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Old Dec 24, 2003, 10:43 PM   #1
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Default Copyright question, and Hello!

OK...This is my first post (but I have been lurking for more than a year). I'm looking into copyrighting some of my images, but as I did a web search on how to do so, I got more confused than I expected.

For those of you that have experience in copyrighting images, what is the process you use, and what are the advantages/disadvantages of the method you used, verus other possible methods (if they are legit).


By the way, Hello ALL! I am on my fourth model Digicam.


I started with the PV-SD5000, went to the HP850, Back to another 5000, then to an FZ1, and finally to an FZ10. So far I am enjoying the challenges and features of using each of these cameras. I am slowly learning how to use the manual settings for various environs, and since the dealer gave me tons of credit when I baught it, I went hog wild getting filters, flashes, handles, a mini-tripod, and a backpack carrying case for it.

Once I got the copyright thing worked out, I'll be happy to post images.

Fragger
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Old Dec 25, 2003, 1:23 AM   #2
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In the meantime, here is a link that to my DragonCon 2003 images. I took the pictures with a PV-SD5000 and DMC-FZ1. There ARE some adult images in the sight. Fetish outfits, skimpy outfits, and some girls who flashed. So make sure your kids aren't around when viewing the sight. You have my permission to save images you like. You also need a yahoo login to view the images. If you go to the site and don't log in, it tells you there are no images.

http://photos.yahoo.com/mainfragger

This event took place in 3 hotels and had over 50,000 attendees.

FZFUN
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Old Dec 25, 2003, 3:50 PM   #3
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There are ten zillion photographers on the web (like me) who take pictures that they are proud to share on public websites, allow others to download and/or print with ease, with no concern about any commercial issues.

Who cares if something has a copyright or not? Do you really expect to make money on the pictures you take? If so, you should know all about copyright issues already. Are you going to take someone to court because there was a monetary gain made by this person from your picture? How would you ever even know it was used?

Just my opinion, but I think you are worrying needlessly about nothing.
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Old Dec 26, 2003, 1:18 AM   #4
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Truthfully, as far as the financial side of my images are concerned, I am jumping the gun. Even without considering that, who knows what people might use my images for or how? I grew up in a household that thoroughly ingrains the premise of protecting my rear. It's probably unwarranted, but I'd rather be unwarrantedly safe, than ineptly sorry. We live in a world that tends to try to make you think people play fair as a general rule, but the moment you slip, mess up, or someone takes advantage of you the follow up question is...What were you thinking? Why didn't you have this covered? What kind of idiot are you? Other people's hindsight is sharper than 20/20. I'd rather try to cover these things BEFORE I come to them.

Now, to advance my initial question....

What sites give you some of the cash when they charge for prints? I've noticed most of the sites I've visited are vary vague on this, or don't seem to address it at all. I don't mind if they charge others as way of making back the storage space I am using, but wouldn't it be nice if I could also recoup some of the cash for time/equipment and other materials. I hate to sound greedy, but anything that offsets my costs at this time would be greatly appreciated. I'm not rich, and I doubt this will make me so, but who knows what roads lead where...

FZFUN

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Old Dec 26, 2003, 12:11 PM   #5
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Well as far as copyrights go, if you are in the US (and many other nations) your work is copyrighted as soon as it is produced in it's final form. So this post to Steve's DigiCams is (C) 2003 PrmseKpr, all rights reserved!

Now as far as registering a copyright (i.e. proving that the image is indeed yours and copyrighted) can be done by the LOC, you might want to check out the following link for more info:

http://www.copyright.gov/faq.html


Quote:
Originally Posted by FZFUN
Now, to advance my initial question....
What sites give you some of the cash when they charge for prints? I've noticed most of the sites I've visited are vary vague on this, or don't seem to address it at all. I don't mind if they charge others as way of making back the storage space I am using, but wouldn't it be nice if I could also recoup some of the cash for time/equipment and other materials. I hate to sound greedy, but anything that offsets my costs at this time would be greatly appreciated. I'm not rich, and I doubt this will make me so, but who knows what roads lead where...
I've been researching the same thing. Here are a few sites I have found. If you have found anything different, please feel free to share:

http://www.printroom.com/proFeatureBenefit.asp?

http://www.cafepress.com/cp/info/sell/

http://www.shutterfly.com/business/galleries.jsp

http://www.dotphoto.com
(click on Sell Your Photos at the bottom of the page)

Also EZ Print will allow you to sell prints but they are not currently accepting new photographers.

If you know of any others, please let me know!

