What are my rights to old photos?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by none, Jul 7, 2008.

  1. none

    none Guest

    This is actually a copyright and ownership question, but I'm posting it here
    because this is the most heavily trafficked photo newsgroup.

    Friends of ours called me with some surprise to say that while they were at
    a local chain restaurant they noticed some old photos on the wall near their
    table. When they took a closer look they discovered that they were photos
    from my old high school, some of which were of plays which were done while I
    was there. While I'm not sure yet, I'm concerned that some of these may be
    photos that I took while I was there. Not only was I in a few of these
    plays, but I also took many photos during informal and dress rehearsals. In
    some cases the school asked if they could use some of my work for things
    like posters and the yearbooks, but in no cases did I ever turn over the
    negatives to them for their ownership. If I find that the high school gave
    this restaurant permission to use some reproduced photos for which I still
    own the negatives of (yes, this is before the days of digital, I'm sorry),
    do I have any rights as the original holder of these images?
     
    none, Jul 7, 2008
    #1
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  2. none

    nospam Guest

    In article <Uaeck.166$0V1.104@trndny01>, none <> wrote:

    > This is actually a copyright and ownership question, but I'm posting it here
    > because this is the most heavily trafficked photo newsgroup.


    actually, you might try misc.legal, since this issue has more to do
    with copyrights than it does photography, so i set the followup
    accordingly.

    based on your description below, it sounds like it's worth at least
    finding out what your options are. i'd suggest you contact a qualified
    attorney who deals with these types of cases. most will offer a free
    initial consultation, where you can find out if it's worth pursuing.

    legal advice from a newsgroup is worth what you pay for it (arguably
    less), since a qualified lawyer will tell you call one and discuss
    specifics and a non-lawyer will probably get some things (if not a lot
    of things) wrong.

    > Friends of ours called me with some surprise to say that while they were at
    > a local chain restaurant they noticed some old photos on the wall near their
    > table. When they took a closer look they discovered that they were photos
    > from my old high school, some of which were of plays which were done while I
    > was there. While I'm not sure yet, I'm concerned that some of these may be
    > photos that I took while I was there. Not only was I in a few of these
    > plays, but I also took many photos during informal and dress rehearsals. In
    > some cases the school asked if they could use some of my work for things
    > like posters and the yearbooks, but in no cases did I ever turn over the
    > negatives to them for their ownership. If I find that the high school gave
    > this restaurant permission to use some reproduced photos for which I still
    > own the negatives of (yes, this is before the days of digital, I'm sorry),
    > do I have any rights as the original holder of these images?
     
    nospam, Jul 7, 2008
    #2
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  3. none

    Paul Furman Guest

    John McWilliams wrote:
    > [rpd added back.]
    >
    > nospam wrote:
    >> In article <Uaeck.166$0V1.104@trndny01>, none <> wrote:
    >>
    >>> This is actually a copyright and ownership question, but I'm posting
    >>> it here because this is the most heavily trafficked photo newsgroup.

    >>
    >> actually, you might try misc.legal, ...


    If the photog kept the negatives that doesn't sound like 'work for hire'
    and the default is that the photog owns the copyright. I doubt it's
    worth suing anyone but you could certainly approach the restaurant with
    this claim and ask for credit and or payment. They may not take it
    seriously but the copyright ownership seems pretty simple with negatives
    in hand. Maybe offer a better selection of interesting prints to give
    them a reason to not just be upset that they ended up buying copyright
    material illegally because without substantial money not much is going
    to happen here. It might be interesting to track down how the photos got
    there.

    (not a lawyer :)

    >> based on your description below, it sounds like it's worth at least
    >> finding out what your options are. i'd suggest you contact a qualified
    >> attorney who deals with these types of cases. most will offer a free
    >> initial consultation, where you can find out if it's worth pursuing.
    >> legal advice from a newsgroup is worth what you pay for it (arguably
    >> less), since a qualified lawyer will tell you call one and discuss
    >> specifics and a non-lawyer will probably get some things (if not a lot
    >> of things) wrong.
    >>> Friends of ours called me with some surprise to say that while they
    >>> were at a local chain restaurant they noticed some old photos on the
    >>> wall near their table. When they took a closer look they discovered
    >>> that they were photos from my old high school, some of which were of
    >>> plays which were done while I was there. While I'm not sure yet, I'm
    >>> concerned that some of these may be photos that I took while I was
    >>> there. Not only was I in a few of these plays, but I also took many
    >>> photos during informal and dress rehearsals. In some cases the school
    >>> asked if they could use some of my work for things like posters and
    >>> the yearbooks, but in no cases did I ever turn over the negatives to
    >>> them for their ownership. If I find that the high school gave this
    >>> restaurant permission to use some reproduced photos for which I still
    >>> own the negatives of (yes, this is before the days of digital, I'm
    >>> sorry), do I have any rights as the original holder of these images?



