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  1. #41
    RAP
    RAP is offline

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    I would think the copyright laws would apply here which essentially state that the photographer, being the creator of an image, is in control of the copyright and he can use that image as he sees fit, regardless of whether there is a model or property release. But does that give the ethical right to use an image in any way he wants?
    Time & tides wait for no one, especially photographers.

  2. #42
    blansky's Avatar
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    Robert:

    Yes but the person, unless a public person, and in most cases even them, have the right to their own faces being used by someone else to make money.

    I think the genesis of copyright laws were that eveyone gets a fair deal in the marketplace. I pay you as a model, you make money, I then sell the image to someone, I make money. They use the image for whatever and they make money. Eveyone is happy.

    If someone comes to me for a portrait and pays me money, and I sell the image I make money twice, and they get nothing. I think the law would then compensate them.

    I"m not positive but I think that's right. I'd ask a lawyer but that's how you lose money.

    Michael McBlane

  3. #43
    RAP
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    My previous post was submitted before I read your post.

    However, I think the ethical thing to do would be to contact the individual to inform them of your intentions to sell thier face. But it would be a strong measure of character to refrain from releasing an image, if the subject objects, but the photographer has a legal release, and thousands of dollars are at stake for the photographer. Just how many photographers would opt for the profits if the subject objected, but he had the legal rights to sell the image.

    As in the Cameron Diaz case, did the photographer have a legally signed model release to sell the images as he saw fit? He being the copyright holder, would that allow him legally to sell the images? Would Cameron have the right to stop their release, having signed such a model release? Would she lie, or instruct her lawyers to do anything necessary to stop the images release, having the money to pay out?

    The gray area in such cases is wide and varied to say the least. I would think it boiled down to whose lawyer is better.
    Time & tides wait for no one, especially photographers.

  4. #44

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    I think "making money by it" depends on how you make money. If you are selling/using the image as such, a photography image, then probably you are okay. Otherwise what about all the newpapers/television photographing crowds and such. BUT if you were to try to sell them for something bigger and broader, like an ad campaign wherein the photo is used to make money in a different respect, then it could be a problem, I would think because now you are using their image not the "artist's image" so much anymore. Although I know they use crowd shots to "sell" our local river festival and state fairs and such????? Hmmm, if my image is mine, then how do they do that. And if it isn't mine, then why is some line drawn at nudity unless it was achieved in an illegal or deceptive way. . . .Well I think I have confused myself more.
    Embrace **it! **it. . .just another name for fertilizer. . . Grow baby Grow!

  5. #45
    Aggie's Avatar
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  6. #46
    blansky's Avatar
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    Aggie is right. In the Vanessa Williams case she posed, she signed a release and the photographer had the right to sell the images. He held onto them and one day she became famous, Miss America. Now they were worth somthing and he sold them to Penthouse or Playboy. Perfectly legal.

    In the Cameron Diaz case in which we don't have all the information, he took some pictures, she said she didn't sign a release, he has a release which she says is a forgery. He contacted her for the so called right of first refusal. She called the cops saying he is trying to extort money out of her and threatening to sell the pictures. The cops must believe her and execute a search warrant to seize the pictures so he can't distribute them. Now comes the lawyers and the wrangling. We don't know who'se right.

    More to follow I'm sure...


    Michael McBlane

  7. #47

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    Like I said, my concern is that offering first refusal can be seen as extortion.

    I mean if the cops can pop you just because a model CLAIMS the model release is a forgery, then we have a problem. It seems lately that copyright enforcement has gotten to be more baout simply arresting people! When you have Orrin Hatch saying we should literally destroy the computers of people who violate copyright law, one wonders about the sanity of our nation.
    Official Photo.net Villain
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  8. #48

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    If this matter is in fact a matter of contended extortion, then there are ways of accomplishing an approach and offer which would be appropriate and would not be as subject to scrutiny as this matter.

    In retrospect if the photographer, in this case, had contacted an attorney to handle the negotiations then the matter would not seemed as sleazy as this.

    I don't know the particulars in this case. Quite probably not all of the facts are public knowledge. As in all conflicts there are contradicting views and positions. The court will be the determiner of the appropriate remedy.

