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Request for advice

Posted: Wed Apr 25, 2018 7:43 am
by Memycamera
Hello to everyone

I am a newbie and appreciate all and any advice I can get on the issue I have

I have been working with another photographer getting images, this was going on for 4 years, I did the majority and then some of the driving to various destinations and the other guy sat in the car taking images
Often I would also take images

All of the images were submitted to agencies for sale and we split the revenue, quite often the images would gain resale’s and we would split that too

If I or the other guy worked alone we would not split the revenue

I have now discovered the other guy has been doing things distasteful and have moved away, in retaliation he is now claiming full rights to the images we worked together on saying as he pressed the button he owns them and instructed the agency to now remove my payment rights for future sales

I have been advised that there is a revenue rule that can apply here and I was hoping someone can advise me

Thank you in advance

Re: Request for advice

Posted: Wed Apr 25, 2018 12:44 pm
by AndyJ
Hi Memycamera

There are two separate aspects to this. The first, copyright, does in general belong to the person who took the picture. There are special rules where the photographer is in a contract of employment and it is his job to take photographs (such as a press photographer), but that doesn't apply to your circumstances.

The second aspect is the agreement between you over sharing the workload and proceeds. This sounds as if it was a contract, albeit not a formal one in writing. There must have been a reason why the other photographer originally agreed to share the royalties, and I have to assume that it was because he recognised the value of your contribution to the operation. The problem with verbal agreements of this sort is that they rarely address issues, such as here the dissolution of the agreement, which weren't relevant at the time the initial agreement came about. And it would probably prove to be quite expensive to sort out the contractual issue, so unless there is a great deal of money at stake, I suspect you may need to write this off to experience.

That said, returning to the copyright matter, if you can identify the photographs which you took, then you should try to assert your rights in them with the stock agency. So for instance, if you used a different camera and the numbering or EXIF data of your images was different to the other photographer's, it should be comparatively easy to show which images are yours, and which are his. However if you shared a camera, or used the same numbering system for each individual frame, it will be much harder to sort out which are your images, and which are his. For the future, make sure you always set up the EXIF data on your camera to include your copyright details.

You mentioned a 'revenue rule', but I'm afraid I can't throw any light on that. I assume that you have already contacted the agency to arbitrate over your challenge to the decision to cut you out of any future payments.

Re: Request for advice

Posted: Wed Apr 25, 2018 3:48 pm
by Memycamera

Thank you for your response, unfortunately I am leaning towards writing it all off but the value involved is quite substantial and future revenue will be just as valuable on the turn of certain events

It’s all about the verbal agreement and as you say he has instructed the agency(S) to pay me 50%, of sales values after agency fees, as you say because he has recognised my contribution, which would of meant the image would not be taken had I not contributed

I have made reference on my image details now, sadly at the time we used different cameras but he edited and sent to the agency requesting both of us be paid, he numbered the sets 1,2,3 and so forth

Thanks again I’ve some serious thinking to do

Re: Request for advice

Posted: Wed Apr 25, 2018 5:57 pm
by AndyJ
Hi again Memycamera

I forgot to mention in my previous reply that your claim to the images which you took would also be strengthened if you had retained the original images. From what you have said, it sounds as if this may not have happened, and along with the re-numbering, this tends to weaken your position now. However, if the EXIF data is still embedded in the images, that should indicate the make and model of the camera used to take the shot, and this, obviously, would weigh in your favour. It might be worth checking any images you know to be yours to see if the EXIF data remains. There are several free software tools you can find using Google, to read the EXIF data if it is present.