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Archive 2013 · Work being published without Copyright info
  
 
Lunchb0x8
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Work being published without Copyright info


BEFORE READING THE REST OF THIS POST AND JUMPING TO CONCLUSIONS:
Since this issue had arisen, my employer, and the media person for our organisation, have advised me that they will do what they can to restore my metadata in the images used on the website, and that the removal was entirely by accident.

I am not considering legal action, as the issue has been acted upon and will be resolved before the work in question is published.


Please; continue reading.

I was recently asked to take some photos for my workplace to use on their website.

I explained that while I would provide the images and unrestricted licensing of them for free, I required my copyright IPTC metadata to be left in place as proof of my images belonging to me should I have to show them to a prospective client later.

This was a verbal agreement, so nothing in writing as such.

A mockup of the new site has been sent around, and my images are being used (hooray) but my copyright data has been stripped.

It appears to actually be a fault of the service used to upload images, but I have expressed that I don't want my images used with no copyright information.

So, please, what are my options?

Edited on Jun 27, 2013 at 01:31 AM · View previous versions



Jun 20, 2013 at 04:08 AM
Micky Bill
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Work being published without Copyright info


Do you mean your symbol or something imbedded in the file?

You have a few issues here first of all being no contract, second being it;s the place that you work, third being you did not specify what would happen if they didn;t fulfill their end of the 'agreement'. Forth is that hopefully they have copyrighted their website which could protect your work as well.

I have never had anyone ask for proof that an image was mine if I said it was mine...



Jun 20, 2013 at 06:42 AM
Lunchb0x8
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Work being published without Copyright info


I had my name, website and copyright logo embedded in the metadata.

I made it pretty clear to the media relations lady that failure to comply with my rights and requests as copyright holder, could and may be met with legal action.

As it turns out, the data being removed was through the site-dev not knowing about this arrangement, and he is trying to fix it.

Hopefully all will be well.



Jun 20, 2013 at 12:16 PM
BenV
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Work being published without Copyright info


This won't resolve well. Since it's your work place, its private property. Anything you photograph there, they have the last say on what it can and can't be used. All I see coming from this is 1) a written contract with things you both agree on, 2) images being removed and someone else doing them, or 3) you losing your job if you create enough fuss.

Depending on how much you like your job, and how far along in the printing process the images have gone, you might want to consider a lawyer.

If I was doing what you were doing, I would have watermarked the images with my website at very least. This is also a good reminder to always have a written contract.



Jun 20, 2013 at 04:00 PM
JohnBrose
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Work being published without Copyright info


Doesn't sound like anything was or will be printed, it's just for the web and it sounds like this was a freebee for the company so there wouldn't be any revenue lost in the future if the company doesn't "hire" lunchbox again. It would really depend on the website developer and if they are able to keep the exif-meta data on the files when uploaded to the pages. I personally would have asked for either a written photo credit or a watermark on the images if you are doing this for free and want any work to come from it. I doubt anyone will look at the file information on the web.


Jun 20, 2013 at 04:46 PM
Micky Bill
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Work being published without Copyright info


Metadata will be stripped by if you copy an image (with metadata) to a new canvas the metadata won't follow. It was most likely an innocent mistake

I don;t know where you work, what kind of company it is or AUS law. Suing your employer, without a contract? Really? You won;t be fired but things might be awkward for a bit, I dunno. Go to lunch with your contact and talk it out.

Choose the hill you want to die on.



Jun 20, 2013 at 06:00 PM
Lunchb0x8
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Work being published without Copyright info


Yea, I am working with our media person to get the site dev to fix the data, at worst, he will crop it as needed, and then send me the images to re-embed my data.

I think it should be fine, I just have an issue now, that when I approached my boss about it, he went off in a huff and told the dev to take the images off and never use them.

Thankfully, the media lady understood my problem.

My issue isn't with my name being seen, images will be credited to the right people, just that for integrity of my copyright I want the data to be there, and if they tried this with a photo submitted by a non-employee of the organisation, it could be so much worse.



