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When do you not need photographer's permission?

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  #1  
Old 12-13-2009, 01:02 PM
pcather pcather is offline
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When do you not need photographer's permission?

I'm in just starting in business doing photo restoration and enhancement. I want to make sure that everything I do is ethical. Here are two scenarios I'm faced with. I like to know your thoughts.

1) One client wants a photo to be restored. The photo is at least 70 years old. It is a professional photo with the name of the studio on it. Because of the age of the photo finding the photographer to obtain permission would be difficult. I would assume in this case that restoring and reprinting this photo is probably okay because of the age of the photo. But, if I'm correct, this raises the question as how old does the photo need to be before you can do this?

2) A friend who lives here in the US came to me with a photo of her teen daughter. Her daughter lives in Africa. The photo appears to be a professional photo with a very cheesy background. She is a teenager and was probably at a school function where quick photos were taken of each kid. The photo, except for the background, is pretty good so I'm guessing it was taken by a professional. My friend wants me to remove the cheesy background and blow it up just a little. I'm thinking that if it were taken here I could easily find the photographer through the school, but it could be quite a chore to find a photographer in Africa as the teen probably doesn't know who the photographer is. My question is, if we can't find the photographer what is the correct recourse? Should I deny my friend's request?

Thanks for you input.

Last edited by pcather; 12-13-2009 at 01:05 PM. Reason: mistyped a coupld of words
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Old 12-13-2009, 03:37 PM
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0lBaldy 0lBaldy is offline
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Re: When do you not need photographer's permission

Pamela, Welcome to RetouchPRO! Enjoy your stay here and make lots of friends !

Craig posted a very comprehensive answer here: Restoration Vs Copyright Laws. Any thoughts?
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Old 12-14-2009, 01:38 PM
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aartist aartist is offline
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Re: When do you not need photographer's permission

OK, what does the written law say in regard to her inquiry. I know I'm not a lawyer, but if you put 2 of them in a room, they will both have different interpretations, depending on who they represent.

It's actually up to a court of law to shape and define laws, so they are applied evenly and fairly to all. We may be able to read the law, but only a judge in court can determine whether it's being interpreted and applied correctly by all parties.

I would have to say, if you have a client/friend who wants one of "her" lawfully owned photos restored or altered in some way, then by all means accommodate her. She will
then own her original photo, along with the alterations. As long as you don't add anything illegal to "her" photo, you should not have a problem.

JOKE TIME:
Did I tell you about the bus load of lawyers that went over the cliff and into the sea. It was full of lawyers except one seat was empty. There were no survivors. A witness said it was a crying shame that one seat was empty.

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Last edited by aartist; 12-14-2009 at 07:48 PM.
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Old 06-18-2010, 03:51 PM
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meadowlark meadowlark is offline
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Re: When do you not need photographer's permission

Hello,

Just wondering what you ended up doing? I am researching the same things.
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Old 06-19-2010, 06:59 AM
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skydog skydog is offline
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Re: When do you not need photographer's permission

At least you are thinking about what is ethical vs what is legal. I'd go ahead and retouch the photo. It would be nice if you could still give credit on the retouched photo to the original studio/photographer if it resides there now. I often find many of my photos copied and used on various facebook homepages with no credit whatsoever...now for any photos post on my webpage I have to put a watermark. If I found someone making money selling my photos I'd definitely seek legal counsel.
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Old 06-21-2010, 03:01 PM
pcather pcather is offline
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Re: When do you not need photographer's permission

I did redo the old photo. I found that photos created before December 31, 1922 can be redone without permission as the copyright is expired . After that date it can be redone after the photographers has been dead for 70 years. Or 120 years after creation. We figured the photo was before 1922.

I did not redo the photo from Africa. My friend insisted that Africa did not have the same laws, but some research told me that they did (maybe they just have a hard time enforcing them)

I've decided this is too hard and I do very little restoration. I mostly just do portraits myself.

Pamela
www.reflections-etc.com
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Old 06-21-2010, 03:22 PM
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meadowlark meadowlark is offline
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Re: When do you not need photographer's permission

Thanks for your reply.

The restoration itself is to hard (photoshop aspect), or figuring out the copyright/working with the people?
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Old 06-22-2010, 02:13 PM
pcather pcather is offline
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Re: When do you not need photographer's permission

The copyright stuff....love the restoration....



Pamela Cather
www.reflections-etc.com
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