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Archive 2012 · Development Company Full Copyright?
  
 
brycekauai
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Development Company Full Copyright?


So I shoot regularly for a local real estate development. They are very high end with most homes selling in the million-dollar range. I recently did a week of event photography for them. Total was 28 hours for $100 per hour. At the end of the week I sent them a large batch of files around 400 of the best shots from the whole week. The images feature surfing, swimming, canoeing, partying, pool parties, and all kinds of fun activities. They even had me shoot from a helicopter when I captured some amazing imagery that I would like to hold onto. I have attached the Section of the contract that states the rights they are asking for. Please read over and let me know what you think. They are a great client, but are in the process of doing a lot of image updating and will most likely want to use some of these for web other collateral.

1. WORK PRODUCT. All work product and creative services generated by the Photographer pursuant to this Agreement, (collectively, the “Work Product”), shall be addressed to and shall be the sole property of CLIENT, including without limitation, all copyrights, photographs (and negatives), videos, portion of any tape that is edited out or not used in any final film, sound-bytes, usage rights, disks, personal information relating to the participants shown on any film, and all other original materials created and paid in full by CLIENT in connection with the Services. CLIENT shall have the sole right to use or not use any Work Product and in any media, including but not limited to: any Community website, collateral, local and national ads, videos, DVDs, calendars, billboards and invitations. The Photographer shall not use the Work Product in connection with the provision of services to any other party (or for promotion of its own services to others in its marketing materials, including its own website), without the prior written consent of CLIENT, which consent may be given or withheld in CLIENT’s sole discretion. Except for those logos specifically owned by Photographer or others, CLIENT (or its designated affiliates) shall own all such trademarks relating to the names and logos specifically associated with CLIENT and its participation in the event or photo shoot. CLIENT shall be responsible for obtaining, and shall have the sole right to obtain, at its sole cost and expense, all trademarks and copyrights as may be deemed necessary or desirable by CLIENT, in CLIENT’s sole and absolute discretion, relating to the event or specific Photo Shoot and the Services. Photographer warrants that it solely owns all rights in the Work Product that have been addressed to CLIENT and agrees to indemnify and hold CLIENT harmless from same. Further, Photographer warrants that there is no present claim or litigation in respect of those rights relating to the Work Product or the terms of this Agreement.


Thanks for any Advice. Questions are welcome. Thanks



Aug 16, 2012 at 11:13 AM
Wobble
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Development Company Full Copyright?


I am not an attorney. Have you already signed the contract? If so, for the $2800, you sold all of your rights, owe them the rest of the photographs, and cannot use any shots without their permission.


Aug 16, 2012 at 11:26 AM
brycekauai
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Development Company Full Copyright?


I haven't signed the Contract yet. The job is complete and they have the low res files. I sent them an invoice and they said I would need to sign this before I could get paid.


Aug 16, 2012 at 11:28 AM
Wobble
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Development Company Full Copyright?


As you know, the contract should have been signed/negotiated prior to the shoot. If you want your money now, sign the contract and be done with this one. Or, it's lawsuit time, and you lose the possibility of any future work with them. Next time get the right to use the images up front, contract for a certain number of images and then the rest are yours(unless that would be considered work product).


Aug 16, 2012 at 12:21 PM
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Development Company Full Copyright?


The contract is standard boilerplate legalize to cover use of your work without your consent after being paid. The agreement is all-inclusive because it also covers graphic art design (logos). I seriously doubt that they understand the full complexities of the agreement, at least from your end (loss of earnings). They probably have no intention of using your photos for stock, more likely unlimited runs of your images for corporate advertising. I would have to look at this situation and ask myself: Can I use any of these pictures without having their homes in the background? If so, it might require a release from them. Checkmate!

There is no next time with this company, or any company that compels you to give up your copyright for an assignment fee. The agreement is company policy, take it or leave it. As you said, if you agree to their terms, you are paid. If not, you don't. You probably won't even be able to increase your prices next time because you set your own precedent. So, as Wobble said, chalk it up to experience. Get your money and be done with it. Know that next time will be the same thing. It's a trade-off. You get to eat, they get the pictures at your expense.






Aug 16, 2012 at 01:19 PM
 

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brycekauai
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Development Company Full Copyright?


So I contacted a trusted friend in the company. She is who I deal with all the time and always shoots it straight with me and knows how to handle the higher ups in the company. She told me that she understands my concerns as well as signing over my copyright forever. Her and the team she works with always fel I should be compensated well for my time and the usage of my images, but its a decision left up to the higher ups in the company.

I'm going to draft up some bullet points of some lines in the contract I would like to see changed, such as
-copyright
-self promotional usage
- Exclusive Licensing

I will be happy if I can at least hold on to the copyright and possibly just grant them exclusive licensing for the next year, especially with the helicopter shots I got of not only there property, but the beautiful surrounds. She said they are protecting there private club and members as well, not wanting me to sell the images elsewhere. Which I couldn't even do for any advertising or stock because I don't have releases for them anyways. Thanks for your help. Will keep you all updated when things unfold. Any ideas on bullet points to lay out? Thanks!



Aug 16, 2012 at 08:42 PM
borderlight
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Development Company Full Copyright?


Any ideas on bullet points to lay out?

I would just charge more next time according to their expected use, in other words a buyout with a set price. I think there is a stock photographer who specializes in compiling standardized prices for photographers based on type, volume, placement, and usage. Google it. You might mention your concerns with your liaison before proceeding. I don't think they will fault you for using your photos for self-promotion.

BTW: You can cross off what you don't agree with in the contract, then initial. Boilerplate wording not set in stone. You should have some wiggle room, especially with the self-promotion issue. You should also consider charging per job instead of per hour. The requirements of the job should be written so you can make a reasonable offer. $100 per hour isn't enough when you consider that you might be finished a job in two hours and produce a photograph they can run forever with advertising. You aren't in the same league as a TV repairman, heat pump specialist, and massage therapist.... all charging around $100 per hour. Companies make money from your talent. Charge accordingly without going overboard.



Aug 16, 2012 at 09:40 PM
brycekauai
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Development Company Full Copyright?


Hey everyone. Just wanted to give you an update. I came to an agreement with them and we had some changes made to the contract. They understood my side and let me keep copyright over the images. I gave them a 1 year exclusive license with no additional fees on top of the $100per/hr. After the year I can do whatever I like with the helicopter shots or any other scenery I took while on assignment. Any photos taken on club property or taken of club members may not be used and will remain under there control. Stoked on how it turned out and the client was more then understanding once I wrote out my points to them.


Aug 24, 2012 at 09:30 AM
Wobble
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Development Company Full Copyright?


Glad to hear that it all worked out to your liking (and you got PAID).


Aug 24, 2012 at 11:21 AM





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