Copyright of Wedding Album

Discussion in 'Photography' started by annamalai, Jun 26, 2008.

  1. annamalai

    annamalai Guest

    Hi All,

    The focus is only on the wedding album. I believe that the copyright
    of the wedding album must mandatorily go to the bride and groom and
    not the photographer who is hired to provide the service of taking
    photographs. I have listed down the reasons in my blog at

    Can you guys comment on it? If anybody feels the way I feel, can you
    provide any further valid reasons to support it. (If this is not the
    right forum, please direct me to the correct forum.)

    Thank you.

    annamalai, Jun 26, 2008
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  2. annamalai

    Lady Veteran Guest

    You are an idiot. The copyright of anything belongs to the person who
    creates it, not the people involved in it. In this case the person is
    creating it in order to earn a living. If they can't sell the results
    of their work, then why bother doing it? Your arguments are puerile. Of
    course the family is locked to one vendor, the one they agreed to
    purchase from. Stop masturbating so much, the diversion of blood from
    your brain is damaging you ability to reason.

    Lady Veteran

    "I rode a tank and held a general's rank
    When the blitzkrieg raged and the bodies stank."

    ---Sympathy for the Devil-The Rolling Stones
    Lady Veteran, Jun 26, 2008
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  3. annamalai

    dadiOH Guest

    You said: That photographer basically wants to leech some money from my
    brother, every time my brother wants a copy of his wedding album, to share
    with family and friends.

    I say: Your brother wants to leech from the photographer...he wants
    something for nothing.

    You also said: If the photographer retains the copyright, then the family is
    locked to just one vendor. The photographer can then charge exorbitantly.
    This is the current situation and it is anti-competitive.

    I say: All things are negotiable. You had every opportunity to discover the
    photographer's policies before hiring him; if you didn't like them you could
    have negotiated or gone elsewhere.

    You also said a lot of other stuff all of which is incorrect and
    demonstrates your lack of understanding of copyrights. For example, all of
    your "privacy" concerns are mush...the photographer cannot sell, publish or
    even display the photographs of your wedding without your permission. If
    you signed a release, you gave that permission.

    In short, it matters not a whit what you believe...the copyright laws are
    what they are and are meant to protect the creator from avaricious types
    such as you and your brother. So there :)



    dadiOH's dandies v3.06...
    ....a help file of info about MP3s, recording from
    LP/cassette and tips & tricks on this and that.
    Get it at
    dadiOH, Jun 26, 2008
  4. annamalai

    Mr. Strat Guest

    OK, you're retarded.

    One of the primary reasons professional photographers seek to make
    future copies of their work is so that they can control the quality.

    It's probably rare these days for a photofinisher to have the ability
    to print medium format negatives, but regardless of if it's film or
    digital, if you have crappy prints made by Wal-Mart, it reflects
    negatively when people see them and ask who took them.

    Plus, it's my living (or was). I created the images, so I own the
    rights to them. Get an education, moron.
    Mr. Strat, Jun 26, 2008
  5. annamalai

    Guest Guest

    This is what gets newsgroups a bad name.

    Yes the OP is wrong on so many levels.

    It is the job of other people to educate him if they wish to take up the


    it can be done without resorting to abuse.

    There are lots of polite words in the English language that can be used.

    Keep it friendly.
    Guest, Jun 26, 2008
  6. annamalai

    krishnananda Guest

    According to your blog you apparently live in India. Every country's
    copyright laws are different according to which copyright convention was
    adopted and when. Most likely India conforms to both the Berne
    Convention and the Universal Convention of Geneva.

    You can read the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and
    Artistic Works at:

    The Universal Copyright Convention as revised at Paris on 24 July 1971,
    with Appendix Declaration relating to Article XVII and Resolution
    concerning Article XI 1971 can be read here:

    I can only comment on United States copyright law.

    If an artistic work is produced explicitly as "Work For Hire", the
    copyright does not belong to the creator. This is the _only_ situation
    in which the copyright does not belong to the creator, but to his/her
    employer. The right to copyright has to be explicitly renounced by the
    creator, usually in an employment contract but sometimes in a separate
    release. An art director in an ad agency, for example, does not own the
    copyright to works produced by him/her.