Jun 20, 2013 at 10:56 PM
pr4photos
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Work being published without Copyright info


As far as I am aware its quite normal for images uploaded to have no metadata attached.


Jun 21, 2013 at 12:42 PM
Joseph Garcin
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Work being published without Copyright info


Your agreement is only as good as the paper it was printed on, and the pictures are only worth as much as you were paid.


Jun 21, 2013 at 12:58 PM
Access
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Work being published without Copyright info


Probably just the software that puts the site together is stripping it.

If you remember some of the old microsoft internet explorer "jpeg viruses" they exploited overflows (bugs) in internet explorer's jpeg viewer in which the metadata fields or other variable-length fields could overflow and then be used to hijack a computer into executing code. So a lot of the modern professional web designing software treats everything as 'risky' and strips it out, it's not just the older bugs that have since been mostly patched, but the future bugs one has to worry about.

I wouldn't really argue too much about it, it's not worth the stress or getting anyone at your job upset. Even if it seems like a little thing, people do remember the 'little things'.



Jun 21, 2013 at 01:13 PM
 

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alohadave
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Work being published without Copyright info


Lunchb0x8 wrote:
I had my name, website and copyright logo embedded in the metadata.

I made it pretty clear to the media relations lady that failure to comply with my rights and requests as copyright holder, could and may be met with legal action.

As it turns out, the data being removed was through the site-dev not knowing about this arrangement, and he is trying to fix it.

Hopefully all will be well.


You threatened to sue your employer?



Jun 24, 2013 at 04:24 AM
mdude85
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Work being published without Copyright info


Lunchb0x8 wrote:
I made it pretty clear to the media relations lady that failure to comply with my rights and requests as copyright holder, could and may be met with legal action.


Just curious, what's the difference between "could" and "may"?



Jun 24, 2013 at 03:21 PM
RustyBug
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Work being published without Copyright info


Micky Bill wrote:
Choose the hill you want to die on.


+1 @ choose your poison.

+1 @ likely an honest mistake. Think about it ... they are so "well versed" in the complex issues of the digital photography industry that they sought to hire an employee to do the work without a written agreement. How much more "well versed" do you think they are likely to be in the copyright, metadata, license, etc. issues.

It strikes me as the potential for a "blind leading the blind" kind of thing from the start ... which often incurs a steep learning curve. I suspect both sides can "learn" from this ... amicably if well handled in the right spirit.

Chalk this one up to your own learning curve ... the value of that is far more than you'll likely get out of trying to "play hardball" with your employer. If they made an honest mistake and it is a reasonable fix to the mistake, then extend the same courtesy that you would want extended to you if you had made an honest mistake, a reasonable opportunity to make good on it ... without a need to be strong armed.

You agreed (verbal) to let them have it for free (conditionally @ credit). Do you really want to bite the hand that feeds you and look like someone who goes back on his word over an innocent oversight/miscommunication? And, if you think they did it intentionally ... then do you think they are going to respond well to a suit (for which you have nothing in writing)? Rather than pour more fuel on the flames, pocket this one for "next time" you'll do your homework and have it in writing.

GL



Jun 24, 2013 at 04:30 PM
RustyBug
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Work being published without Copyright info


mdude85 wrote:
Just curious, what's the difference between "could" and "may"?


Hand written with lipstick on a cocktail napkin or kleenex has more "teeth" than anything that comes out of someone's mouth in a "he said/she said" situation. Telling someone you can/may/could/will/etc. take legal action when they know that you have nothing in writing really doesn't put much "bite" in your "bark" ... especially since you've already shown your hand to be empty with nothing in writing.

Live & Learn ... been there, done that.




Jun 24, 2013 at 04:45 PM
Lunchb0x8
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Work being published without Copyright info


mdude85 wrote:
Just curious, what's the difference between "could" and "may"?


Could, meaning they could be met with legal action from me or any other artist they don't follow the agreement as set out.

May, meaning I may very well seek legal action should they do it to an extent that pisses me right off.



Jun 25, 2013 at 11:37 PM
Lunchb0x8
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Work being published without Copyright info


alohadave wrote:
You threatened to sue your employer?


