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Author Topic: Pricing Copyright Release  (Read 1112 times)

Craig Magee

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Pricing Copyright Release
« on: January 17, 2017, 04:20:45 PM »

I had a quick search but couldn't find anything, so sorry if this has been asked before.

Not something I really want to do, or have done in 10 years. (well i do, but for one client who I have had a contract with for 6 years and a pretty relaxed working agreement)

But recently I shot a project for a new interior design client, and agreed to allow the guy who did the bar (an exsisting client) and the guy who did the pool, to use the images also. Even though as far as I know they are not contributing to the cost of hiring me.

Sent out the images today, along with a License - to - use (I use a tweaked version of the AOP one) to all parties and the invoice to the designers. There was no initial written agreement to who had usage ( i never have got it with clients really), but to keep everyone sweet, especially the new clients,
I gave them all a license.

I now have the Pool guy stating that he requires copyright release and has always got it from photographers!?
I have stated that this isn't something that I do, but he is again saying he needs it.

Now if it comes down to me needing to keep everyone sweet and doing what I really don't want to do, how would you price the release? I have googled it but not found any explanation of peoples costings, and just a bunch of articles saying not to.. which I already know.
I'm currently thinking double the cost of the job!? which would be around 700 (I'm probably not charging correctly in the first place, I just base it on time)

Going to try my best not to have to go this route, as it sets a precedence in my book, but think the new designers could be a great new client so don't want to upset them.

Cheers for the help 


« Last Edit: January 17, 2017, 04:38:49 PM by Craig Magee »
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David Eichler

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Re: Pricing Copyright Release
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2017, 02:51:10 AM »

I am not sure what you mean by copyright release. Can you clarify? As best I can determine from the Internet, a copyright release is the same thing as a license to use, with which it seems you have already provided the pool designer.

And, why are you giving away free usage to the bar guy and the pool guy?
« Last Edit: January 18, 2017, 02:57:18 AM by David Eichler »
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Craig Magee

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Re: Pricing Copyright Release
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2017, 05:37:47 AM »

Hi David,
By Copyright Release I mean selling the copyright to the client. So I would no longer own it to those images.
Different to the License to use which just allows that client to use them.

Letting multiple people use the the images is a common thing round here really. Especially with the smaller clients. They either all chip in and pay the day rate or one pays and it's agreed that select others who are usually main contractors get to use also.
I'm happy to go with it usually as it tends to bring me work from the other people involved (eg the bar guy brought me these interior design clients)  But now and then you get someone akward like this.

I shoot for a large social housing client, own half of Liverpool's social housing and they get me to send out images to all sorts of stakeholders and contractors. But that's part of the contract I have with them.
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paulgrundy

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Re: Pricing Copyright Release
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2017, 06:34:53 AM »

Craig,

If you sell the copyright in these images to the Pool Guy he could tell your Interior Design Client, who paid for the shoot, to either purchase a license from him or stop using the images.

It is not about trying to please everyone; it should be about being fair to everyone. Not least yourself.

Paul



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Craig Magee

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Re: Pricing Copyright Release
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2017, 07:26:35 AM »

True Paul, this is what I'm thinking.
As far as I'm concerned he hasn't commissioned me to do the shoot so it's not up to him who gets copyright.
If anyone should/can buy it would be the interior designers.  I'll see what the designers say they agreed with him when I get in touch.
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tcphoto1

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Re: Pricing Copyright Release
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2017, 09:00:22 AM »

There is nothing good about this situation, you have a Client that commissioned the work and you're giving away images to those that contributed nothing but are asking for ownership. It simply undercuts every professional not only in your market but everyones. Odds are, the two parties that paid nothing for images will assume that they'll never pay for images and brag to everyone just that. Then there will be attempts to undermine other photographers business practices.
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TonyVentourisPhotography

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Re: Pricing Copyright Release
« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2017, 09:37:50 AM »

I often work with multiple parties.  Often knowing there are multiple parties needing to use images, you can make a good deal on having them split the total fee for the project.  What I normally do is price out the job, and then list additional licensing fees for each extra party using it.  Each party pays its own license, and then they all split the main production fee.  Each gets their own use license.  Sometimes the main client pays the entire job, and other parties just simply license out from me their use, at whatever cost I offer them.  A copyright buyout in this situation makes this tricky if it is not the original client. 

If that happens, I would have to explain to all licensed users that a party is interested in buying out copyright.  At that point first right of refusal would go to the main client that originally commissioned the shoot.  If they decline ownership, I would then offer the sale of copyright to the interested party and generally right in a stipulation of use for already licensed parties for the duration of their use, and my own display.  At that point I generally charge 3 - 5x the cost of the original shoot for the licensing.  The buyer also pays legal fees for my transfer contracts to be written up and my time preparing the images onto transferable media, and they pay for a hard drive. 

