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Hi - I'm about to do a garden shoot at a private property, the photography being commissioned by the garden designer. I've just been contacted by the owners' representative asking that I sign away my rights jointly to themselves and the designer - the phrase used is "Usage – All rights/Intellectual Property in perpetuity to be assigned to . . . Usually we expect to pay a small fee of course"

 

What are your thoughts on this - and what might be an appropriate fee? I'm thinking at least my day rate for this kind of job, but maybe it should be more? Advice from the hive mind welcome

 

Alex

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No.  I wouldn't sign away my copyright - under any circumstances.  Some photographers manage to negotiate a far higher fee for a complete buy out but IMHO they are crazy.  

 

The 'owners representatives' are trying it on.  Nothing better than a rights grab.  

 

I wouldn't sell out for my day rate.  I wouldn't sell out for 5 times my day rate. 

 

Other people may have differing opinions of course.

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20 minutes ago, Alex Ramsay said:

Hi - I'm about to do a garden shoot at a private property, the photography being commissioned by the garden designer. I've just been contacted by the owners' representative asking that I sign away my rights jointly to themselves and the designer - the phrase used is "Usage – All rights/Intellectual Property in perpetuity to be assigned to . . . Usually we expect to pay a small fee of course"

 

What are your thoughts on this - and what might be an appropriate fee? I'm thinking at least my day rate for this kind of job, but maybe it should be more? Advice from the hive mind welcome

 

Alex

Ask what rights they actually need and offer a licence.

Of course if you've already been contracted, they can't impose the terms now.

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Back in the 80s we fought a long hard fight to win our rights to copyright and moral rights culminating in the 1988 act. PLEASE do not let anyone pressure you into giving up those rights. Of course, you can negotiate some shared rights for GOOD MONEY but they are really just trying it on. They can not negotiate after the fact. Lots of clear legal precedents.

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I wouldn't agree either. I used to do a lot of freelance writing (travel features) as well as photography for newspapers in Canada and the US, but I stopped submitting both articles and photos to the big newspaper chains when they started demanding all rights.  Many of the images that I took to illustrate my stories continue to do well on Alamy. I would have thrown it all away if I had signed their draconian contracts.

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A few years ago we were asked by OUP to produce the image for the cover of the Oxford Almanack. This is a very prestigious publication, produced annually since 1676, and we were honoured to be asked. The print would have gone into the Ashmolean Museum along with works by JMW Turner and John Piper. 

However when we were told that we had to sign over the copyright we said that unfortunately we would not do that and we turned down the commission. Sometimes you have to stand by your convictions!

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Nope. Photographes are already under assault enough by microstock and people working for free. Giving rights away for a small fee is another step in a bad direction. They are your photos and if they want to use them then they can negotiate a decent deal with you. 

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This is pretty normal for commercial shoots. Imagine it's for Levi's. Would you be able to use one single image for yourself on Alamy?

Of course not.

Normally you do put a clause in that you are allowed to use the (or some ;or a specified number; or even a short list of approved) images for personal promotion. Usually constricted to paper portfolio and personal website.

If you for some reason agree on a low day fee, you could negotiate that you will retain copyright on all images and that you will put them up as stock. Or put up only approved (and released!) images as stock.

 

wim

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1 minute ago, Colin Woods said:

Nope. Photographes are already under assault enough by microstock and people working for free. Giving rights away for a small fee is another step in a bad direction. They are your photos and if they want to use them then they can negotiate a decent deal with you. 

They're not his photos yet- the shoot is tomorrow. No doubt they've left it till the eleventh hour expecting he'll roll over.

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3 minutes ago, wiskerke said:

This is pretty normal for commercial shoots. Imagine it's for Levi's. Would you be able to use one single image for yourself on Alamy?

Of course not.

Normally you do put a clause in that you are allowed to use the (or some ;or a specified number; or even a short list of approved) images for personal promotion. Usually constricted to paper portfolio and personal website.

