who took the picture?

Gaerek

No longer a newbie, moving up!
Joined
May 2, 2009
Messages
1,341
Reaction score
98
Location
Tucson, AZ
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
Found this on the website. If you, Robert, really did ask your friend to take it for you in exchange for pizza, you are indeed the owner since your friend took the shot while under your employment. However, if this were to be a real big-money lawsuit and the picture was worth more than $500, your oral agreement would not be enforceable and she would own the copyright (contracts dealing with more than $500 must be in writing).
Q. What if I have an idea and I hire a photographer to execute my idea, pay for his or her expenses including models, film, processing, assistants and special equipment, does the copyright belong to me?
A. No. Usually, the person who creates the work ñ in this case, the person who trips the shutter -- owns the copyright. Of course, the parties can make other arrangements such as assigning the copyright or agreeing in writing to create the photograph on a work-for-hire basis. Also, under some circumstances there could be joint ownership of the copyright.

Taken from Frequently Asked Copyright Q&As by Andrew D. Epstein


So there you have it. Case settled?

Except that what I've found is that in most cases, the work-for-hire has to be in writing, in the form of a contract, or something like that. It might be a state by state thing so I'm not 100% on this.

Also, I was responsible for ALL parts of the composition of the photos in question. It was my equipment. I set the ISO, the Fstop, the shutter speed, placed the subjects AND photographer, and then in post, I (massively for some) cropped the photos to exhibit the framing that I desired. Of course there were some that either my girlfriend or her sister fired off suggestions as to what they thought would make a good shot, and we did those too, but doesn't that always happen? If someone shouts to a pro at a game "oh my gosh look at that!" and then points at something the photographer takes a picture of, does he get a credit? These are MY pictures. I'm not going to post them again, but I am just wondering how the rule got translated from "owns exclusive copyright" to "actually pushed the button."
Let me use a similar, but different scenario, and see what you think. I go to your website, and I find a picture you took that I like. I change the color, the brightness, the contrast, the color saturation. As a matter of fact, the only thing I liked was one little part of your photo, that was maybe 50x50 pixels, hardly anything at all! I paste that (with all of the above changes) into a photo I took. I then sell that photo, without giving any credit to you and without notifying you, because, after all, I made almost all of the creative decisions with regards to the finished product. I have a feeling that you...and your lawyer would have a problem with that.

Just because you had almost all creative control over something, doesn't make it yours. As for the law, there needs to be a point where the image becomes owned by someone. We can sit here and start saying that I had 95% control over how the photo turned out, or whatever, but in the end, that's not what determines copyright. It's whoever caused that shutter to trip...period.

robertwsimpson said:
can you direct me to some sort of document that backs that up?

Although I can't direct you to a document that backs that up, I can relate to you a conversation I had with a Disney photographer, not 2 weeks ago. I was in Disney World over Christmas break. Although we rarely buy the photos, we almost always get our photos taken by the PhotoPass photographers that are there because it's an easy way to get a shot of everyone in one shot. After the photographer had taken the photograph, she asked if she could take another using my camera. I had my reservations, but I asked her, "Wouldn't that make you the owner of the photograph?" She answered, quite plainly, "Yes, but there's three problems with that. One, I don't care, so it doesn't matter to me that my photo is on your camera. Two, it would be basically impossible for me to prove that it was my photo. And lastly, we are told by management to abide by all reasonable requests by guests who want a photo from their own camera."

A couple days later, I asked another Photopass Photographer who basically told me the exact same thing, just to make sure.
 

kundalini

Been spending a lot of time on here!
Joined
Jul 18, 2007
Messages
13,607
Reaction score
1,936
Location
State of Confusion
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
Just wondering if that was the norm or if .....
Your thread was shut down due to bad behavior. Your continued whinning is only digging the hole deeper. The photos in the other thread are not yours. All of the ones that I saw could have been done with a "real" tripod, but someone else took them.

Put you big girl panties on and find something else to photograph.
 

AUZambo

TPF Noob!
Joined
Jan 14, 2007
Messages
573
Reaction score
6
Location
Birmingham, AL, USA
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
Suppose I go fishing with a buddy, I pick the lure, the fishing location, and the time, and I sit there for a while waiting for a bite while my buddy reads a magazine. After a while I finally hook a fish, reel it up to the boat where I can see it, but then hand the rod & reel to my buddy do performs the mundane task of actually lifting the fish out of the water and into the boat.

Who caught the fish?
 

