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#1 furby076

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Posted 21 April 2011 - 08:58 AM

So I am getting to the point where people are asking to buy my photos. Some are buying for artistic purposes, others are buying photos of themselves (I typically join my dive shops open water class and do photography, letting people buy pictures).

Does anyone have a simple contract they would be willing to post here or provide to me directly? I am basically looking for something along the lines of:

You are purchasing the photo from me, but not the right to produce copies of it for retail purposes.
You may make copies of the photos to provide to family/friends (e.g. Holiday cards, birthday cards, etc)
You may not remove my name from the photo(s) as this identifies the artist (in this case me)
Unless agreed upon you allow me the right to use a dive photo of you in advertisements (on a side note i doubt this would happen, but potentially it could)

Basically I am looking for something simple along those lines. My overall goal is to protect myself and my work. Suggestions/input is appreciated.

On a side note I plan to sell photos of divers at $10/photo. This includes any post processing work. I think this is fair considering the cost of equipment, the time spent taking the shots (the dive day), post processing, and getting the photos to the user.

What do you guys think?

Regards
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#2 DerekB

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Posted 21 April 2011 - 05:01 PM

$10 sounds on the low side. 15-20/photo sounds better.


as far as the contract, if you're dealing with the average person then the simpler the better. As long as you are registering your work, you will always be protected in your copyright. To make life easier you can give your clients something pretty close to what you wrote here. If you're sending digital files via email then a small footnote would work just fine.

#3 decosnapper

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Posted 21 April 2011 - 10:28 PM

$10 is too low. How many will you need to sell a year to justify the cost of a new housing......or actually cover the cost of your time? Or the petrol to get there? Or replacement strobes/batteries/dive kit etc etc etc

For every image I ship - including free use - a delivery note accompanies the media. The delivery note spells out what rights are acquired. The invoice reiterates the rights. This paper trail can be audited at times of high stress......such as when one of your subjects turns out to be the next Boston Strangler/America's Got Talent Winner (delete as appropriate) and your image gets picked up by the press......If you are serious, register the images with the US Copyright Office. Why? There are significant statutory damages applied to infringement and its unlikely you will get a lawyer to touch the case without it.
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#4 furby076

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Posted 22 April 2011 - 05:04 AM

Cool. I didn't know what the appropriate cost was. I thought $10 was low but I just didn't know.

@Deco - Isn't putting my name on the photo enough? Does the copyright symbol need to be there? I obviously wouldn't provide RAW, but I would provide the largest format I could create in JPG. That gives people more options to print bigger images. How does one register with the copyright office? I assume it is a one time registration (e.g. so they have my name) and I just apply my name to all of my photos? If you have a link to good information I would be happy to read that (unless your answer is short and you don't mind taking the time to post) :)
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#5 Poliwog

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Posted 22 April 2011 - 05:33 AM

You can find more info on copyright registration "here" courtesy of the American Society of Media Photographers.

This website is very well written and contains a wealth of information for American photographers. It's also a good read for other non-United States based photographers.

Hope this helps.
Paul Walker.
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#6 decosnapper

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Posted 24 April 2011 - 12:45 AM

@Deco - Isn't putting my name on the photo enough? Does the copyright symbol need to be there? I obviously wouldn't provide RAW, but I would provide the largest format I could create in JPG. That gives people more options to print bigger images. How does one register with the copyright office? I assume it is a one time registration (e.g. so they have my name) and I just apply my name to all of my photos? If you have a link to good information I would be happy to read that (unless your answer is short and you don't mind taking the time to post) :)


Re the © symbol on the photo - yes.......and no...... You don't actually need to do anything to protect your work, but there are many out there who think a) images are free and b) they found it so can use it or c) even if they want to do the right thing, can't find you - images are all too easily orphaned and owners unknown. Social networking sites strip embedded metadata at will, denying any chance of machine readable content to help find owners. Given that they take rights to use and sub-license your images on posting, I can only guess they don't care.....but I digress.

For the US, there is an agreed format for displaying copyright - I can't remember it off the top of my head but has your name, the © symbol and date.

US copyright registration - this requires creators and authors to submit copies of their work, but this system is optional for assertion of copyright. However, if you have registered images with the Copyright Office and they are infringed then a) The damages can be 5 or 6 figure sums per image and b) given these numbers a lawyer would be interested in talking to you. Anecdotally, I understand that lack of registration means you can only recover damages for what you would have charged* for image use and legal eagles aren't interested in zero rated work - generally speaking of course.

Registering images with the Copyright Office means every image you want registered needs to be submitted. What I do (US residents please help if this is way off advice) is register a batch of images every three months, and the files can be zipped before uploading. You have three months from date of creation to register images, and there are rules for whether the image is published or not, so its worth checking (note to self, re-read rules) beforehand. Registration can be done online and costs $35 per batch. For $140 a year, I get an insurance policy that I hope to never claim on.........but these days who knows?

*Infringement is good reason to have an audit trail of high value image licensing fees to demonstrate similar use. Infringers, if they know their stuff, will claim to see evidence of like-for-like. Sign up for microstock or sell your work at $10 per image and a 'good' infringer will have a chuckle to themselves and pay what was due. Have examples of high value sales and......well....the infringer see things from your perspective with respect to value.

Edited by decosnapper, 24 April 2011 - 12:47 AM.

Simon Brown

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