Pay for studio + photog, but no photos?


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unseen

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Dec 14, 2004
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#1
OK This is a situation my friend is in.

She paid $$ for some package from this studio Instant Glamour (formerly @ bugis, now @ Central). The package promised some 4R prints, some 8r prints, and the photos on a CD. After the whole thing, she realised that the studio + photog refuses to give her the full resolution image file. Even after paying $$ for them to photoshop the photos, they also refused to release the full resolution file. They downsize/resize the photos to resolution necessary for "4R" (1200x1800) and put it onto the CD.

Now the photog has quit the studio, and contacted my friend. Apparently he took the photos from the studio. He's offering to sell her the original images at $20, a "heavily discounted" from the normal $50.

My qn:
1) Is it ethical/correct about the image resolution part, for this line?
2) Once a customer pays the photographer + studio for the shots, does the studio have any right to keep any copy of the photos?
3) Does the studio have any right to reuse the photos taken at the shoot?
4) What can the customer do to stop the studio from misusing/circulating the photos?
5) Who owns the rights to the photos? (From what I understand, the photographer + studio were comissioned to the job, so they do not own the rights. Am I correct?)
6) The photographer, what he did, it's theft isn't it?
 

Nisa

Senior Member
Aug 13, 2004
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#2
nowadays much ppl have no ethics, what so ever!
People who had worked in a company for 20 over years, the company being kind and generous towards him, and end up with him "retiring", took the CPF money and opening a new company, taking all most of the customers..... So ? nothing the company can do oso! :angry:

As for taking materials from the company and selling it to clients at a price and pocketing it? he oso done it.

The photographer definitely has to be taken to task!
 

V

vince123123

Guest
#3
1. It would be unclear if this was not expressly set out in the contract. What does the term actually say?

However, I'd think that if it is totally silent, the customer should have the right to the full resolution photos.

2. If there is no term to the contrary, the studio will not have the right to keep copies of the photos.

3. If there is no term to the contrary, the studio will not have the right to reuse the photos taken at the shoot.

4. The customer has to engage a lawyer to send a letter of demand and/or start an action to obtain an injunction to stop them from reusing/circulating etc.

5. The customer owns the rights in the case of commissioned works.

6. Sounds like theft to me, its the same as stealing your company's warehouse stocks and reselling it to a second hand dealer.

OK This is a situation my friend is in.

She paid $$ for some package from this studio Instant Glamour (formerly @ bugis, now @ Central). The package promised some 4R prints, some 8r prints, and the photos on a CD. After the whole thing, she realised that the studio + photog refuses to give her the full resolution image file. Even after paying $$ for them to photoshop the photos, they also refused to release the full resolution file. They downsize/resize the photos to resolution necessary for "4R" (1200x1800) and put it onto the CD.

Now the photog has quit the studio, and contacted my friend. Apparently he took the photos from the studio. He's offering to sell her the original images at $20, a "heavily discounted" from the normal $50.

My qn:
1) Is it ethical/correct about the image resolution part, for this line?
2) Once a customer pays the photographer + studio for the shots, does the studio have any right to keep any copy of the photos?
3) Does the studio have any right to reuse the photos taken at the shoot?
4) What can the customer do to stop the studio from misusing/circulating the photos?
5) Who owns the rights to the photos? (From what I understand, the photographer + studio were comissioned to the job, so they do not own the rights. Am I correct?)
6) The photographer, what he did, it's theft isn't it?
 

sykestang

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Jan 18, 2003
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sykestang.clubsnap.org
#4
IMMO:
1) Is it ethical/correct about the image resolution part, for this line?
Ans: That depends very much on the actual contact itself. Did your friend state clearly what resolution he/she wants from the shoot. Or she just state she wanted the photos itself. As a professional photographer, it is often a practices that the photographer will ask how big or where/what the photo will be used for. So it also depends very much on what's your friend's reply.

2) Once a customer pays the photographer + studio for the shots, does the studio have any right to keep any copy of the photos?
ANS: Yes. In olden days, studio keeps the film/negative cos the studio owns the copyrights of the photo taken. In current digital context, the RAW format file is kept by the studio. Cos RAW format is considered as 'digital negative'

3) Does the studio have any right to reuse the photos taken at the shoot?
Yes they can, but they cannot resell them without the prior permission granted by your friend.

