The demand letter is the most important factor in getting paid for unauthorized uses of your photographs. In this letter you state the facts of the infringement, attach copies of the collected evidence, and specify the fee to settle the issue without legal action. If you want to get paid now, this is your one chance to convince an infringer that it is in his best interest to settle the dispute. It could take months to collect if you must turn the case over to an attorney or a Copyright Enforcement Service.
For the past three years I have successfully collected settlements for copyright violations, but not because I have done extensive research on copyright law, or even because I now have three years of practical experience under my belt. It is due to my skillfully crafted demand letter. By experimenting with different versions over the years, I have refined the letter into a potent instrument designed to convince people to do something they do not want to do. My letter has also passed through the hands of two attorneys who confirmed that it is legally sound.
For purchasing a copy of Photo Repo, you are permitted to use and customize my demand letter (just don’t post it on the Internet, for that would violate copyright law). Being a printed book, digital files are not available, so you must retype the letter using a word processing or desktop publishing program. Be sure to create a template that you can modify and print on your own letterhead.
I have included two versions of my demand letter in Photo Repo. The first version includes explanatory paragraphs. Text in BOLD represents text you must customize based on your situation. The second version of the letter is without the explanatory paragraphs, which makes it easier to read and copy from. I have also included an actual demand letter at the end of the chapter.