Copyrights...


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longko

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#1
Would like to hear your views if I have a case.

I did a voluntary event shoot for a dog show with some agreements. Of which is they may sell CD with my photos as long as the photos carry my watermark and no editing is allowed by its member. If any of their member wants to use the photos for promoting their kennel or advertising or for commercial use, they must pay photo royalties. (The royalties mainly goes to animal shelter and for future dog show funds)

Now I stumble upon one of kennel using and a photo I took with my watermark cropped off. They now claim the photos are theirs since they pay for the CD. The watermark was placed initially to let people know I hold the rights.
 

Octarine

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#2
Yeah, common misunderstanding that buying a copy also includes acquiring ownership of the work. The whole issue about music files and sharing via Internet goes that way.
First, check the (hopefully written) contract. Are the T&C also stated at the CD cover or are they made known to everybody buying the CD? At least every buyer needs to know about them so that they are informed at the time of purchase. Send those people using your pictures a written reminder about the legal situation, together with a copy of the contract stating your rights. If they ignore it then it's time for the lawyers. I hope they get the idea earlier.
 

longko

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#3
Yeah, common misunderstanding that buying a copy also includes acquiring ownership of the work. The whole issue about music files and sharing via Internet goes that way.
First, check the (hopefully written) contract. Are the T&C also stated at the CD cover or are they made known to everybody buying the CD? At least every buyer needs to know about them so that they are informed at the time of purchase. Send those people using your pictures a written reminder about the legal situation, together with a copy of the contract stating your rights. If they ignore it then it's time for the lawyers. I hope they get the idea earlier.
Thx. The agreement was exchanged with email and listed down in orderly manner. The person using the photos claim the dog show staff never inform them nor was it written anywhere. Which I believe they neglect to do so.

I'd requested the photos to be taken out, yet the person refuses. I believe it'll be more of a case with the dog show people than the person using the photos. However, that person wants to be my witness if I were to take legal action against the dog show people.
 

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vince123123

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#4
Actually, no, your case is with the person actually using it since that is the primary infringer. It is a very common misunderstanding that people will tell you to go against the dog show pple since that's a knee jerk moral view. That is however, not the legal view.

It doesn't matter what the dog show people told them or didn't tell them. If they didn't acquire a valid license from you, the copyright holder, that would be infringement.

In turn that person would then sue the dog show owner for falsely leading them to believe that by selling the CD, they acquired a license to use.

The dog show people did not commit primary infringement. They MAY have commited secondary infringement but that is not clear. Your action against the dog show people may include a breach of contract, but to properly comment on this action, I'll need to see a copy of the emails you exchanged with the dog show people.


Thx. The agreement was exchanged with email and listed down in orderly manner. The person using the photos claim the dog show staff never inform them nor was it written anywhere. Which I believe they neglect to do so.

I'd requested the photos to be taken out, yet the person refuses. I believe it'll be more of a case with the dog show people than the person using the photos. However, that person wants to be my witness if I were to take legal action against the dog show people.
 

longko

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#5
Actually, no, your case is with the person actually using it since that is the primary infringer. It is a very common misunderstanding that people will tell you to go against the dog show pple since that's a knee jerk moral view. That is however, not the legal view.

It doesn't matter what the dog show people told them or didn't tell them. If they didn't acquire a valid license from you, the copyright holder, that would be infringement.

In turn that person would then sue the dog show owner for falsely leading them to believe that by selling the CD, they acquired a license to use.

The dog show people did not commit primary infringement. They MAY have commited secondary infringement but that is not clear. Your action against the dog show people may include a breach of contract, but to properly comment on this action, I'll need to see a copy of the emails you exchanged with the dog show people.
Many thanks for your legal advise on this matter. Will pm you if I need advises:embrass: Personally, I just want either that person to take out the photo or pay the photo royalties of which will be donated animal shelter & the dog show fund.
 

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vince123123

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#6
Hahah don't call it legal advice lah, what is posted in a free internet board can't be legal advice :) It's just some of my personal views and comments on you situation :)

Feel free to post on this thread if anything further crops up, we can discuss this together :)

Many thanks for your legal advise on this matter. Will pm you if I need advises:embrass: Personally, I just want either that person to take out the photo or pay the photo royalties of which will be donated animal shelter & the dog show fund.
 

longko

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#7
Hahah don't call it legal advice lah, what is posted in a free internet board can't be legal advice :) It's just some of my personal views and comments on you situation :)

Feel free to post on this thread if anything further crops up, we can discuss this together :)
lol Before I took up the job, we tried everything to ensure my rights of the photos, watermark, had an agreement. Yet still happen. I believe these stuffs are faced by many photographers. Anyway, i'm still thankful for your views.
 

