What are my Rights as the Photographer?

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by ByJohnson, Sep 24, 2008.

  1. ByJohnson

    ByJohnson TPF Noob!

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    I was recently contacted to do a shoot for a website. The site is paying me for my work (barely), and I asked if I could use some of the images in my portfolio. I was told that I can't because the owner of the site doesn't want anyone to have copies. These shots would really add something new to my portfolio, do I have the right to use them for self promotion? I haven't been asked to sign anything yet, and plan on reading through anything I am asked to sign. I just think that for what I'm being paid for the work the least they could do is allow me usage. Just want to know what I can and can't do. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Behemoko

    Behemoko TPF Noob!

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    Don't quote me on this because I'm not absolutely certain, BUT.

    Your rights are what you sign them off as. If you make a contract saying you can't use them, then you can't, and if you can get them to say you can in the contract, then you can. It's better to have the court on your side than ethics, I'd say push for the ability to use the pics, but only if it won't hinder you getting the job. If you can't, then go for getting them to say you did the work. Sure, it won't be directly in your portfolio, but if you give the reference (with proof/them saying you did it), the person reviewing it can look up the site and see your work not only as your work, but in a professional setting.
     
  3. ByJohnson

    ByJohnson TPF Noob!

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    Thanks, that's pretty much what I was thinking. I could very well push to say that for what I'm begin paid if they want exclusive rights, they should shoot it themselves. But I'd rather have the work than not. Hopefully it will lead to more work if I just bite my tongue.
     
  4. K8-90

    K8-90 TPF Noob!

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    Could you charge them an additional fee for exclusive rights?

    Sorry, I can't offer much help, but that's just a thought :)
     
  5. Flash Harry

    Flash Harry TPF Noob!

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    yes, charge for exclusive rights, or, negotiate, possibly linking to their website with each shot that you wish to put on your own. Copyright law concerning commissioned photography isn't as straightforward as you would think, I'de have to look out some books from the attic to verify but I think commissioned work passes C to those who pay. H
     
  6. Alpha

    Alpha Troll Extraordinaire

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    I concur with Behemoko. Your rights are whatever you outline in your contract. What's reasonable or unreasonable is up to you and your client.
     
  7. PhilGarber

    PhilGarber TPF Noob!

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    Yeah, that's about right!:)
     
  8. Pure Captures

    Pure Captures TPF Noob!

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    The consensus is correct. Whatever your contract states will determine what rights you have. Where things get tricky is if you don't have a contract. That said, have a contract; if they don't draw one up for you, you draw one up for them.
    Personally, I would tell them they can have exclusive rights for a reasonable price, but not for barely paying you (unless your definition is of barely is higher than mine). The idea of offering to link to them on your site would be good leverage too. If you're really hard up for the job you could take it at the terms being offered initially, but I'd still try to haggle to get them more favorable to you.
     
  9. skieur

    skieur TPF Noob!

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    You seem to have it backwards. They should be signing YOUR contract relating to the photos and rights that you are selling to them. That means that you dictate in your contract that you have the right for example to use the images in your portfolio.

    skieur
     
  10. Edward Crim

    Edward Crim TPF Noob!

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    I inform my clients that I will use any photos I shoot to promote my business. If they want exclusive rights to the images they have to purchase them from me at extra cost.

    If you work without a contract, the rights to the photos are yours (unless you are an employee of the company). The only issue you might run into is model releases for those images showing identifiable people.

    You also have the right to remain silent.
     
  11. skieur

    skieur TPF Noob!

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    To be even more precise you may still own the rights to photos if you are an employee of the company. The important question is whether you were hired and paid specifically to take photos. If yes the employer owns the rights. If NOT, you own the rights.

    skieur
     
  12. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Bingo!

    They're the ones making the purchase and YOU are the one doing the selling. It's up to you to decide just what it is you're selling.

    -Pete
     

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