Plagiarism or Rights Issue


#1
out of curiosity, a scenario came up for someone i know closely. something i don't have an answer for as well.
thus seeking opinions from you guys.

person B went on a photoshoot with a photographer. B commissioned the shoot and arranged for the subjects, location and even transportation. B happens to have brought his camera along and took a couple of shots of the subjects.

would B be dubbed as a plagiarizer for using these images as his own portfolio?
subjects knowingly posed for B and knows B. outcome of images are quite similar--they were both of similar lens with the same natural lighting. the only difference is that the poses and angles are different.

do share with me on what do you think of this situation.
 

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kandinsky

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#2
Plagiarism is passing off someone else's work as your own. Is B passing off the photographer's work as his own?

"B commissioned the shoot"
- What/who was the shoot commissioned for? Editorial? Advertising? Stock? For fun? Who was the client and what were the terms of the shoot?

From the scant details you provided, it sounds like B was hired by the photographer to organize the shoot. I assume the photographer was the one responsible for the creative input, like posing the model, finding the right spot to stand, etc. When B took his shots, was the photographer aware? I think all B needs to do is to communicate with the photographer. Ask the photographer if it's okay for him to use these images. Would the photographer like to be credited, etc.
 

#3
Thanks for getting through, B has his own shots with his own camera. He commissioned the shoot; he hired the photographer to shoot the few subjects for him. technically speaking, B was there to overlook the shoot and to "OK" on the shots from the photographer.

It is commissioned for editorial.

B was the main creative input. Photographer had input on the posing and finding a particular spot. B also had shots of the subjects in a different spot/angle with a different pose. Yes, the photographer was fully aware of B taking shots.

thanks for throwing some questions out that allows me to reply in more detail to the situation.
Plagiarism is passing off someone else's work as your own. Is B passing off the photographer's work as his own?

"B commissioned the shoot"
- What/who was the shoot commissioned for? Editorial? Advertising? Stock? For fun? Who was the client and what were the terms of the shoot?

From the scant details you provided, it sounds like B was hired by the photographer to organize the shoot. I assume the photographer was the one responsible for the creative input, like posing the model, finding the right spot to stand, etc. When B took his shots, was the photographer aware? I think all B needs to do is to communicate with the photographer. Ask the photographer if it's okay for him to use these images. Would the photographer like to be credited, etc.
 

catchlights

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#4
If I read your post correctly, since B is the one hire the photographer.
He owns all the photos shot by the photographer.
So what is your question again?
 

#5
Yes, B hired the photographer--he most likely owns all the photos shot by the photographer.

However, based on ethic and perhaps some grounds of moral logic--we're wondering if B's shots during the shoot are considered plagiarism? As they would have similar angles, lighting, poses or even expressions. Would B's set of photos considered copy-cat?

If I read your post correctly, since B is the one hire the photographer.
He owns all the photos shot by the photographer.
So what is your question again?
 

Dec 12, 2012
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#6
Yes, B hired the photographer--he most likely owns all the photos shot by the photographer. However, based on ethic and perhaps some grounds of moral logic--we're wondering if B's shots during the shoot are considered plagiarism? As they would have similar angles, lighting, poses or even expressions. Would B's set of photos considered copy-cat?
Frankly, I think you just need to look at the essence of the situation.

In this case, there is no plagiarism either way as it is clear that the photographer is hired by B for the photoshoot. Hence any and all creative input during the time and space of the commissioned shoot should belong to B and not the photographer. So no issue here. I think this particular scenario lends itself to a pretty clear cut conclusion and there is not much more that can be squeezed out of it for theoretical discussion.

However, allow me to propose some extensions to the situation to generate further discussion.

1) variation 1.1a
-photoshoot ends as according to contractually stipulated time.
-B leaves.
-photographer and model stay on to take more photos using the same lighting/scene
-who owns the photos?

2) variation 1.1b
-photoshoot ends as according to contractually stipulated time.
-B leaves.
-photographer and model stay on to take more photos.
-model not aware that B's ownership of photoshoot has ended.
-who owns the photos?

3) variation 1.1c
-photoshoot ends as according to contractually stipulated time.
-B leaves.
-model requests photographer to take some more photos for her own personal portfolio
-photographer and model stay on to take more photos using the same scene and lighting.
-who owns the photos?


Enjoy.
 

edutilos-

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#7
So if got one whole row of photographer shoot sunrise at Merlion Park, same sunrise, same angle, same equipment, who infringe whose copyright?

No one.

So same thing here. QED.
 

edutilos-

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#8
Frankly, I think you just need to look at the essence of the situation.

In this case, there is no plagiarism either way as it is clear that the photographer is hired by B for the photoshoot. Hence any and all creative input during the time and space of the commissioned shoot should belong to B and not the photographer. So no issue here. I think this particular scenario lends itself to a pretty clear cut conclusion and there is not much more that can be squeezed out of it for theoretical discussion.

However, allow me to propose some extensions to the situation to generate further discussion.

1) variation 1.1a
-photoshoot ends as according to contractually stipulated time.
-B leaves.
-photographer and model stay on to take more photos using the same lighting/scene
-who owns the photos?

2) variation 1.1b
-photoshoot ends as according to contractually stipulated time.
-B leaves.
-photographer and model stay on to take more photos.
-model not aware that B's ownership of photoshoot has ended.
-who owns the photos?

3) variation 1.1c
-photoshoot ends as according to contractually stipulated time.
-B leaves.
-model requests photographer to take some more photos for her own personal portfolio
-photographer and model stay on to take more photos using the same scene and lighting.
-who owns the photos?

Enjoy.
It does not matter unless B takes offense.

And then everything depends on whether there is contest of ownership and what the courts decide if it comes to that. I don't think it's clearcut in any of these situations, but likely no issue unless carbon copy of the images are made afterward.
 

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kandinsky

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#13
Yes, B hired the photographer--he most likely owns all the photos shot by the photographer.

However, based on ethic and perhaps some grounds of moral logic--we're wondering if B's shots during the shoot are considered plagiarism? As they would have similar angles, lighting, poses or even expressions. Would B's set of photos considered copy-cat?
ACCORDING TO THE MERRIAM-WEBSTER ONLINE DICTIONARY, TO "PLAGIARIZE" MEANS

- to steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one's own
- to use (another's production) without crediting the source
- to commit literary theft
- to present as new and original an idea or product derived from an existing source
In other words, plagiarism is an act of fraud. It involves both stealing someone else's work and lying about it afterward.

http://www.plagiarism.org/plagiarism-101/what-is-plagiarism/
Copy-cat as a layman's term ≠ Plagiarism. So while B's photos can be considered 'copy-cat', or 'similar', it wouldn't qualify as plagiarism, especially in this context, where B and A were working together on the same shoot, shooting on the same project.

Just apply the above to this case and you'll get your answer.

Did B...

...steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as his own?
...use (another's production) without crediting the source?
...commit literary theft?
...present as new and original an idea or product derived from an existing source?

------------------------

On a side note, this is a pretty interesting read with some case studies cited:

Visual plagiarism: when does inspiration become imitation ?

There may be no new ideas, but some ideas are less new than others. So where is the line drawn between genuine accidental similarity, homage, and wholesale copying ? Our case studies show the law is not as straightforward as we may think. (Updated, November 2007)

http://www.epuk.org/The-Curve/456/visual-plagiarism
 

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keithwee

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#14
Answer : No

It may have the same model etc but to my understanding B shot the images on his camera himself.

It's akin to a group of 6 doing a model shoot and then everyone going home and throwing their watermarks all over the images of the same model doing the same pose. Can photographer A say B infringed on his rights ?
 

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