MISSION STATEMENT - This site is dedicated to professional music photographers. Our mission is to advocate sound business practices, warn against predatory client practices, provide helpful and educational resources, and foster a sense of community. All discussions related to capturing, processing, cataloging and licensing music photographs are welcome.

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Legal

Actual Rights Grabbing Contracts

 

These are actual photo release forms photographers were asked to sign in exchange for receiving their photo pass at the venue or prior to arriving. They are provided here to educate all concert photographers about the egregious, rights grabbing language that management and promoters and artists are taking away from photographers. If you are presented any release form at a concert that asks you to turn over any rights to your photographs, or to turn over copies of your images, or restricts use of your photographs, you are encouraged to corral all of the photographers there and ask all of them to decline (do not sign) the form.

10 Ways to Fight for Your Digital Rights as a Photographer

I received a link to this from Cradoc Software, the makers of fotoBiz and fotoQuote. The article is written by Paul Melchner and makes some excellent points. We see more and more publications moving from print to electronic distribution. We need adapt how we license our work to insure we are paid fairly for web usage.

Passing on Bad Photo Pass Agreements

On on the Yahoo! MusicPhotography group, there has been a long running discussion for years about the legitimacy of photo pass agreements. Some argue they are unenforceable because contract law requires both sides have an opportunity to negotiate. A member of the Yahoo group, Bob Leafe, recently raised a good point about these photo pass agreements. These agreements have been in practice for over two decades. In a court of law, this length of time might make them "acceptable practice" whether or not we like them.

Rights Grabbing Photography Contracts

Photographers are asked to sign increasingly restrictive agreements when they pick up their photo passes. Some restrict the use your photos to the specific edition of the specific publication for which you are shooting. Many go as far as transferring all rights in your photographs to the artist or management company leaving you with nothing. Any agreement that limits your use of the photographs you take is "predatory" because it contains "rights grabbing" language. In this article, I describe what red flags to look for and provide you with several examples extracted from real artist agreements. These really do exist and are getting worse every day.

You’ll Never Work in this Town Again

[ The following text was written by Ed Greenberg, P.C., and is reproduced verbatim and with permission. ]

Google the above phrase or any of its permutations, e.g. “You’ll never shoot another job”, ”Now no one will ever hire you” and so on and you will get thousands of hits. The cliché, in one form or another, manifests when a creator, whose work has been infringed or whose bills have not been paid, has the temerity to express the intent to hire a lawyer. Obviously the "threat" of losing a non-paying client (especially in this economy) has been an effective deterrent when used on creatives. Yes, it is counterintuitive. Yes, it is illogical. And yes, clients know that it often works to prevent claims or lawsuits.

Forced to take a photo: Can turning down a shoot be considered discrimination?

While it is highly unlikely you will ever encounter legal trouble for turning down a shoot, consider this: If you are hired to shoot a client whom you determine you want nothing to do with, then turn down the shoot, could you be taken to court? In New Mexico, this has been proven to be an actual risk.

Photographer's Rights: The Ten Legal Commandments of Photography

Guides & Tutorials: 

The Google Reader favored photo blog Photojojo has posted an informative blog on photographer's rights. This article covers when and where a photographer has rights to take photos. This is a good read! Most folks do not know that venue security, tour management, and even the police (Roxxxxanne, you don't have to give up your camera!) cannot force you to hand over or delete your images without a court order!

Link: Photography and The Law: Know Your Rights

Copyright Protection

DMCA Tutorial

Category: 

This DMCA tutorial is a guide on how to utilize the Digital Millennium Copyright Act to get unauthorized uses of your images taken down from web sites.
What Is The DMCA?

It is the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
What Is It Good For?

Copyright Protection: Part 3 - Taking Action - Resolution

After you discover unauthorized use of your photographs, collect and organize all the evidence, research license fees, and thoroughly document all the uses in your chart, it is time to take action. You may choose to approach the offender directly, or you may choose to turn your information over to your attorney and let them manage the case for you. Working directly with the offender is to your benefit for multiple reasons, but also has potential problems if not done properly.

Copyright Protection: Part 1 - Before The Fact - Protection

Copyright laws provide legal protection for the author of a copyrighted work, or owner of the copyright. These laws put in writing the rights controlled by the copyright owner, and the penalties that can be imposed when those rights are violated. In order to get the maximum protection available under the law, take these steps before you become the victim of copyright infringement, and be disciplined about them.