copyright question when user pushes the button

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by thewiseguy, Sep 13, 2008.

  1. thewiseguy

    thewiseguy TPF Noob!

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    hi there -

    i am new here and i have been searching for the answer to this question for a while ... i hope someone out there can advise me

    i recently went to an event where photographic equipment was set up in the corner by a professional company. the party-goers were invited to hit the button themselves and pose for the photo that would automatically be taken. these photos are now being sold via their website as both print and digital form. more so, one particular photo of me is being used as the front cover for that particular event.

    there were no signs or release forms at the event to suggest that i was releasing any rights to my image being used. also, there is nothing on the website about this either.

    even though the equipment and lighting was pre-set by the professionals, surely the fact that I myself hit the shutter button means i hold on to the copyright?

    wouldn't it be the same copyright issues as using those photobooth machines you use to get passport photos? they are your own photos - not the photobooth company's.

    many thanks in advance!
     
  2. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    It takes more than that. If you make a photograph under my direction or as my employee, I own the rights.

    I realize your situation is different, but there are times when simply tripping the shutter doesn't grant you ownership of the rights.

    It's an interesting question. I'm GUESSING since you knew how the whole deal worked before submitting to the process, you have no legal claim.

    -Pete
     
  3. icassell

    icassell TPF Noob!

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    At the same time, I imagine that the person who set up the camera cannot use the photographs either without a release from you.
     
  4. cameramike

    cameramike TPF Noob!

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    could be seen many ways; his equipment his time so his rights. All you did was press a button no setup or composition. It gets very shady when a release is needed. Since he was using the photo in something FOR the event and, the photo was on his equipment the use of a release was probably thought unnecessary.

    Is it that big of a deal that you are on it? Would you of not signed a release if you had been given one?
     
  5. Brian Austin

    Brian Austin TPF Noob!

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    Did you purchase tickets? A release could be built into the fine print on the ticket.
     
  6. thewiseguy

    thewiseguy TPF Noob!

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    there were no tickets for the event. the equipment rental and set up were all booked and paid for by the event host. all the photos were immediately projected on a screen for us to see and enjoy, and there were no indications of what was going to happen to the photos afterwards. they just appeared on the website and i came across the link by accident.

    i am not thinking of complaining - i am just very curious about it. however, if i want a digital copy of my photo, i have to pay for it. and i believe the event host has to pay for them too.

    i didn't see any documentation or sign at the event to suggest what i was giving up by partaking in the process.

    any other opinions out there?
     
  7. 93rdcurrent

    93rdcurrent TPF Noob!

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    I'm sure that in order for them to use your photo to advertise their equipment they would have to have you sign a release. They should have contacted you to get it before using your image. I don't think that a private function paid for by a third party, whether that be a friend, employer or whatever, would have the right to release images taken during the event by participants for commercial use later. Just my guess.
     
  8. Flash Harry

    Flash Harry TPF Noob!

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    Any promo image including a recognizable person must have a model release unless its a T&C thing as mine is with my wedding contract, which I also state on first meeting with clients. H
     

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