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Urgent advice needed RE licence usage & who owns the photos!

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  • Urgent advice needed RE licence usage & who owns the photos!

    I have a fashion shoot tomorrow morning and i've never done anything like this before... I told the client they would have 'unlimited licence usage'... but what does that actually mean?!

    I know I retain copyright, and they can do what ever they want with the pics... but can I use them in my promotions, social media, website etc? Or can I only do it once they've used them?

    If the model asks for copies can I say yes, no or yes but for x amount... or do the pics belong to the client?

    Probably should have looked in to this more than a day before admittedly
    Newcastle Photography
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  • #2
    What is in writing?

    You can give the client unlimited usage rights while still retaining all of your usage rights as long as you did not assign the client "exclusive" rights.
    The model's usage rights will be portfolio use of whatever is provided to her, at a minimum (unless she/he waves them), and as further dictated by the TOU she agrees to (signs).

    If the model is from an agency, or provided by the client, then that is probably decided between them. Most agencies will provide a release and TOU's in their own contract (voucher)...and they will charge according to the rights released by the model/agency and the "profile" of the client/job.

    Yeah, you really should have looked into this before...if no-one really knows what they agreeing to at this point, tomorrow might be a bit late. I suppose if you are in charge of it all you can put together your own agreements as you think should fit everyone and just try to slip it by...

    Edit: BTW, you *cannot* give the client "unlimited usage rights" unless the model/agency has first given them to you and there is some wording in the release that makes it "transferable" to the client...
    Last edited by sk66; 01-11-2013, 02:36 PM.
    Steve
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    • #3
      Originally posted by sk66 View Post
      What is in writing?

      You can give the client unlimited usage rights while still retaining all of your usage rights as long as you did not assign the client "exclusive" rights.
      The model's usage rights will be portfolio use of whatever is provided to her, at a minimum (unless she/he waves them), and as further dictated by the TOU she agrees to (signs).

      If the model is from an agency, or provided by the client, then that is probably decided between them. Most agencies will provide a release and TOU's in their own contract (voucher)...and they will charge according to the rights released by the model/agency and the "profile" of the client/job.

      Yeah, you really should have looked into this before...if no-one really knows what they agreeing to at this point, tomorrow might be a bit late. I suppose if you are in charge of it all you can put together your own agreements as you think should fit everyone and just try to slip it by...

      Edit: BTW, you *cannot* give the client "unlimited usage rights" unless the model/agency has first given them to you and there is some wording in the release that makes it "transferable" to the client...
      Thanks for the reply mate... no contract has been signed or anything yet as it's been a last minute booking. We are going to sort all that out before the shoot tomorrow.

      What would you suggest I put regarding the licence in the contract?

      I haven't told them they can have exclusive rights... just an unlimited usage licence. Should I add something like...

      "The photographer grants the client an unlimited usage licence whilst retaining copyright and a full usage rights for their own purposes"


      I don't know if the model is signed to an agency or not tbh... the client has just informed me they have got a model for the shoot... am I on sticky ground with this?
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      • #4
        Just found a template on the web and copied this whilst making a few changes:

        Licence Agreement:

        GRANT OF LICENSE: This license grants the Client ("Licensee") a single use, non-transferable, non-exclusive, non-expiring license to use the above-mentioned images for an unlimited time period. You may not sell, rent, lease, or sublicense the photos to any other companies or entities not mentioned in this license agreement. The photographer retains the full copyright and a full usage rights for their own purposes at all times.

        PERMITTED/PROHIBITED USES: The images may be used for any personal, commercial, non-profit, or editorial projects such as video, film, broadcast, multimedia, live performance, electronic, or print media, including advertising. The images may be backed up or archived as necessary to complete the above stated uses only.

        INDEMNIFICATION: You agree to indemnify and Andrew Hudson and Andy Hudson Photography harmless against any and all claims or liabilities asserted against Andrew Hudson and Andy Hudson Photography, arising out of access to these photos or in any connection with the breach of any of the terms of this agreement.


