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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just returned from a cruise. The cruise ship photographer took a picture of us and we bought it..I took the 8x10 to Walmart to have copies made. The gal there said I cant unless I get written permission from the cruise line? If I paid for it and it is of ME shouldn't I own the photo? If I am wrong fine, but if not I sure would love written confirmation to put in the gals face,she was rather snotty! If anyone knows where to find that answer let me know. I cannot seem to find the info I need
 

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She's probably right....

Its a lot like intellectual property. Just because you bought the book doesn't mean you can use the author's ideas as your own. Even if he autographed the book and used your name when he did.

Unless the photographer gave you - in writing - explicit and complete use of the photo, it still legally belongs to the photographer. You paid her for her expertise and she supplied you with a copy of her work for the same fee.

Most photo reproduction places recognize that principle and don't want to get into a possible legal mess with a photographer over property rights which rest with the photographer.

My wife is a professional photographer and has had to deal with folks using her pictures as their own. Copyright laws are designed to protect the "author" of things such as written words and photos.

In one instance, a person scanned a photo into a computer with a significant loss in resolution and then posted it on the internet and implied, but didn't specificaly say, that the person took the photo.

Bottom line - my wife had to pay an attorney to get the picture removed which was legally hers, and also of inferior quality than the photo she actually took. Even if the person had named my wife as the photographer, the person did not have the right to duplicate the photo without my wife's permission and control over the quality of the reproduction.

Now all of her proof photos are watermarked to avoid reproduction and when she sells a photo or photos, the buyer signs a form which say they understand the photos are the property of the photgrapher and reproduction without permissin is forbidden. Conversely, if she chooses to use a photo of an individual in advertising or on her web site, she gets written permission from that person to use their face for that purpose.

-BCB
 

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It's a gray area of copyright law. If you get wedding pictures made, you get prints, but the photographer holds the negatives and copyright, so technically, you can't reproduce your wedding pictures in "People Magazine" without his release (when you get rich and famous).

Most places like Walmart are very cautious about these things because of the potential of lawsuits.

I would suggest taking it somewhere else, or cutting off the part that says "XXX Cruise lines".

You might also try going to a real photo store (if you can find one) as they are not so concerned, because Cruise lines won't waste their time on a local photo store.

.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I think so

It may fall under the grey area of fair use as there is no relase involved etc.I got my copies so no big deal. I guess I wanted more info to prove the gal wrong becasue the way she acted more than anything ..lol
 

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A local wedding photographer here recently sued the mother of the bride of a wedding he was contracted to shoot. And the "local" photo shop that reproduced them...

Apparently this was a big society type wedding that cost tens of thousands of dollars... seems the bride's mom contracted for the shoot, bought one set of prints and then had dozens of copies made...

This guys prices are supposedly very high, but he's the top guy around and his reputation is very good.

He won the case and the Mother had to pay him over $10,000 in restitution and another $15,000 in punitive damages as she had signed off on the agreement that he owned the rights to the photo's.

The local shop that reproduced them had to pay him another $10,000......

His original bill for the shoot and one copy of prints was $3600.00!

I guarantee you no one will ever steal his work again.

So in the end the guy ended up with nearly $40K for shooting one stinking wedding...
 

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Walmart goes beyond the letter of the law.

To the point of being ridiculas. I made some pictures myself, had the negatives and they would not print them because they looked 'professional'. Anybody can hang some Christmas paper on the wall, hang a couple of lights and make 'professional' pictures. My daughter's wedding pictures were bought with the right to reprint. Walmart still wanted written proof every time we took the CD to make reprints.
If the photos have the photagrapher's sticker or printed name on the back, assume he retains ownership. If not, go to CVS or Walgreens. They are more customer friendly.
 

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To the point of being ridiculas. I made some pictures myself, had the negatives and they would not print them because they looked 'professional'. Anybody can hang some Christmas paper on the wall, hang a couple of lights and make 'professional' pictures. My daughter's wedding pictures were bought with the right to reprint. Walmart still wanted written proof every time we took the CD to make reprints.
If the photos have the photagrapher's sticker or printed name on the back, assume he retains ownership. If not, go to CVS or Walgreens. They are more customer friendly.
Can I assume you got written permission to use for just that purpose when you purchased the photos? And all along I thought Walmart didn't have any integrity....? It sounds like to me that they err on the side of good judgement where they legally should to protect against theft......

What they are protecting is the same thing you'd be protecting if I walked up to your shooting bench at a range and decided to take possession of your rifle and to shoot it without your permission. Except you'd probably be a lot more vocal about it.

Good photographers are not easy to find just anywhere. That's why their work is legally protected from theft, and being able to sell their work is typically what separates them from the "Christmas paper hangers"......

And the copyright laws are very similar in purpose as to how I would guess you'd feel justified in protecting your rifle from improper use by others at a rifle range....

Good on Walmart..... :)

-BCB
 

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Hopefully this will answer your question..

Any photographs, taken by a professional, be it a person, company or in this case a cruise line, are "copyrighted". Sometimes the photographer will stamp the back of the photo, or use special paper that shows a copyright symbol or watermark, or will label his/her slides with a copyright symbol. Sometimes, in the case of a big company, like Olan Mills, their name will appear on the front or back of the picture. Whenever a photograph is copyrighted, no one, and this includes CVS, Walgreens, Wal-mart or a big company like Wolf Camera or Ritz Camera, can LEGALLY reproduce that photo without written permission of the photographer or company. I am a professional Nature Photographer, who has worked part-time with Wolf Camera, and I know that Wolf Camera will not re-produce "copyrighted" pictures. I would love to find someone copying my images without my permission.. The last time this happened to a professional Nature Photographer, him and his attorney contacted the store in violation, and the settlement was six digits.

