Good luck.

  2. Thom Mooney says:

    Good luck, Brother! The industry relies on the hard working riders and the hard working support network of the photographers and crews involved in the shooting. Stay on it and you will get yours. Keep us posted!

  3. Ben says:

    Great post. Please let us know how this pans out.

  4. Brian Beagle says:

    I would like to help spread the word about this situation. May I have your permission to paraphrase what is going on and link back to this article on my blog.

  5. Sy says:

    That’s so lame, hope you get it sorted. If nothing more the amount of hits this story is generating around the world should help.

    Good luck.

  6. thanks for the comments guys…
    brian, go ahead, thanks for the support

  7. Anonymous says:

    Well there goes my support for grenade, Idiots. Maybe one day they’ll realise actually how hard photographers work to make a living.

  8. Naw says:

    “Sent from my iPad
    Jospeh Condorelli”

    1) The fact that his emails are signed “Sent from my iPad” pisses me off as much as the story. Can’t even pay for web usage but the cheap crook is sitting on his new iPad emailing his psycho babble.
    2) Jospeh can’t even spell his own first name. A real professional.
    3) I’m pretty sure this isn’t going to go unnoticed with the amount of traffic it’s generating in a matter of one day.

    • Matt says:

      A few tips for you:
      1: register all your images from that shoot with th. Us copyright office ASAP.
      2: don’t use the small claims court as the limit of payment is $3000 or $5000, I can’t remember which but it’s not a lot. If you win your lawyer fees will eat that up.
      3: you need to contact this org: http://www.kcvlaa.org for any help with legal needs, they can provide a lawyer who specialise

  9. RUFUSPHOTO says:

    Please tell me that you at least have all of your copyright info in your metadata???

    Good luck man, I have been in similar situations and it has really put a burden on me wanting to do anymore ad work or photography in general.

    I hope that this gets sorted out quickly.

  10. Pat... says:

    I hate hearing this crap. Yeah… “Sent from my iPad – Jospeh Condorelli” is ridiculous. I hope it gets sorted soon.

  11. Mike Last says:

    Sapient Snowboards pulled the same move on me, used my photos all over, and folded before I could get money out of them. The CEO was a real prick job too, in fact, if he was Joseph’s twin I wouldn’t be surprised.

    Good luck in your battle. Maybe a quick email to Carolyn Wright at Photo Attorney might be a good move. http://www.photoattorney.com/

    • IronMike says:

      What a ducher. I knew there was a reason my shop stopped
      carrying Gra-crap. He’ll get his. Probably move on to CEO
      of some lame ass Chinese based company. Hang in there and
      you’ll get rewarded

  12. Luke Bowe says:

    Please tell me you are indeed taking this to court. This is the most egregious example of corporate unprofessionalism I have seen in a long time. Grenade ought to know better, but then again, knowing their track record, can’t say I am super surprised. Good luck with a settlement.

  13. AYE says:

    ADDED TO STUMBLER UPON. BOYCOTT GRENADE.

  14. Dhanu says:

    low res and watermarked would of saved alot of trouble, ah well, good luck dude! hope things go your way!

  15. Justin says:

    Just call your lawyer and let them handle it. Don’t go it alone, it will just make you crazy. Give your attorney all the emails and copyright registration info, and pay him/her the retainer and let them fight it out. The minute they receive a certified letter from an attorney they will want to “make a deal”. I’ve been down this road more then once, just let the attorneys handle this!

  16. Lee Lau says:

    Chris,

    This is how I dealt with the situation. It might not be the method of choice for everyone, all I did was to publicly shame /Google-bomb the person who stole my shots. I never did get paid.

    http://www.leelau.net/2006/activemagazine/activemagazine.htm

  17. Dan Carr says:

    go get ‘em!!

  18. Bradzz says:

    Thats crazy, giving you the run-around is the biggest insult. Im with you on this but if they complied and removed the image do you still have a case? I guess so….

