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Author Topic: Request for free images  (Read 4546 times)

paulgrundy

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Request for free images
« on: November 11, 2015, 06:31:49 AM »

I thought I would share this (redacted) email with the forum. An example of the endless battle with blissfully ignorant sub-contractors about copyright & licencing and also the importance of the client understanding the T&Cs because as this correspondence illustrates, they are on the front line of protecting the photographers rights.


"I met with ---------   last week, and had a final look around their fabulous building.  It does look very good.
 
------ agreed that we could make reference to the project on our website.   She suggested that I contact you to ask for some interesting photos.  (She mentioned, that she allowed ——--- to take a number, and that rather than her request them from you, and then pass some on, it would be best I ask you directly).   
 
Therefore, if it’s OK, I would be very grateful if you could provide a selection of some interesting shots, i.e. The ---------, a couple of the main branding areas and couple of cross open plan areas, would be ideal, as would shots up/down the atrium, and restaurant/breakout areas.
 
If you prefer to burn them to a disk,  I could pop by to pick them up.
 
I hope that’s OK with you."
 
My client replied:

"Hi – glad you like the outcome.
 You will need to purchase the licence from the Photographer.
I have copied Paul Grundy who will be able to help you."

Early days but, no, they haven’t contacted me.
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Justinr

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Re: Request for free images
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2015, 03:21:01 AM »

I thought I would share this (redacted) email with the forum. An example of the endless battle with blissfully ignorant sub-contractors about copyright & licencing and also the importance of the client understanding the T&Cs because as this correspondence illustrates, they are on the front line of protecting the photographers rights.


"I met with ---------   last week, and had a final look around their fabulous building.  It does look very good.
 
------ agreed that we could make reference to the project on our website.   She suggested that I contact you to ask for some interesting photos.  (She mentioned, that she allowed ——--- to take a number, and that rather than her request them from you, and then pass some on, it would be best I ask you directly).   
 
Therefore, if it’s OK, I would be very grateful if you could provide a selection of some interesting shots, i.e. The ---------, a couple of the main branding areas and couple of cross open plan areas, would be ideal, as would shots up/down the atrium, and restaurant/breakout areas.
 
If you prefer to burn them to a disk,  I could pop by to pick them up.
 
I hope that’s OK with you."
 
My client replied:

"Hi – glad you like the outcome.
 You will need to purchase the licence from the Photographer.
I have copied Paul Grundy who will be able to help you."

Early days but, no, they haven’t contacted me.

I have an email from an ex customer telling me that he has copyright over all the photos I took while on assignment to him!
« Last Edit: November 12, 2015, 03:32:47 AM by Justinr »
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Box Brownie

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Re: Request for free images
« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2015, 06:15:54 PM »

I have an email from an ex customer telling me that he has copyright over all the photos I took while on assignment to him!

Surely a test of who owns copyright will be what the contract was between you and the person who hired you.  If the contract is simply(?) that you were employed by them it is quite possible you not own the rights to those images.  With the emphasis that you were employed by them.  If there is doubt get the contract appraised by a lawyer.
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Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: Request for free images
« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2015, 06:16:53 PM »

... She suggested that I contact you to ask for some interesting photos.  (She mentioned, that she allowed ——--- to take a number, and that rather than her request them from you, and then pass some on, it would be best I ask you directly)...

This is getting confusing. There seem to be at least two "she" involved, one of which is your client? What are the two "she" roles? One is the architect, I presume? Furthermore, "she allowed ----- to take a number" means that someone allowed someone else to take a number of what? Photographs?

The reason I am digging deeper here is the following: I heard from another architectural photographer how he approaches new clients (architects); he asks them for permission to photograph their work (to build his own portfolio), and in return offers some of those photographs to the architect for their own use. Although such an offer does not include transferring the usage rights to a third party, I was wondering could this or something similar be behind the anecdote you described? Also, there are various licensing agreements, some of which would allow, say, architects, to transfer usage rights to third parties (say a window manufacturer).

Justinr

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Re: Request for free images
« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2015, 08:02:18 PM »

Surely a test of who owns copyright will be what the contract was between you and the person who hired you.  If the contract is simply(?) that you were employed by them it is quite possible you not own the rights to those images.  With the emphasis that you were employed by them.  If there is doubt get the contract appraised by a lawyer.

This is Ireland, the quickest way to frighten off any customer is to start talking contracts! The closest you'll get is a "ah sure, it'll be grand".

