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  1. #11
    Bill Burk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jnanian View Post
    YES, in the USA you NEED the registration.
    i was in a similar situation where i worked for a company, and they stole my work.
    i found out the hard-way i had no legal leg to stand on, no lawyer will take the case no judge will hear it ...
    Dang, I was counting on just producing the original 4x5 negatives in case of controversy. Guess I have to refine my workflow a bit.

  2. #12

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    The article was about a proposed bill in the UK. Which is why my remarks were tailored for the UK.

    So just to clarify it seems you are saying it is difficult to prove it is your work without a copyright in the US. Not that without a copyright you have no recourse. Am I understanding you correctly?

    I guess you are making an argument for digital. Use your own camera and each image is automatically stamped with your name on it. Some of the fancier ones also include GPS information so if you shoot at your studio that is further proof the work is yours. I guess that is where part of the confusion comes in for me. All my images I've sold were produced electronically and have my named embedded in them and I keep the RAW files. With negatives and chromes its a bit trickier. I can see where things would be hard to prove. How do your register the copyright on negatives and chromes? Do you scan everything in and upload the files somewhere?

  3. #13

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    In terms of negatives and slides, it seems as though there's probably at least a few loopholes with orphan images. It's as if the powers that be have forgotten traditional photography still exists. There is a huge ambiguity when it comes to film images regarding where exactly the line between physical property and intellectual property is.
    'Cows are very fond of being photographed, and, unlike architecture, don't move.' - Oscar Wilde

  4. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Noble View Post
    The article was about a proposed bill in the UK. Which is why my remarks were tailored for the UK.

    So just to clarify it seems you are saying it is difficult to prove it is your work without a copyright in the US. Not that without a copyright you have no recourse. Am I understanding you correctly?

    I guess you are making an argument for digital. Use your own camera and each image is automatically stamped with your name on it. Some of the fancier ones also include GPS information so if you shoot at your studio that is further proof the work is yours. I guess that is where part of the confusion comes in for me. All my images I've sold were produced electronically and have my named embedded in them and I keep the RAW files. With negatives and chromes its a bit trickier. I can see where things would be hard to prove. How do your register the copyright on negatives and chromes? Do you scan everything in and upload the files somewhere?
    embedded information is not the same as registering copyright in the USA ...
    maybe it is in the UK / EU and elsewhere ?
    i just know what i know, digital or analog photographs, hand drawn, written text, website information, 1d, 2d, 3d media you name it!
    everything has to be registered or the :owner: is pretty much screwed.
    you don't need to take MY word for it, at least in the USA
    here is the info: http://www.copyright.gov/
    you don't need to argue with me, i know what I need to do, if you have problems
    or questions contact the COPYRIGHT OFFICE at the LOC ...

    as for how to analog things get into the office?

    there are digital submissions / scans &c
    but there are also analog submissions as well ... copies of everything submitted ... contact sheets &c.

    if your work isn't "copyrighted" in the us, REGISTERED WITH THE COPYRIGHT OFFICE
    metatags, © symbols, saying " bla bla bla copyright 1999-2013", even having the SLIDES AND NEGATIVES &c isn't enough ...
    you need to have it REGISTERED ... because you won't get any help from lawyers or the law or the court system.

    this is for the USA, elsewhere this may be totally different ...

    noble ...
    you don't need to believe me ... but i have been taken to the cleaners
    by a company that stole my work ( that i hadn't registered )
    and i didn't have any legal way to get compensation because they were good at rewriting the truth..
    this was 8? years ago, now the laws aren't too different
    although, they make it easier for people who want to steal work to say " i looked but couldn't find the owner so its orphaned "
    AND the time we live in also makes it easy for people who have their work on flickr &c to be barely compensated
    and have their work used because of the glee - factor and the AD/CDs save a fortune ...
    Last edited by jnanian; 05-21-2013 at 10:42 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  5. #15

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    Not arguing with you man. I am asking you a question. I am not a lawyer. Your posts didn't really flesh out the scenario and I was wondering what exactly went on. Your link is just a link to the U.S. Copyright office. Is there a specific law or regulation that I should be reading to better understand this topic. As I said, I'm not a lawyer. I haven't sold or displayed enough work of significance to become a victim of a big fraud. I am operating from a position of almost total ignorance in this area.

