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Thread: photographer's copyright

  1. #41
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    nuts!! the more im reading off this thread, the more confused i get!!

    So blantly, if a person hires you to take photos for him/her, they are ur employers and copyright belongs to them????

    Lets just say that in this scenario, the client wants to take this photo urgent, say will pay later, and u trust him/her cos u've known this person for a period of time to know they can pay and u take the photos first. then u hand him/her ur quotation and they come and tell u too expensive for me to quote so much.

    I worked for 2 and 1/2 days(18hrs) in back of a hot hot storeroom, with a makeshift setup, taking photos of the products the client wants, i may not be "master class" but i believe that cos the client doesn't want to shoot in the studio to save cost, hire me to do the best i can out of the situation. when i got the reply "oh i think u're charging above our expected budget". i felt so stupid.

    I know that the fault did belong to me in the first place for not stating things in black and white. Newbie in the line, so lesson to learn.

    What i would like to know is *lay man's term*, since nothing is agreed upon now, do I still hold the copyright to the photos I took for them?, is it ok for me to charge them for using the photos online once i hand it over to them?

  2. #42
    Moderator John Teoh's Avatar
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    IMO, your case involves contract and copyright law. But I think you need to settle your contract first since there is an offer and an acceptance, just that there is no indication how much are they going to pay you. Only then can decide if you or they are going to be the owner of the work you took.

    Cheers
    John

  3. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by vince123123
    This statement by IPOS is not an exhaustive one. You can also sell the photos either by assigning copyright to the new owner or sell the right to use in the form of a license.
    You are right but I think it cannot stop the model to go after you for finance gain unless stated in the term and condition

    Cheers
    John

  4. #44
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    on what legal basis can the model go after "you" for "finance gain"?

    Quote Originally Posted by John Teoh
    You are right but I think it cannot stop the model to go after you for finance gain unless stated in the term and condition

    Cheers
    John

  5. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by vince123123
    on what legal basis can the model go after "you" for "finance gain"?
    Hi

    I'm not legally trained so I would not be able to say on what legal basis. Anyway I'm expressing my opinion and based on what I heard and know so far. For me, I rather be a careful where money is concern.

    Cheers
    John

  6. #46

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    For what it's worth, I recently backed out of an interior shoot cos the client didn't want to sign an agreement for commissioning the shoot. He as relying on our friendship! I think it is all important to get the paper work done right prior to carrying out the work as it will save all parties the heartache and more importantly preserve the friendship.

    For this agreement, I made it a point that the copyright belongs to the photographer.

  7. #47
    vince123123
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    Sure, I'm just wondering because what you heard may relate to US laws and not Singapore laws.

    Anyhow, cheers and good luck

    Quote Originally Posted by John Teoh
    Hi

    I'm not legally trained so I would not be able to say on what legal basis. Anyway I'm expressing my opinion and based on what I heard and know so far. For me, I rather be a careful where money is concern.

    Cheers
    John

  8. #48

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    Quote Originally Posted by eadwine
    nuts!! the more im reading off this thread, the more confused i get!!

    So blantly, if a person hires you to take photos for him/her, they are ur employers and copyright belongs to them????

    Lets just say that in this scenario, the client wants to take this photo urgent, say will pay later, and u trust him/her cos u've known this person for a period of time to know they can pay and u take the photos first. then u hand him/her ur quotation and they come and tell u too expensive for me to quote so much.

    I worked for 2 and 1/2 days(18hrs) in back of a hot hot storeroom, with a makeshift setup, taking photos of the products the client wants, i may not be "master class" but i believe that cos the client doesn't want to shoot in the studio to save cost, hire me to do the best i can out of the situation. when i got the reply "oh i think u're charging above our expected budget". i felt so stupid.

    I know that the fault did belong to me in the first place for not stating things in black and white. Newbie in the line, so lesson to learn.

    What i would like to know is *lay man's term*, since nothing is agreed upon now, do I still hold the copyright to the photos I took for them?, is it ok for me to charge them for using the photos online once i hand it over to them?

    since no monetory has been made, or no clear black and white stating that he is paying you... you can treat this as you are the ownership of the photos. Unless the pay you, then you become "employee" who help him to take photo, then he own the photos.

  9. #49

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    Everyone talking about contracts...
    So anyone out there have a sample contract to refer to?
    Will benefit the newbies, so that they won't get cheated so easily...

  10. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by AReality
    Everyone talking about contracts...
    So anyone out there have a sample contract to refer to?
    Will benefit the newbies, so that they won't get cheated so easily...
    yes, i second this suggestion. so much talk and still so much confusion.

  11. #51

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pro-New
    Shouldn't we freelance photographers come together and pen down some baisc form of contracts as an industry standard? Of course, each individual is free to amend it to suit their own/client needs. But at least some form of standard practice is in place.

