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Copying Copyright Photos


Peter Thornton
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This has come up on another thread but I thought it was worth one of its own.

Our policy is simple. I won't copy a photograph if this will take someone elses profit.

So:

A wedding picture taken by a photographer who left town 10 years ago.

A cruise picture taken in  the Caribean - with no directions, stamp etc to order more copies

a 5 year old school picture

Etc, etc I will copy.

Any picture with a backstamp of a currently practising photographer - I will not copy.

If the customer tells me that the photographer charges too much then I politely tell them that this is a matter to discuss with the photographer. Sometimes I am told that the photographer does not mind. I usually tell them that I am a friend of the photographer and is it ok if I just give them a ring?

The fact is that these matters are not always absolutely simple. I know that I'm not allowed to copy a 30 year old school photo - but is the company with the copyright going to be able to provide this service?

If the photographic community concentrated on stamping their prints then they would make life a lot easier for themselves and for us.

What do you think?

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pretty much the same for us.

Any photo that has 'professional' jumping out at you I am very wary of, especially if it is recent. In general I won't copy any copyrighted photo except in very exceptional circumstances eg if one of the subjects has just died and a copy is needed asap for the funeral (this has happened several times unhappily)

This whole subject is a minefield, if in doubt don't do it and explain why- afterall the photographer involved may one day be a future customer......

Tony

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yes, minefield area indeed. I am all the way down in Cornwall, and I don't generally copy photographers' work if they are within 200miles or backstamped. but it is not allways as black and white, as previous contributors have pointed out. A few days ago I did print from print, the photographer was based in Norwich. Today I turned away work presented which was from a photographer based over 60miles away.

Just after Christmas, a customer wanted a large number of prints from a local proffessionals work. We turned it down (

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i have to agree if a photographer is silly enough not to put a copyright sticker or stamp on the back of their photos then what can they expect, we do put stickers on all of our prints but suspect that many have been coppied, its easy if the customer scans themselves then goes to a booth.

as i have said in a earlier post though photography is changing so much now it would nearly seem as though to get as much for a sitting as you can on the first veiwing as you are not going to get much after that.

still never mind though i am sure we will all survive somehow.

phil

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We are Professional Photographers with a minilab which does very minimal "public" work & yes we are more than surviving on our own work! We get copyright stickers from able label, who will print whatever you want onto sticky labels, we sticker everything! Absolutely everything! Getting through 10,000 stickers every 4 months. These cost us only

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Quote:-

Does anyone remember a large chemist chain settling out of court on the late 80's/early 90's for copying a Pro Print which was in an wedding album (presumably their lawyers were saying that the print was not known to be copyrighted), the photographer was rumoured to have received a 6 figure sum to save the nationals covering the story!

And I wonder who the large chemist chain in question was ......... (hint, begins with 'B')

(listen2)

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Just had a customer with 2 photos that have a copyright on the back, politely told her that there are large fines involved and we do not copy work that has a copyright, after a bit of moning from her i told her it was far better to go back to the photographer as the prints would match her original. She walked away happy after making some other purchases, probabally towards one of the rogue outlets who will copy it!!!!!!!

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Information on copyrights and photographs in the United States can be gotten from the PPA (Professional Photographers Association), PMA (Photo Marketing Association) and (APCL) Association of Professional Color Laboratories.  There have been cases where Olan Mills has sued a couple of places about this situation and Olan Mills has won.  The Phone number and address for the PPA in the United States is PPA, 57 Forsyth St., NW, Suite 1600, Atlanta, GA.  30303;

Phone #1-800=786-6277.  I think that in the United States in particular, it is better to be safe than sorry when it comes to copying professional photographs.

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Whats the situation on using Disclaimers see attachment:

I would not copy photograhers work that has a copyright on it , but i allways get a disclaimer signed for say school photos that are a couple of years old or if Im in any doubt that it might be a pro photograph even with no copyright on it. As for Olan Mills and the likes they seem to allways issue a letter realeasing copyright if the photo was taken (i think) over 6 months ago.

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My impression has been from watching a fair few of my customers want to scan, print photographer's work that we print labs are on the receiving end of a marketing ploy that the photographers have.  For instance, here in my part of Oz they charge a low sitting fee on the hope that people will order shots for albums/prints from them that will compensate them for the time and effort they have put in.  And justifiably.  However, look at the digital swing where people can now control the process of what they will and will not print.  Are photographers really up to speed with this culture?  It seems that photographers need to compete on their expertise and charge a full up front fee for the work they do, then put their proofs on disc for people to decide whether to print at home or at a lab.  We are getting some smarter photographers who worthwhile their upfront sitting fees and then give people discs or negs to print at will.  A much smarter way to go.  

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funy thing that, Just had a couple of girls in ( wedding hair and makeup) who were putting together their brochure. they presented me with proffessionaly produced cd's full off some very proffessional work. when I looked up from my screen, the lead girl says 'Oh, we have the copyright notice', and produced it.

  Talking with them they were quite happy to pay a large sum for some good photographic work, and being allowed to buy the copyright to the work so they could then use the material creatively with no restrictions.

   I agree with you Liz, this is the way photographers should go nowadays. To rely on reprints for your profit is a bit silly when every Tesco in every town either has a lab, or is only a few miles from a store with a lab. And it would be interesting indeed to watch someone trying to take them to court for breach of copyright, especialy with no stickers or watermarks.

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