If someone wants copyrights of images and they don't want to go through my process... they can go shoot images themselves.  I have sacrificed jobs because of this.  Most clients "think" they need copyright ownership.  They don't.  They want a license that makes them feel like they don't have to keep asking for use or looking for you.  And they don't want to feel like they have to pay every time they put the image on their website, or on a print out, or on a one-sheet, etc...

Remember most clients have NO CLUE about how to use the terminology, or how things actually work.  A little knowledge is dangerous as they say.  Most are spouting off words thinking that is what they mean...when its really not.  A photographer's biggest role is interpreter. 
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Tony
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TonyVentourisPhotography

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Re: Pricing Copyright Release
« Reply #7 on: January 18, 2017, 09:44:28 AM »

Added note...  The only clients I ever actually have real honest copyright transfers happen is when data needs to be controlled because of regulations or secrecy.  Governmental, defense contractors, very specialized prototyping, science, etc...  It's generally clients that have something to lose, or a risk is posed by the data not being in their hands 100%. 

Most other clients only need a license.  And if another client actually buys it's because they are control freaks or there is a good chance of them making licensing income.  I have one client who runs their own stock firm with the images they have create of their work.  Its a weird B2B niche. 

I'm sure there are other cases...but when I explain this to my clients, most realize they don't ACTUALLY want a copyright transfer...they want to be free of chasing a photographer for use.  So give them what they want.  License and price accordingly. 
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Tony
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paulgrundy

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Re: Pricing Copyright Release
« Reply #8 on: January 18, 2017, 10:39:36 AM »

I think Tony hits the nail on the head.

With architectural clients try to keep the licensing straightforward. If you can agree on a fee for - all Media; all Territories; in Perpetuity, both of you will be happy.

Paul



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Craig Magee

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Re: Pricing Copyright Release
« Reply #9 on: January 18, 2017, 11:11:34 AM »

Thanks Tony & Paul...
For the most part clients get the licensing thing. But every year I run into one or two who insist on copyright so I have to have the discussion with them as to why.

Most of my clients know each other and work on projects together. So an Interior designer (client of 3 yrs) may do a house and then get in the kitchens company (client of 4 yrs) to do a kitchen or bar.
They then either all chip in and one pays me, or one pays the full amount and then the other gets the next joint job.

What I have done in the past is allow them to share the license, which I usually make perpetual over certain media.
Really straight forward for them and means they don't have to keep coming back to me, and they all know they are paying an equal amount.
Though I am going to look at charging licenses to people involved in a job, other than the main client, as well as do proper written quotes with usage details on them.

All I ask is that they let me know when the images are used in the approved media, and try and get me a copy if its print based.

As far as I was aware on this job, the new designers are the only ones paying, but I haven't had that confirmed from them yet.
Certainly don't want to sell the copyright to the pool guy or any party if I can help it.
Good to know what someone is charging though for any future requirement.

Like you Tony I have turned down work because it has either been to low a budget, zero budget or a very awkward client. I never work for free!
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David Eichler

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Re: Pricing Copyright Release
« Reply #10 on: January 18, 2017, 02:24:25 PM »

Hi David,
By Copyright Release I mean selling the copyright to the client. So I would no longer own it to those images.
Different to the License to use which just allows that client to use them.

Letting multiple people use the the images is a common thing round here really. Especially with the smaller clients. They either all chip in and pay the day rate or one pays and it's agreed that select others who are usually main contractors get to use also.
I'm happy to go with it usually as it tends to bring me work from the other people involved (eg the bar guy brought me these interior design clients)  But now and then you get someone akward like this.

I shoot for a large social housing client, own half of Liverpool's social housing and they get me to send out images to all sorts of stakeholders and contractors. But that's part of the contract I have with them.

I can't recall ever hearing of or experiencing a client pay for the usage by some other business, except for some manufacturers, who may want to allow their distributors and retailers to use the photos to market their products and co-brand with them. In particular, I have never seen small design and builder clients with budgets that could afford to allow other parties to use the photos for any reasonable fee. As to someone bringing a client to me, well, that is what multiparty, cost sharing agreements are for, to give all commissioning parties a break on their costs, not to give one party a free ride for bringing someone else in. Of course I don't know what you are charging (though you seem to suggest 350 Pounds above, which seems very low just for a single party) or whether you are making a living solely from this kind of work or it is a sideline for you.



