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Archive 2013 · Copyright Laws with Newspapers and School
  
 
redclay92
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p.1 #1 · Copyright Laws with Newspapers and School


I'm currently a student at an University for a degree in photojournalism. One of the junior level classes is working for a local newspaper with a daily circulation of 39,000 as well as a pawalled website. My issue with the course is you are essentially paying $1200 for a paper to publish your work. From my understanding of the industry it's your portfolio that sells you and you should never give away your work for free. This idea seems like the worst possible outcome. I don't want to take the class if I have to pay. Is it legal for a University to force you into giving up your copyright on images and use free labor on a product that they profit off of to graduate?

My attitude would be slightly different if the paper was free but it is not.

Opinions or ideas would be much appreciated.



Feb 25, 2013 at 07:46 PM
mdude85
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p.1 #2 · Copyright Laws with Newspapers and School


Who says the University is forcing you to "give up" your copyright? I think you need to find out more information about the class.


Feb 25, 2013 at 08:27 PM
redclay92
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p.1 #3 · Copyright Laws with Newspapers and School


The class is required to graduate and they do not allow alternatives like internships.


Feb 25, 2013 at 08:31 PM
cwebster
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p.1 #4 · Copyright Laws with Newspapers and School


redclay92 wrote:
The class is required to graduate and they do not allow alternatives like internships.


Then you have the choice of taking the class or not graduating.

Life and especially university life, isn't fair, get over it. There are lots of situations ahead where you'll be given worse choices.

<Chas>



Feb 25, 2013 at 08:36 PM
_Rob_S_
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p.1 #5 · Copyright Laws with Newspapers and School


Consider the bigger picture. I wouldn't get too wrapped up over a few bucks at a local paper when my ultimate goal is a degree that should help me with a lifetime of earning in a career I have chosen.


Feb 25, 2013 at 08:38 PM
RustyBug
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p.1 #6 · Copyright Laws with Newspapers and School


Maybe if you thought about it context of a graduate student helping do the research work that the professor and school will benefit from ... while they still have to pay the lab fee's etc. While it doesn't change anything specifically, it might help to know that you aren't alone in the "fair/unfair" ranks.

Historically, the apprentice has always worked for "unfair" wages while the master benefits ... but if it is a good master, the apprentice will learn far beyond the pittance of "unfair wages", that will last a lifetime. Given that you're "paying for it" ... use that to fuel your motivation to extract the absolutely most from it that you can. I realize that you should be doing that anyway, but this just "ups the ante" at how serious/diligently your proceed. Their ball, their rules. That, or you can take your ball and go home to find some other place to play. When it's your ball, you get to make up the rules. I think most here would suggest, "Get in the game, and learn to kick butt" ... whose ball you choose to play with, your call.

You're not alone ... people are paying their "dues" in many different ways and places. I can't say that I wouldn't feel the same in your shoes, but .... keep your eye on the prize.





Feb 25, 2013 at 09:40 PM
Littleguy
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p.1 #7 · Copyright Laws with Newspapers and School


Sounds like an internship to me. Plus you get an instance portfolio / tear sheet of PUBLISHED works.

What would you rather have on your resume?

1) Freelance photographer for free newspaper and free websites

2) Employed as photographer for a paid-subscription based newspaper and paywall website with a portofolio of tear sheets of your published works

Are you sure that you lose all copyrights?

If it is work for hire agreement, than your employer usually provides you with all the tools you require to produce that work (e.g. they provide you with cameras and lenses).




Feb 25, 2013 at 09:53 PM
RustyBug
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p.1 #8 · Copyright Laws with Newspapers and School


And a "work for hire" ... usually involves payment for the work, not a "pay to play". Ultimately, it comes down to the fine print, so you might want to double-check the copyright issue as others have mentioned, not so sure you still don't retain.

So, is the $1200 ... are you talking about tuition for the course, or is that an additional fee above & beyond the tuition?

Based on the tuition rate for your school ... this sounds more like an school-industry partnership, and your $1200 is simply tuition for the course. There are many curriculum's around the country with a myriad of schools and industries partnering to give students a chance to be "where the action is" ... in the real world. If you are only talking about the fact that you're paying tuition for a course and part of your education is the opportunity to work in the real world ... I'd suggest you may have misunderstood /misrepresented things a touch.

It sounds like you're paying $1200 for a semester's worth of education ... and you're going to be getting a semester's worth of education ... on/off campus with academia/mentors.

I'm assuming this is the course in question:

Staff Photojournalism J4560/7560
A laboratory course exploring the photojournalist’s role in the news gathering process. Students enrolled in J4560/7560 work as staff photographers for the Columbia Missourian, the morning daily newspaper in Columbia, Mo., covering news, sports, features and food assignments. Photographers are also expected to originate single pictures and stories, and work on group projects, documenting an indepth story. Students work closely with editors, writers, and designers to learn the skills needed to thrive in newsrooms.

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

According to Wiki ... The newspaper is published by the Missouri School of Journalism, the world's first school of journalism. The article also says the paper is funded by the school, so the "foul play" at you being forced to work for them to profit ... ... they are simply collecting money to help subsidize the school/production costs, which in turn (theoretically) helps keep your tuition nominal. Not much different from the school charging admission to theatrical performances for the drama department that students are producing, while the school retains the till.

