Who owns what?

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by Nimitz, Jul 21, 2007.

  1. Nimitz

    Nimitz TPF Noob!

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    I am a semi-professional photographer who has sold images I have taken to magazines for which they pay me a fee to publish but I ( as the one who took the image) retain the copyright. That I understand. Now , I'm getting ready to move into a studio-type business where customers will come to my studio for a sitting or I will go to there home

    I know that as the photograher I still retain the image copyright but here's where I get lost. They pay me and I take their picture and provide them with prints - fine. Now, what if I want to take the image of them and use it in some form where I will make money off it (send to a magazine, publish in a calendar, etc). Don't I need to get their permission if they are recognizable in the image? How do most studios handle this? Do they have the customer sign something (at the time of the sitting) which gives the photographer permission to use the image commercially later on so they don't have to try and track down the customer?

    What about if I'm photographing the individual's pets? Do you need permission from someone to use a photograph of their 'property' for commercial purposes (assuming you own the copyright)? Remember, in most states, pets are considered property for legal purposes. This is the real question since I'll be doing mostly pet portraits with the possibility of the owners also being in some of the images.

    Is there somewhere I can go to read up and get smart about this stuff? Thanks
     
  2. craig

    craig TPF Noob!

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    As always these questions can only be answered by you and the client and a lot of research. Just make sure that everyone is clear on who owns what before money changes hands.

    Personally I am on the payroll of the newspaper and several magazines. They own the work I shoot for them. I am welcome to use the shots for my portfolio, but that is as far as it goes. My commercial clients pay for usage and rights depending on their needs.

    I should mention that I work in a commercial/editorial environment. I have no idea what goes on wedding/portrait style.

    Love & Bass
     
  3. Aquarium Dreams

    Aquarium Dreams TPF Noob!

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    From the point of view of a customer, it doesn't seem right. But if you slip them a model release, they won't know any better. Also, you'll never have to hire a model. If you have an idea for an image you want to sell, just throw that pose in with the other photos your customer is paying for.
     
  4. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    You need a model release to use an image of a person in an application where money changes hands. You own the copyright to the image but the client owns their body. You can't publish an image of their face without a model release. Period.
     
  5. Nimitz

    Nimitz TPF Noob!

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    All right, I understand about the necessity of a model release if I want to use the image of someone for commercial purposes where their image is recognizable. But does this extend to their property as well?

    You take an image of a privately owned lake and a company wants to pay you to use the image in their up coming calendar. Do you need to get a signed release from the lake owner before you can sell the image?
     
  6. ScottS

    ScottS TPF Noob!

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    It seem as if you have a lot of questions, I use this to guide me, I also have a few printed off in my camera bag to diffuse the situation when a security guard tells me I can't take pictures. :)
    Go here
    http://www.krages.com/ThePhotographersRight.pdf
     
  7. Nimitz

    Nimitz TPF Noob!

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    thanks!
     
  8. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Just an as side, do you reside in America? I didn't see it mentioned, and it makes a very big difference. The definitions of commercial and the privacy laws differ greatly between countries.
     
  9. skieur

    skieur TPF Noob!

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    Not quite totally correct, particularly at the beginning, but it gets better and more accurate as the article progresses.

    skieur
     
  10. ScottS

    ScottS TPF Noob!

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    Well it is written for use in the US... Mr. Canada. :D and besides its just a guide, not the bible
     
  11. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Along with hiring an accountant you also will need a lawyer to assure your contracts will hold up in your state or wherever you live. Ask him/her at that time to be sure (and thereby placing yourself on their malpractice insurance ;)) and CYB.
     

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