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  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Question Copyright and usage from the customer's side

    Was hoping to get some feedback about an issue with a local, professional photographer...

    About 3 years ago, we had pregnancy pictures taken at a local studio when we were expecting our first child. Now, baby #2 is on the way. Recently, we had an appointment at the OB's office and received some of their informational materials. When we got home, we noticed that our pregnancy picture was the cover of their "brochure". Inside the cover, it credits the local photographer..."cover photo provided by, etc."

    While I realize the photographer in question likely owns the copyright to the photo and may have the right to use it in this way, we were still quite surprised to see it being used commercially like this. The photographer never asked our permission or even told us it was being used. We only found out on our own, by chance.

    We could very well have signed paperwork releasing our pictures for this type of use, but I don't remember exactly.

    Before I contact the photographer, I wanted to get some feedback from other professionals about the situation. What are the customer rights in something like this? Does the photographer at least have some sort of "ethical" requirement to tell us about it when she sells us?

    Other advice and comments welcome. Thanks!

  2. #2
    Sleep is optional Sebastian's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Chicago Suburbs

    Re: Copyright and usage from the customer's side

    The key here is the paperwork you signed. If you released your image for commercial use, they are more than likely fully within their right, and no, they really have no obligation to inform you if they sell the image.

    If you did not release the images, then you need to contact them and figure out some sort of compensation. Money is good, but some free services might be acceptable as well. Don't mention litigation, the costs to bring a case like this to court are enormous, and the chances of winning are slim. In other words, no lawyer will touch it unless there's a LOT of money to be made. They will likely be aware of that and see it as just a knee-jerk reaction on your part.

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