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Archive 2012 · LEGAL QUESTION (Yes, I know this is the internet, and tha...
  
 
benee
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p.2 #1 · LEGAL QUESTION (Yes, I know this is the internet, and that you're probably not a lawyer)


whitewash wrote:
It seems to me that you have a pretty basic choice here.

Do you want to prolong your unpleasant interaction with Miss Crazybitch by engaging in petty back-and-forth jabs with her and her broken family over things you can't even enforce?

Or do you want to get done with the situation as quickly as possible by maintaining professional detachment from a family drama that doesn't involve you personally and just doing your job?

I would just shoot, sell, and move on. I don't need to borrow trouble from other folks. YMMV, of course. I mean, if the kid were Prince Harry or something,
...Show more


Bingo!



Aug 16, 2012 at 06:49 PM
Morganbeaudry
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p.2 #2 · LEGAL QUESTION (Yes, I know this is the internet, and that you're probably not a lawyer)


Maybe your history with Da Missus is part or even central to the issue at hand. Had this been another photographer that didn't know her, she'd probably have been less hostile or not hostile at all. Sounds like a control freak and a very unhappy person and neither of these conditions are your fault. It's your call. Personally, I'd do the shoot and use the images as you've been duly, legally and legitimately authorized to. She may beak off about it but then again, she's probably the sort that beaks off about lots of things. People do consider the source. If you've got 99 testimonials that are glowing and 1 toxic rant, people will tend to suspect there's something off about the complainer.


Aug 16, 2012 at 09:42 PM
tylerdrumm
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p.2 #3 · LEGAL QUESTION (Yes, I know this is the internet, and that you're probably not a lawyer)


Morganbeaudry wrote:
Maybe your history with Da Missus is part or even central to the issue at hand. Had this been another photographer that didn't know her, she'd probably have been less hostile or not hostile at all. Sounds like a control freak and a very unhappy person and neither of these conditions are your fault. It's your call. Personally, I'd do the shoot and use the images as you've been duly, legally and legitimately authorized to. She may beak off about it but then again, she's probably the sort that beaks off about lots of things. People do consider the source.
...Show more

Good points, thank you Morgan. I will delve a bit more into the custody issue of the father and her, but for the time being, I won't use any of the images on the web... However she won't get access to any of the images either.



Aug 16, 2012 at 09:49 PM
BigIronCruiser
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p.2 #4 · LEGAL QUESTION (Yes, I know this is the internet, and that you're probably not a lawyer)


This is a rather interesting topic, because many of us have shot portraits or events (e.g weddings, birthday parties, sports, etc..) where the parents of a minor child were divorced or separated. In many cases, we wouldn't even know. It's normal to get one signature, but it never crossed my mind that it may be necessary to get both. Even without the second signature, I'm guessing it would never be an issue except for a retaliatory mom like the one you've described; she seems to hate the world.

You could press this a little by replying with something like "I have no issue with this, but I will need a notarized letter stating your dissent". How can you be sure, after all, that it was actually the kids mom that sent the text?



Aug 16, 2012 at 10:20 PM
tylerdrumm
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p.2 #5 · LEGAL QUESTION (Yes, I know this is the internet, and that you're probably not a lawyer)


BigIronCruiser wrote:
You could press this a little by replying with something like "I have no issue with this, but I will need a notarized letter stating your dissent". How can you be sure, after all, that it was actually the kids mom that sent the text?


Wow, I hadn't even considered that. So she'd have to go through the trouble of locating a notary? That would be entertaining for me at the very least.

I did add a very specific clause to my contract about who retains the rights, who is granted printing/personal use rights, and who is not allowed any rights to the images (her and her immediate family).

Thanks for your thoughts, BigIronCruiser. I like the way you think!



Aug 16, 2012 at 10:24 PM
lukeb
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p.2 #6 · LEGAL QUESTION (Yes, I know this is the internet, and that you're probably not a lawyer)


If you have a lawyer that you have used or know, or a friend of a friend, why not pose the question to him/her and know where you stand in Maine. Laws differ from state to state. Here, joint custody allows either of the parents to sign releases, etc.