No, I told them breaching my copyright can be met with legal action, since they have breached it, I have asked them to work on fixing the issue before the site and images go public.



Jun 25, 2013 at 11:39 PM
alohadave
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Work being published without Copyright info


Lunchb0x8 wrote:
No, I told them breaching my copyright can be met with legal action, since they have breached it, I have asked them to work on fixing the issue before the site and images go public.


Yep, certainly sounds like a threat to me. Where do you think 'legal action' goes?



Jun 25, 2013 at 11:56 PM
RustyBug
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Work being published without Copyright info




What are you going to show the judge regarding the terms of the agreement when you drag them into court ... after they've pissed you off sufficiently to take "legal action".

It's good that you're trying to resolve this without "legal action" ... because I think you'd be a bit "penny wise, pound foolish" to try and take legal action against your employer without anything in writing. But, I'm not versed in Aussie "legal action", so maybe you should check with counsel as to whether or not you've got a leg to stand on.

I just think you're barking up the wrong tree @ "legal action". I'm not saying "roll over" ... but rather, work it out with them because that's likely all you've really got to go on anyway, unless you've added something in writing, like presenting them with an invoice with the "price" being the photo credit, etc.

Again ... check with counsel if you're really in the "legal action" mindset.

BTW, I get how they have breached the terms of your verbal agreement according to what you've stated, but ...how have they breached your copyright? It is obvious that they came into possession of the images by way of you providing the images to them. Also, an argument could be made that these were provided in a work for hire context if you were paid for your time to shoot them. Were you "on the clock" when you shot them?

Also, do you not still have the images with the metadata information in your own files? Or do you not have a copy of the images? And, if not how would you prove to a judge that you took them to begin with. If you've got the original files, what is the big deal? If not, now you've got nothing in writing and no files to show anybody as proof. If you need to show to a client that you are the creator of the image, just show them your files with the metadata in it.

I get that you're ticked at the verbal agreement not being fully adhered to ... I get that ... but your rationale for "legal action" @ metadata from a verbal agreement is kinda to me.

HTH ... GL




Jun 26, 2013 at 12:56 AM
Lunchb0x8
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Work being published without Copyright info


OK, well, now that everyone has had their say on me being an idiot....

Thanks for the input, I am going to be getting any agreement like this in writing from now on.

As for me "threatening", it was simply me advising them of what copyright laws mean in Australia and that modification of media to remove or circumvent copyright is an arrestable/fine-able offence.

Not every company knows what copyright means for the consumer, but, in Australia, removing a copyright notice is the same as copying a VHS but not hitting record until the copyright disclaimer has disappeared from the screen... at least this is what I am told by local pros.

My statement to them regarding what can happen if the data is tampered with, took place before they (unknowingly) did it, so saying that my statement was a threat, is the same as saying that warning a person that peeing on a police car or stabbing a person in the neck, before they do it, is an arrestable offence, is a threat.

Cautioning someone on the laws and their responsibilities around them is not a threat.

I appreciate those saying that without anything in writing that I don't really have a case, and I accept that, thus, my plan to get any agreement about my work, no matter how small, in writing.

I will be adding my next sentence to the OP so that people don't reply to my originally poorly thought out post without reading the rest of the thread;

Since this issue had arisen, my employer, and the media person for our organisation, have advised me that they will do what they can to restore my metadata in the images used on the website, and that the removal was entirely by accident.

I am not considering legal action, as the issue has been acted upon and will be resolved before the work in question is published.



Jun 27, 2013 at 01:30 AM
Peter Figen
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Work being published without Copyright info


If you're talking about them removing the metadata that is not part of the visible image, then you're making a huge mountain out of the tiniest molehill. No one is ever going to bother to download the images off your company's website just to view the metadata. No one cares. All you need is to have a visible photo credit next to the images or somewhere on the page saying images by you. Just the mere mention of legal action is enough get you unemployed if you're not careful as you may be considered a hostile employee. If this was a huge paid gig for someone other than your employer, it'd be a completely different story but this is a freebie for the company you work for.


Jun 27, 2013 at 09:30 AM
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