        Does that sound about right?
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        • #5
          it means that they can do whatever they want with the images. So, it they happened to sell them to the magazine, they get the money you don't. Good thing you both are going to sit down to hash the agreement over. Have them sign a contract so that you don't screw yourself. Give them limited rights to have them reprinted, but not to do anything they want with them.
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          • #6
            Sounds about right..might have to remove the "single use" part...Based upon the timeframe and permitted uses it seems pointless anyways. But I'd leave it as it might leave room to re-negotiate should they use it in an article and then want to use it in advertising (a second use?).
            The statement about the photographer retaining copyright is not necessary because they were not given up elsewhere.
            The model release is actually the company's problem. But it might seem more "professional" if you were aware of this and had something available to "save the day" should they be unaware/ill-prepared.
            Last edited by sk66; 01-11-2013, 06:17 PM.
            Steve
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            • #7
              Originally posted by Jim Bryant View Post
              it means that they can do whatever they want with the images. So, it they happened to sell them to the magazine, they get the money you don't. Good thing you both are going to sit down to hash the agreement over. Have them sign a contract so that you don't screw yourself. Give them limited rights to have them reprinted, but not to do anything they want with them.
              Jim, too late. He already agreed (verbally) to unlimited usage rights...the only thing to do now is ensure he's not giving up his rights (by making it non-exclusive transfer) and ensure he get's paid well enough to make it "worth it." I'm guessing that decision has already been made since he's already agreed to do the work.
              Steve
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              • #8
                Yea, you need to inform folks that this is not a work for hire situation where since they are paying for service, they are not to be taken as owning the actually work. People are so misunderstood these days in rights management. It's up for the photographers to educate their clients.
                http://pa.photoshelter.com/c/jimbryant
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                • #9
                  Originally posted by sk66 View Post
                  Sounds about right..might have to remove the "single use" part...Based upon the timeframe and permitted uses it seems pointless anyways. But I'd leave it as it might leave room to re-negotiate should they use it in an article and then want to use it in advertising (a second use?).
                  The statement about the photographer retaining copyright is not necessary because they were not given up elsewhere.
                  The model release is actually the company's problem. But it might seem more "professional" if you were aware of this and had something available to "save the day" should they be unaware/ill-prepared.
                  Thanks

                  I've got a model release form I'm taking for the model to sign just to cover that side of things... hopefully that should avoid any issues there.
                  Newcastle Photography
                  Newcastle Wedding Photography

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Jim Bryant View Post
                    Yea, you need to inform folks that this is not a work for hire situation where since they are paying for service, they are not to be taken as owning the actually work. People are so misunderstood these days in rights management. It's up for the photographers to educate their clients.
                    Hopefully the client will be happy with the wording of the licence... If she mentions anything about the 'unlimited usage licence' wording of my e-mail earlier in the week i'll explain I meant the licence doesn't expire and hope she's happy with that.

                    Not the best of starts to me shooting fashion but a lesson learnt if nothing else!
                    Newcastle Photography
                    Newcastle Wedding Photography

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                    • #11
                      I generally go for a;

                      "Non exclusive, limited licence".

                      The non exclusive means I can use them myself (and onwards if required). The limited licence then has more detail which includes what they can and cannot do with them. And usually general catch all sentences, because I don't like to over complicate things. Ie: No use by third parties. or No editing.
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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Biomech View Post
                        I generally go for a;

                        "Non exclusive, limited licence".

                        The non exclusive means I can use them myself (and onwards if required). The limited licence then has more detail which includes what they can and cannot do with them. And usually general catch all sentences, because I don't like to over complicate things. Ie: No use by third parties. or No editing.
                        Yeah I think I needed to learn the right phrases before saying x or y RE licences... It's all been really short notice so i just kind of said 'unlimited usage licence' thinking it meant no expiry etc... thanks for the phrase you use as i'll probably say something along those lines next time
                        Newcastle Photography
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                        • #13
                          If you bring a model release, and the model is from an agency, she/he will probably refuse to sign it. Again, the model release is NOT your responsibility here.
                          I would try to stay out of it...I would mention the need to the company rep, and if they are all screwed up/clueless say something like "well I have a general release you can use if she'll sign it." Hell, maybe it's a good idea to not mention it and only offer your "solution" if it comes up as an issue.
                          Steve
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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by sk66 View Post
                            If you bring a model release, and the model is from an agency, she/he will probably refuse to sign it. Again, the model release is NOT your responsibility here.
                            I would try to stay out of it...I would mention the need to the company rep, and if they are all screwed up/clueless say something like "well I have a general release you can use if she'll sign it." Hell, maybe it's a good idea to not mention it and only offer your "solution" if it comes up as an issue.
                            Ok good advice, thanks

                            So basically the whole model release is the responsibility of the person hiring them and as I'm just another person being hired too its nothing to do with me legally... Is that right?

                            Again thanks for your help as I'm clueless with this
                            Newcastle Photography
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                            • #15
                              Not exactly. The model release is the "responsibility" of the entity publishing the image commercially or in a manner that would otherwise violate the models rights to privacy/publicity... Most of the time a photographer doesn't need a release. You collect it to make the sale of an image easier.

                              Because you are not doing the publishing you do not need the release, even if you did hire the model. And because someone else is doing the publishing, if you collected a release it would have to be "transferable." This is typically covered by wording like "any media, any publication, etc" or "sub-licensable."

                              Now, here's the hook... Although you do not need a release here, you would need to acquire one if you wanted to publish the image commercially yourself, to make it easier to resell the image for commercial use, or to publish the images in a manner that would violate the models rights. Model releases can be acquired retroactively.


                              DISCLAIMER: I am not a lawyer/legal rep of any sort....
                              Last edited by sk66; 01-12-2013, 12:15 AM.
                              Steve
                              the Photographic Academy.com
                              SharpShooter Industries
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