That said, the law could be much different in Maine.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joint_custody



Aug 16, 2012 at 10:31 PM
tylerdrumm
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p.2 #7 · LEGAL QUESTION (Yes, I know this is the internet, and that you're probably not a lawyer)


Thanks Luke. Reading through laws really sucks, and I can't find where it explicitly states whether or not both parents need to consent.

5. Shared parental rights and responsibilities. "Shared parental rights and responsibilities" means that most or all aspects of a child's welfare remain the joint responsibility and right of both parents, so that both parents retain equal parental rights and responsibilities, and both parents confer and make joint decisions regarding the child's welfare. Matters pertaining to the child's welfare include, but are not limited to, education, religious upbringing, medical, dental and mental health care, travel arrangements, child care arrangements and residence. Parents who share parental rights and responsibilities shall keep one another informed of any major changes affecting the child's welfare and shall consult in advance to the extent practicable on decisions related to the child's welfare.

Since a photoshoot isn't regarding the child's welfare, does this clause make any difference?



Aug 16, 2012 at 10:54 PM
mlife
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p.2 #8 · LEGAL QUESTION (Yes, I know this is the internet, and that you're probably not a lawyer)


Almost this EXACT scenario happen to me a few years back but the wife had actually sent me a certified letter. I took the letter and the husbands signed contract to my attorney and he literally LAUGHED.... I did the shoot and sent her a link to a PUBLIC flicker album just to piss her off. Never heard from her again.


Aug 16, 2012 at 11:06 PM
John Caldwell
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p.2 #9 · LEGAL QUESTION (Yes, I know this is the internet, and that you're probably not a lawyer)


I'd cancel the entire contract. It's rare, when a warning flag of this brilliance has been raised, that you won't regret doing the job, I believe. The problem won't be the one now posing the threat; it will be something else. Something they won't be happy with.

Based upon the work you've posted here, I can't imagine you truly require this job.

John Caldwell



Aug 16, 2012 at 11:59 PM
Micky Bill
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p.2 #10 · LEGAL QUESTION (Yes, I know this is the internet, and that you're probably not a lawyer)


Wow, and you are wanting to stick your head into this hornet's nest of ex wives and brother in laws, children and people you want to stick it to because she;s a bitch.

There's a reason the police don't go alone to domestic disputes. People are crazy when it comes to divorce and custody...

Good luck! And have fun!



Aug 17, 2012 at 12:10 AM
 

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nolaguy
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p.2 #11 · LEGAL QUESTION (Yes, I know this is the internet, and that you're probably not a lawyer)


Hi Tyler,

Lifeís messy and so on Ė and I agree with another poster, this raises some interesting questions about getting releases from both parents (divorced or not) when shooting minors.

My opinion Ė the parent/child relationship is sacred. I donít really care what is legal. Unless a parentís dissent does damage to or takes away from the other parent or the child in question, Iím going to respect the dissenting parentís point-of-view no matter what a whack job they may be. This doesnít sound like either the father or the child are short-changed by you respecting the motherís request.

I know I know, you already said you donít plan on posting the photos, but stay with me.

To me, this is the rub.
tylerdrumm wrote:
It would mainly just grant me extreme personal satisfaction to find that she had no grounds to dictate what I do with my own photos.


You might have been referring to personal satisfaction regarding your artistic/intellectual property, but the entire tone of your thread makes it clear your personal feelings toward this woman are not a small factor here. Red flag. Serve her bad food or egg her car. But donít let stuff like this infect your decisions regarding your business.

The rest of the story, I think, is this: weíre ďpaidĒ for our photos in three ways. Service/product fees/prices, positive word-of-mouth and the marketing value of the goods we produce. Itís perfectly legitimate to say I charge: [$5 an hour + the marketing use of the images] Ė or Ė if I canít use them, I charge $10 per hour.

Best wishes sorting it out.



Aug 17, 2012 at 12:14 AM
time2clmb
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p.2 #12 · LEGAL QUESTION (Yes, I know this is the internet, and that you're probably not a lawyer)


You want to make things a hassle for her, show her whos boss in regards to the photos. Sounds like you just want to get even with her AND of course, we only have your side of the story here. Sounds like a bunch of petty bs.


