Photographers and the Obsession with Copyright

Photographers and the Obsession with Copyright

35 posts
11 Feb 2014
stolenfaces
Photographer
stolenfaces
magpie1
No not an argument similar to "home taping" apart from the copyright erosion the 'Dutch Auction' principal of ever descending charges comes into play, if somebody offers what she does for £55, then does she come down to £50, then its £45, then £40-----?
Paying as little as possible for everything is the way things work now. The reason that editors used to pay reasonable rates for photos, is the same reason workers across industry used to get paid regular wages, with pensions and other 'red tape'(ie no zero hour contracts, no unpaid interns, unfair dismissal laws etc) because Unions were strong enough to stand up to the greed of the captains of industry. Whilst poor people's wages have to be driven down to make them work harder, the people at the top won't get out of bed unless they get obscene amounts of money. I'm saying your attitude is as dinosaur-like as the music industry's response to MP3s, because things change. Eventually the music business learnt how to make money out of downloading (although only after Apple had sewn up the opportunity). Today people who have a studio shoot want to treat the results like pics they took themselves, so the people who offer that product will gain customers. Personally I don't have time or inclination to police my photos. It's my right to give them away if I want to, and where I do, I normally give a license for people to do what they like as long as their use/abuse is not for direct commercial gain.
Posted 11 Feb 2014
Edited by stolenfaces 11 Feb 2014
ATVLONDON
Photographer
ATVLONDON
Blimey, for once I actually agree with Stolen on something. Makes me want to post more on here now. Happy Days
Posted 11 Feb 2014
RedChecker
Photographer
RedChecker
magpie1

But the relinquishing of copyright etc. devalues the entire process for everyone and the approach is one of the reasons why its easier for copyright eroding legislation to be proceeded with and buyers such as press agencies drive fees down.


Don't talk shit.

There are many highly successful commercial photographers out there who've made, and still make a good career out of getting paid simply to take photos for their client to do with them as they please.  It's only successful photographers who bleat on about erosion of copyright as if a perfect legal solution will bring them the gravy train (which it won't).

It's high time copyright laws were re-written anyway as too much legal weight is given to the photographer anyway with little care for other co-creators of a piece of work.  The law is also outdated regarding the need to allow redistribution/republication for web/social media services, often the source of confusion with photographers thinking that the likes of Facebook are stealing their image.
Posted 11 Feb 2014
stolenfaces
Photographer
stolenfaces
ATVLONDON
Blimey, for once I actually agree with Stolen on something. Makes me want to post more on here now. Happy Days
Posted 11 Feb 2014
Allinthemind
Photographer
Allinthemind
RedChecker

 Photographers are generally far too precious with their images especially when they have little commercial value beyond the money made on the initial shoot.


I agree! Also, there are many commissioners that insist on assignment of copyright. It's a job, if someone wants to pay me £500 a day to photoggraph something they tell me to on the condition that I assign copyright.  So be it.

If I'm photographing something for myself that may have a wide appeal and potantial value, then that is different.  Often I see the attitude oif the second applied to the first scenario.  Before someone says, Yes, I am familiar with copyright and licensing usage etc.

Si

Posted 11 Feb 2014
Catuaba
Photographer
Catuaba
I think it comes down to personal preference, some artists don't ever upload or release anything, unless they've been paid and it's considered sold. There talent hides away in galleries or on hard drives.
For others uploading small versions of their art heavily watermarked is preferred. If I shot a full wedding and the client had paid, they would get full size images, no watermark and I couldn't care less what they did with them. But if someone stole an image uploaded and manipulated it to make the model look bad or change the setting then that's a different story, I would want to protect my work and the model as best I could.
If you do police your images then at the end of the day if something happens it comes down to one thing and one thing only, and that is who has the most money in the court room and the Versace suit. And even when you've won, they'd have won by emptying your wallet.

Posted 11 Feb 2014
digimarx
Photographer
digimarx
ATVLONDON
I've noticed a few threads on other sites whereby Photographers are complaining about copyright issues and how their watermarks are being removed by models using them on their portfolios.  I just wanted to mention a young lady I know who photographs mainly babies and young children at her home studio.  She is very busy and her success is due to the fact that she takes about 40 images, places them on a CD for the customers to print and manipulate as much as they want.  She doesn't care how many copies they make or what they do to them.  She has made the money she wants from each sitting.  She charges about £60 for an hour sitting.  I couldn't believe it when she told me she doesn't have any issue with the images being used anywhere else.
If the photographer has paid the model money for a shoot, what right do models have, in this meaning, "have their cake and eat it"? The photographer pays, the model wants more by wanting photos? If the model pays, the it is understandable that they would want photos for their portfolio
Posted 11 Feb 2014
IainT
Photographer
IainT
RedChecker
She's made her money and is happy with that, and if that business model works why should she shoot herself in the foot with potential future customers by being an arsehole regarding enforcing her right as copyright owner. Photographers are generally far too precious with their images especially when they have little commercial value beyond the money made on the initial shoot.
I have to agree. Generally the photographers who are most precious about heir images are the ones who,s images are worth nothing anyway. If you hold the copyright of an image then you can dictate the terms of the licence and if enough money is on the table, that may include sighning away all rights to future sales and usage. I think the photographer mentioned in the OP has a very sensible business model.
Posted 12 Feb 2014
ATVLONDON
Photographer
ATVLONDON
Quite true Iain. She's not a wealthy woman but she's certainly earning more than me. I thought of doing it myself but my partner says she probably gets the work because she is female and is better looking than me.