  6. #16
    Bill Burk's Avatar
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    As I understand the thought (overly simplified not to be taken as legal advice), in the US everything is automatically copyrighted. But registering and marking with the copyright symbol makes you eligible for damages. Without the extra money that might be involved, no lawyer would bother with you.

  7. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Burk View Post
    As I understand the thought (overly simplified not to be taken as legal advice), in the US everything is automatically copyrighted. But registering and marking with the copyright symbol makes you eligible for damages. Without the extra money that might be involved, no lawyer would bother with you.
    I clicked around on the link a bit and found this...

    When is my work protected?
    Your work is under copyright protection the moment it is created and fixed in a tangible form that it is perceptible either directly or with the aid of a machine or device.

    Do I have to register with your office to be protected?
    No. In general, registration is voluntary. Copyright exists from the moment the work is created. You will have to register, however, if you wish to bring a lawsuit for infringement of a U.S. work. See Circular 1, Copyright Basics, section “Copyright Registration.”
    http://www.copyright.gov/help/faq/fa...al.html#mywork

    Seems like if there is an issue especially soon after the creation of the work you can just register it and then pursue legal action. Why wouldn't you be able to just do that? What am I missing. I also found this...

    Who Can Claim Copyright?
    Copyright protection subsists from the time the work is cre
    ated in fixed form. The copyright in the work of authorship
    immediately becomes the property of the author who cre
    ated the work. Only the author or those deriving their rights
    through the author can rightfully claim copyright.
    In the case of works made for hire, the employer and not
    the employee is considered to be the author.
    It goes on to define the "for hire" arrangement.

  8. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Burk View Post
    As I understand the thought (overly simplified not to be taken as legal advice), in the US everything is automatically copyrighted. But registering and marking with the copyright symbol makes you eligible for damages. Without the extra money that might be involved, no lawyer would bother with you.
    yeah ... kinda ... from what a lawyer told me ...
    you can put the copyright symbol on anything and it may scare off people
    because it is an implied copyright ...
    BUT the actual registration is what matters, it is the document that states
    the property is legally on record / is registered. and without proof of registration no lawyer would
    bother because it becomes a he said - she said sort of scenario.
    person 1: "i took this photograph of a baby riding a camel when i was at the bronx zoo in 2012, see my metadata" ...
    person 2: " nooo, i took this photograph, she made a screen shot from my website and flickr page, this is MY metadata"
    person 3: " here is my copyright registration, dated 6/1/2010 showing i own this image" bla bla bla

    http://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ1.pdf
    page 7 says it is a formality but in the sad state of affairs
    the registration says EVERYTHING ...

    there used to be something called a "poor man's copyright"
    which involved mailing everything to oneself
    the date/stamp acts as the registration-date and
    the duplicated items ( contact sheets, cd maybe a formal note
    saying what was in the envelope/cd &C ) ... everything in the UNOPENED envelope
    works the same way as a federal registration,,
    i have only heard of the poor man's copyright, and i don't know how it holds up
    in court or if lawyers &c take it seriously ...

    unfortunately, this is only in the USA .. who knows what it is like elsewhere,
    probably even more confusing and murky ...

  9. #19
    kintatsu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jnanian View Post
    in the USA ...
    if you don't register your work, you are screwed.
    This is not true. You own the copyright the instant an image is created. You can sue for actual, provable, economic losses. You will only receive those funds that you can prove are losses, plus legal fees.

    If you register, the court can award punitive damages above economic losses. You can register multiple images, even online. Registration provides added benefits, as well.

    Check out the copyright site, they have all the information you need.

  10. #20
    Bill Burk's Avatar
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    My thought was to follow the money. A smart lawyer would work with the artist who had an open and shut case with a lot of money possible.

    Sure, you can be right. But you will also be self-represented.

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