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Author Topic: Scam, or the New Way?  (Read 1329 times)

Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: Scam, or the New Way?
« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2019, 10:51:13 am »

Wasn’t it always the case that if you are hired to do a job the copyright belongs to the company that hired you? Just like a patent you came up with in the course of your employment belongs to the company.

To answer your question, I don’t think it is a scam. The terms are well known in advance, you agree to them or not. Lamentable, sure, but so are so many other things in this brave new world.

KLaban

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Re: Scam, or the New Way?
« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2019, 12:46:55 pm »

This is both old news and the new way.

I retained the copyright and artwork of much of my publishing work but relinquished them both when working within the advertising industry. Never quite understood why, but it was a time of innocence and ignorance.
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Alan Klein

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Re: Scam, or the New Way?
« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2019, 03:47:34 pm »

This is both old news and the new way.

I retained the copyright and artwork of much of my publishing work but relinquished them both when working within the advertising industry. Never quite understood why, but it was a time of innocence and ignorance.

If I was a author or publisher that needed stock photos for let's say a travel book I was writing or publishing, I wouldn't want to be concerned that later editions of the book might create problems with some of the photos.  I would want to know that I had forever and exclusive use.  I wouldn't want to think it might be necessary to hire an expensive lawyer to prove my case in court.  So I would want all rights perpetually. 

Wayne Fox

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Re: Scam, or the New Way?
« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2019, 05:45:02 pm »

Wasn’t it always the case that if you are hired to do a job the copyright belongs to the company that hired you?
Sort of.  It has to be a written agreement, and technically it has to fall under several other criteria.  Here’s a quote from the copyright office circular one (which is quoting the Copyright Act itself).

"Whether a work is made for hire is determined by the facts that exist at the time the work is
created. There are two situations in which a work may be made for hire:
1. When the work is created by an employee as part of the employee’s regular duties, or
2. When an individual and the hiring party enter into an express written agreement that the work is to be considered a “work made for hire” and the work is specially ordered or commissioned for use as:
   • A compilation
   • A contribution to a collective work
   • A part of a motion picture or other audiovisual work
   • A translation
   • A supplementary work
   • An instructional text
   • A test
   • Answer material for a test
   • An atlas
The concept of work made for hire can be complicated and has serious consequences for both the individual who creates the work and the hiring party who is considered to be the author and copy- right owner of the work. For more information, see Works Made for Hire (Circular 30).”

I’ve been working with some attorney’s on a presentation about copyrights including this issue, and what strikes me is the only time a written agreement is valid to transfer copyrights seem to be circumstances limited to specific one time projects. The fact that only two situations are listed, and those situations are very specific means that all other situations fall outside of “work for hire”.

I’m not 100% sure of their model, but if they are connecting you with a client to perform a work as mentioned above, the end client, not Kodak should end up with the copyrights.  If on the other hand they are “making up” projects so Kodak is the actual client, and then they choose to use those as stock photographs, this may actually fall outside of the work for hire statutes as listed in the Copyright Act since I don’t believe creating a stock library of a huge number of photographs to sell individually can be considered a collective work (which is defined in other sections of the copyright law). That being said, if you agreed to them, seems like a moot point, more like a technicality that probably wouldn’t hold up in court.

And of course the business is located in Singapore, which did finally agree and become a participant of the 1986 Berne Convention in 1998, I know there are some slight variations allowed in each of the signatory countries in how they apply the requirements of the convention in their own laws.

And while it might not be technically kosher with the copyright act, certainly anyone doing it goes in with full knowledge of the fact, so they really can’t cry foul later.

But then again, I’m not lawyer, just a guy who studied this issue a ton for a class I teach to photographers.  And with copyright law, just when you think you are right, you’ll probably find out you are wrong.  I’ve read dozens of court cases that completely contradict each other in their final judgements.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2019, 06:06:58 pm by Wayne Fox »
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Rob C

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Re: Scam, or the New Way?
« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2019, 05:57:58 pm »

If I was a author or publisher that needed stock photos for let's say a travel book I was writing or publishing, I wouldn't want to be concerned that later editions of the book might create problems with some of the photos.  I would want to know that I had forever and exclusive use.  I wouldn't want to think it might be necessary to hire an expensive lawyer to prove my case in court.  So I would want all rights perpetually.


From that, I guess you didn't work with stock agencies very much: there was an entire scale of different prices and uses, and the granting of exclusive rights very rare, and rights to publish were always, to my understanding, time-limited. Buying absolute and total ownership might have made it more simple to commission a shoot!

But that was in the olden days before digital and penny stock. Today, I don't suppose some of the photographers even care if they see a penny.

Rob C

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Re: Scam, or the New Way?
« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2019, 06:03:27 pm »

This is both old news and the new way.

I retained the copyright and artwork of much of my publishing work but relinquished them both when working within the advertising industry. Never quite understood why, but it was a time of innocence and ignorance.


Innocence, but mighty battles were eventually fought on our behalf and won; the rules changed and copyright became accepted as being ours as creators.

Part of the problem with copyright being invested in the cat who commissions the work is that you contract to shoot for a specific gig, and price accordingly. If he then turns around and reuses your work for a zillion other purposes, you have been screwed, because your contract and pricing was based on a different understanding.

Rob

JoeKitchen

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Re: Scam, or the New Way?
« Reply #7 on: May 06, 2019, 09:04:14 am »

If I was a author or publisher that needed stock photos for let's say a travel book I was writing or publishing, I wouldn't want to be concerned that later editions of the book might create problems with some of the photos.  I would want to know that I had forever and exclusive use.  I wouldn't want to think it might be necessary to hire an expensive lawyer to prove my case in court.  So I would want all rights perpetually.

Forever, aka in perpetuity, is certainly something that can be negotiated for, and for good reason (like above).  However, owning the copyright is not necessary for this, just have in perpetuity written in the contract. 

Insofar as exclusive, it is not always the case that exclusivity is needed, and if it is, that costs more.  There are of course instances where exclusivity comes naturally from just what you are shooting.  No one is going to want to use the product shot of another company's product. 
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Joe Kitchen
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