  19. Phatman says:

    http://www.sierrasnowboard.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=38419&PN=1&PID=807810#807810

    Little discussion about this on SierraSnowboard.com

    Hope everything comes out ok for you without too much hassle.

  20. Kiel says:

    Dude that CEO of Grenade sounds like a kid out of high school. Fuck, I had the same problem with Burton when I tried to claim the warranty on my board (found a major defect on my board). They tried to pull all this shit on me and I’m having none of it, I will keep causing them trouble till I get what is rightfully mine. Hope u get it sorted out man! and if you don’t, keep generating the negative publicity for Grenade!

  21. David Z says:

    If you sent that invoice via certified mail, all you need to do is file a claim in court (small claims probably suffices, depending on the dollar amount). The invoice is proof enough that they owe you, the continued ignorance as evidenced by Condorelli’s emails, etc., only solidifies your position.

    But the fact of the matter is, the rider distributed that photo without your permission, and you didn’t take any appropriate steps (i.e., watermarking your proofs) which would suggest that they are copyrighted or otherwise protected images.

    Condorelli is definitely a dick, don’t get me wrong. But you’re not exactly doing your due diligence.

  22. Mark says:

    What a douche. Hope it works out for you Chris.

  23. iragerlich says:

    Sounds like standard operating procedure for Grenade.

  24. STimkey11 says:

    Just goes to show how unprofessional a CEO can be. This guy sounds like a complete weiner. I’m a DK fan, but it seems like stopped giving a shit about Grenade a long time ago. Stick with it, bro.
    Bad things will happen to bad people.

  25. You have to stand up for your rights as nobody else will- when you get involved with big corporates they dont to think they can ride over you- they only take notice when it gets legal or bad press comes to light- Grant

  26. G says:

    You are totally in the right.
    Grenade is totally in the wrong. And they suck, too.

    But, you brought this on yourself with your own ignorant, amateur behavior. A pro photographer? Who hands out images without watermarks, stipulations, res-reduction, or info in the metadata? That was dumb.

  27. Rian says:

    This has now officially spread to newschoolers. I can promise you they will not be getting any support from the ski industry.

    http://www.newschoolers.com/web/forums/readthread/thread_id/551510/

  28. kevin conners says:

    beenthrough it with a well respected bike company, when they finally adressed the issue we both agreed they had 30 days to pay the invoice, which was stated and it took them 98 days needless to say I ended up dropping it after recieving payment and enjoyed them calling me asking for me to do more work this year and telling them to fuck off. Good luck man hope it works out

  29. Steve yochum says:

    Craziness. You are in the right. Yes you could do more to protect yourself going forward with watermarks, but for real!!!!! They need to apologize or will be out of business soon.

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  31. Kelli says:

    Any company or individual has the responsibility to verify that they have the legal right to use a photo or image anywhere for personal or commercial use. It is the legal obligation of the person USING the image, not the person from whom the image was taken or received.

    Watermarks came about, unfortunately, because people abuse the rights of photographers and artists and musicians all the time–it is theft, no different than stealing a physical product out of a store.

    So glad that you’re sticking to your guns! A lot of artists don’t, in part, because they can’t afford it, and it’s a pain in the ass–but that helps perpetuate the abuse.

    I had some professional interaction with this guy myself and, although I got paid, I have been worried about the future of the company. The in-person meeting was… um… interesting, to say the least.

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  33. Cameron says:

    They’re all a bunch of assholes. It used to be pure. Now the corporate dickbags have bred a generation of selfish, materialistic little drones who merely act as their puppets. It’s sad to see guys like Danny Cass act as the spokesperson for this type of shit, turning the other cheek, just for an extra buck.

  34. Chris says:

    I hope you are not shooting yourself in the foot with all of this. You’ll get nothing but support from fellow creatives, but you did make some mistakes in all this. At least you know that you’ll never let this happen again!
    Surf industry sucks like this too, getting better though.