    --
    Paul Furman
    www.edgehill.net
    www.baynatives.com

    all google groups messages filtered due to spam
     
    Paul Furman, Jul 7, 2008
    #3
  4. none

    Chris H Guest

    In message <sAfck.9915$>, Paul Furman
    <> writes
    >John McWilliams wrote:
    >> [rpd added back.]
    >> nospam wrote:
    >>> In article <Uaeck.166$0V1.104@trndny01>, none <> wrote:
    >>>
    >>>> This is actually a copyright and ownership question, but I'm
    >>>>posting it here because this is the most heavily trafficked photo
    >>>>newsgroup.


    When you do PLEASE state which country. I know local law but not foreign
    stuff.

    >>>
    >>> actually, you might try misc.legal, ...

    >
    >If the photog kept the negatives that doesn't sound like 'work for
    >hire' and the default is that the photog owns the copyright. I doubt
    >it's worth suing anyone but you could certainly approach the restaurant
    >with this claim and ask for credit and or payment.


    Or a bit of free food... Especially as you are likely to tell others
    about your pictures and they will get a little increased trade anyway.

    >They may not take it seriously but the copyright ownership seems pretty
    >simple with negatives in hand. Maybe offer a better selection of
    >interesting prints


    Good idea. Turn it positive. Use them as a gallery.. Prints some cards
    so any diners can find about you and your other prints. BTW if this is
    a local restaurant you may be able to sell prints to others who were at
    the school or in the plays

    >to give them a reason to not just be upset that they ended up buying
    >copyright material illegally because without substantial money not much
    >is going to happen here. It might be interesting to track down how the
    >photos got there.


    I agree the route might make an interesting storey work *WITH* the
    restaurant for local press item. "Photographer discovers archive
    pictures in ******* restaurant. "

    Nice piece of local history advertising for restaurant and you. Gloss
    over any breach of copyright as you are all friends now. Gives
    restaurant a theme, local history, more diners and give them a
    commission on selling any of the prints.

    Turn breach of copyright into something productive for all

    Otherwise see press and have reporter on hand when you demand back the
    pictures that are in breach of copyright etc and give them some bad
    publicity locally. :)

    But do make sure you have the "disputed" prints displayed either in a
    "gallery" else where in town or on your web site so that when people
    see one of them in the press with the story they want to see others.

    You win again and without courts or solicitors. :)





    --
    \/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\
    \/\/\/\/\ Chris Hills Staffs England /\/\/\/\/
    \/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/
     
    Chris H, Jul 7, 2008
    #4
  5. none

    Matti Vuori Guest

    "none" <> wrote in news:Uaeck.166$0V1.104@trndny01:
    I'm
    > sorry), do I have any rights as the original holder of these images?


    a) Depends on where you live and what the local laws say about it. You
    know, for example Sweden and China may have different copyright laws.

    b) Depends on what you really have agreed with the high school. Negatives
    and their ownership have nothing to do with anything.


    --
    Matti Vuori, <http://www.kotiposti.net/~xmvuori/index-e.htm>
     
    Matti Vuori, Jul 7, 2008
    #5
  6. none wrote:
    > This is actually a copyright and ownership question, but I'm posting it here
    > because this is the most heavily trafficked photo newsgroup.
    >
    > Friends of ours called me with some surprise to say that while they were at
    > a local chain restaurant they noticed some old photos on the wall near their
    > table. When they took a closer look they discovered that they were photos
    > from my old high school, some of which were of plays which were done while I
    > was there. While I'm not sure yet, I'm concerned that some of these may be
    > photos that I took while I was there. Not only was I in a few of these
    > plays, but I also took many photos during informal and dress rehearsals. In
    > some cases the school asked if they could use some of my work for things
    > like posters and the yearbooks, but in no cases did I ever turn over the
    > negatives to them for their ownership. If I find that the high school gave
    > this restaurant permission to use some reproduced photos for which I still
    > own the negatives of (yes, this is before the days of digital, I'm sorry),
    > do I have any rights as the original holder of these images?
    >
    >



    Wouldn't the best thing to be to first examine the photos, see whether you
    still actually have negatives if they are yours and then make a decision?
    It isn't as though you are losing huge amounts in royalties, in fact it all
    sounds a rather eager and a little petty. There may be a great many other
    people with legitimate photos of your high school taken while you were a
    student. It would be amazing if there were no other photos, particularly of
    plays. People like to record such things.

    I do not know what privacy laws apply where you live, I am only familiar
    with Australia and parts of Western Europe, but is a high school regarded
    as public property for the purposes of taking photographs? It might be the
    case that in order to assert copyright you will need to provide an original
    authority?

