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Who owns the copyright of a retouched file?

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  #1  
Old 01-17-2008, 09:38 AM
berko1021 berko1021 is offline
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Who owns the copyright of a retouched file?

I did some retouching for a client recently and have not yet been paid for my work. This is a client that I know from years in the business so I trusted him and released the hi-resolutions files to him before I was paid. It has been a few months now and I haven't been paid yet. If he hired me to do retouching on his work (I have all his emails to prove that he hired me), do I own any part of the new retouched image or does he still have full copyright? If I have any part of copyright if the new retouched image, I can at least tell him he doesn't have my permission to use the images until I get paid.

Last edited by berko1021; 01-17-2008 at 10:12 AM.
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  #2  
Old 01-17-2008, 10:13 AM
berko1021 berko1021 is offline
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Who own the copyright of a Retouched image?

I did some retouching for a client recently and have not yet been paid for my work. This is a client that I know from years in the business so I trusted him and released the hi-resolutions files to him before I was paid. It has been a few months now and I haven't been paid yet. If he hired me to do retouching on his work (I have all his emails to prove that he hired me), do I own any part of the new retouched image or does he still have full copyright? If I have any part of copyright if the new retouched image, I can at least tell him he doesn't have my permission to use the images until I get paid.
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Old 01-17-2008, 10:18 AM
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cricket1961 cricket1961 is offline
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Re: Who own the copyright of a Retouched image?

Sorry Brian. You are out of luck. Your client has rights to it. Or at the least the Photographer if the client was not the client.

Chris
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Old 01-17-2008, 11:00 AM
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Swampy Swampy is offline
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Re: Who own the copyright of a Retouched image?

Berko, It's not necessary to post your message in more than one thread. Most folks around here look for new posts and they will see it.
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Old 01-17-2008, 12:08 PM
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Doug Nelson Doug Nelson is offline
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Re: Who owns the copyright of a retouched file?

The original copyright holder owns and retains all rights unless there is a formal transfer or release. But whether they use the image or not, they owe you and you can turn them over for collection.
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Old 01-17-2008, 12:43 PM
pixelzombie pixelzombie is offline
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Re: Who owns the copyright of a retouched file?

from what i have been told by another freelancer, unless he gave you a PO(purchase order) you don't really have much legal recourse...
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Old 01-17-2008, 03:17 PM
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pixel_monkey pixel_monkey is offline
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Re: Who own the copyright of a Retouched image?

Maybe he just forgot about it? I didn't receive payment from this photographer for over two months. I sent him a reminder with the original invoice attached and he paid me the very next day. Send him a reminder first before you start to confront him.
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Old 01-17-2008, 09:08 PM
KR1156 KR1156 is offline
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Re: Who owns the copyright of a retouched file?

friend of mine has a discalimer on every invoice, stating an 18% penalty for invoices that are not paid on time....clients hit the roof when he resubmits his freshly updated invoice with penalty fees. but not 1 has never paid him immediately right after getting that new invoice!!!! but he normally drops the fee, making the client seem like they got a break.
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Old 01-22-2008, 06:00 PM
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Alison Alison is offline
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Re: Who owns the copyright of a retouched file?

I do remember reading somewhere, but don't ask me where , that the retouching work is 'your' work, and therefore copyright to you. The 'original' image may well be copyright to your client, but any work that you did is copyright to you. I would contact the client and remind him or her that you have not received payment, if non is forthcoming and you can afford to see a lawyer to find out your rights, then do so. In the meantime, I will try and remember where I read about retouching being copyrighted to the retoucher.
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Old 01-24-2008, 08:46 AM
berko1021 berko1021 is offline
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Re: Who owns the copyright of a retouched file?

Thanks for all your help. I have sent the invoice many times and he is not answering my calls. It looks like I learned my lesson and will no longer release any hi-res files before being paid. I guess there are clients like that in every business.
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