  35. Matt says:

    HEY EVERYONE … You DON’T have to do ANYTHING to copyright your images! It’s immediate, instantaneous … the moment you click the shutter. Should Chris have done more, sure, but he didn’t fail to do anything that is necessary. The idea that only watermarked images are copyrighted is completely rediculous and the exact reason that the general public thinks anything that isn’t watermarked is fair game. Your Grandma’s snapshots are copyrighted. Companies and blogs should never ever, and I mean EVER, publish any image from anywhere without a copyright release. Verbal is legally accepted in certain states, but why take the chance. Companies who don’t have any sort of permission are guilty of infringement. Practically everyone out there nowadays is guilty of infringement. When you get yourself in a situation like Grenade is, you negotiate (hopefully Chris’s fees are reasonable) and settle on something reasonable, pay up, and learn from the mistake. Ignoring that you’ve broken the law is completely asinine, and disrespectful of the work (whether the images are great or not) of someone else, and should earn you additional penalties. Good luck Chris! We’ve got your back!

    • nobody says:

      This statement is right but also very, very wrong. Especially for pros.

      The difference, in court, between registering and not registering your copyright can be over $150,000 per each infringement.

  36. bhawk says:

    Dude you havn’t seen anything…

  37. Matt says:

    I’m not a photographer and I’ve never heard of Grenade Gloves before, but a friend tweeted the story (he’s not a photographer either). So the story is spreading like wildfire.

    I did email JC “iPad” the CEO and ask him if theft was part of his “movement”.

  38. Making a mistake is one thing—not handling it gracefully is something completely different.

    A somewhat similar (but far worse) case made the headlines in Sweden a while ago: An ethnic Greek had been photographed while dressed in a traditional garb by what he thought was an amateur. Some time later, he found this photo used for advertising—without anyone having bothered to inform him, ask his permission, or pay him. To make matters even worse, he was proclaimed a Turk… (Which can be a severe insult to some Greeks.)

    He was eventually given 2 million crowns ~ 270 thousand dollars in a settlement.

  39. Mike says:

    This whole scenario is ridiculous! The fact that he’s playing “dumb” about using your photos is laughable! Good luck getting your money, and some well deserved respect.

    • Tanbird says:

      Just saw your post on Twitter, MikeDski “As if there already weren’t enough reasons to hate this company…”

      Here, here!

  40. Daniel D says:

    Coming from CEO of the company, there’s nothing to say and I’m simply shocked by some of the words he put out and the lack of professionalism…Keep us posted and I will think again about Grenade products

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  42. Nick says:

    I can’t believe this guy is the CEO. What a moron.

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  44. Jordan says:

    sent from my ipad.

  45. B.Casselman says:

    Wish you all the best in this matter. Not only are you standing up for your own rights but those of your fellow artists and for that…Thank You!

    This correspondence will make a great reference for photographers/artists to use if they’re ever getting screwed.

  46. Jam says:

    Grenade is definitely not what it used to be. Kinda blew it.

  47. As much as I hope you get what is coming to you I can’t help but think that you sound almost ad silly as the CEO. You should have taken legal action after a few emails and stopped acting like a child. Now by airing your dirty laundry everyone knows of your lack of professionalism.

    The photo community is too small and the pro snow community even smaller. Now everyone knows your name and that you are a risk to deal with.

    Good luck but learn how to fight your battles. There some great books and resources (John Harrington) on business practices in our industry.

    • While I (as an uninvolved bystander) agree that it is often risky to discuss matters like these publicly, often even just taking a stand against a more influential party, I see nothing unprofessional about it.

      Neither do I see anything childish (or, for that matter, childlike) in the OPs original approach and communications: His one fault appears to be trying to just “re-affirm” his way into payment, even after clear signs that this would be fruitless. (Incidentally, an error that I have commited on a number of occasions myself.)