    May be some lawyers out there would like to highlight Sg's law on this matter first.
    just like local modelling agencies got together to set rates, etc. as reported in the papers recently.

  12. #52

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    Contracts can be formed orally and be in written form. A contract is formed only if and only if the following conditions are met:

    1) Offer
    2) Acceptance of Offer
    3) Intention to create legal relations
    4) Consideration

    I'll follow up on the elaborations of the conditions later. I don't have my reference text with me now.
    Last edited by mervlam; 15th April 2005 at 10:19 PM.

  13. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by mervlam
    Contracts can be formed orally and be in written form. A contract is formed only if and only if the following conditions are met:

    1) Offer
    2) Acceptance of Offer
    3) Intention to create legal relations
    4) Consideration

    I'll follow up on the elaborations of the conditions later. I don't my reference text with me now.
    that's great for a start. thanks for sharing your knowledge

  14. #54

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    I'm sure a simple contract is more than enough for most of us. No need those big big useless words...

    So.... Anyone know where/how to start?

  15. #55

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    Suppose a photographer advertises his services - that's an invitation to treat

    Quote Originally Posted by Darren
    Commissioning does not necessarily mean that money has changed hands eg. I can "commission" someone to take my portait just by asking "Can you take my picture for me, and I buy you coffee?".
    That's an offer made by the person who commissioned him


    Quote Originally Posted by Darren
    If the photographer agrees, I have just "commissioned" him;
    That's an acceptance to the offer by the photographer.

    Quote Originally Posted by Darren
    and according to IPOS, the rights to the photograph now belongs to me unless the photographer then asks "Is it okay if I display this beautiful, classic photograph of your finely chiseled features with such a full head of hair on my online gallery?". If I then agree, I then confer upon the photographer the right to display online (but not necessarily the right to resell if GQ magazine then approaches the photographer after seeing the photo online).
    General rule. The person who labours to produce the expression of idea (the photograph) with considerable skill, effort and time owns the copyright of the photo.

    Exception: The person commissioning the expression of idea (the photograph) owns it. He can sell the copyright to another person OR he can license the work for a particular use.

    Quote Originally Posted by Darren
    The above is of course based on verbal "agreement" but to make it more concrete, some form of paper agreement might be useful.
    Darren's example is a good example of oral/verbal contracts. Contracts in written form is easier to prove in case of dispute.

    Quote Originally Posted by Darren
    For the TFP scenario, I think the same principle applies even though no monetary compensation is involved
    a) The model offers her time (which is valuable and can have a $$ value attached to it).
    b) If the photographer(s) accepts offer, the model is deemed to have "commissioned" the photos.
    c) The model may then confer rights to the photographer to re-use or re-sell depending on situation.
    Consideration doesn't need to involve monetary compensation. In the eyes of the Law, it does not care about the value of the benefit but as long as there is benefit for benefit, then consideration is met.
    Last edited by mervlam; 15th April 2005 at 10:22 PM.

  16. #56

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    Quote Originally Posted by eikin
    that's great for a start. thanks for sharing your knowledge
    Thanks. I just finished my "Principles of Law for Engineers" exam paper.


    Quote Originally Posted by AReality
    I'm sure a simple contract is more than enough for most of us. No need those big big useless words...

    So.... Anyone know where/how to start?
    Hey man. Haven't you taken your Law module YET?

    Those words are politicially correct words.
    Last edited by mervlam; 15th April 2005 at 10:26 PM.

  17. #57

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    Quote Originally Posted by eadwine
    nuts!! the more im reading off this thread, the more confused i get!!

    So blantly, if a person hires you to take photos for him/her, they are ur employers and copyright belongs to them????

    Lets just say that in this scenario, the client wants to take this photo urgent, say will pay later, and u trust him/her cos u've known this person for a period of time to know they can pay and u take the photos first. then u hand him/her ur quotation and they come and tell u too expensive for me to quote so much.

    I worked for 2 and 1/2 days(18hrs) in back of a hot hot storeroom, with a makeshift setup, taking photos of the products the client wants, i may not be "master class" but i believe that cos the client doesn't want to shoot in the studio to save cost, hire me to do the best i can out of the situation. when i got the reply "oh i think u're charging above our expected budget". i felt so stupid.

    I know that the fault did belong to me in the first place for not stating things in black and white. Newbie in the line, so lesson to learn.

    What i would like to know is *lay man's term*, since nothing is agreed upon now, do I still hold the copyright to the photos I took for them?, is it ok for me to charge them for using the photos online once i hand it over to them?
    too bad. past consideration is NO consideration. he's not liable to pay you. but IF you can prove that there is a contract prior to your performance of service, then you can sue him and claim for damages.

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