Thank you
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Old Dec 27, 2003, 12:03 AM   #6
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If you're willing to put up your own website, you can just use JAlbum (freeware HTML picture album maker) and there is a skin/album that actually has PayPal links embedded into it, so people just pay you with PayPal. You could easily do the same thing yourself. There are also plenty of free JAVA programs out there that will display your pictures on your own website, but not allow them to be downloaded (other than screen snapshot). All this depends on if you want to create your own website, which does have its advantages (like you get ALL the money).

As for copyrights and all that -- be careful. It's perfectly fine for you to copyright your own work (enforcing it is another matter), but be careful that you're not copyrighting subjects that actually are the property of or owned by others. For example, don't even think about driving down my street, taking a picture of my cute little Christmas decorations on my house, and then end up with me seeing it displayed and copyrighted on your website. You have to get a signed release for any subject that you do not own or isn't public property.
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Old Dec 27, 2003, 2:03 AM   #7
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Thank you all for your responses. They've given me a lot to think about. And you've given me some insights as to what I should and shouldn't be choosing to post as far a subject matter. Friday and Saturday are long days for me at work, and as such, my gallery is not yet ready. I am hoping by Sunday or Monday to get some stuff up. I would do it now, but as I am typing, the screen is blurring for me due to sheer exhaustion. I hope you guys like what I put up. I look forward to comments.

FZFUN
Zoom Zooom Zooooom!, Zoom Zoom! Zoom Zoom! :twisted:
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Old Dec 28, 2003, 12:16 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FZFUN
...And you've given me some insights as to what I should and shouldn't be choosing to post as far a subject matter.
You don't have to worry about subject matter as long as you get a release. Most pro photographers (and avid amateurs) carrying a generic release form with them, and they do approach people and get a signature if they feel its needed. For example, if you see a classic shot of an elderly woman in a rocking chair on her porch knitting, if you feel it will make a marketable shot for you to sell later on, ask her permission to take the picture and get her to sign a release. It's all part of the "job". If you find yourself encountering people who don't want to sign a release because they want some of the $, too (which is not unreasonable), then you could also have a generic release form that has a percentage clause in it that basically says that if you ever make over a certain $ amount on this picture, you'll send them a certain percentage of the total amount. The good side of this is if you're a good person, you will send them the money and everyone will be happy. There's also a side to this where you don't send them anything no matter what and it's difficult for them to enforce without getting a full audit done on you, etc. That's a good or bad side depending on how you view such financial/moral matters.

....or....

You can just avoid all such things by only selling pictures that would never require a release.
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Old Dec 28, 2003, 10:09 AM   #9
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The following web page might be of interest:

The Photgrapher's Right

I wrote the owner of the page (who is a lawyer) and asked him when a release is needed and here is what he said:

Quote:
The general rule is that you only need a release when the image is used in advertising.

At 09:56 AM 12/5/2003 -0500, you wrote:

Mr. Krages:

I was reviewing your "Photographer's Rights" page and I had a
question regarding taking pictures of people for profit.

If I am taking pictures of an event, such as a local youth
league and wish to sell my pictures to the parent's of the youth
on the team, do I need a model release form?

What if I am just out taking pictures, and take a picture of an
individual and they are recognizable in the print, but there is
no way to get them to sign a release form (such as a fireman
putting out a fire)?

Thank you very much for taking time out of your schedule to
answer my questions, I look forward to your response.
So, I would take that to mean that I can take a picture of the old woman as long as I don't intend to use her in a marketing campaign, but if I'm in the public park and there are two guys playing checkers and it looks like an excellent (translation: profitable) shot, then I certainly can take the picture and sell it to others.
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Old Dec 28, 2003, 1:13 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PrmseKpr
So, I would take that to mean that I can take a picture of the old woman as long as I don't intend to use her in a marketing campaign, but if I'm in the public park and there are two guys playing checkers and it looks like an excellent (translation: profitable) shot, then I certainly can take the picture and sell it to others.
My sister is also an attorney, and if you are caught by the unsuspecting model selling their image online, at an art show, etc, without a release or other arrangement, you could easily be sued for compensation. A lot of folks don't like posting pictures of their children for public viewing on the internet (I'm one of them). There was a story in the local paper about some parents suing another parent on the same childrens soccer team because he kept taking pictures of the soccer games and then posting them very publically on the internet. A lot of the other team parents didn't like this, so they successfully sued the guy when he wouldn't stop doing it at their simple request. I would definitely have a problem if you took a picture of one of my children and then posted it on the internet for sale or sold it at an art show. I would consider that to be potential endangerment (in addition to the fact that you're making money off my child's image without sharing the profit).

I'm also remembering something about it being okay to take pictures (and sell them) of celebrities, but not everyday people, as this goes into the right to privacy laws in addition to model releases and all that stuff.
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