4) What can the customer do to stop the studio from misusing/circulating the photos?
ANS: If your friend sees that his/her photos being displayed in the studio and felt unhappy about, he/she can request the studio to take it down as it breach his/her privacy is certain sense.

5) Who owns the rights to the photos? (From what I understand, the photographer + studio were comissioned to the job, so they do not own the rights. Am I correct?)
The copyright law has rewritten since 2005 if not wrong. Although it states clearly that copyright belongs to the one who comissioned the job. But this is still quite vague with many arguement points. I'm not a lawyer to really answer to that. :)

6) The photographer, what he did, it's theft isn't it?
It all depends very much on his contract with the studio. Many studio does not have their resident photographer. And believe me, many actually pay peanuts to newbies to do a one-off job for them. I've heard so much that some wedding studio actually pays photographer $180 for a whole day actual day wedding shoot. And also ~$250-$300 for a pre-wedding studio/outdoor shoot. In this case, I do heard the deliverables from that 'comissioned' photographer is just a JPG file w/o any DI to the studio. Thus the copyright/portfolio still belongs to the photographer. However if it is not the above case, and indeed it'll be considered a theft case. But then it is up to the studio to pursue the matter and not your friend.

Hope the above answers to your doubts. :)
 

unseen

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Dec 14, 2004
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#5
Thanks for the interesting pointers.

As for the #1..
I believe it's one of those point at package, pay at counter, take photo type, so it's not expressedly stated. It was just stated in the advert that digital copies will be given apart from the print.

Regarding sykestang's point 6, if the studio pays the photographer to do a job, no matter how little, doesn't the studio own it? What you're proposing is, if nike underpays some kids in Indonesia to make shoes, if it's not stated in the contract then the shoes belong to the kids? I learnt that as a research student, that no matter how ground-breaking the research is, but if it's done under the university, it's the university's. Isn't it the same here?

Anyway as for #6, this is for my own curiousity, I'm mostly unhappy that my friend is being made to pay for something which I believe is hers. I'm also curious about the position of the photographer.
 

Oct 17, 2004
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#6
Need to talk about Photography as a money making business . No business, No money and follow by No nothing ...

As a Full time Photographer , We spend good effort to shoot each and single picture for our customer .
In Singapore , we are paid a very small sum of money for the amount of work we are doing, we never protect Photography as a business and Photographer here are sadly well known for their never unite .

Photography services at different rates should come with different term and condition . If the laws said when one commission a Photographer for a certain job and the rights belong to the comission party then a term and condition had to be drawn so that you could protect your business . We are artist who paint a picture with our lights , we are nothing without lights , I had teach all my student/Assistant about seeing lights and what and who are a Photographer , we are not just the man behind the camera, anybody can be the man behind the camera just simply buy a camera and stand behind it and you are one of them .

I felt that the Photographer took a risk by calling the ex-customer up to sell the picture , he should not had done that, with right or without , that's just a small problem but what i'm seeing is that he could be charge for theft from the ex-company , what if the customer brought over the images then they could be charge too for assisting with theft(Purchasing term)

Just sharing la , too born after raining .....


:cool:
 

Zplus

Senior Member
Mar 16, 2002
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#7
Actually all the questions asked, boils down to whether the amount of money paid covers the copyright of the pictures. If in the contract, it was stated that the photographer retains the copyright of the picture, and the amount paid was just for the production of 1600x1800 files, then the photographer will have the right to do all those things.

For the photographer, it depends on the terms of employment with the studio. Are all his shots copyrighted by the studio? Or has he negotiated to retain the copyright and is selling just his service to the studio.

Something like that. If its all gray and no contract, then anything goes, engage lawyers and see who wins. ;)
 

Zplus

Senior Member
Mar 16, 2002
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#8
Thanks for the interesting pointers.

As for the #1..
I believe it's one of those point at package, pay at counter, take photo type, so it's not expressedly stated. It was just stated in the advert that digital copies will be given apart from the print.