It's not actually a dispute as such, I have pointed out that as far as I am concerned I retain copyright and no more has been heard since. I doubt that I'll get the money I billed him for but then again I doubt that he'll try it again so best leave it at that as its a small country.
« Last Edit: November 12, 2015, 08:09:51 PM by Justinr »
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Colorado David

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Re: Request for free images
« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2015, 09:50:03 PM »

In the U.S. I believe that an employment contract that transfers copyright must be called a Work For Hire contract and must use the words work for hire in the body of the contract.  There is no such thing as a verbal work for hire contract.  Without a written work for hire contract, the photographer owns the copyright.

D Fuller

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Re: Request for free images
« Reply #6 on: November 12, 2015, 11:17:39 PM »

In the U.S. I believe that an employment contract that transfers copyright must be called a Work For Hire contract and must use the words work for hire in the body of the contract.  There is no such thing as a verbal work for hire contract.  Without a written work for hire contract, the photographer owns the copyright.

Yes, in the USA, this is essentially true, as long as you are not an employee in the eyes of copyright law--a definition that closely paralells the IRS's employee/independant contractor distinction. This document is pretty clear on the subject http://copyright.gov/circs/circ09.pdf (for the US only, of course).
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paulgrundy

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Re: Request for free images
« Reply #7 on: November 13, 2015, 03:29:11 AM »

This is getting confusing. There seem to be at least two "she" involved, one of which is your client? What are the two "she" roles? One is the architect, I presume? Furthermore, "she allowed ----- to take a number" means that someone allowed someone else to take a number of what? Photographs?

Apologies for the confusion Slobodan. This is why I'm a photographer and not a writer.. I will try and clarify.

The email was from a third party contractor to my client, the Architect. The "she allowed" woman is the Architect's client's Building Manager.

[quote
The reason I am digging deeper here is the following: I heard from another architectural photographer how he approaches new clients (architects); he asks them for permission to photograph their work (to build his own portfolio), and in return offers some of those photographs to the architect for their own use. Although such an offer does not include transferring the usage rights to a third party, I was wondering could this or something similar be behind the anecdote you described? Also, there are various licensing agreements, some of which would allow, say, architects, to transfer usage rights to third parties (say a window manufacturer).
[/quote]

No, I'm not working for free.

I have not heard of architectural photographers allowing their client to issue licences to third parties. Under UK copyright law this would be complicated and it is difficult to see why an architectural practice would want to be involved in such an arrangement.

But in my experience what does happen is that architects will organise a number of parties to jointly commission the photographer so they all have equal access to the images for their own use. The benefit for the photographer is that the fee increases with each additional participant. The benefit for the commissioners is that it works out cheaper than each hiring their own photographer. A win win situation.
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Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: Request for free images
« Reply #8 on: November 13, 2015, 10:06:55 AM »

... I have not heard of architectural photographers allowing their client to issue licences to third parties. Under UK copyright law this would be complicated and it is difficult to see why an architectural practice would want to be involved in such an arrangement.


Paul, thanks for clarifications. If I am not mistaken, here in the States, such a contract is known as "buyout" and is typically two or three times the usual rate.

Quote
...But in my experience what does happen is that architects will organise a number of parties to jointly commission the photographer so they all have equal access to the images for their own use. The benefit for the photographer is that the fee increases with each additional participant. The benefit for the commissioners is that it works out cheaper than each hiring their own photographer. A win win situation.

Yes, a common practice here too.

paulgrundy

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Re: Request for free images
« Reply #9 on: November 13, 2015, 10:35:13 AM »


Paul, thanks for clarifications. If I am not mistaken, here in the States, such a contract is known as "buyout" and is typically two or three times the usual rate.


OK, I see what you mean. Yes, the same deal happens here. I have one client, a large property developer, who always purchases the copyright and then distributes the images for free to all interested parties.
Worth paying for in the developers opinion as it lets them be in control of the images being used of their building.
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Deardorff

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Re: Request for free images
« Reply #10 on: November 20, 2015, 08:49:38 PM »

Surely a test of who owns copyright will be what the contract was between you and the person who hired you.  If the contract is simply(?) that you were employed by them it is quite possible you not own the rights to those images.  With the emphasis that you were employed by them.  If there is doubt get the contract appraised by a lawyer.

If they believe you were "employed" - where are your benefits? Health insurance, company car, retirement plan.
"Work for Hire"(USA) has to be in writing.

Your options are in your paperwork. You do have signed paperwork, right? Oral agreements are not worth the paper the are written on...
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SecondFocus

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Re: Request for free images
« Reply #11 on: November 30, 2015, 11:33:10 PM »

One of my many discussions regarding free photos... http://wp.me/pH8pO-IY
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Ian L. Sitren
SecondFocus

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Re: Request for free images
« Reply #12 on: December 01, 2015, 09:57:59 AM »

If they believe you were "employed" - where are your benefits? Health insurance, company car, retirement plan.
"Work for Hire"(USA) has to be in writing.