Dao

No longer a newbie, moving up!
Joined
Mar 24, 2008
Messages
6,426
Reaction score
462
Location
St. Louis
...... After the photographer had taken the photograph, she asked if she could take another using my camera. I had my reservations, but I asked her, "Wouldn't that make you the owner of the photograph?" She answered, quite plainly, "Yes, but there's three problems with that. One, I don't care, so it doesn't matter to me that my photo is on your camera. Two, it would be basically impossible for me to prove that it was my photo. And lastly, we are told by management to abide by all reasonable requests by guests who want a photo from their own camera."

A couple days later, I asked another Photopass Photographer who basically told me the exact same thing, just to make sure.

Very interesting. I never thought of that. Thanks.
 

Aritay

TPF Noob!
Joined
Nov 29, 2009
Messages
49
Reaction score
0
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
What if someone else pushes the shutter, while you: have fully composed the picture, set and locked the camera in tight on a tripod with that composition, and have done all the camera settings - - the person just merely pushing the button owns the copyright??
 
OP
robertwsimpson

robertwsimpson

No longer a newbie, moving up!
Joined
Aug 3, 2009
Messages
2,471
Reaction score
30
Location
West Palm Beach, Fl
Website
www.flickr.com
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
Found this on the website. If you, Robert, really did ask your friend to take it for you in exchange for pizza, you are indeed the owner since your friend took the shot while under your employment. However, if this were to be a real big-money lawsuit and the picture was worth more than $500, your oral agreement would not be enforceable and she would own the copyright (contracts dealing with more than $500 must be in writing).
Q. What if I have an idea and I hire a photographer to execute my idea, pay for his or her expenses including models, film, processing, assistants and special equipment, does the copyright belong to me?
A. No. Usually, the person who creates the work ñ in this case, the person who trips the shutter -- owns the copyright. Of course, the parties can make other arrangements such as assigning the copyright or agreeing in writing to create the photograph on a work-for-hire basis. Also, under some circumstances there could be joint ownership of the copyright.

Taken from Frequently Asked Copyright Q&As by Andrew D. Epstein


So there you have it. Case settled?

Except that what I've found is that in most cases, the work-for-hire has to be in writing, in the form of a contract, or something like that. It might be a state by state thing so I'm not 100% on this.

Also, I was responsible for ALL parts of the composition of the photos in question. It was my equipment. I set the ISO, the Fstop, the shutter speed, placed the subjects AND photographer, and then in post, I (massively for some) cropped the photos to exhibit the framing that I desired. Of course there were some that either my girlfriend or her sister fired off suggestions as to what they thought would make a good shot, and we did those too, but doesn't that always happen? If someone shouts to a pro at a game "oh my gosh look at that!" and then points at something the photographer takes a picture of, does he get a credit? These are MY pictures. I'm not going to post them again, but I am just wondering how the rule got translated from "owns exclusive copyright" to "actually pushed the button."
Let me use a similar, but different scenario, and see what you think. I go to your website, and I find a picture you took that I like. I change the color, the brightness, the contrast, the color saturation. As a matter of fact, the only thing I liked was one little part of your photo, that was maybe 50x50 pixels, hardly anything at all! I paste that (with all of the above changes) into a photo I took. I then sell that photo, without giving any credit to you and without notifying you, because, after all, I made almost all of the creative decisions with regards to the finished product. I have a feeling that you...and your lawyer would have a problem with that.

Just because you had almost all creative control over something, doesn't make it yours. As for the law, there needs to be a point where the image becomes owned by someone. We can sit here and start saying that I had 95% control over how the photo turned out, or whatever, but in the end, that's not what determines copyright. It's whoever caused that shutter to trip...period.

robertwsimpson said:
can you direct me to some sort of document that backs that up?

Although I can't direct you to a document that backs that up, I can relate to you a conversation I had with a Disney photographer, not 2 weeks ago. I was in Disney World over Christmas break. Although we rarely buy the photos, we almost always get our photos taken by the PhotoPass photographers that are there because it's an easy way to get a shot of everyone in one shot. After the photographer had taken the photograph, she asked if she could take another using my camera. I had my reservations, but I asked her, "Wouldn't that make you the owner of the photograph?" She answered, quite plainly, "Yes, but there's three problems with that. One, I don't care, so it doesn't matter to me that my photo is on your camera. Two, it would be basically impossible for me to prove that it was my photo. And lastly, we are told by management to abide by all reasonable requests by guests who want a photo from their own camera."

A couple days later, I asked another Photopass Photographer who basically told me the exact same thing, just to make sure.

well I see a few differences:
1. I "paid" the photographer
2. I know the photographer and she knew my intentions for the photos and verbally agreed with me that it was ok
3. I set up the pictures
4. I am not making money off of the pictures, but rather just wanting to post them in a forum for help from helpful people

I might not be the person to pose this question to, as I've already found some of my pictures on an actual commercial site and it really doesn't bother me.