Don't get mad at the stores for not copying the pictures, they're are just following the law..

Most of the time, if you would have asked the Cruise line, they would have sold you the rights to your photograph for $20 - $30, and you could have had all the pictures you wanted, legally..


Dave
 

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Yes, Bayou Boy, and your reply sounds like the Walmart Lady.

I did not like her attitude either. I did buy those rights for the wedding pictures and I did make the other 'professional' photos at home.
 

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Sorry to rile you.....

I never questioned your right to reproduce the wedding photos or whether you made the other "professional" prints.... You plainly stated you bought the rights to the wedding photos.

All I was saying is I assumed you got a piece of paper granting reproduction permission for the wedding photos for your use when you wanted to reproduce your wedding photos. The photo vendor just needs some pooof to operate legally......

I'm sorry photo vendors trying to do the right thing, and me too, ruined your day. :rolleyes: But I doubt I'll lose any sleep tonight over it.

I really hope tomorrow is better for ya'.....

-BCB
 

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Good enough.

My point is the the Walmart personel go overboard. They would not believe that I made those pictures, thus calling me a liar. Since then I take my photo work elsewhere and recommend others do the same, as I did here.

Not everybody is out to rob somebody. Twenty five years ago I spent several hundred dollars and bought better than average camera equipment. If you are a good shot with a gun, you can be good with a camera too. Really it is much the same principle.

I have a right to reprint my photos. They assume me guilty of photo thief and had no idea who I was or what I could do with a camera.
 

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It may fall under the grey area of fair use as there is no relase involved etc.I got my copies so no big deal. I guess I wanted more info to prove the gal wrong becasue the way she acted more than anything ..lol
This is a common question that the cruise industry gets. And the answer is Yes, she was right! You do NOT own the copyright to those photos that you bought.

Which cruise line did you go on? I know that Royal Caribbean, Holland, Cunard, and Celebrity cruise lines all contract their on board photography to a company called the Image Group. And you can get a release form from them for free. Just go to this web page to order it:

http://www.image.com/html/post_cruise.html

I do not know what the other cruise companies do, as I do not work for any of them. But I would have to imagine that in order to be competitive, that they have the same policy.

People ask the staff on cruise ships all the time to take photos of them using their own camera. And you will generally find the staff friendly enough to snap such a photo for you. So consider doing that on your next cruise.

Lance in Orygun
 

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My point is the the Walmart personel go overboard. They would not believe that I made those pictures, thus calling me a liar. Since then I take my photo work elsewhere and recommend others do the same, as I did here.
But why would you want to do that? There is no way a copy is going to be able to exactly match the original print in quality.

People generally make reprints from either the photo negatives, or image files, in the case of digital cameras.

Lance in Orygun
 

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Not about just photos, but amusing...

I copyright everything I write, and all my photos. So do the magazines I write for. I took a copy of a magazine into Kinko's and wanted 20 copies of an article so I could mail them to readers with questions.

The Kinko's clerk refused, saying I had to have written permission from the author first. I grabbed a sheet of scrap paper and wrote: "Rocky Raab has full permission to reproduce any of my work in any quantity. Signed, Rocky Raab"

She looked at me like I was a moron - and then I showed her my business card and ID.

But I genuinely appreciated her initial refusal. I protect my work as much as anyone else.
 

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Thanks Guys!

I have been following this post with great interest.
I am a portrait photographer herein NE Wyoming and was reluctant to post anything about copyright laws for fear of being attacked. Most people don't understand the laws that are to protect musicans, writers, and photographers.
"Hey! - I bought the proofs so I can copy them, they are mine."
Sorry, thats not how it works with copyright laws. When you copy someones work (music, articals, or photography) you are stealing income from that person.
Thanks for helping explain it to everyone Dave, BCB, Lance, Rocky, (did I miss anyone). :)
Fred
 

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Amen, Sundance. The problem is just as you described. People buy one copy of something (a song, a magazine, a photo proof, etc) and think they can do whatever they want with it. And that's not true.

The truth is that you can do whatever you want with THAT ONE COPY. You can hang it on your wall, play it in your stereo, burn it up or use it for target practice. But you only own that one copy, no others. You want to play with more copies? Just buy more copies.
 

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...so how does one copyright their works

???
 

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All photographs, slides, and digital images, are technically "copyrighted" as soon as you take them.. From the time you push the shutter the images are yours.. Most photographers will used stick-on labels with the copyright info on them, or a rubber stamp and stamp the back with permanent ink, or use a photo paper that has a copyright watermark built into it, or will place their name on the front of the photograph, usually in the lower RH corner. In the case of slides, they will label their slides with small labels on each edge of the slide, or use a rubber stamp with permanent ink and stamp the edges of their slides.. Digital images are harder to mark, but usually the photographer will save his images to a DVD and send a seperate file for publication. Any question and he has the original file on his DVD, and by right-clicking on the image will tell the date, time, lens used, shutter and aperture used and additional info. This information is placed in the file by the camera. Usually, when a photographer fills up a DVD, it will be registered with the Copyright office.
This copyright business is a real pain in the a**, but it is a "must do" for any professional photographer, if he doesn't want his images "stolen".

And make no doubts about it, there are lawyers who specialize in Copyright Violations, and love to prosecute people who use someone else images without permission..

Dave
 

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Aceball, in the case of written works, all you actually need to do is attach the phrase "Copyright(symbol) 2007, your name" within a document, and it IS copyrighted. The way the law is written, you do not have to file an original copy of the material until and unless you wish to challenge someone else's use of it. That does open the small but real chance that some other jerk might duplicate your work and file it (with the fee) and beat you out of the copyright, but that is a VERY slim chance, especially if you could show prior public display - as on a website.

In the case of published works, the publication date is proof enough.
 
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