Model Release: What happens when you don't have a contract/written consent?

LiquidGrace

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So a friend of mine asked me this question with regards to model releases.
A friend of her's who is the photographer had a falling out with her client/friend (This is in Canada). The photographer was paid $20 to do a vow renewal ceremony. She did not sign a contract nor get a model release from her client.

Since the said falling out the client has told her that she did not give her permission to post the photos on her photography website and wants them taken down right away. I have always thought that you had to get written permission before posting photos of 'clients', just because I'd rather be safe then sorry.

So can her client go after her legally? Right now in my honest opinion the photographer is being a bit childish as in 'hahahaha' it's going to stay up there (litterally with the laughing). This is why I feel personal friendships and business should never mix. But I guess I just feel how the photographer is acting with regards to this situation isn't proper. I guess the emails I've seen between my friend and her have shown very little in the way of maturity and someone who is running a business.

Background Info (not sure if it matters): She's just starting out and looking to build her portfolio, while taking online classes at the NYSPhotography Institute she has done a couple gigs, none of which (from my understanding) have been under contract.

Thank you in advance for any advice.
 

MLeeK

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No contract-no post. Canadian copyright is a bit different than ours too. There are a few Canooks here with some knowledge, but for true legal advice she needs to consult an attorney.
Beyond that if the client wants the images removed she needs to remove them immediately. Not because of legal mumbo jumbo, but because bad blood will ruin you faster than legal issues. When the former friend gets ticked off and starts spreading her ticked off state of mind to everyone and anyone she's done in business before she ever got started.
 

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In Canada, if an artist is commissioned to create art, and is paid, then the 'rights' to the work belongs to the party who commissioned and paid for it. Unless otherwise stated in a contract.

In the US, it's the opposite. The artist owns the rights to the artwork, and the client has no rights to them unless granted (given/sold) to them by the artist.

So seeing as this was in Canada, and as it seems that the photographer was paid. I'd think that the client is well within their rights to ask the photographer to take down the images.

Of course, actually enforcing that may be a lot more work/hassle/money that it's worth.

And of course, I'm not a lawyer...just a guy on the internet. So take my advice for what it's worth.
 

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As far as I understand it, in Canada the person that commissioned the work owns the copyright, unless there is contract language otherwise.

Since no contract was used, it would seem the photographer does not own the photographs, the client does.

Canadian law is different from US law.

Here in the US, each state has their own model/property release statutes, unlike copyright law which is federal law.

Model/property release law is not cut, dried, and as clear as laws like traffic laws, so it is best to consult a qualified attorney with any questions you may have.

A reference I highly recommend is:
A Digital Photographer's Guide to Model Releases: Making the Best Business Decisions with Your Photos of People, Places and Things
 
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LiquidGrace

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Thank you all for your input!

This was the email my friend got from her photographer friend. (As I had advised previously it was probably ill advised to go against the persons wishes).

"You are guaranteed the right to take photographs, and publish them
You are guaranteed the right to express yourself through photography, and you have the freedom to publish the photos you take. Unless you are arrested, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees your right to take photographs of anything you want, as well as publish them.
(copied and pasted from where I found it) I also found this
Generally though I believe that as long as you aren’t trying to make money off of it then you are fine. If there is money involved then you should get the subject to sign off on it.

(meaning...if i was to try and sell pictures of patti, her husband and son or anyone else i took pictures of that day THEN I would need her to sign off on it
But until she makes a stink over it I am not going to do anything and see what happens...I had blocked her email and the one i did get happened to go to my junk mail and I noticed it...if i hadn't noticed it I would never have known...so not sure what she is trying to pull here but pretty sure its just her blowing steam out her ass because I am choosing to ignore her and have nothing to do with her and shes not getting her way so she is pouting....its a patti thing...lol
"
 
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LiquidGrace

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Beyond that if the client wants the images removed she needs to remove them immediately. Not because of legal mumbo jumbo, but because bad blood will ruin you faster than legal issues. When the former friend gets ticked off and starts spreading her ticked off state of mind to everyone and anyone she's done in business before she ever got started.
These are my thoughts exactly. Lets not even touch on the fact that this individual has not registered her business.
 
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LiquidGrace

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As far as I understand it, in Canada the person that commissioned the work owns the copyright, unless there is contract language otherwise.

Since no contract was used, it would seem the photographer does not own the photographs, the client does.

Canadian law is different from US law.

Here in the US, each state has their own model/property release statutes, unlike copyright law which is federal law.

Model/property release law is not cut, dried, and as clear as laws like traffic laws, so it is best to consult a qualified attorney with any questions you may have.