    The presiding judge felt that there was sufficient cause to sign an order for a search. Judges do not normally sign orders for search with a "willy nilly" attitude. As officers of the court they are subject to review and censure by the superior courts.

    I don't want to occupy my mind with matters that I don't have the facts or the knowledge on which to make reasonable judgements. I choose to spend my time and energies on matters that are more productive.
    Art is a step from what is obvious and well-known toward what is arcane and concealed.

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  9. #49
    Ed Sukach's Avatar
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    One are where it is difficult to things straight is Copyright. The Copyright laws apply to the use of images, and they do not apply to invasion of privacy, or libel, or slander.

    First, from whence I speak: My youngest daughter was employed by a LARGE law firm in Maine, where a major area of their interest was in Copyright Law. They repesented a *VERY LARGE* (and nameless - hoo boy, wil it be nameless!) mail-order - catalog client. Day to day business involved copyrights and model releases. She was invloved in many court actions, and has a first-hand, practical, working knowledge of what happens.

    Be careful of the "boiler-plate" model releases one sees in the "All the Legal Forms You'll Ever Need" books - more often than not these would be shot down in flames in a Court Room.
    An example: "ABC Photography, Inc.", claims that the model release will pass to its "heirs". Corporations CANNOT have heirs - no one can inherit anything - so that wording has invalidated an entire release. Many other examples abound - a model relaese is a CONTRACT - and no contract can require an illegal action, or, as I've said before, allow a departure from "good faith".

    And yes... Everyone hasa claim to a reasonable "cut of the pie". A model can sign a release, accompanied by a binding $1 fee ... and find her image emblazoned on evey billboard and magazine in the country in a National Ad Campaign. She would have every justification in going back and negotiating a *much* larger fee, even after the fact - and anyone involved would be stupid - plain *STUPID* not to give it to her.

    *EVERYONE* - Movie Stars, Politicians ... has a *RIGHT* to privacy.
    At the same time, Freedom of the Press is guaranteed. If one has a resonable expectation of privacy - say in the stall of an airport rest room, It is NOT legal to shove a camera under the door - no one in his/her right mind could *ever* consider that as "news" and protected. At the same time, arriving at the airport COULD be "news" and covered - the subject would NOT have a "reasonable expectaion of privacy".

    Now, "Papparazzi" - no different than anyone else involved in "spot news".

    The "Princess Diana" tragedy, where there was such a whacko condemnation of papparazzi - (all allegations proved to be false) had an interesting outcome in one case. A prominent "Star" went public, with *scathing* condemantion of all papparazzi - and they responded by boycotting him - giving him just what he wanted. Ignored him altogether.
    His PR people went ballistic. There were so many "leaks" about where he would be - and when - and who he would be with... It resembled a PR "Three Stooges" script.

    I remember one "Starlet" incident - a few of us were on a boardwalk, lying in wait for subject Starlet to walk by. She did, and *just* at the most strategic moment, "popped" out of the top of her bikini. She stopped, and started to rant - "You guys are all slobbering pigs ...". We replied, "Uh, no problem...my camera fouled up - uh, I didn't have mine loaded right... all of us claimed to have missed the shot.
    She responded by going back, and walking toward us again, and again, "popping" at the strategic time - must have been a rip cord or something attached somewhere. All of us "missed" again.
    Among some rather cutting remark about how we were all clumsty idiots, she returned and did her "walk and pop" again... this time she didn't buy "We didn't get the shot"...
    Carpe erratum!!

    Ed Sukach, FFP.

  10. #50
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    Ed:

    I think you stated it very well. With a model release we have the right to sell the image to whomever we like BUT that still doesn't mean we can't be sued.

    Your example of a model receiving a dollar and maybe a few pictures for modeling for you and then you selling it for everything from billboards to full page magazine ads, you should expect to be sued for part of the pie. This is because the deal wasn't equitable to all parties involved.

    The courts are full of people with disputed contracts and a model release is just one such contract. At an PPA meeting once, they brought in a contract lawyer to discuss model releases and we began to learn what a legal quagmire these things really were.

    I guess the bottom line is if you are selling images, use the model releases but then contact the models and treat them fairly, if you happen to strike it rich on particular sale.

    Michael McBlane

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