Who Owns the Photos that I took at a casino tournament?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by andrewaaa5, Sep 28, 2004.

  1. andrewaaa5

    andrewaaa5 TPF Noob!

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    Hi,
    I took about 1000 pictures at an international casino tournement.
    I was paid a small fee to do the work and knew that there were likely to be used in several magazines the world over.

    Nothing was agreed before hand as to who owns the pictures that I would take. So who owns them? I always thought the photographer owned them, but the organisers are saying that they should own the pictures as they paid me to do the work.

    Any advise please greatly appreciated.

    Andrew
     
  2. jadin

    jadin The Mad Hatter

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    In the future you'll be better off negotiating that sort of thing beforehand.

    That said, I'm not an expert but I _think_ they own the photos for the use you agreed upon beforehand. After said use, they are the photographers, as they were your creation. (like any work of art)

    So basically they are your photos with your credit as photographer, but they get to use them in the magazines.

    I'm sure it's not too late to get a contract, if you're dealing with reasonable people.
     
  3. jadin

    jadin The Mad Hatter

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    Found this in a google search:

    A photographer who is employed by a company to take pictures does not won the rights to the photographs taken on the job. That is considered work for hire. All photographic rights belong to the company. EX: If Paul HIRE's Tony Steele to help shoot this calendar, the photographs, rights, and negatives are own by Paul's company. Period.
    Some employers require employees who are hired as photographers to sign a "work for hire" contract. Even it there is not a contract the employer still owns all rights, including copyrights, to all creative works produced on the job.

    Contract photography which is negotiated between a photographer and a client (not an employer and employee) may fall into the same category as works for hire. The ownership should be clearly stated and agreed upon in writing by both parties as the first item in the contract.
     
  4. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    I don't know about the rest of the world, but in the USA the photographer owns the copyright to the photos unless it was specified differently in a signed contract (such as government employees photographing on the job, those images are public domain).

    Just because you were paid does not mean you are their employee. All of my contracts state that I am an independant contractor. You should probably talk to a lawyer.
     
  5. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    Check out this site for more info...

    http://www.copyright.gov/

    It looks like both you and the folks that hired you are in the same boat: should have figured this out in writing beforehand. It's easy, it's professional, and it saves headaches later.

    I was doing business over the phone with an ad agency, and we didn't take the time to get everything down on paper before the job started. After I did the work I sent my invoice, and the guy was a little shocked to see that my bill was $1440 when he thought my "day rate" was $500. I never told him my day rate was $500, I don't even have a day rate. I had told him the first 2 hours would be $500, and that there would still be travel charges, additional hourly charges, useage fees, fees for digital editing, etc... It was a misunderstanding, but after he checked around and realized he was still getting a great deal at $1440 he paid up. Now when I do work for them we've got it all down on paper.
     
  6. Sharkbait

    Sharkbait TPF Noob!

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    :shock: Heh, I got paid $50 to do a few shots of a building for a rededication ceremony, and I was thrilled. Can't wait until I'm established enough to charge real fees.
     
  7. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    :D IMHO I'm still working for 1/2 price!
     
  8. andrewaaa5

    andrewaaa5 TPF Noob!

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    ok, to give you more information, it was not in America, it was an international game in the Baltics (North East Europe), however there were a lot of American players there, as well as Russian, Dutch, UK, Ireland, Swedish, Nerweigan etc..

    I was paid small fee of less than 141.078 EUR (about 173.780 USD) for 4 days work (approx 3hrs 30mins per day). I spend my own time rotating and editing the pictures in software.

    I was supposed to take the pictures at set times (i.e 2pm - 6pm Weds, 4pm - 7pm Saturday etc.) however I did turn up a lot in my own spare time, including showing up for a whole day when I was not meant to be there, or worked after the suggested time, and I took a lot of pictures in this extra 'personal' time. Surely I own the pictures that were taken then!?

    It just so happened that the final day was rescheduled so that I worked between 2pm and 6pm instead of the agreed 6pm to 10pm.

    The 'final' game finished at 5.55pm. Ok - so did I take all the pictures of the final game in my own time??? In which case do I own the pictures???

    I am totally new to this, and it would have been great to have organised and negotiated a contract before hand, but the organisers were so busy organising accomodation for the players and runway times at the local airports for private jets, etc. etc. that nothing was agreed.

    Hmm...

    Confused Andrew
    (thanks for all the response so far!)
     
  9. Axel

    Axel TPF Noob!

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    To me there is no doubt. If I'm employed by a newspaper to write articles, the newspaper can sell those articles to whoever they want without my consent. Thus, the the employer - or the assigner - is the one who has the copyright to the pictures.
     

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