If you for some reason agree on a low day fee, you could negotiate that you will retain copyright on all images and that you will put them up as stock. Or put up only approved (and released!) images as stock.

 

wim

This isn't a multinational brand- it's some jumped-up oik trying it on. There's no earthly reason pix of a garden need to belong to the owner.

Edited by spacecadet
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I think the main issue here is one of privacy - the owners want to be completely certain that no images of their property will turn up in inappropriate places. I think it very unlikely that they would consider using the pictures for any commercial purpose.

 

Alex

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37 minutes ago, wiskerke said:

This is pretty normal for commercial shoots. Imagine it's for Levi's. Would you be able to use one single image for yourself on Alamy?

Of course not.

Normally you do put a clause in that you are allowed to use the (or some ;or a specified number; or even a short list of approved) images for personal promotion. Usually constricted to paper portfolio and personal website.

If you for some reason agree on a low day fee, you could negotiate that you will retain copyright on all images and that you will put them up as stock. Or put up only approved (and released!) images as stock.

 

wim

 

Agree 100%. 

That garden designer may have a steady stream of future assignments. The last thing you would want to do is loose a paying client now, and in the future, because you want the remote possibility of selling the occasional stock RM/RF for an average return to you of $45 dollars per sale.

Build an assignment relationship with the garden designer and his client. Gain their trust, and you may be able to use your assignment relationship to gain special garden access at another time for a 100% stock shoot.

Assignments and stock can be connected. Just not on the same commercial shoot.

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1 hour ago, Bill Brooks said:

 

 Gain their trust,

Cuts both ways. They clearly don't trust Alex not to breach confidence which I'm sure he'd never do if it's required.

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Just say no, walk away and forget it.  Why would you do the shoot, give them the images AND the copyright for 'a small fee'?!  Don't do it!

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Personally, I've never viewed all rights contracts to be "establishing trust," quite the opposite in fact. How can you trust someone who wants to grab the copyright to your work? That doesn't sound very trustworthy to me. It's usually possible to draft an agreement that ensures images won't be used inappropriately without taking advantage of their creator.

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Ian your use of the “F” expression could be considered as creating an atmosphere of bullying sexual harassment in order to intimidate some forum members into not commenting in the forum.

This attempt at bullying and intimidation through the use of sexual expletives is just not acceptable.

So recover your head, and lets have a rational discussion.

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52 minutes ago, Colblimp said:

Just say no, walk away and forget it.  Why would you do the shoot, give them the images AND the copyright for 'a small fee'?!  Don't do it!

 

10 minutes ago, John Mitchell said:

Personally, I've never viewed all rights contracts to be "establishing trust," quite the opposite in fact. How can you trust someone who wants to grab the copyright to your work? That doesn't sound very trustworthy to me. It's usually possible to draft an agreement that ensures images won't be used inappropriately without taking advantage of their creator.

 

Colblimp: They did not offer that, they offered "a small fee" for giving up copyrights, in addition to the day rate.

 

John: If you are charging a day rate the copyright is negotiable. The client is being upfront about their needs. They are not grabbing anything. As Colblimp says, Alex has the option to walk away if he things the additional fee for copyright is too low.

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23 minutes ago, Bill Brooks said:

Ian your use of the “F” expression could be considered as creating an atmosphere of bullying sexual harassment in order to intimidate some forum members into not commenting in the forum.

This attempt at bullying and intimidation through the use of sexual expletives is just not acceptable.

So recover your head, and lets have a rational discussion.

What a ridiculous accusation!! 

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3 hours ago, geogphotos said:

 

Sure Bill and they only just realised this the day before the shoot? 

 

It's not about losing a paying client it is about sticking to what was agreed in the original price for the job. 

 

All this bending over backwards about how someone might be nice to you in the future if you let them f...... u now does my head in. 

Absolutely!

 

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Weird. There must be some undercurrent we don't know about. I thought it was a strong initial to use, but it was only an initial, succinct, to the point, and on a subject about which strong feelings exist.

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