GENERAL RULES FOR A TEST SHOOT WITH EM.FOTOGRAFIK
- Although we thoroughly appreciate your time for doing a test shoot with us, a "Test Shoot" is not a job! As such, we are under no obligation to provide you any number of images. As a rule, we guarantee to provide the model and/or subject with at least one retouched image as a thank you for your time, but please don't expect to receive "ALL" of the images or even a huge number of images. The most we will ever provide is up to three free images for a test shoot. Anything more than three, you should expect to pay for each additional image according to our pricing structure laid out on our "Services" page: HERE
- Any image we provide will be retouched. We are not in the habit of putting our work out in public without at least a minimum amount of retouching, so do NOT ask us for un-retouched images because you are in a rush to receive your image(s).
- As a "Test Shoot" is not a paid job, and is something we either do for fun, as an artistic collaboration or to "Test" a new concept or equipment; we are under no time constraints in when we will provide your image(s) to you. Please be patient, as our paying customers are our first priory and it may take some time to provide your image(s).
- We are not concerned with what services other so-called "Professional Photographers" may or may not have provided you in the past. There are many pretend-to-be professionals out there promising the moon just to get a pretty girl in front of their lens. We are NOT that kind of studio. We are certified professionals who make our living 100% from photography. This is not a part time job for us, and we don't intend on competing with hobbyists who shoot part time and are willing to give you hundreds of images for free just because you think you are entitled to them. YOU ARE NOT!
- Quality vs Quantity: We will never support, comply nor compete with this ridiculous trend (mainly initiated by unprofessional photographers and unprofessional models) that you as the subject should receive ALL your images from a test shoot. Even if we were to give you all of the images, you would NEVER use all of them for your portfolio anyway. You will only ever need one or two great images from a shoot for your portfolio. Advertisers spend thousands of dollars on a photoshoot to choose ONE! Because one great image is all you will ever need. ONE great image speaks louder than a thousand mediocre images. As photography has become more accessible to the masses, these unprofessional people ignorant of what true photography actually is, have forgotten that is an Artform and have depreciated it's value. Clicking on the shutter button, taking hundreds of images hoping to get lucky is NOT photography and we are not that kind of photography studio. We may set up for hours just to get one great shot. And that is what you should be expecting when you shoot with us.
- You do NOT own the rights to the images, the photographer does. The photographer unequivocally, undeniably owns 100% of the rights to all of the images, unless being paid by a client to give up those rights as part of their fee. In that scenario, it would no longer be a "Test Shoot", it would be a paid job. THIS THE LAW! If you have any doubts about this, please familiarize yourself with standard Photography Copyright Laws found HERE
Photography and Copyright Law
Copyright is often misunderstood, but we hope that this series of articles will help clear things up for those who create photography, and for those that use it commercially, editorially, or otherwise.
This information is from an interview with Carolyn E. Wright Copyright Attorney and photographer as well as organizations like the ASMP, PACA, Copyright Alliance, and other photography and copyright related organizations.
An interview with Carolyn E. Wright of photoattorney.com
Photography and Copyright Law
Q: The term “Copyright” is often misunderstood. Especially when it comes to art and photography. The first and most obvious question would therefore be; What is Copyright?
In simple terms, copyright for photographers means owning property. With ownership, you get certain exclusive rights to that property. For photographic copyrights, the ownership rights include:
(1) to reproduce the photograph;
(2) to prepare derivative works based upon the photograph;
(3) to distribute copies of the photograph to the public by sale or other transfer of ownership, or by rental, lease, or lending;
(4) to display the photograph publicly;
Found in the U.S. Copyright Act at 17 U.S.C. 106 (http://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap1.html#106)
Q: What is the difference between copyright and creative commons?
Creative Commons is a type of licensing. Licensing means that you grant others some of the rights that you have to the photograph. For example, you may allow someone to reproduce your photo in the December issue of a magazine. You still own the copyright to the photograph, but you allow someone else to use a piece of it. Creative Commons provides different licensing packages without pay. The packages allow some flexibility with your licensing, such as whether you allow commercial use of your photo and whether you require certain attribution, such as your name or website, with the use.
Q: Does a creative commons license mean that I can use the photograph any way I want, for free?
If you offer licensing of your photo through Creative Commons, someone may use your photo for free but that person must follow the of the conditions of the license that you select. The Creative Commons license options include: “Attribution” (this license lets others distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon your work, even commercially, as long as they credit you for the original creation); “Attribution-NonCommercial” (this license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work non-commercially, and although their new works must also acknowledge you and be non-commercial, they don’t have to license their derivative works on the same terms); and “Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs” (this license is the most restrictive of our six main licenses, only allowing others to download your works and share them with others as long as they credit you, but they can’t change them in any way or use them commercially).