    Secret Squirrel


    --

    Ingrid Rose

    clandestin.ecureuil(insert missing symbol here)gmail.com
     
    clandestin_écureuil, Jul 7, 2008
    #6
  7. none

    tony cooper Guest

    On Mon, 07 Jul 2008 18:12:49 +1000, clandestin_écureuil
    <> wrote:

    >none wrote:
    >> This is actually a copyright and ownership question, but I'm posting it here
    >> because this is the most heavily trafficked photo newsgroup.
    >>
    >> Friends of ours called me with some surprise to say that while they were at
    >> a local chain restaurant they noticed some old photos on the wall near their
    >> table. When they took a closer look they discovered that they were photos
    >> from my old high school, some of which were of plays which were done while I
    >> was there. While I'm not sure yet, I'm concerned that some of these may be
    >> photos that I took while I was there.

    >
    >Wouldn't the best thing to be to first examine the photos, see whether you
    >still actually have negatives if they are yours and then make a decision?
    >It isn't as though you are losing huge amounts in royalties, in fact it all
    >sounds a rather eager and a little petty.


    A *little* petty? Sounds a lot petty to me.



    --
    Tony Cooper - Orlando, Florida
     
    tony cooper, Jul 7, 2008
    #7
  8. none

    Chris H Guest

    In message <>,
    Jer <> writes
    >Matti Vuori wrote:
    >> "none" <> wrote in news:Uaeck.166$0V1.104@trndny01:
    >> I'm
    >>> sorry), do I have any rights as the original holder of these images?

    >> a) Depends on where you live and what the local laws say about it.
    >>You know, for example Sweden and China may have different copyright
    >>laws.

    >
    >Copyright? China? I can't believe I saw these two words used in the
    >same sentence!! Are you some kinda comedian? That's funny.


    China has copyright laws... they just respect international law in the
    same way the US does.

    Fortunately with China their wavering only tends to be things like
    copyright and IP not illegally invading other countries and starting
    wars
    --
    \/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\
    \/\/\/\/\ Chris Hills Staffs England /\/\/\/\/
    \/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/
     
    Chris H, Jul 8, 2008
    #8
  9. none

    richard Guest

    On Sun, 06 Jul 2008 19:26:53 -0700, John McWilliams
    <> wrote:

    >[rpd added back.]
    >
    >nospam wrote:
    >> In article <Uaeck.166$0V1.104@trndny01>, none <> wrote:
    >>
    >>> This is actually a copyright and ownership question, but I'm posting it here
    >>> because this is the most heavily trafficked photo newsgroup.

    >>
    >> actually, you might try misc.legal, since this issue has more to do
    >> with copyrights than it does photography, so i set the followup
    >> accordingly.

    >
    >Well, that's plain wrong. X-posting is a better way, but sending it off
    >to a group unknown and unused by 99.6% of the folks here is uninformed.
    >
    >> based on your description below, it sounds like it's worth at least
    >> finding out what your options are. i'd suggest you contact a qualified
    >> attorney who deals with these types of cases. most will offer a free
    >> initial consultation, where you can find out if it's worth pursuing.
    >>
    >> legal advice from a newsgroup is worth what you pay for it (arguably
    >> less), since a qualified lawyer will tell you call one and discuss
    >> specifics and a non-lawyer will probably get some things (if not a lot
    >> of things) wrong.
    >>
    >>> Friends of ours called me with some surprise to say that while they were at
    >>> a local chain restaurant they noticed some old photos on the wall near their
    >>> table. When they took a closer look they discovered that they were photos
    >>> from my old high school, some of which were of plays which were done while I
    >>> was there. While I'm not sure yet, I'm concerned that some of these may be
    >>> photos that I took while I was there. Not only was I in a few of these
    >>> plays, but I also took many photos during informal and dress rehearsals. In
    >>> some cases the school asked if they could use some of my work for things
    >>> like posters and the yearbooks, but in no cases did I ever turn over the
    >>> negatives to them for their ownership. If I find that the high school gave
    >>> this restaurant permission to use some reproduced photos for which I still
    >>> own the negatives of (yes, this is before the days of digital, I'm sorry),
    >>> do I have any rights as the original holder of these images?



    The photographer owns the copyright. Period. Or does he?
    In this case, permission was granted to publish in posters and a
    yearbook. NOT to be distributed publicly otherwise. That could
    possibly be a breach of contract.

    Were there others also doing the same thing? Could be the work of one
    of them as well.

    What you should do is print one of those photos and compare it to the
    one posted. Then ask the owner of that poster how they obtained it. It
    might be that the school just gave them away after their use.

    Unless money changed hands for that poster, you probably don't have
    much of a case. As no real written contract was signed, you just might
    have to live with the flattery and ask the owner to post your name on
    it as the photographer.
     
    richard, Jul 9, 2008
    #9
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