Licensing Question

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by musicaleCA, Jun 3, 2009.

  1. musicaleCA

    musicaleCA TPF Noob!

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    Hmm, my first thread is about licensing. I hope that's a good sign for me in photography. Anyway...

    Here's the situation. While I was out and about in downtown Vancouver, snapping some candids and street shots, I took some telephotos of a hair salon I saw, who had *the* most awesome front desk ever (Basically the front of an old Chevy body), and really nice, colourful hair styles. They saw me, posed crazily for the camera, I walked over, and asked them nicely if I could shoot them while they worked, explaining how much I loved the colours and styles of their hair. They agreed, and also signed model releases for me too (I wish I could post a few from the impromtu shoot, but I can't until the people I took the photos of approve them for use since I did some minor edits like colour correction; they wanted to see them before I showed them, which is fair). I guess it's a good thing I got my 50mm f/1.4 when I did (two days prior), because I shot the entire time with it. :lol:

    Now, after seeing the results that I emailed them, they'd like to use some on their website. Frankly I'm pretty happy about this, as I've been shooting for all of a month and a half, and now there's a business that wants to use my photography. It was all very informal and unplanned, and I'm hardly an established pro, so I'm not asking for money (and I might as well enjoy doing photography purely for the joy of it while I can); all I want is attribution when they use them on their site (which, at the very least, gets my name in front of people's eyes).

    My question is, should I limit their use of my photos for a certain duration within the license, say a year, or should I just give them a perpetual license to my photos (within the terms of the license, of course, which excludes all printed media, and places strict restrictions on electronic distribution; they would only be able to use them on their website's domain without my prior written consent)? I'm considering the latter, mostly because I'm not going to be making any money off of them anyway, so I might as well just avoid more paperwork down the road for both our sakes. (I've put in a clause that makes the license null and void if they violate the terms, which guarantees that we both go back to the negotiating table, as it were, if they did for whatever strange reason. o_O )

    Any other pointers that you guys and gals might feel I could use would be greatly appreciated. This is totally new territory, and while I'm quite comfy reading the law, writing a legal document (no matter how straight-forward I try to keep it) is not something I'm a fan of. >.< (I'm using the licensing information on ASMP as a guide.)
     
  2. musicaleCA

    musicaleCA TPF Noob!

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    *bump* No suggestions or opinions? >.>
     
  3. Jim Gratiot

    Jim Gratiot TPF Noob!

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    I just asked another photographer this same question... even if you're not "an established pro," why are you not asking for money? Informal + unplanned doesn't mean you should give away your shots for free.
     
  4. Artograph

    Artograph TPF Noob!

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    Eeek!! Ask for money!!

    Also...I'm not sure you need their "OK" to post pics of them if you were standing on the sidewalk taking their photo....someone correct me if I'm wrong!!

    There have been oodles of questions similar to this.....go to "seach", up above, and see what you can find!!

    Good luck!!!

    :O)
     
  5. manaheim

    manaheim Jedi Bunnywabbit Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I think most folks on here will tell you to ask for money, and I generally tend to agree, but I will toss in that I understand how it may feel hard to do that. After all, your session was clearly informal and on some level they were doing you a favor by letting you take the shots.

    That being said, they're going to be using those images to help promote their business and if they hired a photographer to do what you just did I bet they would have paid... what? $500...? $1000...? for the session and gotten rights to use X images for Y years for Z purpose. Charging something seems appropriate.

    I would say that you should be very appreciative of their interest and for letting you in to take the shots to begin with. Be excited about the fact that they want to use them and give them some reasonable terms.

    Good luck and please let us know how it turns out. These things are absolutely challenging.
     
  6. Blank

    Blank TPF Noob!

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    I wouldn't bother with any contract or terms or any legal mumbo jumbo you have posted about. Tell them to do whatever they want over eternity, why restrict your potential exposure if that's all you want?
     
  7. musicaleCA

    musicaleCA TPF Noob!

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    Lol. Because perpetual and unrestricted contracts give me he wiggins. (Omg, I just used "wiggins" in a sentence...I'm not even old...)

    Ah well, normally I wouldn't, if they hadn't asked me to black-out the "out" in "without" in the clause on my model releases that says "to alter and composite the same without restriction and without my inspection or approval". Since simple colour correction, contrast, and brightness changes are indeed alterations, I'm going back there to get their approval, in writing (forms that I've written that they'll sign, with attached contact sheets of the images they're approving for my use).


    Given the notes above of "ask for money!", I've decided to shorten-up the license term to six months. Hopefully they'll want to keep using them at that point. In any case, while yes they will be using it to promote their business on their website, the license specifically excludes printed media and more from their use of my images. I've also included a clause that requires that they give credit to me whenever the images are displayed. If they paid, that's probably the first clause that would have to go.

    Here's the clauses I mentioned. Restrictions:

    "The Images may not be distributed in any form other than display on the Website, including but not limited to: printed media; email; posters, or; magazine, television, or internet advertisements, without the prior consent, in writing, of the Licensor. The Images may not be used for sale or retail of the Images alone or as part of a service or product without the prior consent, in writing, of the Licensor. The Images may not be transformed, distorted, or otherwise edited without the consent, in writing, of the licensor, with the exclusion of non-distorting cropping."

    And credit:

    "The Licensee is required, without exception, to provide credit to the Licensor on all pages, galleries, or other positions within the Website the Images are displayed, with the text: "© 2009 God (j/k, my real name; if you're so curious, go look at my Flickr. :p )"

    Thanks for the notes guys. I think I'm really just going for exposure with this agreement, so credit is more important than some monies. If they want to use the images for anything else, then I'll just explain that I'd require some form of payment. (The license is also non-exclusive and non-transferrable, so I basically keep all control over my images. The license is very limited in scope.)

    tl;dr: Anyway, I'm going over there tomorrow and we'll see how things turn out. Thanks for the advice guys. :D (Assuming I get the model releases completed, I'll also link some photos here so you can see what they were interested in. Cheers.)
     
  8. musicaleCA

    musicaleCA TPF Noob!

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    Well today went pretty well. I got three of the five people who need to sign approval forms (two didn't like some pictures, which I won't show). The other two I left forms for and they'll sign them when they can. As for the license, the owner signed it, and may want me to shoot at another of their locations in future! Weeeee!!! (I of course told him I was up for it, and that we could discuss pricing later.) They've got my card too. Bwaha!

    Anyway, here are three example shots, of the ones I can (legally) show (all shot with my 50mm prime, which is like an 80mm on my 450D; also note there's no post-proc beyond colour correction and contrast):

    1/125 at f/2.0, ISO 200
    [​IMG]

    1/200 at f/1.8, ISO 200
    [​IMG]

    1/100 at f/2.2, ISO 200
    [​IMG]
     
  9. manaheim

    manaheim Jedi Bunnywabbit Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Congrats!

    That also looks like a FUN place to shoot. Love the second one, btw.
     

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