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Photography Question 
Kalina J. Rumbalski
 

is this a common pratice?


I was thinking about working for a photographer. However, she is looking to basicly put her name on my work in other words. Also well working for her she does not want me to do any photography work with out her permission. I don't think it is okey and that is why I will not take the job. I was just wondering if this is a common thing in bigger studios?


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1/3/2006 1:08:42 PM

 
  A photographer can demand anything they want for their time and expertise, all you have to do is to choose whether or not to give it. I gotta tell you, this sounds extreme. I think you're right.

Chris Walrath


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1/3/2006 6:28:21 PM

 
Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/17/2005
  Greetings Kalina. No, it's not a common thing in big or small studios. It's one thing to ask an assistant not to take on any work that's in direct competition with the studio while they're employed by that studio on a full-time or even part-time basis. Nonetheless, it's unfair to try and monopolize someone entirely.

To put their name on your work is not only unethical, but it's essentially misrepresentation and arguably theft. You're right. Don't work for this person or her studio.
Mark


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1/3/2006 8:06:41 PM

 
Sharon  Day
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2004
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Sharon 's Gallery
  Wow, I'd flip hamburgers at McDonalds for extra cash before I'd have someone telling me I couldn't take photos for myself on my own time. I'm assuming that's what you mean.


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1/3/2006 8:10:37 PM

 
Joseph M. Kolecki
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/4/2005
  Hell no... I wouldnt work for that person at all! He/she has alot of nerve trying to take away your ability to shoot while not on the job! You want some advice... go to www.godaddy.com, open yourself a one or two page site and get your work on the net... their are many inexpensive ways to promote your site now a days, you could be in business for yourself probably sooner than you may think! I bet you would make more than you would working for that dope! Hope this helps.


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1/5/2006 11:10:35 AM

 
Mary Swift
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/10/2004
  It's always been my understanding that if a studio photographer hires an assistant, the assistant does not own the copyright to the images they take while they're on the job. So if this is the case, then yes, it is a common practice for them to put their name on the images you take. However, I would stay away from anyone who tells you that you can't take your own pictures!


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1/5/2006 4:20:34 PM

 
Brendan Knell
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/17/2005
  Mary, what you're thinking of is called "Work for Hire"(It's something like that). What it means is that the copyright to your pics(or whatever it is they're hiring you to do) belongs to the person thats paying you. But, I'm pretty sure that, even if they own the copyright, they still can't say that this is a picture that THEY personally took. Also, judgeing from the other replies, this isn't a common practice(the work for hire might be).


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1/5/2006 4:36:29 PM

 
Mary Swift
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/10/2004
  Maybe I just misunderstood the question....I thought that's what she was referring to (work for hire) but I drew a blank on what it was called. :) I know they can't claim to have taken the picture themselves, but if they own the copyright then it's their name that is actually stamped onto the print itself. Sorry to cause any confusion! :)


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1/5/2006 5:06:00 PM

 
Brendan Knell
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/17/2005
  I think it might have been me that misunderstood your response. When you said, "So if this is the case, then yes, it is a common practice for them to put their name on the images you take." I thought you ment that they were claiming the picture as their own. Maybe saying their studios name, instead of their name, on it would have been a better way to say it.


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1/5/2006 5:11:55 PM

 
Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/17/2005
  Actually Brenden, you're close but don't quite win the cigar. A lot of people mistakenly equate "Work for hire" with the transfer of a copyright and that's not correct. The copyright law says that if you transfer a copyright, you can regain it after 35 years. Not so with work for hire.

In a work for hire situation, which requires a written agreement signed by both parties, (it can't be verbal) the photographer never has the copyright which the law views as a property right. Essentially, you're offering your services as a photographer for a preagreed upon fee. That's it. No copyright, no retransfer rights, and that agreement will apply to ALL the images created by the photographer on that particular assignment, not just the ones the client may use at a given time.

Since copyright is a property right, the holder or copyright owner is the one entitled to the protection. Therefore in work for hire situations, the owner of the copyright and not the photographer, is the one who labels the image "copyright 2006, XYZ Company" and not the name of the photographer.

While it's true in many instances the name following the copyright symbol is the actual photographer, legally, it only indicates the actual holder of the copyright. When someone else holds the copyright, it's perfectly fine to say CR 2006, XYZ Corp., AND Photo by Brenden K. or Mary or whomever. That's just referred to as the photo credit.

In some situations, a transfer of copyright is a more even-handed approach to usage and copyright. It essentially allows the photographer to retain the rights to some of the work while granting or transfering ownership (again it must be in writing) to work that the client DOES want to use after the shoot. In that situation, the photographer (or his heirs and assigns) can continue to use the unused portion, so-to-speak, for her[him]self.

Okie dokie?
Mark

Mark


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1/5/2006 8:00:11 PM

 
Jim Macino
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/23/2005
  I think you are getting a lot of advice...not necessarily quality advice, but at least quantity.

Companies like Olan Mills put their name and logo on everything they do. Olan Mills didn't really take that picture. An "employee" of the corporation took the picture. Who owns the image? The company of course. They are renumerating their employee for doing the work. Just because good ol' Bob puts a sheet metal screw into that Ford pickup truck on an assembly line doesn't give him the right to take off the FORD emblem and call it a "Bob".

One thing you can believe, if you don't like the terms of the job, you have the personal choice of working someplace else. It's the free enterprise system.
Common sense goes a long way in thinking through this.

Jim


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1/6/2006 10:10:09 PM

 
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