My .02 ... be sure and take a few business classes in finance to better understand the money flow. There is no such thing as a free lunch. You're paying for part of your education, I'm paying for part of your education, the subscribers to the newspaper are paying for part of your education ... and every other photographer in the country who pays taxes is paying for part of your education. Now, quit quibbling about your unfair tuition and go grow yourself into the photographer you aspire to be under the tutelage of such an historied program.

And let us know when you get your first Purlitzer.

Edited on Feb 25, 2013 at 11:23 PM · View previous versions



Feb 25, 2013 at 10:20 PM
 

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redclay92
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p.1 #9 · Copyright Laws with Newspapers and School


Thank you for your input, I was looking for outside ideas on this.

Assuming I retain the copyright, I should be able to sell photos to parents and anyone else who wants them, correct?



Feb 25, 2013 at 11:21 PM
RustyBug
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p.1 #10 · Copyright Laws with Newspapers and School


That depends ... depending on the subject matter, you may need property release or model release. Just because you own the copyright doesn't mean you have automatic license to sell them commercially. Hopefully, your curriculum will cover these issues as well.

The legalities are certainly something I would want to learn while I'm in school ... after all, it's your education that you are paying for ... learn all that you can, you'll need it out in the real world. I'd imagine that this will be a very distinct part of what is covered in your curriculum ... the difference between editorial publication and commercial publication, etc. I'm not qualified to make such distinctions ... but, hmmmm maybe someone at the world's oldest journalism program might be.

The business & legal stuff is rarely what we fell in love with our camera's about ... but it is necessary as a profession. Your education is to prepare you for the profession. embrace the business/legal knowledgeably as well as the PJ, etc.

GL ... HTH



Feb 25, 2013 at 11:27 PM
swoop
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p.1 #11 · Copyright Laws with Newspapers and School


So the gist is you're paying $1200 for an internship.

Yeah, that kind of sucks. Usually internships are working for free for experience, but in this instance it sounds like you're paying for the experience.

It's not the most fair deal but there are worse things to get roped into. You're essentially paying for a class. And at least in this one instead of just getting a handful of notes at the end of it, you're getting real world experience, and that is a valuable thing.



Feb 26, 2013 at 01:02 AM
Peter Figen
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p.1 #12 · Copyright Laws with Newspapers and School


I remember reading fine print when I went to Art Center College of Design stating that every image I made while at their school was owned by them. I remember keeping that in the back of my mind, and when I started shooting jobs before I graduated, I made sure to NEVER turn in one of those for an assignment. It would have never been okay for them to own my Willie Dixon or Doc Watson images. Whatever you do, read and understand the legal fine print, as it may come back to bite you in the ass somewhere down the road. At the same time, I've never heard of Art Center actually enforcing that language, but it was there nevertheless.


Feb 26, 2013 at 08:07 AM
mdude85
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p.1 #13 · Copyright Laws with Newspapers and School


redclay92 wrote:
Thank you for your input, I was looking for outside ideas on this.

Assuming I retain the copyright, I should be able to sell photos to parents and anyone else who wants them, correct?


That really depends. You should contact the school for more information. There may also be controlling institutions (such as the NCAA) that prohibit some types of images of players from being sold unless certain conditions are met.



Feb 26, 2013 at 04:34 PM
gschlact
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p.1 #14 · Copyright Laws with Newspapers and School


redclay92 wrote:
Thank you for your input, I was looking for outside ideas on this.

Assuming I retain the copyright, I should be able to sell photos to parents and anyone else who wants them, correct?


My 2cents worth-
Selling a photograph for personal use by the buyer does not constitute commercial use by you; thus enabling you to sell any image to which you own copyright without model release and to anyone but can have exceptions such as if the photo was taken such that it violates the persons reasonable expectation of privacy (ie: taken over the wall at you sunbathing neighbor in their backyard), and or certain images containing copyright or trademarks, and or if image was taken under certain contractual terms (example: such as using Credentials, or at events where you have agreed to certain terms as you bought a ticket etc). The copyright or trademark items inclusion in the photo is the most complex and you can/ should research extensively to get the gist, or avoid totally by making sure they don't exist in the photo in Pre or post processing. These limitations do not exist for use in journalism usage even if compensated. (Meaning journalism usage doesn't equal commercial use.)

The dpreview professionals forum is a bit more active than this FM version of you are looking to do more research.

Best of luck,

Guy



Feb 28, 2013 at 12:51 AM
wyofizz
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p.1 #15 · Copyright Laws with Newspapers and School


You better get some legal advice on this one. If you obtained the photo as a result of your press pass then that photo is for editorial use and can be sold on the news outlets website etc..
You would not have the right to sell for personal profit. The supreme court did not give you the right to sell images for profit when obtained with a press pass. Some attorneys say you may need a model release as your photos are not being used for editorial purposes. Unless the event venue allows you to sell photos of their event AND the media organization allows you to sell them.
A press pass does not give you a license to do what ever you want.



Mar 05, 2013 at 04:45 AM





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