Q: Who owns the copyright in a photograph once it is taken?
In general, when the shutter is released, the photographer who pressed the button owns the copyright. An exception is when the image falls into the “work-made-for-hire”(also known as “work for hire”) category. A work-made-for-hire relationship is created in two situations: (1) the photographer is an employee hired to take photographs for the employer—an example would be a photojournalist who is an employee of a newspaper but not a wedding or portrait photographer who is hired for one event; or (2) the photographer is hired to provide photographs for collective works or compilations and signs a written agreement that specifically states that the work is to be considered a work made for hire. Therefore, freelance photographers are subjected to work-for-hire status only when they agree to it contractually.
Q: If I don’t register my copyright, do I still own the copyright to my photos?
Yes. When a photo is not registered with the US Copyright Office prior to an infringement (or within three months of the first publication of the photo), a copyright owner may recover only “actual damages” for the infringement (pursuant to 17 U.S.C. 504 (b)), instead of statutory damages. Courts usually calculate actual damages based on your normal license fees and/or standard licensing fees plus profits derived from the infringement, if not too speculative. One source for standard license fees is a software program called Fotoquote.
Q: Should only Americans register their copyright with the Library of Congress in the United States?
No! All unpublished photos, regardless of the nationality of the photographer, are protected in the United States. Any photo that is protected by US copyright law can be registered, which includes works of foreign origin.
If your photos are first published in the United States or in a country with which the US has a copyright treaty, they also are protected and may therefore be registered with the US Copyright Office. Also, if you are a citizen of or reside in a country that has a copyright treaty with the US, then you can register your photos with the US Copyright Office. See Circular 38a, International Copyright Relations of the United States, for the status of specific countries.
Q: What is the Digital Millennium Copyright Act?
The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), enacted in 1998, implemented treaties signed at the 1996 World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Geneva conference. It addresses many issues, one of which affects photographers directly. The DMCA states that while an Internet Service Provider (ISP) is not liable for transmitting information that may infringe a copyright, the ISP must remove materials from users’ websites that appear to constitute copyright infringement.
Your copyright does not have to be registered with the U.S. Copyright Office for you to take advantage of this provision. If you find a website that is using one of your images without permission, contact the hosting ISP and report the infringement. My article here: http://www.naturescapes.net/docs/index.php/articles/314 tells you how to request that your image be take down from a website.
The DMCA also provides for certain damages when your work is infringed. If the infringer has removed your copyright management information, such as your name, contact information, or copyright notice, from your work in an attempt to facilitate or conceal its infringement, the infringer may have violated the DMCA. Section 1202(b) of the DMCA prohibits the removal of “copyright management information” in certain circumstances. It states in pertinent part:
No person shall, without the authority of the copyright owner or the law—(1) intentionally remove or alter any copyright management information . . . . knowing, or, with respect to civil remedies . . . having reasonable grounds to know, that it will induce, enable, facilitate, or conceal an infringement of any right under this title.
The statutory award for each violation of Section 1202 ranges from $2,500 to $25,000. The DMCA is another important tool in the photographer’s legal toolkit.
Q: If I am photographing a job for a client, does the client own the copyright or do I?
See above regarding the “work-made-for-hire” discussion.
Q: Do I need a model or property release to own the copyright in my photograph?
Copyrights and rights of privacy for people are different rights. When photographers take photos of people, they must be careful to not invade their privacy. This happens when someone enters a person’s private domain in a manner that would be considered offensive to the average person. As a photographer, the act of going on someone’s land without permission would be trespassing and also may violate the person’s right of privacy. You don’t have to take a photo or publish an image photo for the action to be unlawful. Some courts have found that a photographer has violated privacy rights even when photographing someone in public. Instances would include cases where the photographers harass their subjects, use hidden cameras, or wait for a woman’s skirt to be blown at a fun house. It also is unlawful to view and photograph people inside of residences or other places where privacy is normally expected, even when the photographer is standing in public.
After the photo is taken, however, the photographer should be concerned with the person’s right of publicity. You violate a person’s right of publicity when, without permission, you use a photo of a person for your own benefit. The “editorial” use of a photo is not considered a use of the person’s image for your own benefit. “Commercial” use is different because the use benefits the photographer, so you need the person’s consent to use their image. If you get a model release signed by the subject, you are free to use the image commercially, i.e., for advertising.