A reference I highly recommend is:
A Digital Photographer's Guide to Model Releases: Making the Best Business Decisions with Your Photos of People, Places and Things
Thank you for that reference I am passing it on. Also I honestly didn't know that the laws where that different from eachother (Canada to the US, but it makes sense). So it's very very good to know. Thank you!
 

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As has already been stated, in Canada, the person who pays owns the rights to the images. Whether the [alleged] payment of $20 can be upheld as sufficient grounds for the client to maintainthe rights while lacking a contract is a matter for the courts. Another factor is that privacy laws vary significantly by province and depending where the photographer and the client live may affect the situation. I would strongly recommend consulting an IP attorney on this matter.
 
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As has already been stated, in Canada, the person who pays owns the rights to the images. Whether the [alleged] payment of $20 can be upheld as sufficient grounds for the client to maintainthe rights while lacking a contract is a matter for the courts. Another factor is that privacy laws vary significantly by province and depending where the photographer and the client live may affect the situation. I would strongly recommend consulting an IP attorney on this matter.
She's out of Manitoba. From the looks of things she doesn't care what the client thinks. She's going to keep them up till she makes a huge stink.

Thank you for your input though it's valuble, if not to her it is to me just because it's nice to know the differences.
 
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thereyougo!

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As has already been stated, in Canada, the person who pays owns the rights to the images. Whether the [alleged] payment of $20 can be upheld as sufficient grounds for the client to maintainthe rights while lacking a contract is a matter for the courts. Another factor is that privacy laws vary significantly by province and depending where the photographer and the client live may affect the situation. I would strongly recommend consulting an IP attorney on this matter.
She's out of Manitoba Home - Photography By Amanda Holliday . From the looks of things she doesn't care what the client thinks. She's going to keep them up till she makes a huge stink.

Thank you for your input though it's valuble, if not to her it is to me just because it's nice to know the differences.
Ummm her stuff is not to my taste. Lots of selective colouring on things you wouldn't draw attention to, overprocessed eyes, so that it looks like someone has given their child one of those strange bright coloured contact lenses.
 

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No contract-no post. Canadian copyright is a bit different than ours too. There are a few Canooks here with some knowledge, but for true legal advice she needs to consult an attorney.
Beyond that if the client wants the images removed she needs to remove them immediately. Not because of legal mumbo jumbo, but because bad blood will ruin you faster than legal issues. When the former friend gets ticked off and starts spreading her ticked off state of mind to everyone and anyone she's done in business before she ever got started.

+1

Yeah why would she want the word on the street she's horrid to do business with. And none of the pics I saw on her page are worth jerking someone around to leave up.
 
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LiquidGrace

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Ummm her stuff is not to my taste. Lots of selective colouring on things you wouldn't draw attention to, overprocessed eyes, so that it looks like someone has given their child one of those strange bright coloured contact lenses.
Honestly it's not to my taste either. I just saw the website before posting it and the website itself isn't appealing at least to me. I completely agree with everything you've said. From the conversations I've read between her and my friend it seems like she thinks she's hot stuff and can kind of do what she wants.
But I completely agree with all of what you said.
 
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No contract-no post. Canadian copyright is a bit different than ours too. There are a few Canooks here with some knowledge, but for true legal advice she needs to consult an attorney.
Beyond that if the client wants the images removed she needs to remove them immediately. Not because of legal mumbo jumbo, but because bad blood will ruin you faster than legal issues. When the former friend gets ticked off and starts spreading her ticked off state of mind to everyone and anyone she's done in business before she ever got started.
Why make it harder for yourself?

+1

Yeah why would she want the word on the street she's horrid to do business with. And none of the pics I saw on her page are worth jerking someone around to leave up.
That was actually (before I came here) one of the first things I said for my friend to tell her. I guess to me it's just common that you don't burn bridges when you're just starting out. Not to mention I agree with the quality of her photos. As far as I can tell she can use all the portfolio builds and practice she can get. At this rate she's dooming herself, if this is how she thinks she can treat clients.
 

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Not sure if you're aware of this, but if your friend is at all tech savvy, she'll be able to see that she got a bunch of hits from the link you posted and be able to come back to here to read this :)
 
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Not sure if you're aware of this, but if your friend is at all tech savvy, she'll be able to see that she got a bunch of hits from the link you posted and be able to come back to here to read this :)
I already gave her the link :) So that her photographer friend could come here and see. I also realize that anything I post on the internet is free game. Meaning if I don't want the world to see it don't post about it. Plus it's nothing I haven't relayed to my friend to tell her. What I will do is edit out her website (although it's been quoted). But I'll still have my friend send her the link to this thread. I feel she could learn a lot from TPF especially when it comes to proper conduct with a client.

Plus the photographer is not my friend so I personally don't mind, I was just asked for advice on what to do and it seems like because I didn't tell her what she wanted to hear she ignored it.
 
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