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Business Code of Ethics

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  • Business Code of Ethics

    Thought I would start this off. We talked about this subject in a previous post in the wrong forum. I'll show my ignorance in my first three questions.

    Do you archive your customer files after the restoration job is complete?

    How long do you keep customer files before distroying them?

    When you purchase a copyright release for a customer, doesn't that release belong to the customer?

  • #2
    quick answers
    1 yes, most definately
    2 forever
    3 it belongs to the customer


    • #3
      Thanks for your answers Sanda. Hopefully others will follow suit.


      • #4
        I agree. I do the same thing. It's the right thing to do. Unfortunately, some among us want to "get rich" off of every little thing. What happens if you die tomorrow and the customer needs reprints of the retouched photo in a few years? If they don't have a CD of the final art, they are out of luck.



        • #5
          Thanks Eric for your reply. I was hoping for more respondents. maybe some others will come around. I tend to think that there are others that might have other proceedures.


          • #6
            It depends on the customer and the reason for the restoration. A normal restoration, I don't keep the files once I have given them to the customer, both in print and on computer. (Keep it maybe a few weeks, till I'm sure their happy)

            When I've done one of my funeral type restorations, I tend to keep it for 3 or 4 months, so that other members of the family can purchase copies if they would like.

            Exceptions - long time customers that aren't very computer literate. I know they'll lose the file and want another sometime in the future. I've got some stuff I've kept for 3 or 4 years.

            And I've never purchased a copyright for a customer, but my thought would be that it belongs to them.


            • #7
              Hey Kevin,

              So far we have all of the restorations that we have done, on hard drive or on a CD in a customer file. After 3 years I would conitnue to keep them only if it is convenient for us. On a related note, we have not yet had anyone ask for a CD, but if they did we would give them one.

              We have not yet purchased a copyright for anyone ...



              • #8
                I'm not sure I understand the point on the copyright question Kevin ??? A copyright release that has been obtained to do work for a customer is normally a part of the work under contract, paid for by the client, and would go as an attachment to the original. Most that I've obtained are one time rights so expire anyway. If, however, it was an open end assignment on a specific photo, it would be like a "certificate of authenticity" that as far as I can see would hold no value unless you are also holding some rights to further publication of the original.

                I do believe I covered the other topics in that "wrong forum" post right! :-) In an abbreviated repeat, I'm a firm believer in the idea that no one should keep any of the customers "belongings" - negatives, CD or other means of duplicating the original until and unless you have a release from the client and we will not sub out any assignments to any lab, retoucher, artist or other service that does not agree to adhere to that ethical standard in a written policy or agreement.

                Jim Conway


                • #9
                  I'm going to toss out a few for consideration. The rule in conservation is that anything you do to an original must be reversible, yet we get in Dags and Ambros in here all the time that people (in this business) have taken out of the cases to scan - the result is sometime disastrous. How do set a policy for handling originals and what do you do when things go wrong?

                  Here's another common one: When you promise a "toned print" that looks like a historic sepia, or you offer to duplicate the "look" of other historic processes like tintypes, do you give the clients a "true explanation" of the processes that you intend to use and explain the differences including the lasting qualities? One of our primary exhibits in our showroom points up this bit of subterfuge in orders from other sources in our area - showing true gold or selenium tone prints along side of their ink-jet counterparts. It's very effective!

                  Lots to discuss here and I hope others will jump in on this - some of the ethics issues are easy to call as black or white but there are a lot of gray areas that call for some deep thinking.

                  Jim Conway


                  • #10
                    Perhaps this is being posted under the wrong section and should be under Education - in any event, here is the link that I think everyone that touches any historic photos should at least read once!

                    The AIC CODE OF ETHICS AND GUIDELINES FOR PRACTICE was years in the making and very applicable to photo retouchers and restorers who are working at any level now or those that are just starting out and contemplating offering their services to the public.

                    Jim Conway


                    • #11
                      The reason I keep a copy of what I've done is so that the customer can always come back for another print whenever they wish. I've never had a customer who wasn't happy for me to keep a copy locked in my safe infact they have been glad that there is a backup if they ever need it. Our country is prone to floods and bush fires and the backup in my safe is viewed as a safeguard if disaster strikes.

                      Jim's comments about being the customers "belongings" is certainly something to be considered and from now on I will ask if they want me to keep a back up for them.


                      • #12
                        Thanks for more good information Jim. I will read the AIC Code of Ethics and thanks for suppling the link. Probably have a lot of help for my yet undrafted Privacy Policy. You've given me more to think about.


                        • #13
                          I hope it can lead to more than just YOUR privacy policy Kevin, perhaps one that you can offer as an example to the group! I'd really like to see an association of Photo Retouchers and Restorers formed and there is a good chance that it could come from the people here.

                          Several years ago Doug said it was in the back of his mind, I don't know if it has moved up on his priority yet or not. The need certainly is continuing to grow and AIC, as valuable a resource as it is, sadly lacks direction in the "hands on" information that is showing up here but it certainly should be looked up to for the sense of direction on ethics.

                          Jim Conway


                          • #14
                            I like the idea of the association of Photo Retouchers and Restorers. I wonder what we need to do to get it started? I think it would get a lot of support and hopefully participation.

                            Let's see what I come up with before thinking about offering my policy up as an example. I do have a lot of experience in writing but none in writing a privacy policy.


                            • #15
                              Jim, I believe that the "sepia" tone the vast majority of people refer to is not gold or selenium toning, but the deterorative effect called sulfiding....a particularly serious problem with the Albumin process and to a lesser extent other processes as well. Confusing the customer by calling deliberate toning.."historic sepia"... is not exactly what I would call ethical, nor is it sepia in the commonly accepted meaning of the word. Good point about the Dags and Ambros...I make it a policy to never remove them from their frames..period. That should only be done by experienced and highly trained Conservators.
                              In my business if the customer wants an "antiqued" look applied the photo is first identified as to the process used to produce it then the customer is informed of what the usual aging effects are for that particular process, then this is mimicked as closely as possible. Customers are advised on the correct way to store,display and handle their originals and copys even to the extent of giving them cotton gloves to handle them with if the customer has a large number of photos, as well as a realistic longevity for the copy. When restoring or retouching historic photos, nothing should be added. We simply clean up most of the scratches, the worst of the foxing etc., adjust tone and balance and thats it. NO, taking parts from seperate photos to make one "complete" one.
                              As part of our service we provide the customer with a CD of the raw unretouched scan and a file of the finished product ready to print. Tom


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