legality/newspaper photos question

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Pantsy, Feb 23, 2004.

  1. jack

    jack TPF Noob!

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  2. metroshane

    metroshane TPF Noob!

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    OH brother, jack. Is this really necessary.

    Here's a few things for you to chew on.

    http://law.freeadvice.com/intellectual_property/copyright_law/work_for_hire.htm

    "if the parties expressly agree in a written instrument signed by them that the work shall be considered a work made for hire"

    http://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap1.html

    Not just wedding photogs, jack...anyone who takes a pic owns the copyright unless it's expressly written. In fact, if Vogue magazine hires me to take pics of Hiedi Klum...they pay me for my time. I own the copyrights and sell them usage. the magazine will purchase usage but very rarely will pay for the copyright outright. However the contract will usually state that the photographer will not re publish the same photo for a certain amount of time.

    Now, please children. Do your own legwork from now on. The copyright office is a nice place to start.
    www.copyright.gov
     
  3. jack

    jack TPF Noob!

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  4. jack

    jack TPF Noob!

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  5. metroshane

    metroshane TPF Noob!

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    I apologize, Jack. I didn't mean to come off like that. It's just that there is a preponderance of folks that are willing to come around giving incorrect...and often dangerous...legal advice without really having a clue (not that I'm describing you).

    When you asked me to cite my legal interpretation without you first supporting your view...I thought you might be one of them. It's a common M.O. of the troll who quickly disappears after the cites are given.

    So please accept my apology (and this is for everyone).

    I've provided some links for everyone to enjoy and I hope we can start over. I'll leave my prior post intact as a scarlette letter of sorts. There is no ego here and I only hope to inform.
     
  6. Pantsy

    Pantsy TPF Noob!

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    aha thanks greatly to you both, you've been most helpful. :eek:

    there actually is a contract of sorts. i cant seem to find my copy, but it basically states what i've already told you.

    i'm still not clear on who gets to sell what. ok so the paper can have my photos and do whatever they want with them, i dont suppose its that big of a deal. but can i still sell my photos independantly?
    example, our ad guy says a restaurant wants a print of mine, can i not sell it to him because it technicaly belongs to the paper?
     
  7. jack

    jack TPF Noob!

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  8. Pantsy

    Pantsy TPF Noob!

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    i hoped to have done something worse to earn my own 'gate' :eyebrows:
     
  9. metroshane

    metroshane TPF Noob!

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    Actually, Jack....as hard to believe as it is...it's all true.

    I'll try to not infringe on the "the Photographer's Market" here....

    yes, you do. Even in a work for hire relationship, the author of the material is the owner of the copyright until those rights are negotiated away via a written contract. Might be hard to believe, but it's true.

    Because they come out cheaper. If I'm going to come in and just give up my rights to the 16 rolls of film I just shot...then I'm going to charge $75,000/per shot. The magazine likes it because I can come in and shoot a bunch of rolls of film and they only pay for usage on the one or two pic they are actually going to use. They pay my day rate plus expenses and then buy the usage as they see fit. There is a bunch of types of usage they can purchase onetime, first rights, serial rights, exclusive rights, electronic, promotional, work for hire, and "all rights". Of course, a written contract can and sometimes does spell out different conditions of ownership...but the above is the default rights.

    Yes Pantsy can. Unless he has a written contract stating that it is a work for hire situation. It's all in the copyright act.

    They need to negotiate exclusive or "all rights" if they don't want to see the photograph published somewhere else.

    You can bet your arse that the VT editor must sign an agreement on condition of umployment that all work is work for hire...in which case the production company owns the copyright. Besides, there are special considerations in copyright law for group efforts. You can find more than you ever wanted to know about it here...

    http://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap1.html#101

    And it's really not a debate...the copyright law spells it out explicitly...and I have read it all. (keep in mind this is american copyright law and those under the berne convention). YMMV.

    I know it's hard to believe any magazine would want to go into business like that but it's true and set up that way to give the author as much leverage as possible.
     
  10. Dew

    Dew TPF Noob!

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    im pretty sure the photographer must sign away the copyright :? ... i hope this is a learning experience to all ... do not work without clearly written and understood contracts :wink:

    funny u should bring up the "buying the rolls of film" metroshane .. there was a band that was looking for promotional photos, they mentioned they will buy the film ... i told the hubby, "bull$hit, they think cause they buy film that they get to keep the roll and own it." :lol: ... i'll pay the $2.50 for the roll, thank u very much :eek:

    i have yet to do a shoot without a model release, clearly written in the text, "the model may use the photographs for self promotion but may not sell the photograph itself ... i understand that the photographer holds the copyright as governed by federal and state statues" ... as of now i own everything that i've done ... i've allowed others to use my stuff, but have yet to relinquish copyright on my photos :shock: ... now if their paying me enough ... sure, i'll consider it

    take this as a learning experience :?
     
  11. Dew

    Dew TPF Noob!

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    just reading Photographer's Market 2004 .... page 22

    * Work for hire: Under the Copyright Act of 1976, section 101, a "work for hire" is defined as: "(1) a work prepared by an employee within the scope of his or her employment: or (2) a work ... specially ordered or commissioned for use as a contribution to a collective, as part of a motion picture or audiovisiual work or as a supplementary work ... if the parties expressly agree in a written instrument signed by them that the work shall be considered a work made for hire."

    the contract u signed probably signed the rights over to them, if they're smart ... and if u dont have your photographs registered with the copyright office, u cant sue them anyway ..not that u would .. but for argument's sake (can be registered up to 3 months of the infringment) ....

    there are a few technicalities that i've noticed ... for one, they have to pay u for your work .. since they're paying u under the table, they cant prove that they've paid u .... and you're not an employee ... you're a freelancer (independant contractor)

    just keep in mind .. im sure they have deeper pockets than u do :lol:
     
  12. GerryDavid

    GerryDavid No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Just so im not misunderstanding anything here, if someone hires you to do thier portrait or wedding, you have to have a contract saying that you own the copyright, that they dont? Or does that go with out saying?

    And Drew, could we see a sample of your release forms that you use? :0).

    I have a model release for both under 18 and over 18, and a property release, im just not sure how good they are.
     

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