Sticky Situation - My rights


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Aug 20, 2007
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#1
I am a student at a school in Singapore. And i am taking photos of the schools rugby games with general permission but nothing solid, neither a contract or any form of agreement.
Apparently, the school has permission to make me remove the photos from my website due to school property and school uniform. How true is this?
I understand, selling the photographs that I had taken could be seen as a stretch and i have no problem removing that service, but just simply having them on my website to view i don't see as a problem.
I would greatly appreciate some help on this matter and the rights i have as a photographer.
 

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vince123123

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#3
Here are my views:

If the school did not officially ask you to take, rather "allowed" you to take, then it may not be clear who owns copyright. I'd say you have a fair case to assert copyright.

With that out of the way, the question is whether the school has the legal right to make you remove photographs from your website. In my view, in the absence of more information, the default position is that the school has no right to ask you to do anything on your personal website (assuming of course ownership of the photographs belong to you).

That said, the school may have some "school rule" which can be arguably understood as a term and condition of entry as a student, which says that you cannot post photographs of the school or school uniform without consent. This is something that you may want to check out. They MAY have some obscure rule out there which prohibits such thing, or worse, a blanket rule which says that students must comply with whatever the school says.

I don't think there's any difference between viewing and selling. A lot of the time, people think that selling is "more wrong" than mere viewing. In law, I dont think there's much of a difference as far as liability is concerned (although it is a factor for consideration where assessment of damages is concerned).

In my view, and if I were you, I'll ask the school to quote the school rule which prohibits the posting and/or sale of such photographs. If they can't, then you can assert "since there's no rule, why are you stopping me"?

I am a student at a school in Singapore. And i am taking photos of the schools rugby games with general permission but nothing solid, neither a contract or any form of agreement.
Apparently, the school has permission to make me remove the photos from my website due to school property and school uniform. How true is this?
I understand, selling the photographs that I had taken could be seen as a stretch and i have no problem removing that service, but just simply having them on my website to view i don't see as a problem.
I would greatly appreciate some help on this matter and the rights i have as a photographer.
 

aselley

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Sep 30, 2008
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#4
You may want to consider this point.

While you may have the right to do it, will it be worth the possible angst and negative feedback along with possible repercussions that the school may chose to "inflict" as a result.

So while you may find they school has "no right" to ask you to do it, and you have no legal obligation to do so, the school may then find an excuse to punish you via other means.

i.e: you still have to go there everyday.
 

Xiao_shin

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#5
Your rights might not be so important if you want to survive in the school.

Take down then put up after your graduate. :devil:
 

aselley

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#7
Bare in mind that you are a student at a Private International School in Singapore...you took those photos while on private property and then posted them. Most International Schools are more than a little paranoid about how they are represented in the media, whether this be the mainstream press or online. They are concerned over representation, impression and security of the both the facility and their students. They very rarely allow press onto the school grounds unless it has been vetted by administration and is something that casts the school in a "good light".

And while your images do no damage (that I can see) to the "image" of AISS, this may be part of a wider IT and online clamp-down that the school is pursuing for any number of scholastic reasons.

Instead of trying to find out your rights, maybe you should approach the administrator who asked you to remove them, and in a non-confrontational way seek to find out the reasons, that these photos are "offensive" and what, if any, photos you are allowed to take on school grounds that can be used to support your online portfolio? You may find the reasons given to you are valid, and I hope more elaborate than a simple "Because I told you to"
 

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vince123123

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#8
I agree with this point, which has to be considered against the legal background issues.

Sometimes practical issues are also important.

For example, you know that you have a right to stop this this big tattooted guy from cutting your queue, but do you really want to do it? :)



You may want to consider this point.

While you may have the right to do it, will it be worth the possible angst and negative feedback along with possible repercussions that the school may chose to "inflict" as a result.

So while you may find they school has "no right" to ask you to do it, and you have no legal obligation to do so, the school may then find an excuse to punish you via other means.

i.e: you still have to go there everyday.
 

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vince123123

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#9
I don't think there's a position for joint ownership in such a case, at least not to my recollection under the Copyright Act.

For ownership of rights, in the absence of any black and white or agreement, rights belong tot he photographer. Hence it may not be in his interests to ask the school for black and white as that may trigger them to now say "Aha, I now think they belong to us".

It's better to have a black and white documentation that you have the right to the photos.
If I'm not wrong, for such cases, the school and you have 50-50 rights.
 

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vince123123

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#11
Lolz, well anyway I'll leave the practical advice to the TS to decide himself and others to contribute - I'll just do what others may not be able to do, that is to comment on the legal aspects :)
 

Optodexine

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Jan 24, 2007
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#12
I think you guys are missing the point, TS takes pride in his work. He wants to put it up to share. I think that is worth him fighting for. I think he should at least try to reason with his school administration.
 

aselley

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#13
What TS should do is approach Administration with the idea that his plans are to donate either a small/big/total % of the money generated from the sales towards one of the school sponsored service trips or locally supported charities. He might then find the school not only supportive of his drive, but also encouraging of both his access to events and helping in advertisements.

If he limited each print to sales of, say 5, numbered and signed them, he might find a "donation" path generates more sales than his current economic model. There is value in exclusivity.

While this would not generate any "income" for the TS, it would definitely generate page views for his portfolio and get it "seen", and it may generate aside work through groups and even parents with connections in non-academic industries.

