2/15/14 UPDATE

I want to sincerely thank everyone for their voices and support as we’ve worked through this issue. We have been able to reach a joint agreement, which meets the needs of maxxsphotography.com and The Color Run. We are happy to have avoided the drain of the legal system and look forward to the continued success of both companies.

As referenced in yesterday’s statement (written below), my hope was always that we would be able to reach a fair and mutually acceptable resolution. I am grateful that through this weekend we were able to resume discussions with Max and come to a solution.

I want to be clear that the recently resolved issues were never about The Color Run lifting and stealing images. From the beginning, we had a contractual “use” agreement with Max. We received high resolution, un-watermarked images for use online or in print.  The problems arose from a poorly worded, semi-verbal contract. We both had a genuine misunderstanding about the terms of our agreement when it came to photo credit on printed images. The recent negotiations revolved around finding a fair resolution to that misunderstanding.

Lessons Learned:

-If you are a business, be explicitly clear about the use, compensation, and parameters of the agreement with the photographer when sourcing images.  Make sure it is all in writing in order to protect each other.

-If you are a photographer, understand the level of access you are providing and also protect yourself with clear, written, release agreements.

-Lastly, if a misunderstanding arises, enter into a respectful and ethical discussion about how to resolve the issue. In our new social/visual/online world, businesses and photographers need a great relationship more than ever. Assume the best in each other and make it work.

There is no doubt that the social media voices on both sides of the issue provided meaningful insight during this process. I sincerely appreciate those that presented thoughtful perspectives on the situation and how to resolve it.

-Travis

2/14/14
Hi, this is Travis Snyder.

I wanted to respond personally to this matter. As the founder of The Color Run, I’ve had the opportunity to work with many successful creative partnerships of all sizes, including amazing photographers. I respect their ability to capture the essence of our event and fully believe that they deserve attribution for their work to showcase their talents. This issue with Max is a single anomaly and quite frankly makes me sad. Max first came to shoot The Color Run because we granted his school class non-commercial access to come shoot the race in Miami where the photos in question were taken. After this, Max actually ended up working our events over the next year as a non-photographer and traveling and setting up with our traveling teams.

All the while, I thought we were using the photographs within the parameters we had agreed upon with Max. About a year later, Max first initiated questions about the use of some of the Miami photos. We sat down and genuinely tried to reach an amicable solution, including offering financial compensation and exposure through our networks. Our offers were declined, and met with the following demands:(language taken from legal filings)

-”$100,000.00 US deposited into my business bank account” (This amount went on to be raised by Max to $300,000).

-”To be named the Official Photography Sponsor of The Color Run (Globally) for the remainder of its existence.”

-”Max Jackson Logo to be added in sponsors section on the bottom of all web pages”

-"My name to read at the bottom of any TCR photo's used in legible print from the next print run forward as, Photograph by Max Jackson”

-”if no efforts are made within 15 days, to contact me I will be forced to take further action”

Understandably, these demands were quite difficult. They went far outside professional compensation and credit for photography work. We discussed other options, and ultimately when Max said he was planning to sue rather than continue a dialogue, there was little option left but to defend our rights through the legal system. I have been and will continue to be at the table to visit about how to resolve this outstanding issue.

As hard as it is to see tweets calling you a "#scumbag", I love the Internet and its ability to give everyone a voice. I also appreciate the opportunity to share more information and insight into a complex situation. My personal hope and intention has always been to get this resolved directly, amicably, and fairly.

-Travis