Aug 17, 2012 at 12:33 AM
tylerdrumm
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p.2 #13 · LEGAL QUESTION (Yes, I know this is the internet, and that you're probably not a lawyer)


nolaguy wrote:
Hi Tyler,

Lifeís messy and so on Ė and I agree with another poster, this raises some interesting questions about getting releases from both parents (divorced or not) when shooting minors.

My opinion Ė the parent/child relationship is sacred. I donít really care what is legal. Unless a parentís dissent does damage to or takes away from the other parent or the child in question, Iím going to respect the dissenting parentís point-of-view no matter what a whack job they may be. This doesnít sound like either the father or the child are short-changed by you respecting the motherís request.

I know I
...Show more

Yes, I do have somewhat of a vendetta against this woman. She's been nothing but disrespectful to me behind my back without reason or merit. She's spread untrue rumors about me, and said bad things about my girlfriend who she's only met once (at her own wedding no less). For all I know, she may have even publicly talked bad about my photographic business. She really is a black hearted bitch for lack of a better term, so yes there is a definite chip on my shoulder.

You might have been referring to personal satisfaction regarding your artistic/intellectual property, but the entire tone of your thread makes it clear your personal feelings toward this woman are not a small factor here. Red flag. Serve her bad food or egg her car. But donít let stuff like this infect your decisions regarding your business.

You are probably right. I am in some ways letting my emotions get the best of me. It's always nice to have the legal upper hand though.

The rest of the story, I think, is this: weíre ďpaidĒ for our photos in three ways. Service/product fees/prices, positive word-of-mouth and the marketing value of the goods we produce. Itís perfectly legitimate to say I charge: [$5 an hour + the marketing use of the images] Ė or Ė if I canít use them, I charge $10 per hour.

Best wishes sorting it out.


Thanks Nolaguy, I really appreciate the time you put into your post and the perspective you offered. +rep

Mickey Bill and mlife, thank you for your responses as well. I value any and all input.

John Caldwell, I appreciate the kind words regarding my work, as well as your input. It means a lot. Thank you.

It's quite astonishing. I posted this on another forum, and got nothing but a bunch of high and mighty BS. Here at FM, I get opinions and ideas that are presented in a respectful fashion, and responses that are thought out, logical, and based on personal experience. Most likely because there's a much larger concentration of working professional photographers with this type of knowledge here. I must really say thank you to everyone who has responded thus far. You guys are great.



Aug 17, 2012 at 12:43 AM
nolaguy
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p.2 #14 · LEGAL QUESTION (Yes, I know this is the internet, and that you're probably not a lawyer)


That's kind, Tyler, thank you and youíre welcome.

I hope you found it useful. However, I wish I had worded the last part this way:

ďI charge $10 per hour. But, I like your look and will pay you $5 per hour if you let me use the images we make for my marketing.Ē




Aug 17, 2012 at 01:08 AM
tylerdrumm
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p.2 #15 · LEGAL QUESTION (Yes, I know this is the internet, and that you're probably not a lawyer)


nolaguy wrote:
That's kind, Tyler, thank you and youíre welcome.

I hope you found it useful. However, I wish I had worded the last part this way:

ďI charge $10 per hour. But, I like your look and will pay you $5 per hour if you let me use the images we make for my marketing.Ē



Haha! Maybe I'll try that on my next uncooperative client. ;-)



Aug 17, 2012 at 01:28 AM
wickerprints
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p.2 #16 · LEGAL QUESTION (Yes, I know this is the internet, and that you're probably not a lawyer)


With extreme trepidation I'm going to put my $0.02 in here.

I don't understand the calls to drop these clients completely. Part of the risk of doing business is the potential for complications, and if you're finding yourself running away at the slightest possibility of a problem, then you're not going to make much money, now are you? There's a reason why one incorporates and sets up the proper legal and financial structures. Every client you work for presents some exposure to liability, sometimes unforeseen.

