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Modification and copyright?


TonyCoridan 1 137 United Kingdom
3 Mar 2013 10:35AM
Hi fellow Artists,

On EPZ we have the option to allow our fellow photographers (with different skills and choices) to download and edit and re-upload the photo-their version of another photographer's work.

My question is who owns the copyright of the edited version of the photograph?

Thank you,

Tony

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Paintman e2
8 902 173 United Kingdom
3 Mar 2013 11:33AM
I do a few mods now and then and imo the original artist/photographer will always hold the copyright. They have only given permission to others to modify a low res version for ways to 'improve' the photo so the photographer can see other possibilities of processing, nothing more.

I always delete the versions I've downloaded and modified once they have been posted as a mod version.

It's interesting to see how other photographers view a photo and what they can bring to the table with their experiences and processing abilities. I find it helps me learn Photoshop a bit better too, that's why I do mods. Also I can process photos of subjects I'd never get the chance of photographing.
Gypsyman e2
4 660 England
3 Mar 2013 11:51AM
For me to do a Mod. It is only a practice. hopefully will show something new to whose Photograph it is, but moreso for me to improve my efforts. Eric.
lobsterboy e2
11 14.3k 13 United Kingdom
3 Mar 2013 12:59PM

Quote:
My question is who owns the copyright of the edited version of the photograph?



The copyright owner is generally the creator of the original work
TonyCoridan 1 137 United Kingdom
3 Mar 2013 1:24PM
Thank you all for responding to my question.

Kind regards,

Tony
Gundog 1 624 Scotland
20 Mar 2013 11:21PM

Quote:My question is who owns the copyright of the edited version of the photograph?


The copyright owner is generally the creator of the original work



Are you sure about that?

I would have thought that, by offering his/her image for modification, the original photographer was allowing it to be used by others.

That being so, does not the copyright of each modified version (and there may be several) lodge with the modifier of each?
lobsterboy e2
11 14.3k 13 United Kingdom
21 Mar 2013 6:56AM

Quote:That being so, does not the copyright of each modified version (and there may be several) lodge with the modifier of each?

Only if the modification "contains new content or represents significant development in its own right", to be subject to copyright the creation of the derivative work must itself be an original work of skill, labour and judgement; minor alterations that do not substantially alter the original would not qualify. But the meaning of "significant development",etc would be what keeps copyright lawyers in work.
Coast e2
6 1.5k 292 United Kingdom
21 Mar 2013 8:31PM
It's a little like sending a film neg to different printers and asking them to print it in their own interpretation. Only in this case you are modifying from an original print by the photographer rather than the original file.

In terms of copyright then Lobsterboy has covered the legal foundation.

Black and White magazine used to run a monthly feature whereby 2 printers went head to head with the same negative and it was very interesting to see how different the 2 finished prints would be. Choice of paper, processing ie sepia, cyan, monochrome, contrast, selective dodging and burning or not and even in choice of crop and format in some cases.
Gundog 1 624 Scotland
22 Mar 2013 2:40PM
The reason that I asked the question was that, with music, (provided the correct PRS licence is held), the copyright of a recording of any performance of a piece of music is held by the individual performer - and there may be many, each giving a slightly different interpretation. I had wondered if the image file, upon which modifications were invited, was a bit like the sheet music from which the performers played with their own interpretation.
mikehit e2
5 7.1k 11 United Kingdom
22 Mar 2013 2:46PM

Quote:copyright of any performance of a piece of music is held by the individual performer

Then why does PRS collect money from the performer and distribute it to the songwriter?
keithh e2
11 23.4k 33 Wallis And Futuna
22 Mar 2013 4:32PM
You can't copyright a performance. A thousand tribute acts would stuffed.
mikehit e2
5 7.1k 11 United Kingdom
22 Mar 2013 5:20PM
As far as I am aware (after speaking to a band member a few years ago), copyright is still an issue for live music and although they can't stop you playing the song it is the venue that is responsible for paying any fees. As soon as a band records music (LP, CD MP3...) or video they are straight into copyright territory.

Tribute bands have another layer of legal problems in that they are also trading off the bands's image and that can open a different kettle of legal fish (sharks...?) regards image rights - as an example several Abba tributes with the word 'Abba' or similar in their name have been told to change it.
keith selmes 11 7.1k 1 United Kingdom
22 Mar 2013 7:38PM

Quote:why does PRS collect money from the performer and distribute it to the songwriter
The song writer has copyright for the written work, but obviously not for the actual performance nor for a recording of the performance. I think the performers have "performers rights" rather than "copyright", but the person making a sound recording could have copyright on that.
Not that it's complicated or anything. And they all run for different periods of time, which are possibly being changed.
I half remember something about producers and directors having a piece of the action as well. I don't recall how they divvy it up. More a snake pit than a can of worms.
22 Mar 2013 11:09PM

Quote: The song writer has copyright for the written work, but obviously not for the actual performance nor for a recording of the performance.


The song writer can obviously still hold copyright on the performance and especially recording. If you go to a gig and record it all on your phone then sell or release the recording (video or audio) you are potentially breaching copyright

Similarly, photographing another artist's/photographer's work does not make it your own or give you the right to sell it or pass it as your own

Copyright is not a complicated issue, and is pretty much common sense

Allowing mods on your work is simply allowing modification. It is not a separate work, it is a permission to alter but the original artist can choose the rights available to the editor

I cant buy a golf gti, paint it purple and sell it as my own* UNLESS volkswagen permit it, but volkswagen (as far as i know) allow people to modify the car

*as in, i cannot sell it as another brand. Its still the same make and model
Gundog 1 624 Scotland
23 Mar 2013 11:14AM

Quote:


I cant buy a golf gti, paint it purple and sell it as my own* UNLESS volkswagen permit it, but volkswagen (as far as i know) allow people to modify the car

*as in, i cannot sell it as another brand. Its still the same make and model



I don't want to get involved in a convoluted debate about legalities but, of course, car modifiers such as Cosworth, did exactly that - modified a production model of, say Ford, then sold it as their own brand.

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