question on copyrighted photos in slideshow

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Re: question on copyrighted photos in slideshow

Postby web_bruin » Sat Nov 24, 2012 1:28 pm

So, say for instance, someone comes to me with their own wedding photos taken 5 years before, or maybe 25 years earlier, by a professional photographer. Would I need a release from the photographer in order to create a show for the clients?

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Re: question on copyrighted photos in slideshow

Postby gpsmikey » Sat Nov 24, 2012 2:33 pm

It depends on the original agreement with the photographer. When we got married (back in '76 :shock: ), the agreement I had with the photographer (a friend of mine) was he would provide us with all the negatives and prints and they were ours to do with as we pleased. Probably most pro photographers do not do it that way and they retain the rights on the images, so you would need a release from them to be legal. That actually applies to even the images Aunt Martha took at the wedding although it is highly unlikely she would complain.

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Re: question on copyrighted photos in slideshow

Postby DickK » Sun Nov 25, 2012 1:25 pm

web_bruin wrote:So, say for instance, someone comes to me with their own wedding photos taken 5 years before, or maybe 25 years earlier, by a professional photographer. Would I need a release from the photographer in order to create a show for the clients?

Your question is exactly the same as the original poster, the answer is exactly the same as well -- and Mikey's "it depends" is, of course, correct.

With rare and largely irrelevant exceptions, the rights for an image belong to the photographer until that person transfers them in some fashion. If the person who hands you the images isn't the photographer, then the question becomes whether they have acquired the needed rights. If not, then the product you produce will infringe the rights of the photographer. That's the legal situation.

Should the photographer 1) somehow learn of this and 2) decide to enforce their rights, you may, or may not, be held liable depending on the terms of your contract with your client, what case law is cited and how the judge feels that day if you actually end up in court.

Legal issue aside, as a pragmatic matter, the likelihood of the photographer doing both 1) and 2) above is low, they have little to gain, but if they do so, they win. The effect on you as the show maker is a related but separate question and may depend on the precise language in the contract and whether the judge accepts any explicit or implied disclaimer of liability contained in it. The contracts for this type of work that I've seen contain statements which push the liability back to the client based on the assumption that the client has obtained the necessary rights. Whether that works or not, I can't say (nor can anyone else except a judge) but you can get a contracts attorney to review it and provide an opinion.

Dick

Caveat: This information is the opinion of it's author and does not constitute legal advice of any kind. Risk associated with the use or misuse of this information is entirely the responsibility of the reader. If these issues are important to you, consult an intellectual property rights attorney.
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Re: question on copyrighted photos in slideshow

Postby moehler » Sun Dec 16, 2012 11:31 am

I recently read the following book. It was a great treatment for photographers on copyright and also goes into derivative works a little.

I suggest you check it out: http://www.amazon.com/Photographers-Sur ... 600594204/

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