    All other artistic or creative work is _automatically_ protected by
    copyright for the life of the creator plus fifty years (or 75, depending
    on certain circumstances). The copyright devolves to the creator's heirs
    for the remaining 50 years. (I believe that answers one of your blog

    That is it in a nutshell. If your brother's wedding had been in the
    United States then this set of laws applies. If the wedding
    photographer's contract with the bride and groom explicitly states that
    the photographer is producing Work For Hire (and this would indicate
    Poor Business Judgement by the wedding photographer) then the entirety
    of what was shot, printed, stored on a server, etc. would have been
    handed over to your brother. It is highly unlikely that this happened.

    But, as I said, I can only comment on US copyright law. India may have
    completely different laws. It would behoove you to do some research.

    As to your blog's specific complaints about copyright ownership, the
    answer is quite simple: when you need a photographer and you require
    ownership of the copyright of the resulting work, simply engage a
    photographer who is willing to produce Work For Hire, and sign the
    appropriate contract. There is no need to change the law as what you
    want already exists. There are photographers who will do this; however,
    they are not in the majority.
    krishnananda, Jun 26, 2008
  7. annamalai

    annamalai Guest

    My thoughts are not clouded. Remember that my brother had paid money
    for the services rendered. There is no leeching there. But when the
    photographer charges more than the market rate to give a copy of the
    wedding album to my brother (who has no choice because of the greedy
    use of copyright law), leeching is there. Do you see my reasoning?

    By asserting the copyright (I still believe it is abuse or skewed
    interpretation of copyright law), my brother cannot get competitive
    prices (by hiring a different photographic company for printing an
    album) available in the so-called free market.

    And why cannot my brother have the liberty to upload his wedding album
    on picasaweb or other similar sites? How can he do it without having
    a soft copy? Our family members live in different countries. The
    easiest way to share would be over the Internet.

    With enough consumer awareness, the practice of holding bride/groom
    hostage with the use of copyright law can be thwarted. As has been
    pointed out by someone else, "work for hire" is what I had in mind.
    Thats it. I'll ensure that all my family and friends are made aware
    of this issue.

    Thanks for your comments.

    annamalai, Jun 26, 2008
  8. annamalai

    tony cooper Guest

    The "free market" aspect came in when your brother negotiated with the
    photographer. Your brother chose the photographer and agreed with the
    photographer's terms. Your brother was free to choose a different
    photographer with a different price structure.

    You are angry with the wrong person. Your brother made the mistake
    when he signed a contract without, evidently, knowing what the terms
    were for additional copies or services.

    You have not provided any indication that the photographer did not
    live up to his end of the bargain and supply good photographs.
    tony cooper, Jun 26, 2008
  9. annamalai

    dadiOH Guest

    Correct, each got what they bargained for.
    The "market rate" is whatever the photographer chooses to charge. The only
    leaching I see is your brother trying to get something he did not originally
    pay for at less than the photographer charges. What *other* photographers
    may charge has no nearing on the matter.
    Right. That's why copyright laws exist.
    Psst...he can. Get a digital camera, take pictures, stick them on a web
    page. Still a copyright infringement but I doubt it would come back to bite
    you. Pix won't be great either but most people don't know good from bad
    What does "consumer awareness" have to do with the law? And - trust me on
    this - picayunish, parsimonious consumers aren't going to get the law
    Most any photographer will work that way but it is going to cost you
    more...much more if the photographer is any good.



    dadiOH's dandies v3.06...
    ....a help file of info about MP3s, recording from
    LP/cassette and tips & tricks on this and that.
    Get it at
    dadiOH, Jun 26, 2008
  10. annamalai

    annamalai Guest

    The question of customer awareness comes into picture because my
    brother was not even aware of this issue till he requested a soft-copy
    of the wedding photos so that he can easily share with family and
    friends over the Internet. Now he regrets his decision of hiring that
    photographer. Maybe he has learnt his lesson well, and next time will
    be prepared to ask the right questions before hiring a photographer.

    But don't be too dismissive of customers. Customers might be common
    people but when they organize they normally get what they need.

    annamalai, Jun 26, 2008
  11. annamalai

    krishnananda Guest

    No, because you are not using reasoning, you are using emotion to trump
    logic. What you are saying is that you _don't like_ the laws concerning
    copyrights. Unfortunately that is not going to exempt you from them.
    This is patent nonsense. If you purchase a book do you expect also to
    enjoy the same rights over its copyright as the author? Since you paid
    for it shouldn't you be permitted to make copies and distribute them
    either free or for a fee? Online? Of course not. There is no difference
    in photography -- one hires a photographer to produce photographs. One
    purchases prints. The photographer has total control over the copyright
    of the photos -- it is flat-out illegal to make copies of copyrighted
    material without permission.

