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Old Nov 13, 2006, 12:20 PM   #1
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I recently took some engagement shots of my friends daughter and her fiance. It was my first time doing anything like that and I did it as a favor. So she goes to Wally World with a disk I gave her and they wouldn't develop them because "they're professional"! They wanted a letter from me giving them permission.

I don't get it. Even if they were professional, doesn't me giving her a disk void any copyright? And if I did give them a letter, how do they know it was really me? Is this really a problem for you guys and gals that are pros?

Since I'm not a pro, I don't see it as a major problem for me, but how can it be avoided in the future?
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Old Nov 13, 2006, 12:45 PM   #2
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Basically copyright belongs to the photographer unless they sign it away, so giving someone a disc of your pictures doesn't give them the right to do anything but view them.
As for the letter: I suppose they don't really have anyway of knowing it was you that wrote it (or even you that took the photos!), but what it does mean is if you later tried to sue them for printing your work without permission they can say "we were given what appeared to be genuiune proof of this person's right to order prints, so you'll have to sue them instead!".
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Old Nov 13, 2006, 12:54 PM   #3
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It has happened to me on occasion also. Although I do charge for my services I will typically give the bride and groom a cd or dvd for them to get their own pictures printed simply because I don't want to use my time, paper and ink to do this. This is a good thing though that people are asking for this. I have several photos of other things and events that I do not want peopleto be able to copy. I have also had people ask me to scan photos done by others and make copies for them and I won't do that for even my friends, I wouldn't want anyone else scanning my photos for someone.
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Old Nov 13, 2006, 12:56 PM   #4
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Although you don't see yourself as a Pro, the Copyright law still protects you. The law states that once the work is created (picture taken, painting painted or music written, etc) it is copyright protected for 70 years (Pretty sure it's 70) from the say you die.

It's there to protect you and I am actually glad to see that Wally world turned them away. Give them a letter saying that you either give up the rights to the works, or you give them permission to print them. As for being able to tell who took them, a lot of information is stored with a digital file, you could embed your name into them and then they would be able to match the name to the letter.

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Old Nov 13, 2006, 1:44 PM   #5
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I can see their point...better safe than sorry. I guess where the question comes in is if I go to print something myself and this question arises. I mean...it's my work, will they need a letter from me proving that I'm me and that I actually took the photos? Should I embed my name or some other "provable" number (not my SS#) in the EXIF data? and how do do that on a KM 5D?
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Old Nov 13, 2006, 1:44 PM   #6
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sorry...double post.
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Old Nov 13, 2006, 2:59 PM   #7
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You bring up a good point, but I've never had problems getting my own prints. As for how to put the information on the file, you do it our of camera.

If you have Photoshop, Bridge would do the trick, there are also a lot of other programs that can do it as well. Perhaps some software that came with your camera.

Dave
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