any photographers/web designers out there? got a question re copyright

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by kittiekat, Jul 22, 2009.

  1. kittiekat

    kittiekat TPF Noob!

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    Hi all, I'm new to the forums, please be nice :)

    This is the story... I am teaching myself website design and I've started putting together a website for a local beauty salon.

    I am no professional photographer but have a decent camera and decent knowledge of picture retouching (lightroom and photoshop, I shoot RAW). I offered to take some pictures of the staff and the premises for the website. I got them to sign both model and property releases.

    My query relates to pictures I took of branded products (beauty products they use in the salon). These pictures are meant to be put into a slideshow, showing both pictures of the premises and the products they use. They are not going to be used in a way that may suggest these companies endorse my client's services in any way.

    So my query is this - do I need permission from these companies to use these pictures commercially??

    Just to be on the safe side, I emailed the companies as there was only 3 of them, but only 2 have replied (both saying it's ok to use the pictures, one asking to link back to them if possible).

    But I was wondering, what if I were to do the same job for, say, a pub, and I took of picture of a shelf full of bottles? It'd be a pain to have to contact each beverage company separately!! But I'm very nervous about the possibility of committing copyright infringement. :confused:

    Any advice would be very much appreciated!! Thanks in advance! :)
     
  2. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Unfortunately, copyright details are not universal and there are variables from country to country.

    Here in the USA it would depend on how the image is used. I can't speak to AU law.

    Here we can just go to www.copyright.gov a look stuff up. Maybe your gov has something similar?

    You should also become familiar with the 'Berne Convention' as it is a document signed by most countries in the world that deals with copyrights globally.

    At any rate the best legal advice is sought from a qualified solicitor, not online.
     
  3. kittiekat

    kittiekat TPF Noob!

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    Thanks Keith, I did check with the copyright guys. They referred to the trademark guys. These gave me a call and said they couldn't help :(

    I realise the best person to ask would be a specialised lawyer, but I can't really afford the hundreds of kiwi dollars they charge per hour.... I thought maybe someone already had the answer.... after all you see this type of pictures all over the web. Which leads me to think it must be ok, at least as long as the pictures are used for illustrative purposes only, otherwise these companies would be launching lawsuits left, right and centre?
     
  4. UUilliam

    UUilliam TPF Noob!

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    make friends with a lawyer then direct your general questions to them ;)
     
  5. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    There are different types of use recognised:
    • Editorial
    • Educational
    • Art
    • Satire
    • Commercial
    Things are pretty slack till you get into that commercial sector. If you want to sell your images one at a time to the public, no sweat. If you want to upload your image to a stock image house, they will want releases from any company whose products are identifiable in the images.

    It is the publisher of images that gets sued. Not the photographer.

    If you put the image up on a web site and offer it for sale, you are now a publisher and they can sue you.

    Make sense?
     
  6. kittiekat

    kittiekat TPF Noob!

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    Thanks Keith, yes it does. The idea is not to upload the pictures onto the website in order to sell them, simply to make the website prettier :) and simply to show that those are the products they use (beauty products).

    Regarding uploading pictures to stock agencies.... are you saying that if I took a picture like this one for example http://c1.alamy.com/thumbs/4/{07FFFDBA-5777-4259-8D5A-77E2443E3A52}/B7F5PA.jpg I would need to obtain permission from all the companies whose brands appear in the picture? (I think I can identify around 8!) Yikes!! :confused: This one http://www.alamy.com/thumbs/6/{1CD5C7D1-C4BF-453E-B77B-2BE519E00713}/A9Y487.jpg would be an utter nightmare then!! LOL.
     
  7. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Sorry, I didn't make myself clear.

    The stock agency wants the releases to legally protect themselves, not the photographer. They expect the photographer to supply that documentation. The same applies for model and property releases.
     
  8. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    I found this in the Business FAQ's section of www.asmp.org:

    "Not every use showing a trademark is a trademark use. To violate a trademark, the use has to be likely to create confusion in the mind of the public as to the source of origin of the product; or it has to be likely to make the public think there is some kind of implied endorsement of a trademark owner or its product, or other relationship, by another company or person; or it has to damage or reduce the value of the trademark in some way."
     
  9. manaheim

    manaheim Jedi Bunnywabbit Staff Member Supporting Member

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    +1

    This was what we hit upon when a friend and I were taking pictures of old computers and putting them on T-shirts with funny sayings. ("Gigawhat?")

    So an obvious infraction would probably be putting a picture of your competitor's product on the label of your own similar or competiing product. :) That *is* pointedly obvious though.

    I'm not a lawyer.
     
  10. skieur

    skieur TPF Noob!

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    Taking a photo of a trademark does not violate the trademark law. "Passing off" is necessary for violation, as in taking a photo of a trademark such as Coca Cola AND putting it on a bottle with a brown liquid in it or taking a photo of a National Hockey League logo, putting it on a cheap tshirt and selling it as a genuine, sanctioned, team shirt.

    skieur
     

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