Need opinions on next action to take...

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by Sinister_kid, Feb 21, 2010.

  1. Sinister_kid

    Sinister_kid TPF Noob!

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    Alright well I haven't been on here in a lonnggg while, figured this would be a pretty good reason to come back and make a post.

    I've currently the photographer for the High School I attend and I get pictures from all the school's events for the yearbook to use. I AM getting compensation for the pictures and my work (I get class credit for attending events), not sure if that matters or not but figured i'd throw it in there anyways.

    Recently I've been seeing ALOT of my photos being uploaded to people's facebooks and myspaces. Mostly they are girls on the cheerleading squad uploading them (as I shoot pictures of them at the basketball games). But I have never given anybody any type of permission to upload the pictures to the internet, besides the editors of the yearbook to upload them to the website they use to design the yearbook.

    I just need input on the situation and what action I should take next? I have sent an email regarding the subject to the instructor who I work with and who runs the yearbook class.

    Any ideas?
     
  2. Phranquey

    Phranquey TPF Noob!

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    My first response is "none". I did high school and college yearbook and newspapers many, many moons ago, and if the same rules still apply, the photos belong to them, not you.... kinda like working as a second for a wedding. If you let the yearbook instructor know, that is the end of your dealings with the subject.
     
  3. Sinister_kid

    Sinister_kid TPF Noob!

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    Well last time I checked.. If I took the pictures I have the legal rights to the pictures. Now I know there could be some stipulations to this and exceptions but generally speaking.. I'm guessing this would still be the standing rule in this situation.

    Also, seeing as the school has nobody else to take picture, now i'm not trying to boast to say i'm the only one who can take quality pictures for the school because simply i'm not there are others who are good at photography but they simply won't do it, i'm sure the instructor won't get too upset about me mentioning it.
     
  4. It's an interesting question. What you haven't said yet is what you want... do you want the students to cease and desist? Do you want to get credit each time they post one? Do you want to get paid? That should drive your actions.

    If they are school pictures taken on behalf of the school for yearbook purposes and other all-school uses, finding them on Facebook seems fair game. You are getting compensated, thus making it "work for hire" in which case you do NOT own the intellectual property (at least that is how it would be in CA).

    It's called "Facebook" for Goodness sakes, not sure if they still have those... but in the 80s that was how students were documented at the beginning of the year. The original intent of Facebook.com was to create a virtual space where students share experiences.

    I think you might be SOL, but I would be interested to hear how this pans out. I hope you are ok with the results, just make sure you set realistic expectations.
     
  5. thoughtcryme

    thoughtcryme TPF Noob!

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    I don't understand what the issue here is?
    So some of the photos of cheerleaders you shot made their way to facebook?
    What's the problem?
    Do you think that these cheerleaders should come to you personally and ask your permission to use the schools property?
    When you shoot those photos you're acting on behalf of the school.
    You're not a freelance photographer that retains ownership over those photos.
     
  6. LuckySo-n-So

    LuckySo-n-So TPF Noob!

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    About the only thing I think you can do is to put a small watermark that says something like "Photo by Sinister Kid" on the photos you upload to the site from which these people are "stealing" the photos.

    I'm guessing that you are uploading them to some school-related website, and the photos are being copied/pasted to facebook.

    For the photos to be used in the yearbook, simply submit a photo without a watermark.

    You probably have no recourse against people taking the photos for their own use on FB, but at least people will know that you took the photo.
     
  7. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    First before you try to take any formal action you need to understand your rights in this - shooting for an organisation like a school or newspaper can end up with you revoking your rights to the images or the use of them during your time shooting.

    Secondly you need to understand the limits on the internet site that the yearbook photos are uploaded to.

    Thirdly you need to decide what your angle on all this is - just what is it you want out of it? And you also need to understand what reponce might come from various different routes you decide to take.

    Personally I would simply be content enough with a simple attribution and a link to your online website (if you have one if not a flickr account works well) on the facebook profiles where people have uploaded your photos to. Possibly with some note being added to the online yearbook to tell people to perform this act in the future.

    I doubt you will get any payment out of this nor will trying to charge for it stand you in good standing with the school nor your contemparies in the students. So that is a no deal line - though you might be able to charge for professional printing (since I assume the online images are only small websized versions and thus unsuitable for good quality prints). Of course this will all be based on both your agreement with the school and also the quality of the images you have produced - if they are good enough you might get sales.
    Also going down that route you would have to consider who you pitch your sale to and for how much - pitching a sale of a sports team photo to parents (for example) is far more likley to sell for a higher amount than if you pitch to the students direct -- of course facebook/portrait images might sell more volume to students than to parents -- ahh things get all complicated now! ;)
     
  8. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Not always!

    You're likely in a 'work for hire' situation if the school directs you and provides the gear you're using. If so, you don't own the images.

    Check out www.copyright.gov .

    If you're not yet 18 years old, your legal rights are somewhat limited.
     
  9. gsgary

    gsgary Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I'd say, just get used to it,you could sue for $1,000,000 :lol:
     
  10. Sinister_kid

    Sinister_kid TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the post. Good information in here.

    FYI I am 18. So i take it they aren't as limited?

    Anyways on topic, I talked with the teacher and he agrees with me. He doesn't think that the girls taking the pictures without asking permission is right at all. In the end we came up with the conclusion that anybody wanting to use my pictures for their own personal use and what not need to either ask me or him (I told him I would be fine with him granting them permission).

    And I don't look for compensation, well anymore than I already am getting (school credit).

    And my teacher said that technically if I am working as a freelance photographer and then providing the school with the work for yearbook. Well if the people are taking these photos without permission and uploading them to external websites then they are stealing school property. Just figured that would be some useful information.
     
  11. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Sounds like a fair and good resolution - I would have pushed a little for some attributing link or comment on you the photographer to be included (kind of like a watermark but not on the image itself - in the comments bit below).
     
  12. PhotoXopher

    PhotoXopher TPF Noob!

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    Are you really going to say 'no' anyway?
     

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