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Leilani
Leilani  1029 forum posts England3 Constructive Critique Points
7 Nov 2011 - 3:02 PM

Hi
Hope someone can help.

I took some images for a friend (now ex) in a radio studio that he hosts a radio show it's voluntary and a small town radio run by a charity. He did not contract me to do it, it was supposed to be a few photos for his website of him sitting behind a mic. Both verbally and in writing I asked if he used them on his site or to promote himself on Facebook that he should credit me and link to my website. He did not.

I took a lot more photos then just a couple and of a guest which was on the show that night and I sent them in low resolution, he chose some and put them up on his website, one of them was with his guest was among the selection I sent to him. The guest wanted that photo to put on his book. (in a previous thread) I arranged a limited license and that has all gone through no problem.

However, the particular photograph I wanted the ex friend to remove from his site and facebook. I asked him to credit me as agreed both on his site and facebook with a link to my site. He had not done this until last night, and even then it was not complete name and link.

As a result of finding out about the limited licence about image for the book, to protect everyone I asked him to sign an agreement, giving him permission to use the images I took, with my camera. (no money has exchanged anywhere) He has refused to remove any image, including the one for the book which is in agreement with someone else. I have asked many times now in emails including a cease and desist to either remove the said image and the others images he has used or sign the agreement which allows him to use them. It was paperwork...but he can't see reason and has now supposedly got advice from a solicitor which states:


Quote: "In this case the photographer was asked take a photo by the subject/radio station. The image is owned by the radio station or the subject. It is not owned by the photographer. She cannot use the image unless she has permission in writing."

The image is not owned by the radio station! I own it, it's my copyright, I was not hired by the station and the images are not being used to promote the radio station.

As I understand it is totally against my copyrights and I have the right to ask him to remove them. I have contacted Facebook and filled a DMCA form. And about to do the same for his website. I do not wish to do this and I told him many times, but he gave me no choice.

Please can someone clarify my position as photographer of these images? I don't have the money he has to go to a solicitor and that is what he is relying on.

Kind regards
Loren

Can someone tell me how best to approach this please!

Last Modified By Leilani at 7 Nov 2011 - 3:03 PM
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7 Nov 2011 - 3:02 PM

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User_Removed
7 Nov 2011 - 3:44 PM

I think you are in the mire Loren.

It's always sad when informal arrangements between friends go wrong in this way, but the absence of any written agreement between you and your ex-friend probably means he can use the images without crediting you.

If they were taken on the Radio Station's premises, then you certainly could not use them for any purpose (including the book) without the Radio Station's permission. I guess the solicitor is holding that the DJ was acting as an agent of the Radio Station when he gives the opinion you quoted.

My suggestion would be that you approach the Radio Station management, explain what has happened and ask them to state that the DJ was not acting as their agent and they do not wish to restrict your use of the photographs you took. That would free you up to use them as you see fit, although it would not, I suspect, stop the DJ using them in the way he is.

Good luck in sorting it out. In the words of Confucius - "With friends like that, who needs enemies".

Last Modified By User_Removed at 7 Nov 2011 - 3:45 PM
scottishphototours

Put it down to experience and move on.

You'll now know that you'll never take pics like this again in the future without getting the appropriate paperwork agreed and signed before you do it, for either a friend or client.

He sounds like a d*ck anyway...

MrGoatsmilk
7 Nov 2011 - 4:06 PM


Quote: Put it down to experience and move on.

You'll now know that you'll never take pics like this again in the future without getting the appropriate paperwork agreed and signed before you do it, for either a friend or client.

He sounds like a d*ck anyway...

Sound advice, it's just not worth the hassle or the worry etc etc

Leilani
Leilani  1029 forum posts England3 Constructive Critique Points
7 Nov 2011 - 6:25 PM

I appreciate your feed back, you say i'm in the mere, why?

Do you know under what law a radio station has the right to take your copyright images as your own, even though you were not contracted to take them? That's like going into Westminster cathedral and taking a photo of a Cardinal with the surrounds of the church and being told they now belong to the Church of England. If this is the case then the Law definitely needs to be changed!

I can appreciate that I would require a model release for me to use them, of which I didn't obtain. But I would say if the Cardinal allowed me to take a photo of him in the first place then he gave me permission.

Anyway, yes, you are right he is a d*ck. He has since come back with "I have sought further advice on this and decided to remove the photos" which he has. He has also banged on about my ego should be really high right now, then in another breath saying he could of helped me with my photographic work...right! Not much evidence of that in 3 months. I am not revelling at all, it just makes me feel really sad that it had got to that in the first place because I was only trying to safe guard everyone.

Yes, you live and learn, but what ever the further advice was, it made him back down.

Thanks for you help and I appreciate it.

mikehit
mikehit  56690 forum posts United Kingdom11 Constructive Critique Points
7 Nov 2011 - 6:38 PM


Quote: Do you know under what law a radio station has the right to take your copyright images as your own, even though you were not contracted to take them?

They don't. Pure and simple. Maybe it is a misundertanding that they think because the radio presenter is employed by them the lawyer thinks it is part of his paid work. But you are not employed by any of them so you cannot have signed over copyright.
And I really doubt the radio presenter has any hold with regards image rights - the needs for a model release just do not apply to UK like it does in US. Yes, a model release will reduce any arguments if you make a lot of money from that image but it is not a requirement.