Hope this helps!
 
OP
robertwsimpson

robertwsimpson

No longer a newbie, moving up!
Joined
Aug 3, 2009
Messages
2,471
Reaction score
30
Location
West Palm Beach, Fl
Website
www.flickr.com
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
Just wondering if that was the norm or if .....
Your thread was shut down due to bad behavior. Your continued whinning is only digging the hole deeper. The photos in the other thread are not yours. All of the ones that I saw could have been done with a "real" tripod, but someone else took them.

Put you big girl panties on and find something else to photograph.

I see that you've decided to take the "high road."
 
OP
robertwsimpson

robertwsimpson

No longer a newbie, moving up!
Joined
Aug 3, 2009
Messages
2,471
Reaction score
30
Location
West Palm Beach, Fl
Website
www.flickr.com
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
Suppose I go fishing with a buddy, I pick the lure, the fishing location, and the time, and I sit there for a while waiting for a bite while my buddy reads a magazine. After a while I finally hook a fish, reel it up to the boat where I can see it, but then hand the rod & reel to my buddy do performs the mundane task of actually lifting the fish out of the water and into the boat.

Who caught the fish?

lol that's a toughie
 

NateWagner

TPF Noob!
Joined
Jun 2, 2008
Messages
1,236
Reaction score
0
Location
St. Petersburg, FL
Website
www.loneoakphotography.com
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
BTW, typically people who take images for companies, such as a newspaper (for sure) or probably Disney have signed a contract saying that their images are property of the Newspaper.

The only way that wedding photographers etc. get out of it is that they don't sign a contract saying that they are a work-for-hire, rather they are independent contractors, and they (the photographer) therefore retains copyright. In the instance of the disney photographer they probably didn't realize or forgot about signing the copyright away, but I'm sure they did.

It's the same if you are a photographer at Olan Mills or some place of the like. When you are hired there and are taking pictures on their behalf the images are then theirs (the companies).

edit: I find it slightly amusing that in the other thread you said to only critique the PP, because you had no control over anything else, and now you're saying you set up all of the images.
 

KmH

In memoriam
Supporting Member
Joined
Apr 9, 2009
Messages
41,401
Reaction score
5,706
Location
Iowa
Website
kharrodphotography.blogspot.com
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
hum ... then if I am at the park, and ask a stranger to take a photo of my family, do I own the photo?

Or if I am at Disney world, and the friendly Disney staff use my camera and take a photo of my family ... Do they own the photo?
Yep, they are the copyright owner.

However, that's really hard to prove if you don't have a copy of the image.

can you direct me to some sort of document that backs that up?
Sure can!

The document is: United States Code, Title 17, US Copyright Law of 1976. The entire document, including amendments since 1976, can be found at www.copyright.gov.
 
Last edited:

Gaerek

No longer a newbie, moving up!
Joined
May 2, 2009
Messages
1,341
Reaction score
98
Location
Tucson, AZ
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
well I see a few differences:
1. I "paid" the photographer
2. I know the photographer and she knew my intentions for the photos and verbally agreed with me that it was ok
3. I set up the pictures
4. I am not making money off of the pictures, but rather just wanting to post them in a forum for help from helpful people

I might not be the person to pose this question to, as I've already found some of my pictures on an actual commercial site and it really doesn't bother me.

Hope this helps!

I think you might be missing the point. First of all, I've never thought your friend would go after you for copyright infringement, or whatever. The point of this thread was you complaining that the mods linked to your photos (instead of having them embedded) and locked the original thread. I think we have established why the original thread was locked (name calling, inappropriate behavior, etc), but we were trying to figure out why the mods changed the photos into links.

Originally, you stated that someone else took the photos. You have never denied that. You also originally stated that you only had control over the PP (which you've gone back on, stating that you had near complete control over the entire process). If I were a mod, and I saw that, I would believe that broke the rule of posting pictures you don't own. You come back here claiming you own the photographs, (and maybe you do, but you haven't offered anything in the way of proof, except saying that you bought pizza for the photographer). There may have been a verbal agreement, but you certainly didn't mention that in your original thread, and without a written agreement (which you clearly state was only verbal) there is no proof of transfer of ownership.

Based on what you have posted so far, the fact that you went from only having control of PP to having almost complete control over everything, the fact that someone else took the shots, and the fact that you only had a verbal agreement (which they didn't even know about at the time anyway) I don't think the mods had any choice, but to do what they did.

