So who owns the rights to the photos you create

Discussion in 'Industry News' started by Mainecoonmaniac, May 19, 2014.

  1. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

    Messages:
    3,781
    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2009
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
  2. pdeeh

    pdeeh Member

    Messages:
    2,981
    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2012
    Location:
    UK
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Good Heavens, Walmart trying to hack the legs from under small people?
    Now there's a nice change of policy for them ...
     
  3. wildbill

    wildbill Member

    Messages:
    2,827
    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    sounds about right. next, amazon will sue her for including a white background in the photos!
     
  4. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

    Messages:
    3,781
    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2009
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Sort of...

    Walmart not just try to hack the legs off from the little guy, they want to swallow them whole. :sad:
     
  5. AgX

    AgX Member

    Messages:
    11,164
    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2007
    Location:
    Germany
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    "So, who owns the rights to the photos you create?"

    Depends where you ask...

    Here in Germany a portrait photographer typically has no copyright. But he owns the negatives.
    (But this easily can get complicated and recent legislature has responded on that.)
     
  6. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

    Messages:
    7,288
    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2009
    Location:
    northern Pa.
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    It's crap such as this that reaffirms my total disgust for wallyworld and everything it represents. I totally abhor the stores, and refuse to shop in them. Oh yeah, don't even get me started with how I see their business practices in the local community/economy.
     
  7. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

    Messages:
    3,781
    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2009
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I hope I'm not getting off the subject, but it's the high cost of low prices.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jazb24Q2s94

    Walmart is actually subsidized by US citizens. Walmart rarely pays a living wage nor health benefits. So It's workers have to use food stamps and Medicaid for health care. This is all to increase share holder value. Share holders have no stake in the communities they do business in. But I can go on and on.

    But back to the photographer's case, I think it's bullying plain and simple. I don't particularly care what your politics are, but this is a land of laws. The copyright law says that independent contractors owns the rights of the photos. Unless there's an agreement between the studio working under Walmart as work for hire or agreed to a buyout, the studio owns the photos. Isn't that the law?
     
  8. yurisrey

    yurisrey Member

    Messages:
    258
    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2011
    Location:
    New York Met
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    thanks for the link Maine. Mrs. Huff of Bob's Studio of Photography clearly owns the copyright to those photographs/negatives. Hopefully the case is ruled in their favor once in the federal circuit, or, better yet, Walton's suit is dismissed altogether (knock on wood) and they're required to pay all the legal fees.

    also, +1 on your previous post.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 19, 2014
  9. ntenny

    ntenny Member

    Messages:
    2,284
    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2008
    Location:
    San Diego, C
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Is there really enough information in the linked story to determine that? There aren't a lot of details, but it sounded to me like Walmart is claiming the photos were works-for-hire, while the studio is claiming they were done under contract terms that left the copyright with the studio, and I don't see how we can know which is right without looking at the actual contract terms under which they were made.

    I don't like Walmart either, but I'm pretty sure Arkansas contract law doesn't take that into account. Could we try to, you know, look at the actual content of the case before rushing to judgement?

    -NT
     
  10. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser

    Messages:
    19,311
    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2003
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    the huff's might own the copyright or maybe the waltons do.

    i don't really think we are being told the whole story.
    often times stories are skewed one way or the other
    and it is hard to tell ... as ntenny said it might have been
    work for hire and if that is the case ( and the waltons can prove it )
    then the huff's don't own anything but seeing the waltons offered the $2K
    its almost like they know the images aren't owned by them and they
    hope bob's studio doesn't have a clue.

    sounds almost like the auntie annie's cookies recipe urban legend/tommy pamela lee video
    next thing you will see is every negative, print and proof taken will be on
    a ghost server in the malaysia and googlebombed so everyone in the world can/will download the images.
    the only problem is the whole world will be sick of looking at the walton family about 20sconds after
    they are up on the server ...
     
  11. snapguy

    snapguy Member

    Messages:
    1,297
    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2014
    Location:
    California d
    Shooter:
    35mm
    another issue

    There is another issue other than copyright. The issue is who retains the right to keep the physical negatives in their possession? Traditionally, that right went to whomever paid for the film. In the 1970s and 1980s models used to advertise in a Southern California amateur photography publication. They would trade model time for some photo prints for their portfolios. Some would even offer to buy the film. That was because they knew if they paid for the film they would get the right to keep the negatives in their possession. So the hapless photographer didn't even have the negatives if he wanted to make another print or two for HIS portfolio.
    I have always wondered, by the way, how digital changed that, since there is no one-of-a-kind negative with digital.
    Remember, too, big companies and rich people can bludgeon the little guy with big expensive lawsuits and don't have to win to come out on top. Try taking a photo of Barbra Streisand's beach house. She will sue you even though it is perfectly legal as long as you are not on her property. But plenty of people have been discouraged from photographing her manse. Money talks big. Remember that when you wander into Wallop-Mart.
     
  12. Ektagraphic

    Ektagraphic Member

    Messages:
    2,893
    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2009
    Location:
    Southeastern
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Meanwhile....most Walmart stores don't seem to be returning negatives with 35mm film processing....
     
  13. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

    Messages:
    15,189
    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2005
    Location:
    BC, Canada
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I expect that the Waltons and Walmart are trying to control the use (or potential mis-use) of the photographs. And I can understand their desire to do so.