Posted 12 Feb 2014
PeterH
Photographer
PeterH
Allinthemind

I agree! Also, there are many commissioners that insist on assignment of copyright. It's a job, if someone wants to pay me £500 a day to photoggraph something they tell me to on the condition that I assign copyright.  So be it.




Indeed, I'm photographing the interior of a newly refurbished shop for the owner, those pictures will have zero value to me beyond the initial sale, so the woman can do pretty much what she likes with them after that. Most commercial jobs fall into that category.

I retain copyright as a matter of course, but she can do what she likes, I'm not going to make any more money out of it.
Posted 12 Feb 2014
Allinthemind
Photographer
Allinthemind
PeterH

Indeed, I'm photographing the interior of a newly refurbished shop for the owner, those pictures will have zero value to me beyond the initial sale, so the woman can do pretty much what she likes with them after that. Most commercial jobs fall into that category.

I retain copyright as a matter of course, but she can do what she likes, I'm not going to make any more money out of it.


So do I Peter, as a matter of course, if they ask for it, I don't make a big deal about it and give it to them. If I think there may be some future value, I might suggest an eternal license or similar but I won't argue the point.

Si

Posted 12 Feb 2014
Bob
Photographer
Bob
Allinthemind

if they ask for it, I don't make a big deal about it and give it to them.

I don't make a big deal about it if a client requests copyright. I just educate those who don't know what the difference is between copyright and usage rights. Once this is explained most opt to go down the cheaper route and purchase the latter.

Not only is copyright the oil of our generation, to paraphrase Mark Getty, but it is currently also the birthright of our children and it should not be thrown away without fully thinking through the potential consequences.

Bob
Posted 12 Feb 2014
Allinthemind
Photographer
Allinthemind
Bob

I don't make a big deal about it if a client requests copyright. I just educate those who don't know what the difference is between copyright and usage rights. Once this is explained most opt to go down the cheaper route and purchase the latter.

Not only is copyright the oil of our generation, to paraphrase Mark Getty, but it is currently also the birthright of our children and it should not be thrown away without fully thinking through the potential consequences.

Bob


Well I hope you "Educate" them in a slightly less patronising way.  Also, if you are going to quote me (almost), quote the entire portion that's relevant.
If you choose to offer your shots cheaper via usage rights as compared to transfer of rights, that's entirely up to you. There is no right or wrong here. There is sometimes a value to the difference between the two, most often there is not.

Si
Posted 12 Feb 2014
Edited by Allinthemind 12 Feb 2014
Skid2
Photographer
Skid2
I never used to watermark my images until I found my images being used on websites site which have never asked permission nor have they given me credit and had taken the images straight off my web site so they knew who the copyright was owned by.

After a couple of years and many emails I have got most to either removed them or given me credit. I am currently having a problem with a company in Cyprus.

It is not about money its about courtesy and good manners

Posted 13 Feb 2014
Bob
Photographer
Bob
Allinthemind

Well I hope you "Educate" them in a slightly less patronising way.

Si, I usually initially point clients who need education on copyright matters in the direction of the Copyright 4 Clients FAQs. They usually thank me for doing so as that simple resource is very educational indeed.

Allinthemind

Also, if you are going to quote me (almost), quote the entire portion that's relevant.

In my opinion I was quoting the relevant portion rather than potentially confusing matters by quoting an entire post.

Allinthemind

If you choose to offer your shots cheaper via usage rights as compared to transfer of rights, that's entirely up to you.

Copyright transferal would most times severely limit my use of my own photographs, and lose me revenue, which is why I licence images for either single use or time limited use for certain purposes; e.g. One Year Non-Exclusive Marketing & Promotional Use with an option to extend the licence at a discounted rate.

Allinthemind

There is no right or wrong here. There is sometimes a value to the difference between the two, most often there is not.

I agree that there is no right or wrong which applies to every photographer or every image, but for use of non-commissioned images in an editorial or advertising context offering specific usage rights is usually more beneficial to the holder of First Copyright than offering a copyright transfer. However if shooting commissioned work which it is a fair bet that no other client would be interested in using, a long term transfer of copyright might be more beneficial. There is no one-size-fits-all answer, but educating clients and photographers on both the value of copyright and the reasons why the client usually does not need to acquire it could make all of our lives easier.

Bob 





Posted 14 Feb 2014
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