Your options are in your paperwork. You do have signed paperwork, right? Oral agreements are not worth the paper the are written on...

I think he means people more like me, who actually are on staff at the place you are taking the photos for. We (a Midwest resort company) have both people on staff and buy the full copyright. I'm not sure if this is work for hire or the contract just says you get the copyright, or possibly even unlimited redistribution rights, I don't read the contracts.

My understanding is that if you are on staff, and are shooting as part of your job, the employer owns the copyright, not you. But I'm not a lawyer, so perhaps I'm wrong?
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D Fuller

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Re: Request for free images
« Reply #13 on: December 01, 2015, 10:13:21 AM »

You're not wrong. If you photograph as an employee, your employer owns the copyright.

Quote from: copyright.gov
Copyright law protects a work from the time it is created in a fixed form. From the moment it is set in a print or electronic manuscript, a sound recording, a computer software program, or other such concrete medium, the copyright becomes the property of the author who created it. Only the author or those deriving rights from the author can rightfully claim copyright.
There is, however, an exception to this principle: “works made for hire.”
If a work is made for hire, an employer is considered the author even if an employee actually created the work. The employer can be a firm, an organiza- tion, or an individual.
The concept of “work made for hire” can be complicated. This circular refers to its definition in copyright law and draws on the Supreme Court’s interpreta- tion of it in Community for Creative Non-Violence v. Reid, decided in 1989.

Definition in Law
Section 101 of the Copyright Act (title 17 of the U.S. Code) defines a “work made for hire” in two parts:
     a  a work prepared by an employee within the scope of his or her employment


B is the much more complicated definition of "works made for hire" if you're not an actual employee. If you want to read that, it's here in pretty plain English:  http://copyright.gov/circs/circ09.pdf (for the US only, of course).
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JoeKitchen

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Re: Request for free images
« Reply #14 on: December 01, 2015, 11:02:30 AM »

My favorite personal story about this same subject was once I delivered images of a project to the architect at her office.  While there, the GC happened to stop by and saw what he liked.  My client told him he would need to speak to me directly about using them, and I did not feel it would be appropriate to have that discussion in her office.  Plus, I could tell she did not enjoy his company. 

So, on the way out to the parking lot, we talked about him using the images and what he would need to pay.  He told me I was not being fair, I should not be double billing for the same project, and that he could not afford such a price for just pictures, all while he was getting into his Dodge Viper. 

 ???
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James R Russell

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Re: Request for free images
« Reply #15 on: December 02, 2015, 02:56:22 AM »

ANYTIME . . . you see someone walking towards a viper asking you for ANYTHING the response should be.

William Morris (you know Ari don't you) doesn't allow me to negotiate price.

If you have a card, their team will be more than happy to contact you.

IMO

BC
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SecondFocus

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Re: Request for free images
« Reply #16 on: December 02, 2015, 09:58:13 AM »

Another post on my blog that I had done about working for free or cheap. Also has a superb video of famed writer Harlan Ellison on the subject. The best rant ever! http://bit.ly/1O3CqrT
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Colorado David

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Re: Request for free images
« Reply #17 on: December 02, 2015, 11:20:33 AM »

I give some of my work away.  However I never give anything to a for-profit company.  They are able to pay, they pay for other services, and they can pay me.  I give to non-profits of my choosing.  When I do, in addition to the work, they also get an itemized invoice that shows what I did and what the value of it is.  In exchange I get a gift in kind receipt.  I am most likely to give my work to institutions who pass the vast majority of their contributions through to the constituency they serve rather than spending on excessive management overhead.  I have given close to twenty thousand dollars worth of work away this calendar year.  I'm not posting to get any credit for what a wonderful humanitarian I am, just pointing out that there are legitimate recipients of pro bono work.

Rob C

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Re: Request for free images
« Reply #18 on: December 02, 2015, 04:02:47 PM »

Another post on my blog that I had done about working for free or cheap. Also has a superb video of famed writer Harlan Ellison on the subject. The best rant ever! http://bit.ly/1O3CqrT


This link should also be branded on the ass of every camera-toter who consistently built up microstock and killed the industry of real, professional, rights-managed stock. And yeah,' told you so' fits those idiots too, now, as the real economics sing their unavoidable song.

Rob C

Martin Archer-Shee

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Re: Request for free images
« Reply #19 on: December 12, 2016, 08:26:43 AM »

hello everyone

An old topic but still germain. I saw an article on CBC news today of the same genre. Not photography but still about stealing images.  Take a look 
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/struggling-artist-copyright-winners-nordstrom-feather-shirts-1.3885330


Martin
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