Rights to your pictures

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by WDodd, Jun 8, 2007.

  1. WDodd

    WDodd TPF Noob!

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    Hey everyone, I had an interesting argument with my girlfriend the other day about the rights to a picture when it involves a photographer and a model. She models part-time to earn some extra cash while she is going to school.

    Anyways, the point of the argument was what kind of rights does the model have to the pictures? She claims that she gets complete rights to do whatever she wants with any pictures that she does. I'm pretty sure that this isn't the case but what rights does a model get?

    I'm sure there's a difference between a TFP shoot and a paid shoot. But, I was thinking that at most the model would get pictures for her portfolio or the occasional picture for myspace or whatever with the photog's watermark.

    Her reply; "Why would any model do it then if we don't get the pictures?" She believes that photographers are just too "full of themselves and their pictures." My defense to this was the art perspective, and if the many famous painters that painted people did it for free then why would they do it?

    Basically I'm curious as to what you guys have to say to this topic. I'm sure there will be a simple explanation that will make me feel dumb but lets hear it anyways.
     
  2. MACollum

    MACollum TPF Noob!

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    To the point: The model gets only the rights given to them in the contract, nothing more. (If there is no contract, he/she gets no rights at all.) Since the photographer owns the copyright, the model cannot do ANYTHING with the pictures without permission. Of course, if you don't give the models some rights, you probably won't get anyone to model for you. :)

    Take this with a grain of salt, however, I'm no lawyer. I just read a LOT.
     
  3. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Try telling her the reason that the photographer owns the rights to the photos is that the photographer has a lot of time, effort and money tied up in their equipment and training and that all a model has to do is stand there.

    Of course you'll have to find another girlfriend. :lmao::lmao:

    mike
     
  4. Big Mike

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

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    It can depend on where you are. For example, I believe that Canadian law says that a commissioned piece or art (including photography) is owned (rights included) by the commissioner, not the artist...unless specified otherwise. So if that is true, and you are Canadian...the model would own the rights IF they hired the photographer and paid them.

    In the U.S., the photographer always owns the rights unless specified otherwise.

    Of course, I'm no lawyer so don't ask me.
     
  5. WDodd

    WDodd TPF Noob!

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    All these answers are right on with what I thought to be true.

    Mike_E: I tried explaining all this to her but she wasn't having any of it. Just think she knows all there is to know because she has been modeling for several years and I've only been seriously into photography for less than one.


    She recently did a shoot that was TFP and was upset that afterwards the photographer who was somewhat of a friend to her would not give her all the pictures she wanted only ones that he thought were good. This sparked the argument.
     
  6. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Is she the kind of person who would believe it if she read the law or just go one her merry way? It's ok either way so long as you know and can make allowances.

    The information shouldn't be hard to find, if she would read it. (I may be miss-remembering myself so you might want to read it Before you show it to her ;))

    mike
     
  7. WDodd

    WDodd TPF Noob!

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    I don't know how much impact that would have to tell you the truth. It would probably make her mad and say "thats not how it works" lol. I think she just has a distorted view of what she can and can't do with her pictures.

    For example she wants to make a website so that people would have to pay to view some of her work, but I seriously doubt that she would be able to use TFP pictures for this. Am I off base on that?
     
  8. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    If she is going to use someone else's' copyrighted work for a 'for profit venture' then the lawyer she has to hire when she gets hauled into court Will explain it to her- or the judge will.

    You said she was in school, maybe you can get her to ask one of her instructors. In the mean time, don't get your finances tied up with hers.

    She is very likely a fine person and I am not here to get into your personal life. As they say down in Texas, it's Bidness!

    mike
     
  9. astrostu

    astrostu Guest

    I pretty much agree with what everyone else says, though perhaps I can put it more concisely in a different way:

    There is probably a legal default (photographer owns rights). However, despite legal defaults, there should ALWAYS be a contract involved, otherwise any party could contest what's going on and it becomes a he-said-she-said war of words. So whenever she models, she needs to have a contract drawn up that explicitly states what she can/can't do with the images and what the photographer can/can't do with the images. That way, it's in writing before-hand and she knows what she's getting into.

    She will probably have a rude awakening when she sees the standard model contract and what limited rights she has.
     
  10. Alex_B

    Alex_B No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    you own the copyright of the image if you produced it .. at least in most countries that holds to my knowledge. but if there is a model on the images, and you have no model release from her, then your usage rights might be very limited.

    so without a written agreement, you might be in the strange situation that neither the model nor the photographer is allowed to use the images for anything but private non-commercial use ;)

    [edit:] I am not a lawyer though
     
  11. deanimator

    deanimator TPF Noob!

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    Tell her to do whatever she wants, but the best lawyers in the world won´t be able to save her butt when she gets sued (unless she can afford Paris Hilton´s lawyers).

    BTW: Can she read?
     
  12. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    LOL Paris was in the back of a squad car going to jail the last I saw. ;)
     

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