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  • Confidentiality Agreement for restoration work

    I need some opinions here:
    I run a small (more or less for-fun-only) home-based photo restoration "business". I was recently contacted by someone who asked if I would be willing to sign a "confidentialiy agreement" that I would not "make and retain or transfer copies of any original provided". I have no problem with the intent of this as I would never do that anyway (unless I had gotten a release for using the finished work in my gallery etc). However I am somewhat opposed to signing anything that could potentially come back and bite me later. Say that some of these images end up on the internet later somehow (not by my doing). Could I suddenly end up having to prove that I did not put them there? If there is a risk of any legal issues later I will rather turn down the business than expose myself to it.

    Any input or suggestions on how to handle this?

    /Claus

  • #2
    A confidentiality agreement really isn't appropriate here, unless they don't want you discussing the content of the image, or they don't want anyone knowing you did work for them.

    They're probably more concerned you'll make copies and post them on your website or otherwise share, which would be illegal (unless the image you work on is in the public domain) so no agreement is necessary.

    They might be referring to a work for hire contract, which simply specifies who owns what (short version: client owns everything). These are pretty standard for contract employment, but most retouch jobs of the type you describe aren't done under contract.
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    • #3
      Thanks Doug,

      for your quick and to-the-point reply. It was very helpful.

      /Claus

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      • #4
        I guess I might ask what the subject matter was before agreeing to anything. There must be some reason for them wanting an agreement like that. It might be a good idea to make sure they understand that if there is any question to the legality of the images, you wouldn't be bound by any such agreement. Just my thoughts on this.

        Ed

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Ed_L
          I guess I might ask what the subject matter was before agreeing to anything. There must be some reason for them wanting an agreement like that. It might be a good idea to make sure they understand that if there is any question to the legality of the images, you wouldn't be bound by any such agreement. Just my thoughts on this.
          Ed,

          Thanks. Yes, I did consider that as the request seemed a bit too "secretive" for me as well. However I decided I could always refuse to do the job if I have any doubts once I see the images. It wouldn't seem prudent to question the legality of the images in a first reply to a potential customer

          /Claus

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          • #6
            How bad do they want you to sign the agreement? Double your price and find out.

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