What does the law say? Image rights?

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by Cinka, May 19, 2008.

  1. Cinka

    Cinka TPF Noob!

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    I recently did a TF* shoot with a model I found online. It was an experiment that didn't quite work. Some of you might recall the homeless guy picture. Anyway, I told the model I wasn't happy with the images and didn't feel right handing them over; that I felt it might come back to haunt me - seeing at the statement made in the images didn't convey and it offended people, which was not my intent. He continued to ask for them and pursue the images. I eventually told him I'd see what I could do - which was my attempt to get him off my back. Finally, he sent me a poorly written and offensive text message that stated he's thinking about seeking legal council for the images. He wants them for his portfolio and promises not to use them for commercial purposes or use my name.

    He didn't sign a model release. So what does the law state? If this goes any further (he's a rich kid with a parent in local government), am I in for it? I still don't think I should release the images. I really don't want to see them somewhere years down the road.

    Please, any help is much appreciated.

    Thanks!
     
  2. KOrmechea

    KOrmechea TPF Noob!

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    Text message? Very professional...

    Have you talked to him about another shoot?

    Was there anything in a contract that may cover a situation like this?
     
  3. Cinka

    Cinka TPF Noob!

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    There was no contract. I forgot to bring one to shoot :(
     
  4. Battou

    Battou No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The image rights are by law yours, You Paid him for his time correct? If there is no written contract stating that he is entitled to the imagery and he has been compensated for his services, than there is nothing his legal council is going to be able to do in a court of law.


    However, You should really consider giving him atleast something for his portfolio, When it comes down to shooting with models you do not want to unnecessarily burn bridges. That alone could do more damage than it's worth.
     
  5. Cinka

    Cinka TPF Noob!

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    Battou, thanks for the reply.

    No, he didn't get paid either. It was all for trade. Does what you said still apply?

    I thought about just sending him something to shut him up, but I honestly think these images could come back to haunt me.
     
  6. *Mike*

    *Mike* TPF Noob!

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    I haven't seen the pics, so maybe I'm at a disadvantage... but, to withhold the images on a TFP shoot is incredibly audacious. He gave his time, and talent, in order for you to practice - with the understanding that he would get the images. To refuse to release them is wrong - on so many different levels.

    Show the guy what you shot. If they're that bad, he may not even want to use them for anything. What do you possibly have to gain by holding back? So no one sees what you may consider to be sub-par work. Instead you face huge hassles, have your integrity dragged through the mud, and everyone will assume the photography was bad anyway.

    I don't do TPF. I know photogs that do. Flaky models are the bane of their existence. Honor what you promised.
     
  7. *Mike*

    *Mike* TPF Noob!

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    Of course, this doesn't mean that someone who is angry and has money to burn can't drag her into court anyway... Even if he loses - so would she in terms of defense costs and time.
     
  8. Battou

    Battou No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    As far as legal rites yes but for his grounds for legal action no.


    If he has not been paid he does have some grounds to presue legal action, Your best bet is to satisfy the agreement you made. If he decides to take legal action it will most likely conclude that you will have to honor the agreement and then on top of that pay compensation for time lost as well as court fees.


    In truth, the that is one of the risks involved in business, Every thing comes back in one way or another. That said let me ask you a question:

    What would you rather have happen?

    A set of images that you are not satisfied with being used to display a models skill with the possibility of innaproprate use (of witch you should put in black and white that he has aggreed not to do just in case) with the possibility of tarnishing your name and your ability tied to it.

    Or

    Never getting to shoot with models that this individual is associated with due to having a bad reputation pertaining to the payment of services rendered and the possibility of that reputation spreading.
     
  9. Battou

    Battou No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    This is very true, and happens very frequently, sometimes due to ignorance on the plaintif part and sometimes theuroughly intented to do just that out of spite, but that is kinda moot now..
     
  10. craig

    craig TPF Noob!

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    Why would you work with out a contract or whatever? It is important that you hold up your end of the bargain. It is that simple.

    Love & Bass
     
  11. abraxas

    abraxas No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    A verbal contract is still a contract.
     
  12. Cinka

    Cinka TPF Noob!

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    It's not that images are low quality or shot poorly, it's that I was attempting to make a political statement and it back-fired. It ended up being offensive, but not in any way I intended. So....should I release the images and have these "offensive" images come back to haunt me some day just to make this guy happy or should I protect my integrity? That's what it comes down to. As for him dragging me to court, I suppose that could happen. It's a scary thought dealing with someone who's throwing a tantrum. I explained to him I thought the images might negatively effect his career as well. I'll see if and how he responds.

    I do know to always have a release. In my defense, I was in a car accident only minutes before the shoot and instead of putting the shoot off for a few days so I could get better, I trudged through it. I probably wasn't in a good mindset.
     

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