      The world needs people who stand up for their rights, even at a risk, and the more the better: If all photographers in the small community did so, then the tables would turn.

    • Kelli says:

      Heartily disagree with you, “Pro photographer”. He tried to give them a chance and he was professional in his correspondence. One of the reasons artists and photographers don’t fight for their rights enough–which perpetuates the abuse–is that it’s time consuming and expensive. It’s completely reasonable that he would have tried to solve the problem himself, before starting to rack up legal fees. And in exposing this situation, he’s not only doing the public–that is tired of being taken advantage of by CEOs and corporatins–a service, he’s doing other artists and photographers a service.

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  49. Matt says:

    ^He was not “acting like child”. What are you talking about? He was right to try and avoid getting an attorney involved considering the price it could cost just to have a letter written.

  50. 2Sick says:

    Grenade CEO sounds like a flaming douche bag. I’ll never purchase a Grenade product again. Good luck Chris. I hope you get as much money from this tool of a company as you can.

  51. free blog says:

    thank you for content

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  53. Part of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act http://www.copyright.gov/onlinesp/ if there is an online infringement the copyright owner can send a take down notice to the ISP they WILL take it down if you hold the copyright.

    This is something that happens far to my in my industry of graphic design and in photography. period.

    I wish you luck in your fight against them.

  54. jesmor3 says:

    I’m sorry to hear about this Chris, I have dealt with this before on a smaller scale. I won’t be buying any of their products, and I’ll make sure I voice that opinion to my friends too.

    Good luck.

  55. Kelli says:

    The big bummer is that it’s probably not really Grenade, that is the problem, but the company will suffer the public relations consequences. The problem is clearly a nutcase CEO. The rest of the people working there are probably just doing their best to keep a job in this economy.

  56. nobody says:

    Screw small claims court and BBB. Try Federal court. That’s where Copyright issues (federal laws) are handled. Small claims can not even handle a federal law case.

    I hope you registered your shit w/in 3 months of Grenade first using it. If so, if you can demonstrate willful infringement, you have the opportunity to win a $150,000 + attorney’s fees judgement. If you didn’t register it in time the most you can win is actual damages (use Fotoquote for industry rates that will stand up in court) from which attorney’s fees will likely be deducted. You should have no trouble finding an IP attorney to represent you on contingency.

    Until you get an attorney, stop communicating with Grenade and read John Harrington’s book:

    It contains a critical clause that you should include in all future communications with Grenade and their agents/attorneys/etc… DO NOT quote to Grenade any more $$numbers$$ without reading this book! Grenade’s attorney’s will try to use (in court) any numbers you present to them to limit and potential damages that could be awarded to you. That is, unless you preface all your communication with the appropriate disclaimer.

    Reading that book will be one of the best business decisions you make.

  57. Lee Lau says:

    For any non-US photographers reading please note that the US is one of last remaining countries in the civilized world which maintains the copyright registration requirement to sue and collect punitive damages for infringement.

    For almost every other country in the world there is no requirement to register copyright.

    Since this is a US situation though “nobody’s” comments are correct

  58. seuss says:

    No question that iPad boy wins the Golden Douchebag award, but you made a bad bluff and he called you on it.

    You have a far better understanding of copyrights than anybody at Grenade, but this much is obvious: neither of you have talked to a lawyer. Your e-mails have an implied threat of legal action, but Condorelli knows full well that you aren’t going to bother hiring a lawyer.

    Knowing your rights (and that you’re right) is nice, but if you say “I’m not quitting” you’re going to have to lawyer up and let the suits make the money.

  59. Ali says:

    This situation sucks, people don’t understand that an image and usage is our way to make a living.

    Photo’s are passed around far too easily in the digital age.

    Sadly, lots of photographers out there are willing to give things away for free or without credit misleading people into thinking that it is OK.