And Optodexine, I think he should find out the reasons that Admin wants him to desist but doing it in a confrontational manner and "fighting for his rights" is not the best way to sway school administration to his way of thinking.
 

blurry80

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#14
Number 1 , you do not earn any commissions from these photos, why bother to get entangle in such ?
Number 2 , PP off the logos in the uniform.
Number 3 , You can choose to ignore them, untill they threaten you further by then you should ask them to provide documentation/rule that says not allowed
 

two200

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Nov 19, 2004
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#15
My views:
1. Not too sure but if there was sale of photo involve but if there is then I think the school has every right to ask you to remove them cos ultimately they are the owner of the private property, hence even if public event, they have ultimate right

2. If there is no sale involve, then maybe it is best to ask the person-in-charge politely as to the reason behind it and then work around the restriction. Understanding each sides position and come to a compromise might be the best option

3. What is you reason for not taking them down? Pride being dented? Unjustified school regulations? Violated personal rights? The reason for not taking the photos down is important because it will decide on the decision you may want to make. If you feel you personal rights had been violated then you may want to bring the matter all the way to the courts (hypothetical). If you feel the school is unjustified, you may just take down the photos but after you register you protest with the school. Hence only you can decide on what action to take.

4. Ultimately, you are a student in the school and the school has certain rules (justified or otherwise). You may "win" this battle but the war may ultimately be "lost".
 

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vince123123

Guest
#16
1. Owners of private properties only have the legal right to ask someone to leave their propert, but have no right to ask anyone to stop taking photographs or not to put up photographs, of their property.

3. There is no need for him to bring the matter to the courts and incurr expense to seek a declaration that he has the right to put up.

If the school wishes him to take down, then they would be the one taking out an action for mandatory injunction to remove.

There's also no need for him to take down and then register protest. There's no point in doing so because the school has gotten his aim. This is not the same as paying your income tax and registering protest later :p

4. This may be true; it up to him to judge the practical factors to make his own decision :)

My views:
1. Not too sure but if there was sale of photo involve but if there is then I think the school has every right to ask you to remove them cos ultimately they are the owner of the private property, hence even if public event, they have ultimate right

2. If there is no sale involve, then maybe it is best to ask the person-in-charge politely as to the reason behind it and then work around the restriction. Understanding each sides position and come to a compromise might be the best option

3. What is you reason for not taking them down? Pride being dented? Unjustified school regulations? Violated personal rights? The reason for not taking the photos down is important because it will decide on the decision you may want to make. If you feel you personal rights had been violated then you may want to bring the matter all the way to the courts (hypothetical). If you feel the school is unjustified, you may just take down the photos but after you register you protest with the school. Hence only you can decide on what action to take.

4. Ultimately, you are a student in the school and the school has certain rules (justified or otherwise). You may "win" this battle but the war may ultimately be "lost".
 

two200

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Nov 19, 2004
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#17
1. Owners of private properties only have the legal right to ask someone to leave their propert, but have no right to ask anyone to stop taking photographs or not to put up photographs, of their property.

I am no lawyer but I think owner of private property can stop you from taking photographys if you took them within their property. But of course if you took from the periphery then owners has no say. So in this case, maybe the owner still has some rights, no? :think:

3. There is no need for him to bring the matter to the courts and incurr expense to seek a declaration that he has the right to put up.

Just hypothetical lah. Any rational person will not do that lah.... unless one feels that human right is paramount above all else :sticktong

If the school wishes him to take down, then they would be the one taking out an action for mandatory injunction to remove.

Why waste good money...

There's also no need for him to take down and then register protest. There's no point in doing so because the school has gotten his aim. This is not the same as paying your income tax and registering protest later :p

4. This may be true; it up to him to judge the practical factors to make his own decision :)

At least something we agree :lovegrin:. Thanks for the intellectual discussions :sweat:
At the end of the day, I am just an observer aka kaypoh, busybody, etc. So to TS, the best decision is your own decisions
 

two200

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Nov 19, 2004
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#18
BTW, TS photos are very nice and well taken. :thumbsup:

Got carried away with wanting to be busybody and forgotten to look at the "offending" photos :confused:
 

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vince123123

Guest
#19
1. Well as I said before, they only have the right to ask you to leave, no right to ask you to delete photographs or remove photographs.

2. Sure, a hypothetical, but even hypothetically discussing, I don't think any lawyer will recommend he seek a declaration from the court at first instance.

3. If your view is that the school doesn't even want to waste money (and they are the ones being aggrieved, not the TS), why then the hypothetical for the TS to take the first step to go to court??

At the end of the day, I am just an observer aka kaypoh, busybody, etc. So to TS, the best decision is your own decisions

1. Owners of private properties only have the legal right to ask someone to leave their propert, but have no right to ask anyone to stop taking photographs or not to put up photographs, of their property.

I am no lawyer but I think owner of private property can stop you from taking photographys if you took them within their property. But of course if you took from the periphery then owners has no say. So in this case, maybe the owner still has some rights, no? :think:

3. There is no need for him to bring the matter to the courts and incurr expense to seek a declaration that he has the right to put up.

Just hypothetical lah. Any rational person will not do that lah.... unless one feels that human right is paramount above all else :sticktong

If the school wishes him to take down, then they would be the one taking out an action for mandatory injunction to remove.

Why waste good money...

There's also no need for him to take down and then register protest. There's no point in doing so because the school has gotten his aim. This is not the same as paying your income tax and registering protest later :p

4. This may be true; it up to him to judge the practical factors to make his own decision :)

At least something we agree :lovegrin:. Thanks for the intellectual discussions :sweat:
 

Aug 20, 2007
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#20
Thanks guys for all of your help, especially vince123123.
Right now i will just leave it. The 'threat' had not been to the point of punishment just a teacher angry due to the fact i wouldn't give him a free photo. If he decides to take it up more then i'll see what happens next.

The reason why i don't want them taken down is the fact that my mates, in the photos aren't wanting to have them taken off and wanting to view them. At the end of the day like any photographer I am very happy with these images and want to them to show of my capabilities of shooting that particular sport.
 

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