CopyRight Certificates?? Please help!

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by crystal_linn, Jul 14, 2009.

  1. crystal_linn

    crystal_linn TPF Noob!

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    Okay I need a little help here. Im trying to make sure I understand what a copyright certificate for photos is. I am assuming this is a form that allows the purchasers and only the purchasers rights to the photographs after you take them. How can I find a template? is there such a thing? How does it work? and when is a good time to allow clients to purchase them?

    Thanks Tons any info is much appreciated.
     
  2. musicaleCA

    musicaleCA TPF Noob!

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    Copyright certificate? Er...you mean transferring copyright to a client? General rule is to never, ever, ever do such a thing (some may do so for oodles of cash, though). If the client really wants such exclusive rights, you can provide them an exclusive license, meaning only they have the rights presented in the license agreement, and no other party may be granted said rights, within the terms of the agreement.

    American Society of Media Photographers
     
  3. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    What you are describing is a use license, sometimes called a print release.

    Ultimately, what photographers have to sell is usage of the images they have made.

    As soon as a photographer clicks the shutter and makes an image that photographer owns the copyright to the image. Copyright ownership is for the life of the photographer, + 70 years.

    Copyright is actually a bundle of rights. One of the uses many portrait and wedding photographers allow their clients is to have prints made from images the photographer supplies on a CD or DVD. The Use License in this case would be shown to the print lab that would be making the prints. Many labs refuse to make prints (for legal reasons called copyright infringement) if the customer is not the copyright owner. Is this your situation?

    Commercial photographers have Use Licenses that are a bit more complex because they more specifically define what a client can and cannot do with the photographers image.
     
  4. red1013

    red1013 TPF Noob!

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    copyright.gov will answer many questions. Kmh is correct it is a usage license. If you are worried about infringement register your photos at the same website. It is 35.00 for a set of photos. I.E. I upload mine quarterly unless it is something special. The 35.00 is not per photo it is per upload session., If that makes sense?
     
  5. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Tad brings up an important point.

    Registering your copyrights.

    Copyright is federal law. If you want to seek damages for an infringement of your copyright you file suit in Federal Court.

    If your copyright is not registered, Federal Court won't accept your suit. Actually, your attorney won't bother to file a suit, but will probably charge you to tell you that. :D
     
  6. crystal_linn

    crystal_linn TPF Noob!

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    wow lots of helpful information. I was just trying to put together some information, as me and my fiance are at the beginning of starting up our own photography business. I ran across the term "Copyright Certificate" and i was stumped. I had a general idea of what it could mean but needed a more detailed answer to be sure.
     
  7. Soul Rebel

    Soul Rebel TPF Noob!

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    They are very helpful around here!
     
  8. red1013

    red1013 TPF Noob!

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    Another website I found helpful is photoreflect.com. They have a free web version that hosts your images. Take a look at the your photos page on my site to see an example. They do take a small percentage of your print sales but I find it well worth it.
     
  9. tayloramr

    tayloramr TPF Noob!

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    I noticed this thread about copyright releases. is it common to sell these rights and if so what is a going rate?
     
  10. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Selling image rights is what the business of phoptography is all about. Actually, there is no legal document called a 'copyright release'.

    There are 'Use Licenses' of various types or an outright 'Transfer of Copyright' wherein the photographer sells ownership of all their rights to an image. Transfers of copyright typically involve 10's of thousands of $$$ per image.

    The 'going rate' for a 'Use License' depends on the usage. Rates are much lower for editorial use than for the use of an image in advertising. Companies that only advertise regionally pay less than companies that advertise nationally.

    Some resources: www.copyright.gov
    www.asmp.org
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2009
  11. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    If you are starting up a photography business you need to have the proper paperwork in place, just like any other business: Contracts, use licenses, model and property releases, liability and equipment insurance, indemity insurance (aka, errors and omissions insurance, E&O).

    If you haven't already visit www.score.org for free small business help.
     
  12. crystal_linn

    crystal_linn TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for all your help, so far I have heard mixed opinions on giving anyone other than the photographer rights to the images, unless you have them pay a fee. That would make sense since that is how you would continue to make money off of those images. I think thats a good idea for small business.
     

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