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Legal questions regarding HS sports photos
  
 
dbaphotography
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Legal questions regarding HS sports photos


I've been speaking with a company that is redecorating a couple of local restaurants. They want to make several murals using my sports photos from the local high schools.

Question 1:
I obviously own the image copyrights, but do I also need model releases from the athletes in the images for something like this?

This company is asking me to sign an agreement assuring them that I own the copyrights, but also stating that I would be responsible for all of their expenses, including legal fees, if there were any problems.

Question 2:
Does anyone besides me think I'd be crazy to sign such an agreement?

Thanks in advance,
Dave



Mar 13, 2014 at 06:47 PM
JPRPhotos
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Legal questions regarding HS sports photos


I am not an attorney, but I would not sign that.


Mar 13, 2014 at 08:20 PM
mkchang
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Legal questions regarding HS sports photos


You will need model releases.

I wouldn't sign that either. They are the ones that want to put them up, not you.



Mar 13, 2014 at 08:31 PM
Fish On
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Legal questions regarding HS sports photos


How many photos are we talking about for them to make a mural? That would be a lot of releases to obtain.

What are you getting out of it besides your photos just hanging in the restaurant and signing away that you are responsible for all expenses including any legal fees? If they want you to be responsible for all expenses, that would be forever. Is it worth your while?

Would you be able to advertise within the restaurant(s) for free?




Mar 13, 2014 at 10:16 PM
James Broome
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Legal questions regarding HS sports photos


http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1212744/0?keyword=sports,photo,usage#11552570


Mar 14, 2014 at 12:13 AM
John Korduner
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Legal questions regarding HS sports photos



1. You need releases

2. REPRESENTATIONS AND WARRANTIES, INDEMNIFICATION & LIMITS ON LIABILITY clauses are pretty standard. Agreeing to them is a personal decision.

-not a legal opinion



Mar 14, 2014 at 12:57 AM
dbaphotography
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Legal questions regarding HS sports photos


Very interesting...

I apologize for not realizing (or finding out) that this had already been discussed. (I don't spend much time in forums.) Thanks to James for pointing it out.

The company I've been talking to is Koroseal Interior Products Group (koroseal.com), and they are redecorating a couple of Applebee's in the area.

They have asked for 12-14 images for each of the two restaurants. My first legal question is really whether the display of such images in a restaurant constitutes a "commercial" use of the photos by the restaurant, and therefore requires model releases. I'm certainly not going to assume legal liability for that if it's an unsettled question.

It also seems to me that using the murals in the restaurants as advertising for me (e.g. by having my name or company info on the murals) would constitute a commercial use. And it's not worth my time to try chase down that many people and convince them to sign releases.

So I've come to the conclusion that the only way I'll do a deal is if they take responsibility for collecting any required release forms, I only accept liability for copyright infringement on my part (which won't happen), and if they pay me a reasonable sum for the images.

I'm still trying to figure out what a reasonable sum might be, so any suggestions on that topic would be most welcome.



Mar 14, 2014 at 12:57 AM
Caleb Williams
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Legal questions regarding HS sports photos


dbaphotography wrote:
The company I've been talking to is Koroseal Interior Products Group (koroseal.com), and they are redecorating a couple of Applebee's in the area.


Almost as soon as I read this, I knew it was for an Applebee's. They love feature local photographer's work in their restaurants. I'm nearly 100% certain this has come up before where an FMer was asked to provide images (for little to no money in that case, if I recall correctly). It's probably been a few years since then though.

dbaphotography wrote:
They have asked for 12-14 images for each of the two restaurants. My first legal question is really whether the display of such images in a restaurant constitutes a "commercial" use of the photos by the restaurant, and therefore requires model releases. I'm certainly not going to assume legal liability for that if it's an unsettled question.

While please keep in mind that I am not a lawyer and this information is for general use only, I would say that the use of these photos is non-editorial (ie., for news purposes, such as in a newspaper, magazine, TV News, or a new website or blog) it would either be Commercial or more likely retail. I'm sure it could be argued that your photos are used to promote a good or service (Applebee's International, Inc. and not your work, for the purposes of this part of the argument), the goal is more for decorative purposes (such as a restaurant that has a painting on the wall, or a baseball bat).

You would still need a release signed by the individuals picture (or their parents; or in some cases by a representative of the organization, such as an athletic director, president, etc.) saying you can use their likeness).

Also, you have not mentioned what level of sport this is. If it's youth, their probably aren't existing marketing contracts. They could be in high school (probably applies to a select few prep academies and non-public schools), but when you get into College and Pros, then you'll have to first deal with a rep from the school or legal department of the organization. For instance, the NBA probably wouldn't allow you to use photos from a Utah Jazz game (and if they did, there would probably some cut of the action to them). The Salt Lake City rec league softball team probably would have that problem.

dbaphotography wrote:
It also seems to me that using the murals in the restaurants as advertising for me (e.g. by having my name or company info on the murals) would constitute a commercial use. And it's not worth my time to try chase down that many people and convince them to sign releases.

The only argument I can see against this being non commercial use and promotion of goods and/or services (you) is if it's only a credit line: XYZ Photographer/ABC Agency and not contact information.