Regarding sykestang's point 6, if the studio pays the photographer to do a job, no matter how little, doesn't the studio own it? What you're proposing is, if nike underpays some kids in Indonesia to make shoes, if it's not stated in the contract then the shoes belong to the kids? I learnt that as a research student, that no matter how ground-breaking the research is, but if it's done under the university, it's the university's. Isn't it the same here?

Anyway as for #6, this is for my own curiousity, I'm mostly unhappy that my friend is being made to pay for something which I believe is hers. I'm also curious about the position of the photographer.
Well, if the worker negotiated with Nike to retain the rights to that shoe, Nike will just go out to hire another person who is willing to do without retaining the rights to it. Now, if it is a Nike shoe designer with a good track record, then he can quote very high to sell Nike his copyright design for a Nike shoe. Thats the difference.;)
 

V

vince123123

Guest
#9
Since there are no terms, my view is unchanged from that set out in #3.

Thanks for the interesting pointers.

As for the #1..
I believe it's one of those point at package, pay at counter, take photo type, so it's not expressedly stated. It was just stated in the advert that digital copies will be given apart from the print.

Regarding sykestang's point 6, if the studio pays the photographer to do a job, no matter how little, doesn't the studio own it? What you're proposing is, if nike underpays some kids in Indonesia to make shoes, if it's not stated in the contract then the shoes belong to the kids? I learnt that as a research student, that no matter how ground-breaking the research is, but if it's done under the university, it's the university's. Isn't it the same here?

Anyway as for #6, this is for my own curiousity, I'm mostly unhappy that my friend is being made to pay for something which I believe is hers. I'm also curious about the position of the photographer.
 

Oct 10, 2006
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www.pbase.com
#10
My qn:
1) Is it ethical/correct about the image resolution part, for this line?

I believe it should be already stated in the contract already.
And i think it is common for such "makeover studios" to give only resolution up to 4R
unless, you are willing to pay more...

2) Once a customer pays the photographer + studio for the shots, does the studio have any right to keep any copy of the photos?

Yes, I believe your friend probably paid less than S$500 for the photoshoot and the prints right? The images should be sole property of the photographer/studio unless otherwise stated or agreed prior to the shoot.
Even if you pay some top photographers, 4k to shoot your pre-wedding..you might not get all high-res for all the photos taken too.

3) Does the studio have any right to reuse the photos taken at the shoot?

Of course, unless otherwise stated or agreed prior to the shoot...

4) What can the customer do to stop the studio from misusing/circulating the photos?

See above answer again.
5) Who owns the rights to the photos? (From what I understand, the photographer + studio were comissioned to the job, so they do not own the rights. Am I correct?)

The photographer/studio own the rights to the images, unless you are telling me your friend paid a huge amount of money for the shoot..then probably that will mislead her (or anyone else) to think that the images rights should be hers.
If she only paid est. $300 for the shoot...the images rights should not be hers too.

6) The photographer, what he did, it's theft isn't it?

Thats between the studio and the photographer already..

anyway..thats my personal view...
bottomline..if your friend paid $300 for this shoot..forget about it.
if she paid $3000 for 10 images...then I feel that she should own the rights to the images.
 

V

vince123123

Guest
#11
Grainpixel - FYI, I'm not sure if the courts will assess ownership or rights based on how much someone paid for something.

Also, do take note that unseen has said that there are no terms and conditions. The customer pointed to a package at the counter, paid and took the photos. Any assessment of legal rights would therefore be based upon the fact that there are no express terms.
 

unseen

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Dec 14, 2004
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#12
Actually all the questions asked, boils down to whether the amount of money paid covers the copyright of the pictures. If in the contract, it was stated that the photographer retains the copyright of the picture, and the amount paid was just for the production of 1600x1800 files, then the photographer will have the right to do all those things.

For the photographer, it depends on the terms of employment with the studio. Are all his shots copyrighted by the studio? Or has he negotiated to retain the copyright and is selling just his service to the studio.

Something like that. If its all gray and no contract, then anything goes, engage lawyers and see who wins. ;)

Hmmmm I did a quick check into the law:
http://www.ipos.gov.sg/main/aboutip/copyright/ownershipnrights.html said:
"Commissioning: If the painting/portrait/photograph/engraving of a person is commissioned by another party, the commissioning party owns the copyright in the work. For other commissioned works, ownership rests in the commissioned party who created the work although the copyright may be transferred or assigned as established by the contract between the commissioner and commissioned party.

