RetouchPRO

Go Back   RetouchPRO > Business > Legal Issues
Register Blogs FAQ Site Nav Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read


Legal Issues Copyright, releases, likeness rights, licenses, etc.
NOT a replacement for professional council

Copyright

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 06-06-2004, 05:51 PM
Duv's Avatar
Duv Duv is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Nanaimo, British Columbia
Posts: 1,213
Copyright

I was running a Copyright action on a batch of images on my desktop. After it was completed, I noticed that several images in fact were not mine and were copyrighted by others. However, when I went to File Info, the copyright was now under my name.

How then is original copyrighter protected from others using their image and changing the copyright?

Cheers
Dave
Reply With Quote top
  #2  
Old 06-06-2004, 06:28 PM
Susan S. Susan S. is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Adelaide, South Australia
Posts: 139
In most if not all jurisdictions putting a little copyright symbol on a picture does not do any more than claim or remind people that the image is copyright. The fact that you took the photo (for non-business purposes- treatment of photogrqaphs taken under a commercial contract is much messier, varies from country to country, and at least in Australia changed in the last copyright Act a couple of years ago!) is likely to be enough to give you copyright; the fact that you put a little c symbol on someone else's images (although in error) does not change their ownership of copyright either. Of course proving who took the picture first is much harder, particularly if it is purely digital. (and the issue of who owns manipulated images is even thornier)

Susan S

PS I'm not a lawyer, but I did spend a long couple of weeks proofreading one of my husband's books on Intellectual Proerty earlier in the year so I know a little about it.
Reply With Quote top
  #3  
Old 06-06-2004, 06:55 PM
DigitalDevo DigitalDevo is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 18
Being I just had some of my work ripped/stolen and the eprson was trying to sell prints of them yet to boot... I highly recommend if posting on the web keep images 640x480 or smaller.. stick with a medium compression for the jpeg... As annoying and displeasing as viewing them is.. use a semi transparent watermark on your images in a spot hard to remove.. you can also go as far as using systems like Digimarc (but alsl can be easily cirumvented).. you can also use techniques in Adobe PS and other image manipulation programs to add an extra "layer" inside a jpeg that can only be seen when the image is highlighted in IE or IE based browsers.. Works nice to prove ownership along with orinial camer files, etc. After what I just got done going through I will no longer post an iimages that are not watermarked across the image. Using an image can udnerstand.. but atleast ask permission.. but to steal them and sell prints.. gimme a break.
Reply With Quote top
  #4  
Old 06-07-2004, 02:38 AM
1STLITE's Avatar
1STLITE 1STLITE is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Mississippi, USA
Posts: 346
Its really funny that this was brought up. I have been wondering about this a few days here too. So a photo - photographer pwns the copyright, correct? But at what point is that copyright not a problem? Like how old does the picture have to be. I know that when we had pic of my daughter made they said something like 6 months because after that point they do not keep them in their files so we could copy as we see fit. And if someone brings me something that is a photo of their kid taken by someone else for prints or retouching, what do I do? Is it a problem and at what point is it no longer a problem?
Reply With Quote top
  #5  
Old 06-07-2004, 09:30 AM
Noelf Noelf is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 161
This website explains copyright in a very straightforward manner, and is actually devoted to digital copyrights.

http://www.rightsforartists.com/index.html

I highly recommend it.

- Noel
Reply With Quote top
  #6  
Old 06-07-2004, 04:42 PM
1STLITE's Avatar
1STLITE 1STLITE is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Mississippi, USA
Posts: 346
I checked out that site and maybe it helps with Duv's questoin, but I am still wondering about mine. Like I was sayign about the photographs of people. My daughter was 6 months old we took her to Sears to get pics made and they said after 6 months we could print our own copies of the pics, but not before that. So I am wondering about this stuff. I have been working on some baby pic of my sisters and I, and I am wondering about that. I don't think my mom even knows where the pics were taken. I am sure some of htem were Sears or JCPenny or even Walmart - lol. And whereas I am not too concerned about fixing and printing copies of our own, I do wonder about pics that other people may bring to me. I don't want to be having any bad business pracitices here. But how do I know if its okay?
Reply With Quote top
  #7  
Old 06-07-2004, 08:38 PM
Noelf Noelf is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 161
Here is the nitty gritty on copyright. I am not a lawyer, so don't think this is absolute legal advice, just basic info.

When a studio or person takes a photograph, they own the copyright to that photograph unless they transfer the copyright to a new person (normally in writing). This is automatic, no copyright symbol needs to be applied. This applies to anything that was made from 1977 on and retains copyright for the life of the creator plus 70 years.

If the original work was created between 1923 and 1963, the copyright must have been renewed to still be in effect. How do you know? A lot of times you don't know if it has been renewed. You can search copyright records, but that could take a long time.

If the original work was created between 1963 and 1977 and wasn't ever published, then the copyright expired 12-31-2002.