Tracking down the people involved is a decision only you can make and if you choose to do that, my suggestion is to make this a line item in the bill.

dbaphotography wrote:
So I've come to the conclusion that the only way I'll do a deal is if they take responsibility for collecting any required release forms, I only accept liability for copyright infringement on my part (which won't happen), and if they pay me a reasonable sum for the images.

I'm still trying to figure out what a reasonable sum might be, so any suggestions on that topic would be most welcome.

Now, the problem is I'm sure your idea of what your worth is not the same as what the restaurant thinks and I'm sure they'll try to lowball you or even get you to do it for free. Even if they say other photographers have done XYZ, take a stand to get as much money as you can (within reason). Of course, the market rate in middle-American may not be the same as LA or NYC.

While it would be illegal (collusion) to tell you what to pay, but some companies such as fotoQuote and BlinkBid exist to assist along those lines. Also, creating an account at Getty Images will give you access to doing mock pricing of their library of images.

I wish you the best of luck and please take a look at these links:

http://asmp.org/tutorials/pricing-photography.html#.UyKEAfldWSo
https://nppa.org/page/3277

Software:
http://www.cradocfotosoftware.com/fotoQuote-Pro/
http://blinkbid.com/

- Caleb



Mar 14, 2014 at 04:27 AM
turosan
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Legal questions regarding HS sports photos


There is no expectation of privacy when participating in sports viewed by spectators.
So you can publish for non commercial purposes without releases. Once there is a commercial purpose, in this case, for the benefit of the restaurant's promotion/advertising, you will need a release.

Also never sign an agreement where you may incur someone else's costs.



Mar 14, 2014 at 11:25 AM
dbaphotography
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Legal questions regarding HS sports photos


Many thanks for all the helpful responses.


Mar 14, 2014 at 01:53 PM
 

Search in Used Dept. 



dbaphotography
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Legal questions regarding HS sports photos


FWIW, I told the lady I've been corresponding with about my concerns, and even gave her a link to this thread. I told her I'd be willing to provide images if they worried about release forms and assumed the risks, and paid me a TBD amount.

She blew me off with a 'thanks for your time' email. I guess for them all of this is more trouble than it's worth.



Mar 14, 2014 at 05:28 PM
Trevorma
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Legal questions regarding HS sports photos


Next time ask if you can eat for free at Applebees if you go home every night and send out a tweet and facebook post telling your friends you just ate at Applebees.

I mean it's the same thing right? They want your work for free and will put your name on it. I say we all should be able to eat for free if we just let people know via social media that we just ate there..... fair is fair.....



Mar 14, 2014 at 05:49 PM
kwbarnes
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Legal questions regarding HS sports photos


It's not "more trouble than it's worth".

They are being paid by Applebee's to decorate the walls of the restaurant with photos. They want some fool to provide the photos for free, so they can increase their profits, at someone else's expense.

Your response showed them that you are not the fool they are looking for. They are still looking in your area for a fool, they just are done talking to you. They know there is a fool out there, they just have to find him/her.



Mar 14, 2014 at 06:14 PM
sivrajbm
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Legal questions regarding HS sports photos


Yep Caleb it was I that had posted a rant about this a couple of years ago. They just don't give up. From what I've seen they still get peoples work for free...


Mar 14, 2014 at 06:15 PM
P Alesse
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Legal questions regarding HS sports photos


dbaphotography wrote:
FWIW, I told the lady I've been corresponding with about my concerns, and even gave her a link to this thread. I told her I'd be willing to provide images if they worried about release forms and assumed the risks, and paid me a TBD amount.

She blew me off with a 'thanks for your time' email. I guess for them all of this is more trouble than it's worth.


I agree with everything you did besides offering her this link. Keep personal business matters personal. No benefit in letting a client know that you are discussing their proposal on a public forum. That will do more professional harm than good.

... just for future reference.



Mar 14, 2014 at 06:21 PM
Marty Bingham
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Legal questions regarding HS sports photos


You do not need a model release to sell a photo. The person buying the photo may or may not need a release depending on how they plan to use it.

Some buyers will not buy a photo of a person that doesn't have a release though.


Marty



Mar 14, 2014 at 09:55 PM
James Broome
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Legal questions regarding HS sports photos


Excellent point of clarification, Marty. I had forgotten that point.


Mar 15, 2014 at 12:37 AM
Caleb Williams
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Legal questions regarding HS sports photos


sivrajbm wrote:
Yep Caleb it was I that had posted a rant about this a couple of years ago. They just don't give up. From what I've seen they still get peoples work for free...

Glad I'm not crazy. Well, not more than normal.

dbaphotography wrote:
FWIW, I told the lady I've been corresponding with about my concerns, and even gave her a link to this thread. I told her I'd be willing to provide images if they worried about release forms and assumed the risks, and paid me a TBD amount.

She blew me off with a 'thanks for your time' email. I guess for them all of this is more trouble than it's worth.

Too bad they didn't want to pay (but I didn't expect as much). Their loss. You did what's best for your business in the long run.



Mar 17, 2014 at 11:13 PM
Caleb Williams
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Legal questions regarding HS sports photos


P Alesse wrote:
I agree with everything you did besides offering her this link. Keep personal business matters personal. No benefit in letting a client know that you are discussing their proposal on a public forum. That will do more professional harm than good.

... just for future reference.

Agreed 100%.



Mar 17, 2014 at 11:13 PM





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