Ethics of an event photographer?


Schmike

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Dec 22, 2007
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#1
Not sure if this is the right place to discuss about this. Mods, feel free to move it to the right forum if this is not the right place.

Recently, I was tasked to cover an event as an official photographer together with few others (all of us are just volunteers and not paid). Who owns the rights to the images?

The event organizer or us, the photographers?

For me, it's simple. I know some of the rest there who don't like their pictures to be made pubilc and I will scan through my pictures to make sure that I will not accidentally load their pictures online although so far I was not told by anyone to delete my pictures.

There is another photographer that we specifically informed not to post up pictures of certain people. He did not acknowledge and carried on to do so. When he was asked to remove the pictures, he brushed it off by claiming that no names were mentioned. Is that right? He also claimed that the event organizer owns the rights to the images which I'm puzzled since we are not paid to do the job, shouldn't us as volunteer photographers own the rights to the pictures?

By the way, the event was open to public.

I do hope that this can turn out to be a meaningful discussion. :)
 

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nanof4

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Jan 13, 2012
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#2
If theres no proper agreement signed before the shoot, the photographer owns the right .. thats my view. Unless its a paid job, you still have to specific in the agreement who owns the right to the photo.
 

Schmike

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Dec 22, 2007
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#3
That's what I thought too.

But does the person being photographed have the rights to ask to take the image offline?
 

Rashkae

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Nov 28, 2005
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#4
Schmike said:
That's what I thought too.

But does the person being photographed have the rights to ask to take the image offline?
Nope. Especially if it was a public event.
 

Schmike

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Dec 22, 2007
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#5
What if the photographer was informed before it was posted or when the shot was taken?
 

Rashkae

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#6
Schmike said:
What if the photographer was informed before it was posted or when the shot was taken?
Public place means public place. No contract clause that states certain pictures may not be uploaded, no reason to delete.

I feel this thread is more accurately about "ethics of event organizers" than event photographers
 

ed9119

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#7
"I was tasked to cover an event as an official photographer together with few others "

PAID or UNPAID ...... once you take on a job you lose all rights to the images .....

you worked for free ..... too bad .... hope they fed you

which event was this ? as daredevil says below , if there is no contract signed ...... follow Rashkae's advise above
 

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daredevil123

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#8
If there is nothing signed on black and white, all rights belong to the photographer automatically if no money exchanged hands. As long as the photographer gets paid (even $1 or a packet of water, or a packet of chicken rice), the rights belong to the commissioner of the work (ie the person/organization who paid in money or in kind).

There are some situations where a model release is required in some individuals are in the pictures. But as long as the individuals are photographed in a public place, such release is not required.
 

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ed9119

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#9
dd.... even if he did it for FREE ...... if a contract is signed ..... he is obliged and legally bound ...... yes, even if he was not paid a cent
 

daredevil123

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#10
If there is nothing signed on black and white, all rights belong to the photographer automatically if no money exchanged hands. As long as the photographer gets paid (even $1 or a packet of water, or a packet of chicken rice), the rights belong to the commissioner of the work (ie the person/organization who paid in money or in kind).

There are some situations where a model release is required in some individuals are in the pictures. But as long as the individuals are photographed in a public place, such release is not required.
Oppss.. there is some grey area actually...

Ownership and rights


"Commissioning: If a portrait/photograph/engraving is commissioned by another party, the commissioner owns the copyright in the work. If the portrait/photograph/engraving is required for a particular purpose, this purpose must be communicated to the commissioned party. While the commissioner is the copyright owner, the commissioned party has the right to stop others from doing any act comprised in the copyright, unless such act is done for the particular purpose for which the portrait/photograph/engraving is created.

For other types of commissioned works, ownership belongs to the commissioned party, unless the commissioner and commissioned party otherwise agree. "

There is no talk of money actually. So if you take on a job as "the official photographer", even for free, the commissioner of the job is the copyright owner. Even in FOC jobs, it is wise to ask for a b&W that gives the ownership rights back to the photographer, while giving the commissioner rights of use of the images.
 

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daredevil123

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#12
dd.... even if he did it for FREE ...... if a contract is signed ..... he is obliged and legally bound ...... yes, even if he was not paid a cent
Yup.. if a contract is signed, or if the commissioner of the work can prove in emails or communications that he/they commissioned the work, the rights will belong to the commissioner of the work.
 

Rashkae

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Nov 28, 2005
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#13
For officially commissioned work, there must be a contract.

Unless ts tells us if there is a contract or not, all we can do is guess.
 

Schmike

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Dec 22, 2007
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#14
The photographer refused to have the pictures removed after the organizer removed them from the site. He told them he have the rights to the images but told the person who requested them to be removed otherwise.

It was just an event by a forum which was also opened to public but held in a non public place.

There is no contract involved.
 

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daredevil123

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#16
The photographer refused to have the pictures removed after the organizer removed them from the site. He told them he have the rights to the images but told the person who requested them to be removed otherwise.

It was just an event by a forum which was also opened to public but held in a non public place.

There is no contract involved.
hmm.. anyway, this kind of stuff can come back and bite the photographer in the ass down the road if he wants to do paid jobs. It can reflect very badly on him. But that is his prerogative, and he has to answer to the consequences himself actually. For the rest of us, life goes on. And make sure our own contracts/agreements are done right so we cover our own behinds.
 

Schmike

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Dec 22, 2007
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#17
Seems like I better get the organizer to have some contract in place in future.

Thanks everyone for the useful replies.
 

catchlights

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#18
I hope the photographer can understand this;
"you have to rights to do something does not mean the things you do is always right."



anyway, why organizers look for free photographers and disallow photographers to use the photos for portfolio purposes?
if it is a sensitive issue or close door event, then the more should hire photographers with good working ethic.

save money does not save troubles some time.
 

Schmike

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Dec 22, 2007
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#19
It was not for any portfolio. It was just to share in the forum after the event.
 

SilentSeth

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Jun 7, 2011
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#20
If nothing is stated in the contract, i believe the creator (in this case the photographer) retains the rights of his creation (pictures).

About which subjects you cannot shoot, i say that since it's an assignment (even if it's a non paid job), you better follow the instruction.

My 2 cents, and kindly correct me if i am wrong.
 

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