    It’s awful that certain people running companies within this industry are so far from capable, creating experiences like this. Professionalism doesn’t appear to be top of this guys list for sure.

  60. Arrow says:

    I am sorry to say but this is such a waste of time for you.

    Business people do not do what’s fair, they do whatever makes their business sustainable.

    You are not going to earn money from taking photos for BLOGS!! it’s stupid to nag about it. Nobody cares enough to compensate you for it. And even though it’s against the law to use copyrighted material, it is such a waste of time to enforce in your case.

    If they were to use it commercially then SUE the hell out of them, but it’s just a freaking blog. get over it!

  61. chris says:

    All i got to say. JC does not know how to run a company at all. What a bone head.
    I would never buy his shit. Hope you fail. My wife worked for him for a very short time and he treats his employees like shit. Oh and I’m sure the reason he won’t pay for that photo is because he’s too busy paying for his brand new BMW.
    I’ve been riding snowboards for 12 years and will never purchase anything that says Grenade. I agree with earlier postings that we should all boycott Grenade Glove!

  62. taz says:

    This isnt’ the first time grenade has tried to get images for free. I meet a guy a few years back who did some graphics and never got paid and Kass and Co never answered calls.

  63. chris says:

    i have a lot of friends that are snowboards and they all tolled me that there Grenade Glove suck
    and that they dont last.
    any one the does business should have there head look at.lol lol jc lol lol

  64. Frank Soubrause says:

    Grenade can be assured they won’t be getting any of my money if this is how they want to run their company. In a world of declining corporate ethics my only voice seems to be my wallet but i’m happy to take it where it’s earned.

  65. Lisa Hogben says:

    Hey there Chris,

    Good Luck with this. I for one am reposting it all over the place in the hope that it will show up the business practices of very illiterate and apparently quite stupid bully boy CEO’s.

    I am a photojournalist but also a Lvl 3 Ski teacher so I have quite a lot of friends in the Australian snow industry. I agree with the previous poster, its not hard to cause a ground swell of opinion and hit them where it hurts. In the hip pocket.

    So just get this out there and people won’t buy their brand…. But that would suggest the ability to be that organised would be the actions of a very stable person!

    Goodluck and cheers!

  66. Lucas says:

    fight on brother, the only way these people learn is if they get taken to the woodshed and spanked like they should be.

    Kudos for standing up for your rights and good luck.

  67. Pingback: Blogroll update « Michael Eriksson's Blog

  68. Dave says:

    Hi Chris,

    I linked to here from a post on a UK boarding forum. I’m shocked at the lack of professionalism this guy has, and he’s the CEO? At the very least he should stop writing his emails like a 6 year old child.

    I was genuinely planning on getting a couple of pairs of Grenades for this season, however after reading this and some reviews, I’m steering well clear.

    Good luck, keep us all informed how it goes!

    Dave

  69. adam b says:

    been in that boat with grenade before…… like i said before… grenade will fuck anyone for a buck.

    i will post your link all over the place.

    they also fucked nolimits here in canada over their distribution agreement.

  70. adam b says:

    my pics were also on the blog… but they have been removed after contacting dustin……. only after informing him that grenade will not only fuck their friends for a buck…. they’d most likely fuck their own mother.

    good luck chris! beers on me in golden when you win this thing.

  71. Clint Davis says:

    Cheers Chris!
    You handled that superbly! I think I’ll bookmark this page so I can copy and paste some of what you said if I ever have a problem! lol

  72. Chicken says:

    Hey Chris
    Sorry to hear that about a web pic.. A few things..1.. Jordan is a awesome sweet dude that is slammed.2.. your pic was sent by Dustin and Grenade took it off after the Drama.. 3.. JC is a good guy…(u def have to know him to understand) but ya a little crazy sometimes..ha..4.. your little boycotting grenade gloves over a web pic??? come on man. Im the So-cal sales rep.. i love snowboarding… I have Bills man.. why u trying are u trying to make me homeless?? do what u love.. snowboard and take pics.. but make sure (in writing) before u give out…. I make mistakes i dont go boycotting every company..

