photorelease question.

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by flyin-lowe, Feb 20, 2010.

  1. flyin-lowe

    flyin-lowe TPF Noob!

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    I know people say you should be flattered etc. but the majority of the pics that my wife has printed for her scrapbooks is just some 4x6 at Walmart, Wal greens etc. Here lately my wife and my mother have been told they couldn't pick up the pictures because they are pro's. I understand their concern but from a newbie wouldn't it make more since for the stores to put the burden on a photographer to try to protect their images with watermarks etc.as opposed to having some min. wage teenager deciding what pics my wife can get. I know with the high quality scanners out today you can scan an original that is not watermarked and get it printed, but if I had the money to do all that I would not be using walmart for my prints. I might just start sending stuff out to Adorama or other places to avoid the hastle. I guess if I was a pro and making money at this I might feel different I just can't help but wander what makes them think I would get pro quality photos printed at the 1 hour pharmacy. Funny part is that Wal Greens told me to come in and sign a release and then my wife could get the pics. I asked the manager how me signing a piece of paper would insure that all the pics she prints are from me. She said good point, I don't know. Just a rant but it gets annoying.
     
  2. creisinger

    creisinger TPF Noob!

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    I've heard of it and on one occasion my local drugstore also tried to refuse to hand me my own prints.

    What a joke.

    It's ok to an extent that the stores try to protect copyright holders so illegal prints are not getting out there. However, if all it takes is to sign a waiver stating the you are the copyright holder - geez I'd do it just to get it over with - but to refuse to hand out "pro" images is a joke.

    Actually they should be happy that "Pros" are using their services.
     
  3. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    We typically don't put watermarks on images that are sold as final prints. Proof yes, but not on final prints.
    So besides putting a copyright notice on the back (which some professional papers already have), what other way does the photographer have to protect their copyright?

    It would seem to me, that if you actually 'own' the photo, you shouldn't need to be making copies via a scanner anyway, you should have the negative or digital file.

    Several stores/chains have been sued, or at least threatened by lawyers, so they have no choice but to tell their employees to play it safe when it comes to coping or printing photos. It's not a perfect system but it's better than just letting everyone breech copyright laws.
     
  4. chammer

    chammer TPF Noob!

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    i agree that they need to play it safe, but the last time i used walgreens me and the person at the counter as well as her manager got in a huge fight over *my* pictures. it went on for a while then the manager finally agreed to release the photos to me. if im going through that much trouble for a single photo it should be quite obvious that its my photo. obviously if i wanted a print of some one elses i wouldnt bother with the hassle and just walk out and try elsewhere to get it made (or do it myself).

    she told me the next time to bring in my camera and media card so i could prove their mine. i told her that for one im not bringing my gear into the store, and secondly that they're always immediately dumped from my camera to my laptop so they're never on the card for that long anyways.

    i havent used walgreens since, but i probably will. they are quite cheap and extremely quick. i like using them to send home a nice single print of each puppy with their new owners.
     
  5. frommrstomommy

    frommrstomommy Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    My wedding photographer gave me a letter that I could show as proof that I have right to print if in the event that whatever place I chose to print wanted to give me a hard time. Try ordering through shutterfly or even walgreens.com - I ordered online through walgreens and had no issue with them not letting me get them printed or anything.
     
  6. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I do that for my clients when I sell them digital files.


    You are much more likely to run into this issue at the cheap consumer labs (Walgreens, Wal-mart etc.) So the simple solution is to use a better lab.
     
  7. KAikens318

    KAikens318 TPF Noob!

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    I did some Christmas photos for a few people and gave them the CD of all their photos. One of them called me and said that she went everywhere and they all refused to print her photos because there was copyright infringement. I had to write up a written release for her.

    I have tried printing my own photos at Walmart numerous times and have been unsuccessful, and you are right, while flattering, it's a pain in the butt. I took the stupid pictures, I would like to print them out! I only use MeridianPro now, they are cheaper than Walmart and better quality.
     
  8. annapierce

    annapierce TPF Noob!

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    I'm an intern at a photo studio, and you would be surprised in that they actually do use places like that to print sometimes. The studio I work at uses Sam's quite often actually.
     
  9. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    I don't think you understand what is going on here.

    The store is not protecting the copyright of some photographer.

    The store is protecting themselves from being sued by some photographer whose image copyright they unwittingly infringed by printing it and selling it. The store has you sign that piece of paper so the photographer will leave them alone and instead sue you if there has been an infringement.

    Here in the US a photographer successfully suing for statutory infringement damages and being able to show willful intent, can be awarded up to $150,000 per infringed image.

    If the suit is for actual damages the award can be much higher. A photographer in Florida sued a realty company that infringed 6 of her images and she was awarded $12 million.

    I make sure to have some things printed at each retail print outlet in town (only 25,000 souls). I make sure they have my business card on file and know to give me a call if one of my clients is trying to get copies of my images made, without my permission.
     
  10. flyin-lowe

    flyin-lowe TPF Noob!

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    I'm not up on my civil law ( I do know a little about criminal law) but I would think if this were totally the case then the photographer would have to go after the person who knowingly had a photo printed instead of the lab who did not know they did anything wrong.
    I have not gotten to the point in my photography yet where I am printing anything other then 4x6's for my wife and some pics for the family. Once I get good enough and am satisfied with my pics that I want some big ones to display I will definitely not be using Wal Greens or Wal Mart. Its just easier for my wife to get them done in one hour and pick them up on lunch.
     

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