    Again, remembering that India may have completely different copyright
    laws, in the US the _default_ is copyright protection for the author or
    other creator. That protection has to be explicitly renounced for the
    end product to be considered work for hire.

    What you are describing is a situation which can easily be remedied with
    a little knowledge and research. The choice is yours: set up the straw
    man argument of the mean, miserly, greedy, insensitive photographer
    holding the wedding party "hostage" in his endless search of better ways
    to bleed his clients dry of money, or accept the facts of copyright law
    and address your own understanding of same.
    Yes, as I pointed out, the remedy you are really seeking is to contract
    with a photographer to produce work for hire. It couldn't be simpler.

    The contract would stipulate that all work produced would become your
    property and the photographer permanently relinquishes his/her rights to
    it in perpetuity. Expect to pay a significant amount over average prices
    to compensate the photographer for the loss of copyright protection. And
    before you say something like "but I didn't know that when I signed the
    contract" please remember that in all countries whose legal system is
    based on British Common Law, ignorance of the law is no excuse. Were you
    to try suing the wedding photographer you'd get laughed out of court.

    If it is true that " 'work for hire' is what I had in mind" and you
    failed to convey that to the photographer, who's fault is that? Don't
    expect any sympathy if now you now want to apply this retroactively to
    the standard contract your brother signed with his photographer.
    krishnananda, Jun 26, 2008
  12. annamalai

    Robert Coe Guest

    Hi All,
    : The focus is only on the wedding album. I believe that the copyright
    : of the wedding album must mandatorily go to the bride and groom and
    : not the photographer who is hired to provide the service of taking
    : photographs. I have listed down the reasons in my blog at
    : Can you guys comment on it? If anybody feels the way I feel, can you
    : provide any further valid reasons to support it. (If this is not the
    : right forum, please direct me to the correct forum.)
    : Thank you.
    : Rgds,
    : anna

    You (or was it your brother?) signed a contract with the photographer. What
    does the contract say? The courts will probably enforce the contract unless
    its provisions are illegal. If the contract doesn't mention copyright (and
    I'll bet it does), I believe that it probably stays with the photographer. But
    this may vary in different states. Find a reputable lawyer, and he'll tell you
    whether the law is on your side. If you can't accept the answer, maybe you
    should have read the contract before you signed it.

    Robert Coe, Jun 27, 2008
  13. annamalai

    annamalai Guest

    That is not an appropriate analogy. A book is published for the
    consumption of the public not just one family. And obviously, I did
    not hire the author to write the book. So the situation of the
    wedding album is unique. It is not the same as publishing books. In
    my opinion the photographer is just a camera man. The whole function
    is produced and directed by the family (eg. the ornaments they wear
    and the dress they put on, which in turn is actually determined by
    their religion and culture), so it is the work of the family, not the
    camera man.

    Don't be too quick to discard an opinion as non-sense. Copyright is
    just a law and it is subject to change. There are people working to
    reform the copyright law; to make it more reasonable. I'll contribute
    in whatever little way I can.

    Thank you for your valuable comments. It really helps to listen and
    understand different opinions.

    annamalai, Jun 27, 2008
  14. annamalai

    tony cooper Guest

    Ah, so he signed an agreement without reading the terms. Most
    problems in "consumer awareness" stem from this.
    tony cooper, Jun 27, 2008
  15. annamalai

    annamalai Guest

    The one incident that I am referring to (my brother, his wedding and
    his photographer) is just an opportunity to discuss the copyright
    issues surrounding the wedding album. Solving that particular issue
    is perhaps mundane. If you pay more, then the photographer might be
    willing to release his rights. But that is not my primary interest in
    discussing this issue here.

    I am more interested in the general idea. When there is no contract
    signed, why should the copyright of the wedding album go to the
    photographer? As I mentioned previously, the family is the main party
    responsible for producing this whole wedding. They spend the money
    organizing the event. They rent a place to conduct the function, they
    dress the bride/groom all fancy and tradition and according to their
    religion, and they invite guests. They plan the whole thing. In
    other words, the family produces and directs the function. Much of
    the effort in organizing the wedding is taken by the family. So I
    don't understand why the default copyright (in absence of any
    contract) should go to the photographer?

