Copywrite

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by Luminosity, Sep 8, 2006.

  1. Luminosity

    Luminosity No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    A question.

    I work for an advertising/design firm, who have done well for themselves for the last 13 years (they have Coca-Cola, L'Oreal, Redken, Biotherm and a few other well known contracts).

    I have been with them for 5 weeks, working as a receptionist/personal assistant to the creative director (owner) and yesterday I decided to jazz up my computer screen by using my own photos as a screensaver/wallpaper.

    Today, the general manager came up to my desk with one of the company's new designers and asked me to minimize my email window that I had up, so that he can show the designer the image that was on my computer wallpaper. He must've walked past my computer right before, when I was away from the desk and seen it and went to get the designer.

    He says "See Grant, THAT is the image that would be PERFECT for company-x !(leaving name out, but can say that it's a coffee company). We need to find this kind of image, this kind of scene for their ad!

    I don't think, at this stage, that he was aware that it was my photo but I said "this was taken in Florence" which I'm not sure they paid attention to. Anyway, the designer went off to his desk. Half an hour later he comes up to me and asks me to do him a favour and asked if I could email the image to him, so that he can reference it as inspiration.

    I said "hmm...ok sure. So long as my pic isn't actually used. You know....copywrite laws and so on..." making it clear, I believe, that it was my image and I wasn't giving permission for it to be used, just to clear up any possible future confusion. He assured me he was only using it for reference, whilst he looked for a stock image etc.

    So I emailed it to him with a "here ya go" and the image attached. Then I sent the email to my personal email also, for record-keeping. I also told the GM that I had emailed the designer my photo and he looked confused for a sec and I prompted with "the one on my computer wallpaper....anyway, as long as he uses it for reference only..."

    I walked past the designers desk and asked how he was going and saw my image being used with the coffee companies ad. He quickly minimized the image and seemed like a kid that had been caught with his hand in the cookie jar.

    Pretty sure he was just seeing how my image looked with the ad, just out of curiousity, but I want to just cover my ass here and obtain all the info as far as keeping my work safe and knowing how to keep track of evidence that images are mine. I took the shot with a digital camera and uploaded it straight to my laptop whilst in Italy so....

    I know the company would'nt steal images, they wouldn't risk everything on something like this. I have a feeling that they will probably go into Melbourne's Little Italy a.k.a Lygon Street and imitate my shot if anything.

    It's just handy to have this info so that I know how to protect my shots.

    Oh, I think I've posted the image somewhere on the forum before but this is the shot

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Rob

    Rob TPF Noob!

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    For a small sum of money, you can go to a solicitor and get a certified copy of it, which you can then post recorded delivery to yourself. Proof is very handy in these circumstances. Also, print out a record of all e-mails and get it in writing that you are *not* giving them permission to do anything with the picture. They probably won't use it, but it's always good to have a paper trail to back things up with.

    Rob
     
  3. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    When clients want to see how my photos look in their ad mock ups I provide them with extremely low res versions. Big enough to get the idea, but not enough resolution for the finished product. When they make a decision I can get them a high res version.

    Go to copyright.gov for the details, but basically for a few bucks you can register an entire CD or DVD filled with low res versions of your photos with the US Library of Congress.
     
  4. Luminosity

    Luminosity No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Thank guys, that's good advice!

    Might go into an Aus equivalent office and register it on my lunch break next week, along with other photos.
     
  5. Alison

    Alison Swiss Army Friend Supporting Member

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    Tina, why not ask them if the are interested in purchasing the image from you? If it's what they are looking for and it works well for the company it's worth a shot.

    I agree though, register the photo so that there is no confusion. Here in the US the copyright is automatic but if you register it you have an easier time legally if someone uses it.
     
  6. Luminosity

    Luminosity No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Yeah, that thought is in my mind too hon. Having issues with the gm and owner though, enough where I'm right on the brink of resigning after 5 weeks of thinking it through. Having said that though, if they wanted this image, I'm not ruling it out.
     
  7. markc

    markc TPF Noob!

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    My guess is that they are just using it as reference, as they said. They might be feeling guilty about using your image for the design stage, and then going out to buy a stock image for the actual end result, thinking that you would be upset that they didn't buy your image for it. There may be something about the image that makes it unusable for them, though. Something as simple as the position of the man.
     
  8. Luminosity

    Luminosity No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Stock images are the way they generally go, yes. I did see that, when he was positioning the logo etc, that it didn't work because of that very reason...position and other elements such as the cars and whatnot. To make the image cleaner, for ad purposes and selling coffee, I'd start with a street with cafe tables alongside, instead of vehicles, if they wanted a similiar feel/scene.

    You should see the images they were initially given to work with, the designers were incredulous at them, exclaiming "Are they SERIOUS!? They are gonna use THESE photos!?" One got on the phone to whoever and had to verify lol. The company uses photos and logos with this same kind of coloring I have in the photo, so I think that's why it jumped out to the gm.

    I generally thought this was the case, in regards to what you said, but was thinking of all other possibilites and being new to the industry, was wanting to cover all of them in my mind.
     
  9. markc

    markc TPF Noob!

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    I can definitely understand you being nervous about it. Especially since they didn't seem to really be communicating with you.
     
  10. abraxas

    abraxas No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Register it by all means, it is a good habit to get into.

    Sounds like you have an opportunity.
     

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