First time poster but long time readers, so sorry if this gets tl;dr. need some serious advice and there seem to be some serious photographers on here. The story: Been shooting for a small local outlet for a long time. they're a little finicky, but I'm happy to take work from them when I can get it, because even though it pays little, it's exposure, and I contractually retain the copyright on all my stuff. plus I make a lot more for shooting parties anyway so i can work for these guys for cheap. The hired me recently for a gig that, when i showed up, was clearly a corporate party that they were cosponsoring, and representatives from some pretty major sponsors were there asking me to take shots of their brands. i asked a rep from this news outlet (some guy from marketing i'd never met) who was paying me. he responded that i was getting paid by the news outlet. i'm not happy because i won't get paid much since the shots will just be used editorially, but it builds my portfolio and i make contacts. the party was 4 hours and it went really well. the shots are posted on the news site a few days later, but i'm getting a feeling that the sponsors might want to use them for promo, so i email the marketing guy and tell him to make sure that the sponsors email me first, because they weren't the ones who hired me, they're not licensed to them, and if i shot photos for them i should have been paid way more since it was commercial and a different kind of business. i specifically say that if the sponsors want to link to them on the news site, that's totally fine, because the news site has them for editorial use and if the sponsors want to give them extra traffic, totally up to them. i emphasize that sponsors themselves can't take them and use them for promo, specifically mentioning facebook. The marketing guy said he'd make sure the sponsors reached out to me first if they wanted to use them. a few days later (wednesday) the entire set of photos go up on one of the sponsors facebook sites. unlike before, i've recieved no credit whatsoever. I contact marketing guy from the news site and say "hey, no big deal, but that sponsor isnt licensed to use them, and they need to pay me for commercial use". He says that he thought it would be okay if they used them because the news site had already posted them first (which makes no sense - you can't rip photos off the washington post and put them in an absolut ad just because they're already published). I say now that they're posted and taking them down makes everyone look bad, the sponsors that have used them should pay me [x reasonable amount, calculated from the cost of me shooting a standard event]. marketing guy says, "well it's after the fact so we definitely can't ask them for money now. don't know what to tell you." i definitely clarified this in advance by our email conversation, and he's clearly trying to keep things on an even keel with the sponsors. which i understand from his business's end but looks like they're violating our contract and copyright law. long story short, looks like I just was paid for shooting a news story when i've booked other clients for the exact same work who've happily paid me 20 times more for the same results. i need to have a good relationship with the outlet, so i have to tread carefully, but this seems totally uncool, and I very nicely explained why to them and asked them to help me arrive at a solution. made no demands, but indicated that something's got to be done. the ball's in their court at this point. Tl;dr version: the news people i was shooting for paid me for photos for their news site and posted them. they gave them to the corporate sponsors against my wishes which were made clear in an email conversation, and now the sponsors are using them for corporate promotion without crediting me. i asked news people to get them to license the photos from me, and they've said no. The question: How do you proceed? I think saying "I hold the copyright - get the sponsor to take them down" is a terrible idea, event though it's definitely within my rights. did my business basically get screwed on this one, and should I take this as a lesson? Is there currently a way for me to get something good out of this? I don't want to force news outlet to pay me more, and i definitely don't want to get litigious. but as I own the photos and everyone knows i own the photos, i should be able to do something. Just don't know what the heck it should be. Sorry for the longness.