Reprint rights

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by MACollum, Sep 30, 2009.

  1. MACollum

    MACollum TPF Noob!

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    I have a friend who mentioned to me that she wanted to get some enlargements of some of her wedding pictures and asked me about whether or not she could do so without infringing on the photographer's rights. She hasn't tried to get her prints because she thinks that she is not allowed to because she did not take the pictures. She does not have a release but she does have all the (film) negatives. Does this mean that she has the rights to print? I assume that if the photographer did not want them making prints, he/she would have kept the negatives and offered reprint services. What do you all think? Is having the original film negatives a kind of release in itself?
     
  2. Big Mike

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

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    Technically, I'd say that without actually having a signed release, she probably does not own the copyright to the images.

    However, there would be little point in turning over the negatives if the photographer didn't mean for the client to have the option of making their own prints.

    So I guess that in practical terms, she would be allowed to make prints/copies...and owning the negatives certainly works in her favor. The best thing to do, would probably be to contact the photographer and just ask.
     
  3. MACollum

    MACollum TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the quick reply! I asked her about tcontacting the photographer but I don't think she knows who it was. I think she hired a studio who just sent out a staff photographer. I told her to contact the studio and they should have a record or be able to get her a release. At least I hope so; I think she was married in 2002 or 2003.
     
  4. ErectedGryphon

    ErectedGryphon TPF Noob!

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    Whats the actual use of the enlargements, is there a contract? If they are personal, non-published/non-profit, and the photographer gave her the negatives, she can reprint whatever she wants. Selling or publishing them is where it gets questionable.

    Take alook at this: http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/articles-interest/162431-photography-law.html

    Particularly the sections on: Ownership of copyright: employee or employer? and Photography Contracts halfway down the page.
     
  5. MACollum

    MACollum TPF Noob!

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    I asked her about a contract right off but if there was one I don't think she has it now. I've got her looking around for the name of the photographer or studio. She should have them scanned (high-quality) but I think that would almost definitely require a release. Otherwise, maybe we'll just try taking them somewhere and see if they print them. The worst they could do is say no.
     
  6. CSR Studio

    CSR Studio TPF Noob!

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    If she owns the film she can do whatever she wants with them.
     
  7. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Not true. We all wish the law was that black and white, but it's simply not the case that having the film gives you copyright.

    For instance I may give you the film with the right to enlarge or use for personal purposes. Second you try to use it for commercial use you're breaching copyright.
     
  8. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Without a document describing the agreement between the client and the photographer, it's anyones guess.

    The shop doing the scanning/printing may well have an interest in such documentation for their legal protection. It's possible they could refuse to do anything with the negatives sans documentation establishing the provenence of the negatives.
     
  9. CSR Studio

    CSR Studio TPF Noob!

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    And how exactly would you prove that since I have the negatives?
     
  10. MACollum

    MACollum TPF Noob!

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    I suppose it probably does not matter that she doesn't want to sell the pictures (as far as my original question goes). Of course, the lab doesn't know what she intends to do with them, so they could refuse to print them. She just wants enlargements to put on her wall. Thanks anyway for all the replies!
     

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