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  1. #1

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    Usage license help, please - enough but not too much?

    I hope I'm not opening a big can of worms by asking this question....

    My question concerns usage license of some type.

    As an amateur photographer who manages to take decent photos from time to time, I get asked to take images for whatever occasions and reasons, paid or unpaid.

    Problems occasionally crops up when I hand over the prints (analog) photos or image files. (digital) Latter case is off topic here but the problem is the same in both cases. My "client" or friends would like to have my written permission so they can use the photos on web pages or get them printed somewhere.

    I have no problem with their intent but I am at a loss as to the wording to use - to allow enough but not to sign my life (future work and other work) away accidentally. Basically, I want to say, such-and-such person has my permission to use the specific image(s) given by me for his/her personal use.

    Just recently, I took a portrait of a friend. Our local Walmart (of all places) refused to print them because it was a "professional studio work." I had to go there personally and sign a waiver.

    Would anyone be able to give me a pointer or a sample/template? Obviously it would be the best to consult an attorney but being an amateur and still in learning stage, that would be an overkill. I am not encroaching on professional's possible job opportunity either as they would never pay a pro to take photos for them for occasions I shoot. Right now, I'm just trying to save myself the aggravation without giving away everything.

    Thank you.
    Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?

  2. #2
    chriscrawfordphoto's Avatar
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    "I grant ____ permission to _____ to (inset usage here: make prints for personal use, use on a webpage, use in a brochure, use in printed ads, etc).
    Chris Crawford
    Fine Art Photography of Indiana and other places no one else photographs.

    http://www.chriscrawfordphoto.com

    My Tested Developing Times with the films and developers I use

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    Fort Wayne, Indiana

  3. #3
    Steve Smith's Avatar
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    It really is that simple. Just write down what you are allowing (and possibly what is not allowed) and sign it.


    Steve.
    "People who say things won't work are a dime a dozen. People who figure out how to make things work are worth a fortune" - Dave Rat.

  4. #4
    chriscrawfordphoto's Avatar
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    Damn I didn't word that right. Should have said:

    "I _____ (your name) grant permission to _________ (buyer) to use ______ (describe photo) for ______ (describes usage being licensed) upon payment of ____ (the fee you asked for)"
    Chris Crawford
    Fine Art Photography of Indiana and other places no one else photographs.

    http://www.chriscrawfordphoto.com

    My Tested Developing Times with the films and developers I use

    Become a fan of my work on Facebook

    Fort Wayne, Indiana

  5. #5
    SuzanneR's Avatar
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    You might give them "reproduction rights" to the pictures, but retain the full copyright. In other words, they can use them for their web site, or get prints or what have you, but you can, too!

  6. #6
    Dan Henderson's Avatar
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    Interesting that you mention WalMart. Last year I photographed a wedding for some friends. Along with a selection of finished prints, I gave them a CD with all of the image files (I had already decided that wedding photography was not for me and was therefore not interested in repeat sales.) WalMart would not print pictures from the CD until I signed a letter of permission, saying they looked like professional images. Not only did my ego soar, I appreciated the store's respect for intellectual property rights.


    web site: Dan Henderson, Photographer.com

    blog: https://danhendersonphotographer.wordpress.com/

    I am not anti-digital. I am pro-film.

  7. #7
    chriscrawfordphoto's Avatar
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    Walmart and other big chain stores do that because the law in the USA allows copyright owners to sue and collect damages from the store that does the copying, even if they do not know the item is copyrighted or who owns the ©. You may not get much money from your customer since wedding photogs' customers are usually not wealthy people, but the store is wealthy and stores have been made to pay a lot of money in such cases.
    Chris Crawford
    Fine Art Photography of Indiana and other places no one else photographs.

    http://www.chriscrawfordphoto.com

    My Tested Developing Times with the films and developers I use

    Become a fan of my work on Facebook

    Fort Wayne, Indiana

  8. #8

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    I think, Walmart's practice has little to do with respecting property rights but fear of being sued by copyright holders. Either way though, it is nice to see recognition of copyright and associated consequences being recognized. (and YES, seen as a professional
    Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?

  9. #9

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    Combining two, would this work?

    USE LICENSE: (title of paper)
    I, <my name here>, a copyright holder and a photographer, grant <client name> permission to use and reproduce images taken by me on <date> at <place> for his or her personal and non commercial use. Further, I grant permission to photo finishers and labs chosen by my client to print images onto prints under this license.

    <my signature here>

    Would these statements work to limit my grant to *just* the photos I mention, I retain the copyright, but yet allow whomever I give grant to to freely print and use the images for personal use? I removed the payment clause because I won't be giving this paper until it is paid for paid work.
    Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?



 

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