    And in many situations, its not the photographer who has the
    copyright, but rather the company that he/she works for!

    annamalai, Jun 27, 2008
  16. annamalai

    Mr. Strat Guest

    Hey, I didn't use the "F" word. Unfortunately, our public education
    system in this country has done a pathetic job.
    Mr. Strat, Jun 27, 2008
  17. annamalai

    aglet Guest

    Yes, the bride/groom/family does all the planning and organizing of the
    function. So? Did they take the photographs? No. They hired a
    professional. He/She took the photos and he/she, therefore, owns the
    copyright. That's the way it's done -- like it or not. No professional is
    going to give away the rights to the photos and allow you to have control of
    their photos. Then you go down to the nearest WalMart and have them run off
    copies of the pictures which come out terrible. Someone sees those bad
    copies, asks you who shot your wedding, and the photographer's reputation is
    tarnished. That simply will not fly. And the majority of people -- the
    majority of customers -- both know and understand this. That's the way it
    is, and that's the way it will always be -- because that's the only way that
    quality can be maintained.
    aglet, Jun 27, 2008
  18. annamalai

    krishnananda Guest

    Since you refuse to acknowledge that under current copyright laws and
    conventions you already have the remedy of hiring a photographer to
    produce work for hire there doesn't seem much point in continuing this

    Just because you do not know or understand the law doesn't mean it does
    not apply to you. When you next hire a photographer make sure to
    initiate the contract negotiation by telling him that you consider him
    "just a camera man" and that you expect to be given all rights to the
    photographs. Naturally, if the photographer is "just a cameraman" he
    also doesn't deserve to get paid as much as a "real" photographer. After
    all, a "camera man" just pushes a button -- nothing creative there. I'm
    sure that will endear you to him and he will drop his rates accordingly.

    Your opinion that, contrary to both the Berne and Geneva Copyright
    Conventions, "the photographer is just a camera man", leads me to
    recommend you relocate to the People's Republic of China or to Malaysia.
    Neither country recognizes any copyright convention, and between the two
    of them they are responsible for 99% of all pirated films, DVDs, music
    CDs; counterfeit luxury items, computer software, and the like.

    Just for curiosity: do you believe any photograph should ever be
    protected by copyright? Do you believe if you pay an artist to paint a
    portrait that the artist should have no copyright protection? Do you
    believe inventions should ever be protected by patents?

    Or does this all stem from your brother getting mad at the photographer
    after apparently not reading the contract he signed? If you don't read
    what you sign there is only one person who is to blame.
    krishnananda, Jun 27, 2008
  19. annamalai

    krishnananda Guest

    One last note, mostly to the group. The only assignment I absolutely
    refuse to take, ever, is a wedding.

    Partly because my people skills are rather poor, but mostly because I
    have found 99.99% of wedding clients to be Problem Children. I have, on
    occasion, shot candids at friends' weddings, and handed them the
    negatives -- after clearing it with the event photographer.

    This thread brings it all back and I am extremely glad that most of my
    pro work is done photographing buildings in various stages of
    construction. Buildings don't have issues...
    krishnananda, Jun 27, 2008
  20. annamalai

    Chris H Guest

    In message

    Yes and you have to buy each copy separately. You can not copy the book
    yourself and put it on the web
    Your brother did.
    Not at all. It is quite common.
    Yes it is. When the author publishes a book he retains copyright and you
    have to buy each book one at a time,

    *NORMALLY* when the photographer produces a "book" of pictures he
    retains copyright and you buy each copy separately.

    * You could have negotiated a different contract prior to the shoot.
    That is your opinion which is not supported by the contract your brother
    had with the photographer.
    Correct. The problem is your brother did not negotiate the correct
    contract with the photographer. Also that you brother apparently did
    not read the contract with the photographer.
    In this case it is.
    Yes but it is an INTERNATIONAL LAW and the fact your brother cant read a
    standard contract, as you will have discovered here what the
    photographer did is standard GLOBALLY.
    No they are not. The copyright law is reasonable now. The changes you
    are suggesting will be opposed by all authors, artists, photographers,
    writers etc.
    Don't bother it won't happen and even if it does you will find that in
    the sort of situation of wedding photographs all it will do is puish the
    price up by a factor of 10.
    Then please listen and realise what the problem is you brother did not
    understand the GLOBAL copy right law and did not read the contract he

    Any other photographer on the planet would do the same as your
    Chris H, Jun 27, 2008
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