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TonyVentourisPhotography

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Re: Pricing Copyright Release
« Reply #11 on: January 18, 2017, 03:03:13 PM »

I see this most often with construction companies.  They often want to give their architects the images, or the client (property owner) the images to use and make themselves look like the hero.  Nice gestures... they brought in a photographer to make their property or design look so nice.  "Thank you for the business."  I get this a lot.  The contractor foots the bill for the additional licensing and the third party gets the images and a "use sheet."  Rarely are these parties using them for anything besides their website, an occasional postcard mailer, and sometimes an award submission.  Honestly this isn't the biggest money licensing either.  It's not like they have packaging, or major magazine ad reproduction, resale, etc...

Often the subcontractors, if they want images, just want a nice shot of their portion of the work, or a "hero" image documenting the place.  Those rarely go beyond a 300px image their site.

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Tony
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Craig Magee

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Re: Pricing Copyright Release
« Reply #12 on: January 18, 2017, 09:57:15 PM »

Yeah I'm realising now I'm not really costing these jobs right and I should be charging a license fee on top of the day rate.  :-[

When I started out I priced myself the same as the graphic designer firm I was at, 450 a day. Just stuck with that model. Price everything based on shoot and edit time.

Example of how not to do it I guess.

How Tony describes construction clients is basically how I seem to find my clients want to work.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2017, 10:01:37 PM by Craig Magee »
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Sharon VL

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Re: Pricing Copyright Release
« Reply #13 on: January 19, 2017, 02:29:00 PM »

I work with builders and architects. On our first quote, it says that the images are licensed for their use only. If they ask, I tell them other vendors need to talk to us about licensing the images. My clients understand this and actually seem relieved it is out of their hands. They don't have to deal with it.

David Eichler

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Re: Pricing Copyright Release
« Reply #14 on: January 19, 2017, 06:35:15 PM »

I see this most often with construction companies.  They often want to give their architects the images, or the client (property owner) the images to use and make themselves look like the hero.  Nice gestures... they brought in a photographer to make their property or design look so nice.  "Thank you for the business."  I get this a lot.  The contractor foots the bill for the additional licensing and the third party gets the images and a "use sheet."  Rarely are these parties using them for anything besides their website, an occasional postcard mailer, and sometimes an award submission.  Honestly this isn't the biggest money licensing either.  It's not like they have packaging, or major magazine ad reproduction, resale, etc...

Often the subcontractors, if they want images, just want a nice shot of their portion of the work, or a "hero" image documenting the place.  Those rarely go beyond a 300px image their site.

If the third parties are very small practices with minimal websites and it is only one or two 300 pixel images, I can see that being a modest add-on fee to the client. Anything more than that and the fee would be more substantial, to the point that I suspect most clients would not want to pay for a third party's usage, unless that third party had done them a really big favor or service.
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David Eichler

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Re: Pricing Copyright Release
« Reply #15 on: January 19, 2017, 06:42:05 PM »

Yeah I'm realising now I'm not really costing these jobs right and I should be charging a license fee on top of the day rate.  :-[

When I started out I priced myself the same as the graphic designer firm I was at, 450 a day. Just stuck with that model. Price everything based on shoot and edit time.

Example of how not to do it I guess.


450 Pounds a day for commercial photography sounds very low, though I guess it depends upon you market and cost of living. That might be a day rate for some kinds of editorial though. How Tony describes construction clients is basically how I seem to find my clients want to work. Also, different photographers include different things in their day rate. For some, it is purely for time and everything else is a separate fee or expense, including even their own equipment, for which they charge rental. Others may include their equipment or the licensing (at least the basic licensing) within the day rate. So it is not always apples to apples. Wherever you account for it, you should account for time (shooting, travel and preparation for their shoot), equipment, assistants, travel expenses, usage/licensing, file prep, retouching, proofing (if applicable), permits, delivery, etc. Some people charge a per-image capture fee that accounts for their equipment.
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Craig Magee

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Re: Pricing Copyright Release
« Reply #16 on: January 19, 2017, 10:18:57 PM »

Thanks for that David. Some good info.
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paulgrundy

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Re: Pricing Copyright Release
« Reply #17 on: January 20, 2017, 04:25:49 AM »

I see this most often with construction companies.  They often want to give their architects the images, or the client (property owner) the images to use and make themselves look like the hero.  Nice gestures... they brought in a photographer to make their property or design look so nice.  "Thank you for the business."  I get this a lot. 

On of my clients, a large property development company, always buys the copyright in my images.

They then supply the photos to any interested parties free of charge, while mostly refusing to allow any other photography of that building. (of course they cannot stop it being shot from the street)

If they do not like one or more of my shots it does not get sent out. They send the people and business' involved a Thank You gift of the 'approved' photography this gives the developer almost total control of that projects images.

Big companies like control and they have the resources to fund it.

Paul
« Last Edit: January 20, 2017, 04:29:55 AM by paulgrundy »
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