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Royalties, or who owns an image.

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903156.  Fri Apr 20, 2012 9:15 am Reply with quote

I'm not sure about the veracity of this story, but my sister as a child was photographed with some very famous young chaps from Liverpool. Shortly thereafter, a candy manufacturer in the US was marketing its product by giving away pictures of pop stars with the bubble gum, and one of these pictures had my sister in it.
According to my dad, he rang them up and asked whether they had the child's parents' permission to use this image. They claimed they did, so he sued them and won!

Now this is my dad's version and I wasn't around at the time (not having been born yet). Perhaps the fact that the subject was a minor changed the legalities of using a picture that was already in the public domain

903178.  Fri Apr 20, 2012 10:05 am Reply with quote

I hope you still have that piccie?

903215.  Fri Apr 20, 2012 11:46 am Reply with quote

filofax wrote:
Perhaps the fact that the subject was a minor changed the legalities of using a picture that was already in the public domain

I'm not sure how the law stood in the 60s, but it certainly would now.

You have a minor child, so let's use him as an example. I don't actually need your permission to take a photo of your son, although I'd be on very dubious ground if I did so after you had asked me not to.

But I absolutely do need your permission before I can publish that photograph. So I can't send it to be used in a newspaper, I can't include it in a book, I can't put it up on the Internet, and I can't use it in advertising unless you say I can. (You don't have the right to payment, but you could certainly ask for payment as a condition of giving your permission.)

903224.  Fri Apr 20, 2012 12:33 pm Reply with quote

It would depend on the context of the picture.

If the picture is of a minor - then permission is required.
If there is a minor in the picture - then permission is not.

903262.  Fri Apr 20, 2012 4:24 pm Reply with quote

What's your understanding of where the boundary between those two things falls?

Schools - especially girls' schools - probably have to take a rather conservative line here, and mine certainly does. I've just read a policy document about the use of photos on the school website, and it says that parental permission should be sought before using any photo in which a pupil would be able to identify herself.

Is that where you'd place the boundary, or is the school going far beyond what is really necessary?

903298.  Sat Apr 21, 2012 4:57 am Reply with quote

I was trying to find an example of the difference between the two - but it's not easy when it comes to people.
Its easier with just general things.
In this image

You can see that the picture is of a C&G builing society. Strictly speaking you should ask their permission to use that image.

In this one

You don't need to seek anyones permission.

The difference between the two is the content. As you can see in image 1 there is no doubt about what the subject of the picture is, and C&G own the image rights to the subject of the picture. In image 2 the picture is of the high street and the fact that you see the millets sign is purely incidental.

It's similar with people.

If I take a picture and you happen to be in it - let's say this is you in the jeans carrying the coffee.

I don't need to seek your permission to use that picture for whatever I choose - simply because the fact you are there is incidental to the picture. If I take a picture of you - let's say you are the #7 player here

I would need your permission (don't worry I do have permission to use that image however I choose) I don't need the permission of the other people in the picture (although I do because I have a blanket release with anyonone wearing a Sussex Thunder uniform) because they are just there.

It's all about using common sense - and takes years of judgement calls - I always err on the side of caution and spent ages not taking anything with people especially children in it. After a while speaking to other photographers you get to know what you need and what you don't.

The strange thing with children is that the rules change depending upon what and where. I recently went to an Under 15 football match in that instance I didn't need parental consent, because the players are under the care of the teams - I go and ask the coaches of both teams for permission and go by what they say. If a parent questions me then I refer them to the person who gave the permission.

Minefield? only slightly.........

903305.  Sat Apr 21, 2012 6:34 am Reply with quote

Thanks barbados; that's more or less how I understood it.

Certainly if I as an adult were the woman with the coffee, I wouldn't have expected to be asked for permission before that picture was used. From what you say, neither would permission have been required if the woman with the coffee happened to be 17 - but under my school's policy it would have been sought, since she'd be able to identify herself.

barbados wrote:
The strange thing with children is that the rules change depending upon what and where.

Ah, of course - this is the concept of in loco parentis.

Exactly the same applies to a child at school, which is why I'm allowed to punish an errant girl (under strictly defined conditions), and I'm allowed to conduct a search of her school locker to establish that she doesn't have anything that she's not supposed to have.

Personally I find the latter distasteful and will have no part of it in normal circumstances. In theory I'm allowed to go on fishing trips for MP3 players or cellphones (other than in the sixth form, these things are not supposed to be brought to school), or for cigarettes - but I have no intention of doing it.

At my school we'd only do it if we suspected the girl of having illegal drugs or an offensive weapon, and we'd involve the police immediately the girl declined to co-operate. Some schools might open the locker with a crowbar if the girl refused to open it herself, but we'd get the police in for that.

Coming back to the point, this probably means that we don't actually need parental permission to use a photograph which has been taken in school. Even so, we seek it, and if it's not forthcoming then we don't make use of that photo. Why?

barbados wrote:
Minefield? only slightly.........

That's why ...!

903354.  Sat Apr 21, 2012 1:56 pm Reply with quote

I can see why there is some difference in opinion with this.
You are coming from the rules of the school, and I am looking at it from a rights / ownership point of view.

903618.  Mon Apr 23, 2012 2:13 am Reply with quote

I hope you still have that piccie?

We do indeed, plus it has cropped up in a few books about the Fab Four.