The owner of the copyright may assign his rights to another party or entity. He may assign his rights partially or license his rights in a manner of his choice. The separate rights given under copyright (e.g. right of reproduction) can also be assigned separately from other rights.

Special situations for certain professions:

Journalist or writer: In the course of employment as a journalist or writer for a newspaper, magazine or periodical OR under a contract of service or apprenticeship, the proprietor of the newspaper, magazine or periodical owns the copyright for the purpose of publication or reproduction in the newspaper, magazine or periodical.

Photographer or artist: If a photographer is engaged to take a photograph of a person or an artist is engaged to draw a portrait of a person, that person owns the copyright."

Someone knowledgable in law also pointed me to this part when I posed the qn to him
http://www.ipos.gov.sg/main/aboutip/copyright/ownershipnrights.html said:
CRIMINAL OFFENCE
In Singapore, criminal offences under copyright law include the following:

• making of infringing copies for sale;
• sale of infringing copies;
• possession or import of infringing copies for the purposes of sale or of distribution for the purpose of trade;
• distribution of infringing copies for the purposes of trade.

In any of the instances above, it must be proved that the infringing party knows or
ought reasonably to know that the copies were infringing copies.

Further, it is also a criminal offence if a person wilfully infringes copyright either to a significant extent or for the purpose of obtaining a commercial advantage.


Criminal Liability for Wilful Infringement

It is also a criminal offence if a person wilfully infringes copyright either for the purpose of obtaining a commercial advantage or to a significant extent.

Commercial advantage means any direct advantage, benefit or financial gain for a business or trade. As to whether the infringement is to a significant extent, this is judged based on the volume, value of infringing copies and whether the infringement has a substantial prejudicial impact on the copyright owner and all other relevant matters.

The penalties for such wilful copyright infringement are:

1st offence, a fine not exceeding $20,000 and/or imprisonment up to 6 months;
2nd or subsequent offence, a fine not exceeding $50,000 and/or imprisonment up to 3 years.
Other acts that have civil and criminal liabilities include:
circumventing a technological measure (page 10); and
falsely removing or altering the rights management information electronically attached to a work (page 11).
If you'd rather read the legal mambo jumbo:
Check out the Copyright Act, Chapter 63, Section 30, Subsection 5.
(5) Subject to subsection (4), where —

(a) a person makes, for valuable consideration, an agreement with another person for the taking of a photograph, the painting or drawing of a portrait or the making of an engraving by the other person; and

(b) the work is made in pursuance of the agreement,

the first-mentioned person shall be entitled to any copyright subsisting in the work by virtue of this Part, except that if the work is required for any particular purpose, that purpose shall be communicated to that other person and that other person shall be entitled to restrain the doing, otherwise than for that particular purpose, of any act comprised in the copyright in the work.
Thus, I believe Zplus, Free Agent, grainpixel are all wrong in their beliefs, as with the several who pmed me regarding this issue. My friend would be exploring various legal avenues. I'm awaiting more legal advice from somewhere, but I've been advised by someone that no lawyers would be necessary as it'd be classified as a criminal case, since Instant Glamour is expressedly keeping the photos for their financial gain.
I'm personally of the stand that she should be lodging 2 separate police reports, 1 against Instant Glamour and another the photographer.
 

unseen

Senior Member
Dec 14, 2004
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#13
manager of Instant Glamour said:
hi,

a few more answers to your queries

1. we keep the soft copies in our database in case pple want to buy in the future or if they misplace. up to a year.

2. we will not display customers pic without asking for permission. if the customer agrees, she will sign a picture release form.

thanks,

XX
#1 - I believe I've now shown you that it's illegal.

#2 - My friend has informed me that Instant Glamour has had put her photo up on their websites, put up in their shop + portfolio WITHOUT her consent. I believe the manager should clarify.
 

iggy1011

New Member
Mar 23, 2007
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#14
this is highly untrue. all customers will sign an authorization form to release their pics

if you are so uncomfortable with your fwens pic on my website as you say, without consent, i will take them down immediately, no problem.