(having fun yet??)

Time for an example. A person comes into your work and has a picture taken by a studio from 1979. That studio still owns the copyright to that picture. You may need permission from the studio to do anything with the picture.

Person comes into your work with a picture that they themselves took, they can then authorize you to work on that picture.

If the picture was taken between 1923 and 1963 by a studio, that studio may still own copyright unless they didn't renew it. If they didn't renew it, it is now public domain.

If the picture is older than 1923, it is considered to automatically be in the public domain and you don't have to worry about copyright.

If the picture was taken by a relative, and that relative is deceased, copyright goes to the next closest living relative.

Now how do you protect yourself? I would include in my contract with the clause that the customer can certify they personally own the copyright to that image or the image is in the public domain. Beyond that, if it looks like a studio portrait, I would be very careful until you know the pictures history.

Unfortunately you are going to find a lot of people that don't realize, that just because they paid a photographer to take a picture, doesn't mean they actually own the rights to that picture. Unfortunate, but that is how the law reads right now.

In the end, remember this also protects your works. You do a restoration, that is considered a derivative work of the original and you own the copyright to that work unless you assign it elsewhere.

It is a lot to digest Please let me know if I wasn't clear on any of it. I've had to do a lot of research on copyright because I also do custom printing on items and had to know where the line was for that business.

- Noel
Reply With Quote top
  #8  
Old 06-07-2004, 09:19 PM
Susan S. Susan S. is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Adelaide, South Australia
Posts: 139
Noelf - remember this is an international forum! I'm not sure what jurisdiction the rules you posted are from but they are NOT what pertains in Australia. In Australia, section 35(5) of the Copyright Act provides that a person who commissions a portrait (including a photograph) for private or domestic purposes owns the copyright NOT the photographer (and weddings are specifically included). However for photographs taken for commercial purposes under a commission the copyright remains with the photographer. I'm sure many photography studios would make sure their clients sign agreements so that the photographer retains copyright, but in the absence of a written agreement, the situation in Australia is as above.

With retouching there are also issues with the moral rights of the original photographer not to have their artistic integrity damaged by a clumsy retouch - these may also have some legal protection even if the photographer does not own the copyright.

Caveat - I'm not a lawyer. My husband is....

Moral - make sure that you know the rules in the jurisdication where you are going to be working, and if you take on work that involves trnasfer of images internationally be vary wary as the rules can change across borders!
Susan S
Reply With Quote top
  #9  
Old 06-07-2004, 10:22 PM
1STLITE's Avatar
1STLITE 1STLITE is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Mississippi, USA
Posts: 346
Wish I lived in Australia - lol. Seriously - how much for a decent home down there?

I wish it wsa like that here, and if you ask me it shoudl be. Because from what I can gather and has been saud about copyright in the US I am wrong for making copies of my baby pictures. Taken 1978. Shoot. I wish the folks who did those pics would say something. They are some of the worst pics I have ever seen from a "pro" studio. All of the pics she had done at whatever place it wsa all have turned red. All over. Luckily I was able to bring the color back to them easily (scanner caught more color than you can see with your naked eye and just a cuves adjustment after that).

About the part where if I make some restoration I own the copyright to it. But what about retouching pics that were done by one of these studios, including but not limited to Sears, JCPenny, etc. Is there a clearcut line there? Or just all this fuzziness?

Hey - hows about we all get as many folks as we can to support copyright change to if you pay for the pics you own them. Or am I the only one who thinks that would be a good thing?
Reply With Quote top
  #10  
Old 06-07-2004, 11:16 PM
Noelf Noelf is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 161
Susan you are correct I should have been more clear That information pertains to US copyright.

As for the derivative works, if you profit from a derivative work and you don't have either the copyright or permission of the copyright holder you are then in violation of said copyright.

So basically, you can definitely get into trouble doing a restoration on a photo whose copyright is held by someone else including someone like the JC Penny photo mills.

As for the fairness of the issue I can see both sides. The photographer wants to keep control over the quality of work that they have done. If you take a photo of theirs and manipulate it the photo can lose perceived value.

On the other hand, I personally feel that if I pay for a photographer to do work for me (such as taking my picture) that is work for hire and I should own the copyright to any work product produced there.

It is definitely a sensitive issue on either side of the fence.

- Noel
Reply With Quote top
Reply

  RetouchPRO > Business > Legal Issues


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
copyright laws cinderella Legal Issues 74 12-29-2006 03:50 PM
Copyright again bcarll Legal Issues 3 12-10-2006 11:03 PM
Another interesting Copyright question TheTexan Legal Issues 4 09-03-2002 08:14 PM
Non-work related copyright Ed_L Legal Issues 2 04-29-2002 06:02 PM
copyright releases Ed_L Legal Issues 10 04-12-2002 12:07 PM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:49 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
SEO by vBSEO ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.
Copyright © 2016 Doug Nelson. All Rights Reserved