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vince123123

Guest
#8
Well, agreements are more a way to discourage sh1t from happening, but you can't really prevent sh1t from happening. In this case, the sh1t was caused by the dog people not really carrying out their obligations, and hence, a third party ended up infringing.

lol Before I took up the job, we tried everything to ensure my rights of the photos, watermark, had an agreement. Yet still happen. I believe these stuffs are faced by many photographers. Anyway, i'm still thankful for your views.
 

Kermitfm

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Mar 10, 2007
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#9
Just a side thought. We could make things clearer if we print the copyright information and the rights for use on the CD label. I know it is a pain especially if you need to make a lot of copies. Another way is to include the copyright information in a text file in the CD so that if the CD is duplicated the copyright info follows.
 

kklee

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#10
Maybe it is also a good idea to include the word copyright in the watermark as well.
 

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vince123123

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#11
Yup, it certainly would make things clearer. The only issue with putting it in a text file is that it is not immediately apparent until you buy, open and use it. In a situation where the CDs are directly sold, it may be an issue (false misrepresentation etc). In the present case however, I think the onus falls on the Dog people :)

Just a side thought. We could make things clearer if we print the copyright information and the rights for use on the CD label. I know it is a pain especially if you need to make a lot of copies. Another way is to include the copyright information in a text file in the CD so that if the CD is duplicated the copyright info follows.
 

longko

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#12
IIRC, the copyrights default given to the photographer unless stated otherwise. Since that person dare claim ownership of the photos. If without proof, the copyrights still remains with the photographer, and not the photographer that needs to have proof, am I correct to say so?

Also with or without knowing the agreement, even without anything written on the CD or on the cover, the buyer of the CD cannot assume ownership for the photos right?

Cause my impression of media laws in Singapore, you buy a music CD you cannot claim ownership of the songs inside even it's not written in the cover. Am I correct?

Sorry for the questions, I'm trying to get the facts right.:sweat:
 

agape01

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#13
One more way to secure copyright is to fill in all the IPTC codes into all of your images before its being burnt onto a CD.

It might be super mah fan to do it for every single image, but I think it is worth it as the code is written into the file and not on the image.
 

longko

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#14
One more way to secure copyright is to fill in all the IPTC codes into all of your images before its being burnt onto a CD.

It might be super mah fan to do it for every single image, but I think it is worth it as the code is written into the file and not on the image.
It's actually quite easy with batch action. But for my case is, the person claims ownership of the photos even with my watermark (very visible).:sweat:
 

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vince123123

Guest
#15
Yup you are correct on all counts at least in my opinion. But I think for music cds, do they have any T&Cs inside?

IIRC, the copyrights default given to the photographer unless stated otherwise. Since that person dare claim ownership of the photos. If without proof, the copyrights still remains with the photographer, and not the photographer that needs to have proof, am I correct to say so?

Also with or without knowing the agreement, even without anything written on the CD or on the cover, the buyer of the CD cannot assume ownership for the photos right?

Cause my impression of media laws in Singapore, you buy a music CD you cannot claim ownership of the songs inside even it's not written in the cover. Am I correct?

Sorry for the questions, I'm trying to get the facts right.:sweat:
 

May 5, 2007
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#16
Yup you are correct on all counts at least in my opinion. But I think for music cds, do they have any T&Cs inside?
I think we've got it now nearly all together.

- Copyright info in the EXIF of the file. Easy to do with Lightroom or Aperture or PS Bridge
- Watermark on the picture. If you want with the (c)opyright as text (but that's already for dummies)
- Copyright info as T&Cs in a text file on the CD, e.g., copyright.txt

Again, all this doesn't help against someone with some criminal interest.

And of course - you were lucky to find the picture and recognize it as yours.

I would go straight to the offender - and propose a deal. He/she pay you X$ for the illegal use of your pics; or you will take legal action. Anyone reasonably smart (all previous excuses aside) - will counter and try to close a deal. He/she was stupid in the first place - but not that stupid.
And since you will donate the money - suggest to him/her to donate it directly (they might be able to deduct it as taxable expense) and show you the receipt. Again, you make the point that you don't do this for profit. And let's hope Mr/Mrs Smart has learned a lesson about copyrights.
 

longko

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longko

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#20
You're most welcome. At least we know better now, as copyrights tend to be a grey zone for us new photographers^^;

A little update, that person took out my photo. So I don't need to file a Copyright Tribunal. For those in same situation maybe can goto this link; http://www.ipos.gov.sg/topNav/svc/Copyright+Tribunal.htm

Edit: thanks to all bros (and sis if any) for helping^^
 

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