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FORUMS Post Processing, Marketing & Presenting Photos The Business of Photography 
Thread started 28 Jun 2016 (Tuesday) 20:55
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Who holds the copyright?

 
MazziePF
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Post edited over 2 years ago by MazziePF.
     
Jun 28, 2016 20:55 |  #1

THANKS TO EVERYONE WHO TOOK THE TIME TO REPLY, PARTICULARLY DUCK WHO HIT THE NAIL ON THE HEAD! LESSON LEARNT FOR FUTURE PROJECTS THAT DON'T FORM PART OF MY 'REAL JOB'.

Hi there, hope you can advise... I work for a residential college as an Executive Office Manager. I started taking photographs of our residents as a creative
outlet, I was inspired by HONY and they in turn became an obvious marketing tool for the college. The images have been used in press adverts, newsletters, Facebook, website etc etc!
I don't have any photography clause in my job description and I'm thinking about when I eventually leave, are they my images or the colleges? Thank you!




  
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Scatterbrained
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Jun 28, 2016 21:06 |  #2

I'm going to go with "yours", barring any signing over of copyright.


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Alveric
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Jun 28, 2016 21:18 |  #3

Whoever activates the shutter release button owns the copyright, until he transfers it.


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MazziePF
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Jun 28, 2016 21:27 as a reply to  @ Scatterbrained's post |  #4

Thanks, I hope so. Have you come across a similar issue?




  
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-Duck-
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Jun 28, 2016 21:58 |  #5

As you have mentioned there is no photography clause as a stipulation to your employment at the college the images, therefore, belong to you. Lock, stock and barrel.

The question is not about ownership but permission to use. I would assume they came to use them through a verbal request. That's usually how it starts; "hey, these are good. Do you mind if we use them for such and such?" Which you probably gave consent without thought. Why not, it's rather flattering.

By prior arrangement, they already have the right to use the images. You gave it to them and they can point to past publications as proof. Chalk that up to experience. At this point you have to decide on how you want to proceed from this point forward with any additional usage of those images and any new ones you produce. This can be a tricky spot for you because prior consent makes them assume you'll continue to cooperate. If you switch and expect compensation (which is within your right) they may take offense, citing past donations.

At this point it becomes a matter of what you are willing to live with. If you don't need to be compensated and like the idea of your images gracing their publications then keep things as is. No harm, no foul. If you want to earn a little side cash for your efforts then sit down and renegotiate your agreement and write up a new licensing proposal. It doesn't need to be fancy, just something both you and the college can agree upon.

If none of that matters and your only concern is about ownership, rest assured, you own the images. Prior use in their publications does not transfer ownership to the college. However, without a proper licensing agreement they can use those images as they like.

Hope this answers some questions.


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PhotosGuy
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Jun 28, 2016 22:03 |  #6

I think that you should take a look at your original employment contract.
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-Duck-
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Jun 28, 2016 22:08 |  #7

PhotosGuy wrote in post #18052839 (external link)
I think that you should take a look at your original employment contract.
The short answer is in: Corporate Photography - USA

That's well and good, but the OP was not hired as a photographer but as an Executive Office Manager. Unless the employer specifically includes language about ownership of photographs in the hiring contract (which I highly doubt) work for hire photography does not apply in this case.


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PhotosGuy
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Post edited over 2 years ago by PhotosGuy.
     
Jun 28, 2016 22:14 |  #8

-Duck- wrote in post #18052844 (external link)
That's well and good, but the OP was not hired as a photographer but as an Executive Office Manager. Unless the employer specifically includes language about ownership of photographs in the hiring contract (which I highly doubt) work for hire photography does not apply in this case.

Maybe, maybe not. If the employee signed a intellectual property rights agreement, it's possible that the lawyers will bleed you dry while you fight the definition of " intellectual property". He needs to read his contract.


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MazziePF
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Jun 28, 2016 22:19 as a reply to  @ -Duck-'s post |  #9

Thank you Duck, true what you have said about my situation and really useful information. The College (Not for Profit) doesn't have the funds to compensate me but perhaps I could insist on a photography credit when images are used going forward. Thanks again.




  
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-Duck-
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Jun 28, 2016 22:29 |  #10

PhotosGuy wrote in post #18052847 (external link)
Maybe, maybe not. If the employee signed a intellectual property rights agreement, it's possible that the lawyers will bleed you dry while you fight the definition of " intellectual property". He needs to read his contract.

True, just on good measure a fresh look at the employment contract wouldn't hurt. I just can't see a college including one for a secretary, er, Executive Office Manager. Stranger things have happened.

However, the OP has stated there is no photography clause in the job description and the photos originated from a creative outlet project indicating it was a private endeavor. If that is the case there would be no 'ifs'.


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-Duck-
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Jun 28, 2016 22:35 |  #11

MazziePF wrote in post #18052852 (external link)
Thank you Duck, true what you have said about my situation and really useful information. The College (Not for Profit) doesn't have the funds to compensate me but perhaps I could insist on a photography credit when images are used going forward. Thanks again.

Definitely get credit. You never know what that can lead to. If nothing else, it's great for your tear sheets.


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PhotosGuy
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Jun 28, 2016 23:30 |  #12

I don't think that you can equate a job description with an employment contract? Only by reading it can you know.


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-Duck-
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Jun 29, 2016 09:45 |  #13

PhotosGuy wrote in post #18052893 (external link)
I don't think that you can equate a job description with an employment contract? Only by reading it can you know.

True, but not all jobs have an employment contract.


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Nathan
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Post edited over 2 years ago by Nathan. (2 edits in all)
     
Jun 30, 2016 08:51 |  #14

MazziePF wrote in post #18052852 (external link)
The College (Not for Profit) doesn't have the funds to compensate me....

Just FYI, some nonprofits have very deep pockets. Don't let the institution's tax status (think universities, hospitals, large charitable foundations) prevent you from asking for compensation. Maybe not in this situation, but keep that in mind in the future.


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Jul 11, 2016 17:18 |  #15

-Duck- wrote in post #18053199 (external link)
True, but not all jobs have an employment contract.

It doesn't have to be in a contract. I work for one of the large banks of the country and every year we have to signed a code of conduct. Part of that code says that if you do not notify the company of side businesses or inventions in a timely manner that they may have claim to them. I am not sure how well that would hold up in court or anything but make sure you review anything you sign for a clause that talks about creations in relation to your employer.


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Who holds the copyright?
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