If an image is used in a newsworthy item then that constitutes an editorial use. In such cases, a person’s rights are evaluated in light of constitutional interests. “Newsworthiness” is a First Amendment, freedom of the press interest and is broadly construed. Courts traditionally have defined public interest or newsworthiness in liberal and far-reaching terms, not limiting it to the dissemination of news in the sense of current events. They have extended it well beyond that to include all types of factual, educational and historical data, even including entertainment and amusement and other interesting phases of human activity in general.
Commercial use of a photograph usually occurs when the picture of the person has been used purely for “advertising purposes.” While the photograph of a person may be used for something that is sold for profit, such as for use in a book or as a photographic print, selling the photo is not the test for a commercial usage. Using a picture of a person in advertising or for trade without consent may violate the person’s right of publicity, especially when it injures the economic interests of the person due to commercial exploitation. If someone looking at a photograph would think that the person in it is promoting or endorsing a product affiliated with the photograph, then the use is commercial. When the photo of a person is incorporated into a product such as a tee shirt, the use is commercial. At times, it is difficult to determine if a usage is considered commercial or editorial, so it is always safer to get the model release.
In general, if property is visible and can be photographed from a public place, you don’t need a property release to use an image that depicts the property and you may use the photo in any manner. Copyright law provides an exclusion for photographing buildings located on property, but not for statues or other items that may have separate copyrights. There also are restrictions on some governmental property. These include federal seals and insignia as well as military or nuclear installations due to security concerns. If the statue or copyrighted item has minimal presence in your image, your photo may fall under the exclusion due to fair use. Otherwise, you must get permission to take an image and to use it for any purpose.
Nevertheless, some companies have tried to prevent the use—both commercially and editorially—of photographs of their buildings or objects via trademark protection or contract law. Examples include the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Lone Cypress tree on the 17 Mile Drive at Pebble Beach, CA, the Golden Gate Bridge, and the “Hollywood” sign. While these attempts have been unsuccessful, it can be expensive to litigate them
Q: Do I need to put the © notice on my photos?
You’ll often see a copyright “notice”—the familiar © or the word “copyright” with a date and name of the copyright owner—posted on creative works. A proper notice has three parts: the first part is the © (the letter “c” in a circle), the word “Copyright,” or its abbreviation, “Copr.” Some people use a “c” within parentheses like this: (c), but it has not been designated to be part of the official copyright notice. The second part notes the year when the work was first published. The third required part of a copyright notice is the name of the copyright owner. The final form looks like this: © 2011 Carolyn E. Wright. Including a copyright notice is no longer required for copyright protection, but it is a good idea to use it.
When you use the copyright notice it may stop someone from stealing your photographs, either because it serves as a reminder that the work is protected or because the notice interferes with the use of the work when it is part of the photo. Also, it helps to post a copyright notice on your photos because the infringer then cannot say the use was innocent. Further, you may be eligible for DMCA damages if your copyright notice is removed to hide an infringement (see above). You may use the copyright notice without registering your work with the U.S. Copyright Office.
Q: What is “Fair Use”?
Fair use is the right to use copyrighted materials without the copyright owner’s permission. It was designed as an exception to the exclusive rights granted above, permitting limited and reasonable uses without permission as long as they do not prejudice the copyright owner’s rights or interfere with normal exploitation of the work. The classic example of fair use is the quotation from a book being reviewed. Since an author usually does not review his own book, the impact of the quotation on his interests should be minimal. If, however, so much material is quoted that the review will substitute for a purchase of the book, the use will not be considered fair.
Thus, fair use is intended to allow the unauthorized use of copyrighted materials for the benefit of society, believing such use serves a higher purpose. But fair use has its limits, too.
Specifically, Section 107 of the Copyright Act states that:
the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright. In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include –
(1) the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes; (2) the nature of the copyrighted work; (3) the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and (4) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.
17 USC Section 107. http://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap1.html#107
All four factors (as indicated by the “and” before the last factor) are considered by a court to determine whether a use is fair.
The “purpose and character of the use” is considered one of the most important indicators of fair use. Courts determine whether the copyrighted work has been used to create a new work (often referred to as a “transformative use”) instead of simply copied and/or placed into another work.
A court is more likely to find fair use when the “nature” of the copyrighted work used has been published, rather than unpublished. Copyright law recognizes the right of photographers to control the first public appearance of works.
An unauthorized use will more likely be considered a fair use if a small amount or insubstantial portion of the entire work has been used, such as a short quote from a book. While such a “de minimis” use is more difficult with photographs than when copying text, it can occur when the photos are in the background of a video, for example.