That said, you are supposed to be a professional. Any time you even give the appearance of being unprofessional or of behaving in a personal capacity, you are unnecessarily increasing your exposure to liability. Allowing emotions to play a part in your professional conduct is incredibly unwise.

Consequently, you need to be apprised of the scope of your legal rights and responsibilities in providing the services that you do, and be sure to operate within it. The matter of photographing the child at all is questionable, even if the paying client is the legal father. If it is allowed (i.e., the mother's consent is not required, or she gives consent for you to photograph the child), then your ownership of the work is automatic--you do not need to bring up notions such as explicit denial of usage rights by the mother. And it is not your responsibility to educate or inform the mother of this fact, even if to secure her consent should it be required. If she doesn't realize she can't have the photos despite consenting to have them taken, that's her own fault for being stupid, since it's obvious she never paid for anything.

The bottom line is that once all necessary consent is given to create the work, it belongs to you. If someone violates the terms of your licensing by sharing the images in an unauthorized manner, then that is something you take up with the transgressor. But that's strictly in the legal realm. In the practical world, few photographers ever go so far as to act against their clients unless the violation is especially egregious, because as always, one must weigh the damages of infringement against the damages to customer relations.

And this last point is presumably why some of the responses have advised not to get involved at all. The law may grant us certain rights, but the exercise thereof may cause us harm in other ways. So we try to avoid putting ourselves in a situation where we might be likely to need to make such a choice.

In the end, however, it goes back to professionalism. This is a business you are running, not some kind of operation to exact social justice. The only real consideration here is whether or not you actually need the legal consent of the mother to photograph the child. Everything else is superfluous. If the photos end up in her hands, so be it. Life isn't ideal. If you get paid, your client is happy, and you don't get in legal trouble, I call that a pretty good deal. If, on top of that, you receive satisfaction and pride from your job, I call that a very good deal.

Life is much too short to let others make their miseries your responsibility. Yes, you could choose to avoid the situation entirely, but that's no way to live, much less run a business. If you maintain a professional, dispassionate, and level-headed outlook, you will not be led astray.



Aug 17, 2012 at 01:36 AM
Geo31
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p.2 #17 · LEGAL QUESTION (Yes, I know this is the internet, and that you're probably not a lawyer)


I haven't read all the posts. Don't need to (although I may be redundant).

Seriously? Do you really seek out this much drama?

I don't need to be a lawyer to answer this. It's her kid. Her desires trump yours. Period.

That said, do the dad a solid and just do the shoot (for the appropriate price). You don't need to splash the kid's photo on the web. Seriously....



Aug 17, 2012 at 02:41 AM
tylerdrumm
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p.2 #18 · LEGAL QUESTION (Yes, I know this is the internet, and that you're probably not a lawyer)


wickerprints wrote:
With extreme trepidation I'm going to put my $0.02 in here.

I don't understand the calls to drop these clients completely. Part of the risk of doing business is the potential for complications, and if you're finding yourself running away at the slightest possibility of a problem, then you're not going to make much money, now are you? There's a reason why one incorporates and sets up the proper legal and financial structures. Every client you work for presents some exposure to liability, sometimes unforeseen.

That said, you are supposed to be a professional. Any time you even give the appearance of
...Show more

Thank you for the time you took composing that post. I will proceed with this in the most professional manner possible. I am not turning down the job, and everyone is on the same page at this point in time.



Aug 17, 2012 at 02:44 AM
tylerdrumm
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p.2 #19 · LEGAL QUESTION (Yes, I know this is the internet, and that you're probably not a lawyer)


Geo31 wrote:
I haven't read all the posts. Don't need to (although I may be redundant).


Yep, you sure are! Thanks anyway.



Aug 17, 2012 at 02:45 AM
goosemang
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p.2 #20 · LEGAL QUESTION (Yes, I know this is the internet, and that you're probably not a lawyer)


this is one of those situations where you call your lawyer, pay $200 for ten minutes of their time and get the correct answer. and then you'll know the next time this comes up.

no way in the world would I get personally involved or act on my own emotions. play it totally cold and clean and you won't regret it.



Aug 17, 2012 at 02:54 AM
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