Monday, March 28, 2011

Copyright: Know it or Blow it

American Photographic Artists has an excellent program that is ongoing - Copyright, Know It or Blow It - which is travelling the country, and Topics to be discussed include:

-- What To Do When Your Image Has Been Infringed

-- How And When To Choose An Attorney

-- Putting Copyright To Work For You

I have spoken (and am speaking) at several of them as time and my schedule permits. To learn more about the FREE program, visit the APA site here.

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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Google v. Authors

Much has transpired in the case between Google and book authors. Back in 2009 it was determined that photographers are not authors (Techcrunch - 11/09 - Judge In Google Book Settlement Case Says Photographers Are Not Authors) and were refused access to the Google lawsuit.

On March 22, the judge who is overseeing the possible settlement between Google and the authors rejected their agreement. The prime reason the judge rejected the agreement was that it would have been a huge exemption to existing copyright law, in that Google's "registry" of copyrighted material they would have been collecting would have automatically been included unless the authors took action to opt out.

Fortunately, while the outcome of this case doesn't directly affect photographers, the results are insightful as professional photography organizations continue to press a seperate lawsuit against Google (more information here).

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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Stock Artists Alliance Shuts Down

The Stock Artists Alliance, an organization dedicated to a focus on the rights and needs of stock photographers, shuts down in April, according to Roy Hsu, David Sanger and Betsy Reid, all former officers of SAA. Formed in 2001 to combat encroachments on revenue and rights that Getty Images was demanding of photographers, it grew to serve a broader audience as it expanded.

We wrote about SAA back in 2007 (Photo Business News - 9/07 - God Save the Alliance) when they were releasing a white paper on the rampant infringements that are ongoing on the internet. When Reid, whom I count among my friends, was hired by the Professional Photographers of America (SAA announcement, 3/09) I was concerned for the future of SAA, as she was really the cornerstone of the organization.

The demise of SAA parallels the demise of the stock photography in general. The money just isn't there for the creator, however, it seems, the corporate giants that the SAA was founded to fight, still sees money. If nothing else, they see an unending flow of images from all comers, most as doe-eyed contributors who have no concept of their rights, or the value of their images.


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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Egregious Demands by Gaga and Ms. Jackson

We ain't babies, Janet, and yes, Miss Jackson you're nasty. A colleague sent along this demand from Janet Jackson's "people" for photographers looking to cover her concerts, which most definitely is Egregious :


Juggernaut Productions, Inc.
c/o Hertz & Lichtenstein, LLP
450 N. Roxbury Drive, 8th Floor
Beverly Hills, California 90210
Attn: Seth Lichtenstein, Esq.

Dated as of ________________________, 2011

You ("Photographer") have requested permission to photograph Janet Jackson ("Artist") at and/or in connection with the ________________________, 2011 live concert/personal appearance by Artist (the "Performance"). Any and all photographs and/or other recorded material embodying the images of Artist taken by Photographer are referred to herein as the "Photographs". For good and valuable consideration, receipt of which is hereby acknowledged, Photographer is hereby granted such permission, conditioned upon and subject to the following:

1. Right To Photograph: Photographer shall have the limited right to capture still photographs of Artist solely during the first three (3) songs performed by Artist at the Performance. Photographer shall not have the right to use any "flash" in connection with any such photographs.

2. Ownership/Rights:
(a) All rights (including all copyrights) in and to the Photographs shall be owned by Juggernaut Productions, Inc. (“Company”) as a "work-made-for-hire." In the event that the Photographs are determined not to be a "work-made-for-hire," this agreement shall constitute an assignment to Company of any and rights in and to the Photographs. At Company’s request, Photographer hereby agrees to provide Company with one (1) complete set of contact sheets of any and all Photographs taken in connection with the Performance, for personal, commercial and/or archival use by Company and Artist (and the licensees and designees of Company and Artist). Company and Artist (and the licensees and designees of Company and Artist) shall have the right, without any obligation to Photographer or any third party, to use and exploit the Photographs in any manner.

(b) Photographer shall have the limited right to use certain Photograph(s) expressly approved in writing by Artist, in a single instance, solely as part of a news item relating to the Performance in the news publication of which Photographer is an employee/agent. Any other use of the Photographs (including, without limitation, any syndication of the Photographs, any
additional use in connection with the news publication of which Photographer is an employee/agent, or any use in other publications) is subject to Company’s prior written consent in each instance. The Photographs may not be used in any manner which could imply an advertisement or endorsement by Artist of any company, person, product or service. By way of
example, btt without limiting the foregoing, neither Photographer nor the news publication of which Photographer is an employee/agent shall have the right to embody the Photographs (or any portion thereof) in or on any items of merchandise or in connection with any advertisement or promotion of any person, product or service whatsoever. If the Photographs are to be printed together with any editorial, news or other informational text, the final edit of such text shall be subject to Artist’s prior written approval. Photographer shall have no other rights with respect to the Photographs, and Photographer shall not assign, license or transfer such rights. All rights in and to the Photographs not expressly granted pursuant to this subparagraph 2(b) are reserved by Company and Artist.

3. Miscellaneous:
(a) Without limitation of the other remedies to which Company and Artist may be lawfully entitled, any breach of the terms hereof shall result in the immediate rescission of all rights granted by Company hereunder and shall be subject to injunction by any court of competent jurisdiction. Without limiting the foregoing, (i) Photographer shall be held liable for any and all damages suffered by Artist and/or any and all third parties in relation to the breach by Photographer of the provisions hereof, and (ii) any payment or other consideration or benefits payable to or received by Photographer in connection with the unauthorized use or disclosure of the Photographs shall be the property of Company and shall be immediately turned over to Company by Photographer or held in trust by Photographer for Company.

(b) This agreement shall constitute a binding contract, construed in accordance with the laws of the State of California. Photographer hereby consents to the jurisdiction of the courts of the State of California.



Print Name:

Employee/Agent of
(Name of Publication/News Group)

Seriously? I am sure that the many legitimate news outlets whom have photographed "Ms. Jackson" have not signed this, nor agreed to it. Photo District News details a similar demand by Lady Gaga (here), which is ridiculous. These "contracts" likely would hold little water nor stand up in court, but it stands that artists continue to devalue and disrespect their fellow creatives with contracts like these.

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