Originally Posted by ron mcelroy
A decent lawyer -- and there are quite a few, despite the fact that there are also plenty of the other sort -- will normally advise avoiding the use of the law wherever possible. They know how much stress and expense is involved.
Very few clients listen. Barring the 'ambulance chasers' and the 'no win-no-fee' brigade (the latter was illegal in the UK when I read law some 35 years ago), it's greedy, stupid clients (and often, dishonest insurance companies) that drive the system.
There's also a lot of twaddle being talked about model releases. In this situation, the sort of model release most people would use would be the standard release of all rights in return for valuable consideration received (which can be almost anything, for example, a penny, a print, a beer or reciprocal agreement to be a model). Without valuable consideration a model release has no force, at least in any jurisdiction with which I am familiar, because it's not a valid contract, the elements of which are offer, acceptance and consideration. With the kind of release I describe, he wouldn't get anything anyway.
Sure, you could write a release with contingent clauses, such as 'ten per cent of any earnings from the picture' but as soon as you start getting legalistic you lay yourself open to legalistic counter-arguments, e.g. are prize winnings 'earnings'? I don't know the answer to that in any jurisdiction, but I could have fun finding out and demand a good deal more than $1000 for doing so. Wills are the great realm for this: people try to write clever wills, end up creating trusts, and most or all of the money goes to the lawyers unless the heirs can agree (which they are normally too greedy, stupid or pig-headed to do). In re Blackwell's Trusts is the most famous case in the UK in this area.
My own view -- with my LL.B. hat on -- is that this whole idea of 'entitlement' to part of someone's winnings is misguided, divisive and doomed to failure. Helping each other; rejoicing in (and envying) one another's successes; these are surely part of being a student, as Nicole says.
Depends on the contest. Most of those advertised in the papers and magazines require surrender of all rights. "Juried" shows and probably others (local Chamber of Commerce, etc.) generally allow the photographer to retain those rights. Caveat: READ THE RULES.
Originally Posted by Dave Parker
One thing to avoid here ... "NEWS" is generally NOT protected by copyright, and Model Releases are not required. The idea is that "Freedom of the Press" is more important than Copyright Protection.
This whole subject is complicated - and really beyond the scope of messages here. My most useful reference book has been "Professional Photographer's Survival Guide", by Charles E. Rotkin. Somewhat dated now, but LOTS of useful information from someone who has "been through the flames."
Ed Sukach, FFP.
It is for this reason that I have not participated in these types of competitions. I did not want to give up my rights and have the images used in any way without my knowledge.
Originally Posted by Ed Sukach
that doesnt mean she cant share the wealth! i need to spend $$s on photo stuff , not that im bitching, im just saying she has money she should share it.
Of course you are bitching. The attitude embodied in this quote strikes me as selfish and sad, sorry to say, and smacks of envy.
You also stated in a subsequent post words to the effect that you did all the work as the model, and that the photographer just got lucky in shooting you. If you really believe that, as opposed to merely offering it up as ad hoc justification for your attitude, then you hold a low opinion of photographers for one who practices the art. May the refinement of your work approach that of your self-opinion.
It would have been courteous of the photographer to inform you of her intent to enter her photo of you in the contest, and maybe send you a print; and she should have obtained a release (though it's questionable whether one is legally required for a contest, as it certainly is required for commercial use of your image) if only to protect herself from grasping folk like yourself.
You've been given a boon--a chance to take the high road. Grasp that instead.
I couldn't even stand to read the entire thread. My comment below may already have been made, but here goes anyhow.
My answer to the OP is, if you feel that way go out and win a contest yourself. If you won't or can't then this answers a lot of questions for you. As for me, I would be happy to hear that you have won big!
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Originally Posted by Photo Engineer
This was precisely my reasoning counselor - I am a lawyer - and as noted, advised the "client" to "work it out" amicably.
Originally Posted by Roger Hicks
True!!! Recently, here a contest was held with the Hawaii Convention Authority and Hawaiian Airlines. The grand prize was a round trip ticket to LA, and use of the image by the convention/tourist board. However, to compete, you had to waive all rights, with no time restrictions. Needless, to say, I ignored the call for entries.
Originally Posted by Ed Sukach
Originally Posted by roteague
In Japan, there are quite a few popular "big-buck" photo contests, and they are also the "give-away-all-of-your-rights-and-cost-and-effort-but-we-won't-even-return-your-prints" type. Besides, the juries and judges are always the same damn group of people (photographers as well as photo critics) from other contests, and it seems that they have been around for a long time.
I guess you can win their tastes...