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Old 08-07-2007, 14:51   #1 (permalink)
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copyright

Hi all, i would be interested in your views on the following...
I recently started playing around with lighting and backdrops (2 vivitars and optical slaves bounced off white cieling fired by D200 commander at 1/64 power)
Anyway one of the neighbours said their daughter(13) was interested in modeling, would i take a few to send to an agency ?
So i did, coz i'm a nice bloke.
The agency like the pics and are going to put them on their website.
The young lady has now got some work out of it too (she bought me and the wife chocolates and flowers which was nice in this day of people being all take take take0.
I feel flattered but wonder should the agency have asked my or their permission

Any thoughts


Gaz
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Old 08-07-2007, 15:12   #2 (permalink)
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Re: copyright

If the copyright belongs to the model, because she 'paid' you for doing the requested work, and she sent the photos to the agency and gave permission for them to be displayed, I'd say no.

Without knowing what she or her agents (parents) signed up to, it is difficult to be precise, but I don't think you have any rights on the pictures.
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Old 08-07-2007, 15:15   #3 (permalink)
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Re: copyright

Nothing signed as done for friends / neighbour ... i do have the original Nikon raw file with the date / time and Copyright of gaz.63@ntlworld.com in the iptc content tho !
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Old 08-07-2007, 16:01   #4 (permalink)
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Re: copyright

I still think there was a verbal contract. You were asked to carry out some work, for which you were 'paid'.

If you are hired to take photos, the copyright belongs to the person commissioning the work, not the photographer. (Does a brickie own the house he is building?). You should not have taken the images with your copyright in the iptc in the circumstances, or by accepting the commission, and 'payment' for the work, perhaps the copyright transfers automatically. I'm not that well up in contract/copyright law!
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Old 08-07-2007, 16:57   #5 (permalink)
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Re: copyright

My gut feel is that unless you specifically assigned copyright it'll remain with you. If, however, you agreed to work as a photographer for a period of time on a buy-out basis, copyright would effectively remain with the the organisation/individual paying you.

A brickie is building a house to someone else's plan, to which copyright is attached. If he went and used different coloured bricks to create a design then this indeed would be covered by copyright (but he might also get fired!)
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Old 08-07-2007, 19:25   #6 (permalink)
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Re: copyright

Around 1987 the copyright law was changed to give automatic copyright to the 'author' of a 'work'. Prior to this change, if you were commissioned to take pics the copyright was automatically assigned to the 'client' (whomever paid the bill).

Unless specifically agreed otherwise a photographer owns the copyright to his/her work. If you are PAYE for a company, i.e. a staff photographer rather than a freelance/self-employed, the company automatically owns copyright in any 'works' you produce.

At that time I was in my London studio and you should have seen the rapid output of new agreements being flung out by the magazines/agencies to try and get back the copyright. Most flatly tried to bully us by stating they wouldn't hire anyone that didn't agree to the new terms of contract for freelance work. So much for a change in the law!!

As far as I know, this is the current situation re copyright. No assignment to third-party, you keep copyright.

In this case, you should still own the copyright, the 'payment' wasn't agreed in advance (bad mistake) although unless the girl specifically stated that the chocs etc. were in lieu of the photos it probably constitutes a 'gift' and not remuneration for work done. The model agency certainly requires your written permission to use the shots although it is generally implied that when you have done a 'model folio shoot', the girl/agency can use the pics to promote the model (but not sell them for gain).

In future, I suggest you have a 'charge the going rate or do it for nothing' policy and make it clear that you retain copyright in ALL you work and that you specify what 'permission' you are giving before you do the job. Better still, send her to a professional


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Old 08-07-2007, 19:32   #7 (permalink)
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Re: copyright

Thanks for that clarification Les. Seems I'm behind the times! I know there are places that you can download model release forms, would there also be somewhere that has the copyright rights too, or would this be incorporated in th emodel release?

It just goes to show that doing these things for friends/family is a bit of a minefield and anyone undertaking this sort of venture should ensure they are protected.
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Old 08-07-2007, 20:07   #8 (permalink)
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Re: copyright

hanks for all the replies, I'm not out to make any money, just as i said, doing a favour for a freind ... just dont like the thought of any one else making a fat wad from my images

Cheers

Gaz
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Old 11-07-2007, 19:01   #9 (permalink)
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Re: copyright

Concern for your copyright shows that you're on the right path. Lots of lessons to be learned in terms of what should and shouldn't fly. You'll learn a lot from the situations you'll find yourself in.

Judging by what you've said so far, I think the best option for you would be to go and talk directly to the agency and see what they have in mind for the images. If they're just up for display to promote the model, then you should probably request simply to be credited with a tag line as the photographer. In a real lucky case, you may find that the agency offers some sort of finder's fee. Regardless, if all the agency is doing is displaying the photos as a result of your neighbor submitting them, the best you can really hope for is a photo credit.

If they indicate that they plan on using it for commercial purposes, then you should already have a clear understanding w/ your neighbor as to who owns copyright. So you have to ask yourself what exactly it is you want your neighbor to be able to do with the pictures. Lesson learned: best to clarify this BEFORE the shoot, but hey.. we learn by doing. I'm guessing you were ok with the neighbor using the images to promote herself, allowing her to print as many copies as she wants for modeling purposes, posting it online, and generally anything that allows her to display the image. I'm going to go out on a limb and say you probably didn't count on her making a buck from the shot. Maybe you did, but either way.. it's something you should clear up with the client.

I'm not exactly clear about who gave the Agency the images. If it was your client, then the Agency probably puts the burden on the client for providing proof of ownership of the image. If you gave them the image, you lost a lot of bargaining power. Hard to negotiate after the images have exchanged hands. I'll assume your neighbor put up the pictures. If that's the case, you should clarify with them what rights you're allowing them.

Typically, most TFP arrangements offer some exchange of rights. The photographer gets a model release to use the images in a portfolio, or maybe for stock photography, or for an ad campaign, or whatever. He/she gets some benefit from taking the photos. The model(s), in return for whatever rights they give the photographer, gain something in return. Depending on the arrangement, a photographer could give nothing more than the right to display a single copy of the image (and require the model obtain permission for any additional prints), or could give virtually all rights, which lets the model do just about whatever they could had they taken the photo themselves.

Back to the core issue at hand (to sum up all of the above), you should have a sit down with the neighbor and hammer out the details of your arrangement. Key points should be usage rights. What do you want to be able to do with the images (if anything)? What do you want the neighbor to be able to do? Once that is settled you should verify that the Agency is not planning on using the images for anything more than what your arrangement with the neighbor would allow.
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Old 11-07-2007, 21:41   #10 (permalink)
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Re: copyright

is there a list or book of copyright rules anywhere?

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Old 11-07-2007, 22:43   #11 (permalink)
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Re: copyright

You could try the following

The Photographer and the Law by Don Cassell

Amazon.co.uk: The Photographer and the Law: Books: Don Cassell
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