Release question

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by Stillwater, Nov 12, 2008.

  1. Stillwater

    Stillwater TPF Noob!

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    Hi!

    I've taken pictures of people in the past, non-commercial, just friends and people that want pictures taken. But lately I've been doing engagement sets and the like, can I post those on say, Flickr, as public without releases?

    Thanks!
    --George
     
  2. DRoberts

    DRoberts TPF Noob!

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    If you took these pictures for someone else to "own" then you should get a release signed just to avoid any situations.
    Pretty much if you are just showing them for critique or showing off you should be good.
    If you are going to use the photos to advertise your photography or as a representation of your business for profit or not, then Yes you must get a release or they can sue you.
    The best way to do this is to have a section in your contract that addresses posting on the web for non profit reasons, as well as a section for advertisment use. Inside each of these sections have a seperate place to sign if they agree to this. These will simply be contract "riders" and will not effect the agreement for the job.
     
  3. skieur

    skieur TPF Noob!

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    The person who hired you to take picture owns the rights which why photographers have contracts that specify that payment is for services rendered only, and the photographer retains the rights to all photos taken.
    Then there is no problem.

    skieur
     
  4. NateWagner

    NateWagner TPF Noob!

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    what? Unless the photographer specifically gives up the rights to the photos they remain the property of the photography. The person who hires you doesn't have the rights to the photos. Even without a contract the shots are still yours. The only area of difficulty is if you're trying to use the photo for commercial purposes and trying to sell it elsewhere.

    If the client clearly knows they are posing for photographs they don't necessarily need the model release (though they're good to get anyway). The only concern is again if you try to cell the photos elsewhere such as "on coffee mugs"

    Here is a site to check out, though there are numerous others.
    http://www.asmp.org/commerce/legal/releases/
     
  5. Stillwater

    Stillwater TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for all of the feedback everyone, I really appreciate it!
     
  6. skieur

    skieur TPF Noob!

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    No, there have been several rulings on that issue. As a matter of fact that is the difference between a photographer on the staff of a newspaper (the newspaper owns the rights to his photos) and a free lancer. If someone has been hired to take photos then barring a contract to the contrary the person commissioning the photos owns the rights. That is why photographers have contracts. In one case a gentleman whose portrait that he commissioned (copy) was displayed in a photographer's studio. He sued the photographer and won. It was the lack of a contract that made the difference. The judge indicated that the person commissioning the photo owned the rights in the absence of a contract to the contrary.

    skieur
     
  7. NateWagner

    NateWagner TPF Noob!

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    Well, more accurately the newspaper generally owns the rights to the works of their staff photographers that were created on staff time. Thus only shots for the newspaper and on newspaper time would be the copyright of the newspaper.

    As far as your "case," it would only qualify as a work-for-hire, which is supposed to have a direct contract stating that the work is specifically commissioned for the client. In which case this would have been equivalent to the photographer signing over the rights to the client.

    In your case supposedly there was no contract, I wouldn't know as I've never heard of this case, but this clearly doesn't follow under Work-for-hire as shown here (17 U.S.C. sec 101). Of course you may be in canada or somewhere else where the laws are different or something, who knows.
     
  8. skieur

    skieur TPF Noob!

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    Actually, almost all pros use a contract that states that payment is for services rendered and that the photographer retains all rights to the photograph beyond the print(s) and use(s) that have been paid for.

    skieur
     
  9. NateWagner

    NateWagner TPF Noob!

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    oh absolutely. better to be safe than to be sorry. Even though you may have the right, having it in writing is better. I would absolutely encourage the use of releases, if nothing else it can be used to show clients that you have the right to the work. You have it anyway, but having it in writing is nice as well.
     
  10. skieur

    skieur TPF Noob!

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    In the Canadian Copyright Act, the person commissioning a portrait or photograph is deemed to be the first owner of copyright providing there is no written agreement to the contrary as stated in Canadian Copyright Law 2nd edition.

    American copyright law may be different in this area. I am still looking for specifics, rather than interpretations.

    skieur
     
  11. skieur

    skieur TPF Noob!

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    From the US Copyright Office: www.copyright.gov In a work made for hire the employer is the first owner of copyright if there is no written agreement to the contrary.

    This confirms what I said in the first place.

    skieur
     

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