When the unauthorized use directly effects and competes with the copyright owner’s business or potential for income, a court will usually find that the use was not a fair use. This is true even when the use is not in an area of business directly competing with the photographer – such as selling sculptures based on a photo. What matters is that the photographer could have made money in that field.
Q: What is public domain?
When a work is not protected by copyright law, it is considered as being in the “public domain” and any one may use the work without permission.
Q: What is a derivative work and who owns the copyright?
A derivative work is one that is based on one or more earlier works. Derivative works include editorial revisions, annotations or other types of modifications. The work must be different enough from the original to be regarded as a new work—in other words, it must contain some substantial, not merely trivial, originality. The threshold for originality in a derivative work is higher than that required for the original work.
The person who creates the derivative owns the copyright to revision, annotation, or other type of modification only. The original copyright is still owned by the original creator.
Q: Is copyright violation a crime?
The Copyright Act includes elements of crimes related to copyright. http://www.copyright.gov/title17/92appg.html The government usually prosecutes only the most egregious cases, such as counterfeited goods.
Q: What happens when a copyrighted photo is used without permission?
You have several options when you find that your photo has been infringed.
Option #1 – Do Nothing
You always have the option of doing nothing. If the infringer is in a foreign country where infringements are rampant and difficult to enforce or is a small website with little traffic, you may decide that it’s not worth your time and effort to fight the infringement.
Option # 2 – Request a Photo Credit If the website would provide a marketing outlet for you, you may only want the infringer to give you proper credit. If so, write the infringer a letter officially giving her the right to use the image. Be sure to designate the parameters of that use, such as who, what, why, when and where – see my blog entry here for more information. Include the condition that the infringer post a photo credit with a copyright notice on or adjacent to the use. You may also require the infringer to add a link to your website. You may get subsequent work from the infringer or others.
Option #3 – Prepare a DMCA Take-Down Notice Purusant to the U.S. Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”) enacted in 1998, the Internet Service Provider (“ISP”) that hosts a website is not liable for transmitting information that infringes a copyright only if the ISP removes the infringing materials from a user’s website after receiving proper notice of the violation. The notice must: be in writing, be signed by the copyright owner or the owner’s agent, identify the copyrighted work claimed to be infringed (or list of infringements from the same site) and identify the material that is infringing the work. Additionally, the notice must include the complaining party’s contact information, a statement that the complaint is made in “good faith,” and a statement, under penalty of perjury, that the information contained in the notification is accurate and that the complainer has the right to proceed (because he is the copyright owner or agent). Check my article at here to learn more about how to prepare a DMCA take-down notice. Even if you don’t reside in the U.S., you may use this great tool to stop an infringer whose ISP is in the U.S. from using your work.
Option #4 – Prepare a Cease and Desist/Demand Letter Yourself When you don’t want to alienate the infringer (the infringer is a potential client and/or appears to be an innocent infringer), you may want to contact the infringer to explain that the use is not authorized and either request payment of an appropriate license fee, a photo credit with a link to your website (as discussed above), or that the infringer cease use of the image. It’s best to do this in writing – a letter by surface mail seems to have more clout than email correspondence.
Photographers sometimes send an infringer an invoice for three times their normal license fee in an attempt to resolve the infringement issue. While the 3x fee may be an industry standard and some courts have used it, is not a legal right given by any court of law or statute. Instead, U.S. law states that you are entitled to actual or statutory damages for infringement as provided by 17 U.S.C. Chapter 5, specifically section 504. The damages that you can receive from infringement – especially if you timely register your photographs – sometimes can amount to a lot more than three times your normal license fee. So you may want to think 2x before you send the 3x letter.
There are some risks in sending the letter yourself. First, the infringer may attempt to preempt an infringement lawsuit and file a request for declaratory judgment that the use is authorized. This may involve you in a legal action for which you may need legal counsel in a jurisdiction (court location) where you don’t want to litigate. Second, your demand for payment may be admissible against you if an infringement case is filed. If you demand too little, then it may limit your ultimate recovery. To avoid this possibility, include in your demand letter that “these discussions and offer to settle are an attempt to compromise this dispute.”
Option #5 – Hire a Lawyer to Send a Demand Letter When an attorney gets involved, the matter is escalated and tensions rise. While the infringer may be more defensive, the weight of your demand letter is dramatically increased if it comes from an attorney and the infringer generally takes the matter more seriously. Some attorneys charge a flat fee to send a letter; others may charge a “contingency fee” which is based on the percentage of recovery. Or the fee may be a combination of both.