    • Kyle says:

      I’m sure the photographer has bills to pay too.

      How would you like it if you did the work for them, and they didn’t pay you, at all?

      And in order to drop controversy, they fired you?

      Not fair, right?

      Well this is what happened to this photographer, and if your company cannot be mature and their representatives be literate, then the company has no legitimacy.

  73. Pingback: Me vs. Corporate America (via Chris Messervey Photography – Blog) « KC Deane

  74. Chris, this is terrible and I’m totally disgusted by the way you were treated. I would be good to find out if Mr. Big CEO would be willing to work for free for this company.

    I have dealt with brides wanting free engagement sessions or wanting to pay no more than $125 for a wholeday shooting a wedding from beginning to end, but you would think that in dealing with biggercompanies and corporation you’d find a professional level and respect for other’s work.

    As photographers we must stand our ground and charge for our work. If they don’t like it they can go with Mr/Ms Work-for-free. A some point this photographers will realize that working for free doesn’t pay your bills or feeds your family.

  75. Brice Wolford says:

    Well, I hope you took him to court. After all the threats, it seems like the thing to do to follow through.

  76. Ex grenade employee #348 says:

    I can hardly even begin to describe on how many levels this post and that dialogue speak to me.

    Firstly, I will not hesitate to point out that the email exchange you had with JC is about as professional as he gets unless he thinks can get money out of you. As an employee I assure you it is much, MUCH worse.
    Second, as an avid photographer (not pro) I am positively appalled at the theft of your work, the manner in which it was handled, and the fact that you had the misfortune of interacting with JC.

    In vain hopes that somebody actually reads through all of these comments and gets to mine I would like to leave this parting rant…
    Grenade is a good company, there are indeed very good people that work there. That being said…. *gasps in air**
    JC is the most egotistical, greedy, and selfish individual I have ever met. His business strategy consists of bullying, browbeating, and trampling everybody he interacts with. Every dollar he uses to pay for his iPad, BMW, etc… Is made from the ground bones of people he has taken advantage of

    And chris, would it be alright for me to email you at the address I saw in the dialogue? I have a story concerning Grenade and photography that you would appreciate…

  77. ENS says:

    I am SO relieved to see some bad press on these guys.

    I work at a sporting goods company that promotes Danny Kass… As a five-year employee, I have worked to represent the athlete and the athlete’s gear with the utmost integrity.

    Our company has designated parking spots for employees that choose to carpool. My husband and I try to carpool as often as possible. After dropping him off at one end of campus today, I drove to the parking lot to park in one of the “carpool” spaces. As I approached the space, I saw a HUGE camouflage truck with a tacky, over sized grenade attached to the bed. After finally maneuvering his way into the compact parking spot, he proceeded to exit the vehicle. I noticed he didn’t have a carpool pass hanging in his mirror so I questioned him from my vehicle. He responded with an ignorant “where is your carpooler?” to which i responded that i had dropped him across campus. He then walked away, leaving his charming, superfluous monster truck in the last carpool parking spot. Thank you Danny Kass and Grenade gloves.

    Why does this company/this athlete feel entitled to disrespect and mock the individuals that support his career and pay a portion of his salary? I am 100% certain that I do not drive up to the mountain or the skate park and steal reserved parking spaces from their company. I am disgusted and appalled at the attitude of Danny Kass and Grenade Gloves. In echo to others on this website, DO NOT SUPPORT THIS ATHLETE OR THIS COMPANY. Thank you.

  78. poulanpro says:

    Good luck, Brother! The industry relies on the hard working riders and the hard working support network of the photographers and crews involved in the shooting. Stay on it and you will get yours. Keep us posted

  79. This is just fantastic Thanks for putting this out there :
    )

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