Pls identify yourself and your fwen.

we have already explained our company policy and practice to 'unseen'. what our ex employee did was highly unethical and beyond our control.

thanks,

manager
Instant Glamour
 

Oct 17, 2004
672
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#15
Wow ..

" unseen "

I think you had to be careful about pointing names .

You asked for question , we supply some . there are no belief , only interests in this issue .

What you could had done before pointing names should be finding out , how to stop them from misusing the images .

They had asked you and your friend to go to them to clarifly the problem .

Now , I feel that it's worth no cent since no proper way was being carry out .

Wow liao ..... so xian man.....



:cool:
 

V

vince123123

Guest
#16
Uhm, can you also identify yourself as well? It is not easy to tell whether you are really a manager of Instant Glamour.

Do provide your name so anyone who's interested can also check them out for themselves.

this is highly untrue. all customers will sign an authorization form to release their pics

if you are so uncomfortable with your fwens pic on my website as you say, without consent, i will take them down immediately, no problem.

Pls identify yourself and your fwen.

we have already explained our company policy and practice to 'unseen'. what our ex employee did was highly unethical and beyond our control.

thanks,

manager
Instant Glamour
 

unseen

Senior Member
Dec 14, 2004
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#17
this is highly untrue. all customers will sign an authorization form to release their pics

if you are so uncomfortable with your fwens pic on my website as you say, without consent, i will take them down immediately, no problem.

Pls identify yourself and your fwen.

we have already explained our company policy and practice to 'unseen'. what our ex employee did was highly unethical and beyond our control.

thanks,

manager
Instant Glamour
I'll go check with my friend again. She must have lied to me when I asked her if she had signed any forms, and she said no, even when i rephrased it several ways. She also told me she was initially told that she was told her photo wouldn't be used, but subsequently found her photo to be on the website AND portfolio/in the shop (? Her words ?).

About your ex-employee, unethical or not, that's not really my concern or her, or anyone's. In fact, thinking about the case even from the olden point of view, since the photographer took the photos, the photographer OWN the photo originals NOT the studio, even though the studio commission the photographer to take the photo. Why would the studio own any of the photos?
Perhaps as manager you would explain, but that wouldn't be the main points of this thread anymore.
 

unseen

Senior Member
Dec 14, 2004
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#18
Wow ..

" unseen "

I think you had to be careful about pointing names .

You asked for question , we supply some . there are no belief , only interests in this issue .

What you could had done before pointing names should be finding out , how to stop them from misusing the images .

They had asked you and your friend to go to them to clarifly the problem .

Now , I feel that it's worth no cent since no proper way was being carry out .

Wow liao ..... so xian man.....



:cool:
:) Thanks for your interest. I forgot to thank all for replying in this thread. I posted this thread in view that this was more of a commercial/industry practice rather than a legally based issue, thus asked here. Only after that did I get professional feedback about the issue.

Actually I'm curious, how did you know what they asked me and my friend to do? Perhaps you might have peeped into my PM? Then you would know I've identified myself to the manager, as well as passed him my mobile number so that if he's really interested to resolve whatever issue he has on his side, he can approach me. I've also mentioned that I will temporarily act as an agent for her if need, as I do not wish for anyone to harass her in any manner.

The problem on my side is rather clear, it doesn't need any clarification anymore. The law's pretty clear on the issue. It's only a matter if IG's manager would need to clarify anything with me, or a laywer on the issue.
 

iggy1011

New Member
Mar 23, 2007
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#19
i stand corrected. unseen has identified himself but not his friend.

the photos belong to the studio and not the photographer as the photos were taken in the context of our business.

have identified myself to vince. any more queries, would be happy to answer your queries. pls pm me.

thanks,

manager
instant glamour
 

reachme2003

Senior Member
Oct 6, 2003
3,735
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#20
as you had said that the 'photos belong to the studio'. it is clear that theft has been committed by a ex-employee(the actual relationship? i stand corrected). to claim that 'it is beyond our control', is lame. if i were you, i will protect my business, and pursue all possible avenues, including legal, to stop this 'thieving' activities.


i stand corrected. unseen has identified himself but not his friend.

the photos belong to the studio and not the photographer as the photos were taken in the context of our business.

have identified myself to vince. any more queries, would be happy to answer your queries. pls pm me.

thanks,

manager
instant glamour
 

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