I've got two updates here from my lawyer. They were both along the same lines so I just waited to post.
I got a call from him early last week about the situation. He ended up talking with the legal adviser for The Lantern and not the adviser. The legal adviser said they would draw up a license agreement for me to use the photos from them in a certain manner but they still retained copyright. He also told my lawyer that he knew they weren't working with copyright law correctly and they are working on taking care of the problem. I asked my attorney to get back with them and see if they would accept a license given to them where I retain the copyright. I just got this email from him today.
I talked to the OSU attorney again to discuss the potential for an arrangement that would allow you to retain ownership of photographs submitted to the Lantern. Basically, their response was that setting up individual agreements is too much administrative hassle for them, so they would rather not have the photos than make that sort of agreement. I understand that this is not the norm at other papers, but the Lantern is controlled by OSU's legal department, and that is how they are choosing to handle it. If you really want to retain ownership of your pictures, I would advise that you get press passes from another organization and/or submit your photographs to them. Otherwise, you still have the non-commercial license, which is pretty broad, provided that you provide the notice that they requested.
He also mentioned that, if someone were to capture an historic moment, there would be room for negotiation. So, if you ever catch soldiers raising the flag at Iwo Jima, or something similar, be sure to let me know and we can shop the photograph around and license it for use, as opposed to yielding copyright ownership. You would have a lot more leverage with something like that.
Hope that helps Eric. Let me know if you have any other questions.
So I guess I'm going to give this a couple days thought. Part of me feels that it's really not that big of a deal in the long run and I'm still able to display the images on my site but with a little alteration of the description. But the other part of me still feels like I'm being taken advantage of here. And If I do stop working with them I can't decide how far to take it. Do I just leave it alone, send them a DMCA notice to take down my material that they still have on their site, prevent further use, or do I full on sue them...
Also does anyone know if an educational institution can make this a requirement to participate? The attorney I spoke with at the SPLC last spring brought up something about that the Lantern couldn't say you have to sign away your copyright to work for us because it is an educational program. I'm going to ask my attorney about this, but I still figured I'd get your input.
It just seems like any way I choose to go about this it's going to be a loss. What would you guys do in this situation?