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Photography Question 
Sharon  Day
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2004
 

Editorial Use


I've been trying to understand the legalities of photography regarding property releases and what you can and can not use for stock without getting sued if someone gets their shorts in a bunch :o)!

At some of the stock sites I'm noticing people just shoot whatever they want such as buildings or public works of art like fountains then submits them as "editorial." Does submitting these types of images and labeling them "editoral" get you off the hook completely or is it best to try and obtain a property release for editorial as well? What if a client at a stock company chooses to use a photo for commercial and ignores the editorial status. Who is responsible then? Thanks!


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11/25/2006 7:24:45 AM

 
Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/17/2005
  Greetings: A stock agency won't tell you either what the law is or how to practice it. They will, however, tell you their submission guidelines which still doesn't get the photographer off the legal hook but only gives them the requirements the stock agency wants them to meet when submitting work to them.

There are stock agencies and there are STOCK agencies. I've said this over and over again here and elsewhere. If you're engaging in a particular business, you're responsible for knowing the rules and basic regs that apply to your business. For example, I don't know where you seem to have gotten the impression that editorial usage doesn't require releases. How do you know those photographs aren't released or whether they have limited releases?

If a stock agency or someone else for that matter misuses a photo or goes outside the scope of the release presented to them by the photographer, it's up to the photographer to protect their own rights and ultimately p to the subject or owner of the subject property to protect the boundaries of their usage agreement for that photograph. Since the photographer and subject have rights at stake, a joint effort whether a cease and desist letter for damages or a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court is prudent and may be feasible to share costs.

I've also said this repeatedly here and elsewhere, that if you want to know what's going on in the photographic industry, not just who is making what equipment but how the rules of the business are in a constant state of flux, subscribe to a professional level publication like Photo District News and read it regularly, cover to cover. ;>)
Mark


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11/25/2006 8:43:10 AM

 
Raymond H. Kemp
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/2/2004
  Sharon, Dan Heller's site provides some excellent guidelines to use as to the use of photographs and releases. This should help answer some of your questions concerning how photographic images are to be used and their requirements and non-requirements for releases. Here is the link: http://www.danheller.com/model-release.html

Ray


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11/25/2006 9:08:05 AM

 
Sharon  Day
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2004
  Thank you, Mark & Raymond. I am trying to learn this. I don't have the money for courses so that isn't an option. I Google this type of thing a lot and while Google is a great search engine it's difficult to find answers to specific questions or it has been for me so far. I appreciate the feedback.


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11/25/2006 9:49:12 AM

 
Sharon  Day
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2004
  "For example, I don't know where you seem to have gotten the impression that editorial usage doesn't require releases. How do you know those photographs aren't released or whether they have limited releases?"

I forgot to respond to this :o). I assumed IF photographers submitting to these sites know their business then I would have to assume it's ok to use photos of a private home for "editorial" use because I see people doing this over and over. Just as an example, I could go out today and get a hundred great images of estates in our area, but I haven't because I have a feeling it's not the thing to do just by reading what I've come across in the Q&A. Somehow I don't see home owners being happy with me shooting their homes then offering me a property release for an 8x10. I know I wouldn't so I've avoided using private homes for stock. I'm near Kansas City. I'm even afraid to go around shooting the fountains and offering them for stock until I understand this completely.

The reason I know the photo is NOT released is because in each description it will say, "Model Release: No" and "Property Release: No" then it says, "No commercial use is allowed." So, wouldn't that kinda leave you with the impression people aren't bothering with property releases? That's how I'm taking it.

I have BP friends doing this. Sometimes I start these Q&A's not only for my own information but hopefully some of them read these Q&As and will avoid a potential pitfall. I don't have enough knowledge to advise them not to do it, but some of the contributors here sure do.

Thanks for the responses!


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11/25/2006 10:10:10 AM

 
Raymond H. Kemp
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/2/2004
  Sharon, what I see you responding to here is exactly what has concerned me about some of the past threads concerning the legalities of photography. Although their intentions were to help, the recommendations in my opinion were vague and in some cases unnecessarily overly conservative as to the use of releases. I was beginning to wonder how any beginner could reasonably feel comfortable shooting anything without a fear that lawsuits would rain down from the heavens!

I’m a professional photographer and have spent a lot of my time and money with attorneys on this very subject. I just finished writing an article for one of my publishers about on-scene photography and the subject of copyright and “expectation of privacy” is discussed. So even with paramedics there is an issue as to what legal problems arise when they pickup a camera and photograph an accident scene. It can become an issue that is open to speculation and flat out erroneous conclusions.

Here is another great link that may help you: http://www.kantor.com/useful/Legal-Rights-of-Photographers.pdf

Read this along with the Dan Heller link, then pickup your camera and go photograph the fountains!! You will be better informed as to your legal rights and with that feel more comfortable with your passion.

Ray


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11/25/2006 2:14:52 PM

 
Sharon  Day
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2004
  Thank you, Ray! I appreciate your help as well! I have both links in favorites now for future reference.


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11/25/2006 7:02:52 PM

 
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