    This is full of politics. And politics is nasty.

    Tactically, I might have advised a gentler approach - something like an income stream in return for control of the uses to which the photographs are put, but I'm not there.
     
  14. Sponsored Ad
  15. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Inactive

    Messages:
    8,093
    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2012
    Location:
    Connecticut,
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    The fact is, walmart is being dumb, it will cost them more for this lawsuit than just offering the lady a REASONABLE sum of money for the images.

    $2,000 wouldn't even be a good cost for large print reproductions to hang in their main headquarters.

    She should just sell the negatives to someone else for a profit LOL

    Or burn them. Or threaten to burn them, or "lose" them.
     
  16. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Inactive

    Messages:
    8,093
    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2012
    Location:
    Connecticut,
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    I was thinking the same thing... Wonder if walmart keeps those negs or destroys them... Maybe they have 6 boxes of negs too... Lol
     
  17. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

    Messages:
    4,537
    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2010
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    Isn't this one of the great things about chemical photography, that there is only one negative, owned by the photographer. Digital images can be perfectly replicated showing no difference between the original and a copy.
     
  18. AgX

    AgX Member

    Messages:
    11,164
    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2007
    Location:
    Germany
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    But in practice that difference would not make a legal case as this one more easy to solve.
     
  19. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council

    Messages:
    9,179
    Joined:
    May 24, 2005
    Location:
    Washington D
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    According to US Copyright law, the photographer always owns the copyright to the images they take from the moment they click the shutter button UNLESS: A, the work was a work-for-hire agreement (where the product of the photographer's work is implicitly the property of the hiring party) or B, the photographer transfers the copyright in writing to a second party. Complications to this arise if, for example, the photographer has not obtained a model or property release for the images. They still own the copyright, but it constrains their ability to use the images commercially. In the case of the dodgy models who would provide the film, legally the photographer still owns the copyright to the images, but without the negatives, it becomes very hard to prove. You'd be morally in the right but you'd never be able to win that case in court. Today, something similar happens with commercial shoots - sometimes the ad agency will come with their own memory card, hand it to the photographer, and when the shoot is done, take the card back, and if the 'tog is lucky, they'll get some tearsheets from the publication where their work is used. But the solution to that problem is in the fee the photographer charges the agency. If you're surrendering everything, you'll pull a Bruce Weber. Back in the 80s when he did that famous Calvin Klein underwear ad, Calvin Klein insisted on a complete rights buyout - they got the copyright, and even the original negatives. Bruce's name was never printed in connection with the image. His paycheck? $1,000,000. For ONE ad. For that kind of money, I'd hand over my negatives too!
     
  20. omaha

    omaha Member

    Messages:
    360
    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2013
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I don't disagree with your sentiment here. I just think its too narrow. This isn't something that's unique to WalMart. It seems like most large corporations act in generally the same way.
     
  21. omaha

    omaha Member

    Messages:
    360
    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2013
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I'm prepared to under-cut you by 50%.
     
  22. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser

    Messages:
    19,311
    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2003
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    rather than starting rumors that aren't true, call fuji labs and ask them
    what happens to the film ...
    if you do, you will easily learn that fuji throws away the negatives after they are scanned
    they have no use for other people's film.

    you will also learn
    fuji labs only processes c41 and chromogenic (kodak) b/w
    everything else, cartridge film ( 126 ) 110, 120, superxp2, 16mm, 8mm super8, 35mm (e6+b/w ) goes to dwaynes.
    dwaynes will return everything, but since walmart doesn't pay for return shipping, fuji doesn't return the film they process.
    from what i have heard the DWAYNE'S film might be returned ...

    so fuji process the film, and the film is scanned and the images are uploaded to walmart to a kiosk and printed and a cd burned.

    if you want your film returned, go to rite aid ..
    they don't have the kiosks ( or didn't last fall ) and will return everything.
    neither walmart, dwaynes nor fuji has any use or any need to hold on to anyone's film.


    sorry to ruin your conspiracy theory stone
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 19, 2014
  23. pdeeh

    pdeeh Member

    Messages:
    2,981
    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2012
    Location:
    UK
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    If Fuji labs don't return the film, it's hard to believ they'll be keeping it though ?
     
  24. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Inactive

    Messages:
    8,093
    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2012
    Location:
    Connecticut,
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    Is it Fuji labs or Dwayne's?
     
  25. omaha

    omaha Member

    Messages:
    360
    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2013
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I can't imagine the advantage to Fuji of keeping the film (essentially none...I doubt anyone who gets film processed at WalMart is going to pay for a repeat, high-resolution scan if they find something that they want enlarged) being worth the cost. Can you imagine the indexing and archiving costs?!?

    I'd bet big money that the first frame is in the trash before the last frame is scanned.
     
  26. yurisrey

    yurisrey Member

    Messages:
    258
    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2011
    Location:
    New York Met
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    True, one should never jump to conclusions, especially when there is only sparse information provided. For example, the author states that her defense team has appealed to a higher court yet he/she does not elaborate on the reason why. Now in retrospect and after re-reading the article, I think that little particular is quite important and it makes me curious, (from the journalistic viewpoint) why does the PPA feel rather confident that the law is on her side: "The complaint further states that the Waltons own intellectual property rights to the photos (they don't). The fact is, under federal law, photographers own the copyrights to their own works." ?