Copyright Question

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by rub, Jun 17, 2009.

  1. rub

    rub TPF Noob!

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    One of my clients mothers approached me tonight about a problem. Her other daughter was married a couple of years ago, and they were not impressed with the photos. They were enquiring if they could copy the images, and also wondering if I could do anything with them to help get rid of the issues (blue hair, exposure problems etc.)

    I was told that they can not get in touch with the photographer. Her website is no longer up, she has moved, and she has not responded to any emails. Sounds like the photography thing didnt pan out and she disappeared.

    I do not know (yet) if they received the images as prints, or if they were digital. I have sent an email to the bride trying to get all the facts: date, photographers name, business name, copies of any contracts etc., prints or digital

    My thinking is that if they were in digital form, she likey has some rights to make copies. If not, how far does a person have to go to get approval to make copies?

    If anyone has any ideas on how to proceed with this, please let me know.
    I would like to be able to help this customer, just not 100% sure where to start.

    Thanks
     
  2. Battou

    Battou No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The photographer has the copyright, they have to get a hold of the photographer....
     
  3. rub

    rub TPF Noob!

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    Thank you for responding.

    I realize that the photographer has the copyright, I'm just wondering how far the client has to go to contact the photographer. Is there any "reasonable attempt" clause that comes into play?

    If the client has been given a disk of the images, but no formal written documentation of the usage allowed, do copyright laws prevent them from having a bit of retouching done?

    Thanks.
     
  4. rufus5150

    rufus5150 TPF Noob!

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    They can wait 70 years until after the author of the copyright work dies.

    Copyrights are not like trademarks; they need not be defended in order to be preserved.

    Copyright in the US gives the author control over how the work is reused and distributed. Rights can only be given by explicit permission and giving a copy of the work (on a disk or some such) does not constitute any additional rights.
     
  5. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Nope, no 'reasonable attempt' clause. Particularly not in the Internet age with so much information like national telephone directories available online. You might check at www.copyright.gov but I wouldn't get my hopes up.

    If there is a digital disk (not common a couple of years ago) the only thing the client owns is the disk. The client does not own the images on the disk. There should be an image on the disk that is the text of the use license the copyright owner granted to the client. The client should have also been presented with a hard copy of the use license. In all probability the client hired an inexperienced and inexpensive photographer.

    If there is no use license the client can't legally get them printed. Without the permision of the copyright owner you can't legally edit any of the images either.

    As mentioned: U. S. copyright lasts for the life of the author, + 70 years.
    Canadian copyright lasts the llife of the author, +50 years.
     

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