In fact, a funny thing happened a few years back. It was the 40th anniversary of their first tour to the US, which is when the picture was taken. A NY paper published it, with the question 'where is she now?', as they were running a feature on the event.
Well, friends saw it, knew it was my sister, so they let her know she was being sought. She rang up the paper to tell them .... and they didn't believe her! I seems that they had been inundated by nutcases claiming to be the little girl in the picture.
Why would anyone do that? Is the need for fame so pressing in some people that they would claim to be someone completely different, and someone who, fundamentally, hasn't actually done anything particularly interesting (sorry Sis, I know it was a big deal for you, but you can't actually take any credit for anything).

Anyway, it took a phone call from the guy who took the picture, who is a very well known photo journalist, to confirm that it was indeed she. She gave an interview, had her picture taken, and was forgotten by everyone the following day. How silly people are!

903625.  Mon Apr 23, 2012 2:54 am Reply with quote

How silly people are - indeed.
Back in 1964 I (along with a crowd of about 2 hundred screaming girls) was waiting at the back entrance of Hotel Treslong (Hillegom). It was raining and only after several hours did we get to see 3 Beatles + Jimmie Nicol tumble out of their little Fiat. That was that. (My pocket money was nowhere near enough for me to purchase a ticket.)
One happy footnote: my older brother, who had been forced by my parents to take me there on his Puch, had been standing at the main, front, entrance.
<massive attack of Schadenfreude, again - after all these years ;-) >

922728.  Sun Jul 08, 2012 2:54 pm Reply with quote

Coming back to the point, this probably means that we don't actually need parental permission to use a photograph which has been taken in school.

As far as I know permission is always required in the EU. Because the school is publishing data which can be used to identify people, while there's no legitimate purpose at all (your "to use a photography"). I don't have a single reason to look at such a digital photo, and I probably don't have to identify myself.

Systems based on permission still can be regretted. What if a student (or a teacher) gets involved in a crime, and personal data can be found at the school's website?

An example is a photo of a football team. With the full names and date of births of the players. The date of birth can be important for the FA, but most likely this personal data is abused by the football club. One of the footballers committed a crime and was suspended for life. In the newspaper he finally became known as Walid G. (suspect), together with his brother Karim Gabara (not a suspect, IIRC). The photo of the football team, including both brothers, complete with full names and dates of birth, was not replaced for a long period of time. Now the photo is replaced, albeit the updated photo still mentions irrelevant dates of birth.

In other words: what if I compile a list of cheap dates, spread the THIS IS HER-photo with an added name of the school and name of the student? Is the polite school then going to ask the Indonesian website http: // to remove all links to the photo and data? Does the parents' permission include publishing the photo outside of the school?

Actually there's a photo of me in included in a book, published by a school. "According to everybody the most uncontrollable class ever", something like that. But I won't complain, despite of the understatement. Because there are no names of students (a potential employer cannot use Google to trace my past, for example)and the book was only distributed inside the school. You had to visit the school's office to obtain a copy.

922734.  Sun Jul 08, 2012 3:43 pm Reply with quote

Coming back to the point, this probably means that we don't actually need parental permission to use a photograph which has been taken in school.

Of course the second problem can be that the photographer didn't give permission. It's hers or his "piece of art", so using it without permission can be expensive. Taken in school or not. You'll have about the same issue when buying a photo. Buying an expensive photo, a piece of art, doesn't mean the photographer cannot ever sell the same "exclusive" photo a zillion times.

Finally, regarding Che-like cases: dead people cannot change their minds ("he would have never wanted this"), and 25 years is a long delay. It's like schools in Bovensmilde (the Netherlands) now would demand that the name of the School Street has to be changed, because there's no more school building there since 1977. Changing the name of this street can promote the image of the schools in Bovensmilde, but it's a bit late to start prosecuting. Apparently it wasn't a problem for over 35 years (if it ever would be a case).

922739.  Sun Jul 08, 2012 4:31 pm Reply with quote

Heldoorn wrote:
Of course the second problem can be that the photographer didn't give permission. It's hers or his "piece of art", so using it without permission can be expensive. Taken in school or not.

That depends on who took the photograph. If a school photo was taken by a teacher or some other person employed at the school, then the school probably owns the copyright and the photographer's permission is not required.

But if the school hired a professional photographer (whether for payment or as a pro bono), then that photographer owns the copyright - unless he has released it to the school. Which does sometimes happen - it is my understanding that photos of our school plays are the property of the school, because that is the arrangement which has been made with the photographer.

922749.  Sun Jul 08, 2012 5:17 pm Reply with quote

Both correct and incorrect Suze.

The photo copyright always remains with the photographer - The photography allows the school unlimited rights to the picture, but if he decides to withdraw that permission he can at any time. He's a bit of an arse to do that, but all the same if that is the way he wants to act he is free to do so.

922756.  Sun Jul 08, 2012 5:41 pm Reply with quote

If someone is producing a copyrightable item as "work for hire", the copyright would rest with the employer. (If you think the creator of a work of art "always" retains copyright, have a little chat about the topic with Alan Moore...)

As to whether any such situation obtains in either of these cases... beats me. Obviously the teacher is an employee, but were the photographs being taken as a formal, ordinary and regular part of their duties? And with a pro, just because you're hiring them, doesn't mean it is (or that it isn't!) a "work for hire". It depends on the nature of the (express or implied) contract.


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