Anyway, I am glad it has sort of worked out. I am presuming he was more of an acquaintance than a 'friend' (in these facebook days that word is almost meaningless to most) but even then it is not pleasant when relationships go sour over something like this. If you want to, maybe call him in a couple of weeks when everything has calmed down?
But above all, maybe look at how you approached this. You seem to be new to this game so ask yourself was 'protecting your rights' so important (what will you do with the images etc)? If so then think in future about getting a signed agreement up front - if they look horrified then you can politely explain the situation from personal experience. If not, let it slide. I am not passing judgement just asking the question.

Leilani
Leilani  1029 forum posts England3 Constructive Critique Points
7 Nov 2011 - 7:17 PM

Thanks Mike for clarification. Smile He was a friend, a client that became a close friend (not relationship wise). Nonetheless yes it has taught me that I will not do this again. I am web designer and always had an agreement before I work, I should have known better than to be so trusting and I am disheartened that a "friend" would not listen to reason, when I was trying to cover everyone in the first place. I have no intention of doing anything with the images, probably delete them, but the images of the guest I will hold on to just for posterity. Its not as if I was making any money from all of this, even the image for the book cover was given for free, but with limited usage...

It won't be happening again. I am happy to stick to taking quirky photos in art form Grin, it's not my intention to become a professional photographer of people. It's just too upsetting!

Maybe someone else will learn from this thread as I have done Grin

Sooty_1
Sooty_1 Critique Team 41216 forum posts United Kingdom200 Constructive Critique Points
7 Nov 2011 - 11:43 PM

You only cede copyright to someone else if you are comissioned by them to take the photos.
You do not do this merely by being on someone's property.

You do not have to have a model release to photograph anyone in the UK (and this includes children), and you only really need one if the usage of the image is libellous or defamatory in some way, or used for a purpose which the model has some objection to. The amount of money made from the image is immaterial. All a model release allows you to do is use the image anyway you wish (within any constraints specified on said form, and signed at the time of shooting).

You do not need a solicitor - you can use the small claims court and claim damages caused by him not using the image as you agreed. The only snag is that you need proof.

You could contact facebook again - if he has breached copyright, they might lock his account (temporarily), as it is a criminal offence.

Good luck!

Nick

User_Removed
8 Nov 2011 - 9:52 AM


Quote: You only cede copyright to someone else if you are commissioned by them to take the photos.
You do not do this merely by being on someone's property.

Which is why I suggested that the solicitor may have assumed that the DJ was acting as an agent of the Radio Station when he commissioned the photographs and then suggested that OP discussed this with the station management to see if they would give a statement to say this was not the case.

The other case where the photographer does not own the copyright is where the photograph is taken in the course of his/her employment. In that case it belongs to the employer.

But, once again, this case demonstrates the desirability of getting contracts in writing at the start of a project.

User_Removed
8 Nov 2011 - 3:12 PM


Quote: You only cede copyright to someone else if you are commissioned by them to take the photos.

Really, I always thought wedding photographers (for example) retained copyright. You have to be a direct employee I think before they get copyright.

Last Modified By User_Removed at 8 Nov 2011 - 3:13 PM
Sooty_1
Sooty_1 Critique Team 41216 forum posts United Kingdom200 Constructive Critique Points
8 Nov 2011 - 3:30 PM

I think you will find that should be in the contract signed with the wedding or social photographer, specifically to circumvent the rule.

If you did not enter into a contract, you would be entitled to claim copyright (though a contract may also be verbal) for the wedding or social shots, but by entering into the photographer's agreement, you agree to abide by their rules which normally includes them retaining copyright.

Nick

User_Removed
8 Nov 2011 - 3:41 PM


Quote: You only cede copyright to someone else if you are commissioned by them to take the photos.

Really, I always thought wedding photographers (for example) retained copyright. You have to be a direct employee I think before they get copyright.

As already said, wedding photographers usually get a contract signed that gives them the copyright. Their reason is very simple - they want their clients to order all the "products" from them and not simply get one set of photos which they then copy and re-use to their hearts' content. Good commercial practice.

If wedding photography clients had any nous, they would get an amendment written into the contract sealing up the other end of the bargain - i.e. that although the photographer retained copyright (for the above reason), the photographer could not publish or otherwise use the photographs without the written consent of the client.

answersonapostcard
answersonapostcard Site Moderator 1012609 forum postsanswersonapostcard vcard United Kingdom15 Constructive Critique Points
8 Nov 2011 - 3:44 PM


Quote: Really, I always thought wedding photographers (for example) retained copyright. You have to be a direct employee I think before they get copyright.

/thats how I've always understood it.

answersonapostcard
answersonapostcard Site Moderator 1012609 forum postsanswersonapostcard vcard United Kingdom15 Constructive Critique Points
8 Nov 2011 - 3:44 PM


Quote: Really, I always thought wedding photographers (for example) retained copyright. You have to be a direct employee I think before they get copyright.

Thats how I've always understood it.

User_Removed
8 Nov 2011 - 4:29 PM

Nick we had a long thread about this before and the conclusion was when there is no agreement the copyright remains with the photographer unless they are employed (by an employer who pays wages with NI etc). Commissioned as self-employed doesn't make you an employee.

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