AUZambo said:
Suppose I go fishing with a buddy, I pick the lure, the fishing location, and the time, and I sit there for a while waiting for a bite while my buddy reads a magazine. After a while I finally hook a fish, reel it up to the boat where I can see it, but then hand the rod & reel to my buddy do performs the mundane task of actually lifting the fish out of the water and into the boat.

Who caught the fish?

Nice try, but these two situations, although they seem similar, are very different. In the case of fishing, once the gear is set, and sent into the water, the only way to change it is by pulling the gear out of the water and changing it. On a camera, it's a matter of a couple button presses to change modes, or adjust aperture/shutter/iso. You also have complete control over the composition, which is a huge part of the overall photo. The photographer in the robertwsimpson's case was actually the person who had complete control over every aspect of the shot. And if you want an answer to your question, you clearly caught the fish, not your friend. Unfortuantely, the difference is, your friend didn't have hardly any control at all over catching the fish, whereas the photographer in the OPs case had complete control, since she was operating the camera.

Here's a question for you. Did the photographer set up the shot the way she did because robertwsimpson told her to do it that way? Or because she thought it made for the best shot? I'll help you out, it doesn't matter. The person holding, composing, and shooting the camera has complete control over ALL aspects of the shot, whether someone is telling them what to do, and whether they follow that advice or not.
 

CSR Studio

TPF Noob!
Joined
Aug 4, 2009
Messages
456
Reaction score
1
Location
Georgia
Website
www.csrstudio.com
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
I was taught in art school that copyright was at the moment of creation so I did some reasearch. This is what I found.

From APOGEE PHOTO MAGAZINE: Copyright Law in the Digital Age:

Under the provisions of the revised copyright law, a photographer owns all rights to his pictures at the moment of creation. That means he and he alone owns the right to sell, use, distribute, copy, publish, alter or destroy his work of art. If you are a photographer, this ownership begins the moment you click the shutter. It continues throughout the life of the artist and 50 years after his or her death. In order to insure you have all the rights the law provides, as well as access to all the legal remedies available, you should have a copyright notice put on all of your published works. "Publication" means not only published in the sense of inclusion in a printed book or magazine, but also distribution via public sale, display with intent to sell (as in a gallery), and the rental, lease or loan of the work. And now, with the Internet, publication includes use on a page.

From Frequently Asked Copyright Q&As by Andrew D. Epstein:

Generally, the person who creates a work is the owner of the copyright. Thus, independent artists, photographers and writers own the copyrights to their works. The only exceptions to this rule occur when a work is created by an employee as part of his or her job duties or when a work is created under a written 'work-for-hire' agreement.

It also goes into more detail about different cases.

So, it looks like what I was taught a million years ago and have thought all these years is that the copyright owner is the person that clicks the shutter unless they work for you. Which if you think about it is the way it should be.
 

NateWagner

TPF Noob!
Joined
Jun 2, 2008
Messages
1,236
Reaction score
0
Location
St. Petersburg, FL
Website
www.loneoakphotography.com
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
yep,

though the whole "the person working for you" is more them "being your employee" rather than what is typically in photography studios like being hired to do a photo shoot.

If they do a photo shoot they are typically considered an independent contractor, and thus the copyright resides with them. But with the Disney example, the copyright would reside with Disney.
 

Bad Andy

TPF Noob!
Joined
Jun 26, 2009
Messages
186
Reaction score
1
Location
San Pedro, CA
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
Suppose I go fishing with a buddy, I pick the lure, the fishing location, and the time, and I sit there for a while waiting for a bite while my buddy reads a magazine. After a while I finally hook a fish, reel it up to the boat where I can see it, but then hand the rod & reel to my buddy do performs the mundane task of actually lifting the fish out of the water and into the boat.

Who caught the fish?

Well this one is interesting. If it is just two buddies fishing, then you caught the fish. You had control over the drag, pressure, line tension, etc. If this was a world record fish, it would be disqualified, as someone other than the angler touched the rod. These rules are made very clear by the International Game Fish Association, who keeps state and international records for all catches and actually goes through quite a process to certify each record submission. However, if the buddy used a legal (as defined by the IGFA) net or gaff to help bring the fish aboard, and didn't touch the rod or main line (touching the leader is ok), then it could be a legal catch.

The above situation points out that there are rules in place for everything. It is up to the people that make the rules to determine if they are being broken.

I don't think you broke any posting rules, but shouldn't have had problems with the photos being linked to when the moderators had questions.

Happy shooting and Happy New Year,

-Andy
 

Most reactions

Top