Image Ownership

Image Ownership

Postby rob68 on Fri 30 Jun 2017, 10:15 pm

What's your opinion on the following?

As I take photos and known to do so at work I was recently asked to take shots of one of the work vehicle for use on our companies website and literature . The shots were taken in work time but with my equipment. The shots have appeared in our brochures etc.This has happened for a number of years.

Today I have found one of these photos in use on a major authorities transport web site. I am not acknowledged in anyway (which would be useful for media accreditation). It transpires that my works graphic design department gave the local authority the shots.

Should I be angry (I am) and do i even own the shot in question?
rob68

Re: Image Ownership

Postby Pen Pusher on Sat 01 Jul 2017, 5:51 am

Who owns the copyright on photographs?

Under law, it is the photographer who will own copyright on any photos he/she has taken, with the following exceptions:

If the photographer is an employee of the company the photos are taken for, or is an employee of a company instructed to take the photos, the photographer will be acting on behalf of his/her employer, and the company the photographer works for will own the copyright.

If there is an agreement that assigns copyright to another party.

In all other cases, the photographer will retain the copyright, if the photographer has been paid for his work, the payment will be for the photographer’s time and typically an allocated number of prints. The copyright to the photos will remain with the photographer, and therefore any reproduction without permission would be an infringement of copyright.


https://www.copyrightservice.co.uk/prot ... _copyright

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Re: Image Ownership

Postby Dan O'Hagan on Sat 01 Jul 2017, 8:18 am

rob68 wrote:
Today I have found one of these photos in use on a major authorities transport web site. I am not acknowledged in anyway (which would be useful for media accreditation). It transpires that my works graphic design department gave the local authority the shots.


You're not media, so why should you ever be applying for media accreditation in the first place?

Presumably you can boil an egg, so that must make you a Michelin starred chef too?
Dan O'Hagan

Re: Image Ownership

Postby boff180 on Sat 01 Jul 2017, 8:23 am

As Brian says, as you were employed for the people you were taking images for - they hold the copyright.
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Re: Image Ownership

Postby nacl1 on Sat 01 Jul 2017, 10:16 am

boff180 wrote:As Brian says, as you were employed for the people you were taking images for - they hold the copyright.


I don't think that this correct. Although the employers probably assumed that, as they have been given the images, the copyright had been passed on too, without a prior agreement between employer and employee, there is no reason to assume that the copyright has transferred. For the copyright to become the property of the employer, they would have to show that the pictures were taken as part of the employees normal duties which he was instructed to carry out, using equipment supplied by the employer. As I am reading the situation, this was an informal arrangement, the employee simply doing a favour with his own camera for the benefit of his employers. As such, the copyright should remain with the photographer.

In the end, there is little that can be done to remedy this, as the photograph has been already used without credits, and it is too late. The best that you can hope for is that for future use, the employers acknowledge the correct copyright ownership.

Possibly we all need to be aware when supplying pictures we have taken that ownership of the copyright remains with us, unless we have been commissioned to provide the pictures under a contract (including contract of employment). Personally,I always use the line "The ownership of the copyright remains with me. However, I am happy for them to be used in...(circumstances, etc)".
nacl1

Re: Image Ownership

Postby rob68 on Sat 01 Jul 2017, 10:36 am

Dan

Go Away
rob68

Re: Image Ownership

Postby Dan O'Hagan on Sat 01 Jul 2017, 10:54 am

rob68 wrote:Dan

Go Away


Yes, that's right, ignore the point.

Why would you ever be in a position to claim media accreditation when you are in no way "media"?

Blagging in this hobby needs stamping out, the sooner the better.
Dan O'Hagan

Re: Image Ownership

Postby DerekF on Sat 01 Jul 2017, 11:09 am

Any work I do, on behalf of the copmpany that employs me, on company time, whether it's writing reports, drawing graphs, taking photos or even inventing something new and groovy, all belongs to the company I work for. It may even say so in your Ts & Cs. It doesn't matter whether you use your own equipment or not. If write a report using my own biro, or on my own laptop, that doesn't mean the ownership transfers to me.
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Re: Image Ownership

Postby nacl1 on Sat 01 Jul 2017, 2:57 pm

DerekF wrote:Any work I do, on behalf of the copmpany that employs me, on company time, whether it's writing reports, drawing graphs, taking photos or even inventing something new and groovy, all belongs to the company I work for. It may even say so in your Ts & Cs. It doesn't matter whether you use your own equipment or not. If write a report using my own biro, or on my own laptop, that doesn't mean the ownership transfers to me.


I'm sure you are right, in any situation where this is what you are employed to do. However, if your company knows you are an enthusiast photographer, and asks you to use your own camera to take some pictures, as a favour rather than a direct order, the company cannot assume that this transfers the ownership of the copyright to them. It is not the same situation as where a person is employed to be a photographer by their employer as part of their job.
nacl1

Re: Image Ownership

Postby Pen Pusher on Sat 01 Jul 2017, 4:09 pm

nacl1 wrote:However, if your company knows you are an enthusiast photographer, and asks you to use your own camera to take some pictures, as a favour rather than a direct order, the company cannot assume that this transfers the ownership of the copyright to them.


In this case 'UK Copyright Law. Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988' states

If the photographer is an employee of the company the photos are taken for, or is an employee of a company instructed to take the photos, the photographer will be acting on behalf of his/her employer, and the company the photographer works for will own the copyright.


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Re: Image Ownership

Postby nacl1 on Sat 01 Jul 2017, 5:24 pm

This matter really hinges on whether rob68 acted as an employee taking the pictures or whether he simply did so as an ordinary third party. For the employee context to apply, it would have to be the case that he was instructed or required by his employers to take the photographs, as part of his usual employment, or under a contract of service or job description, and without the option to refuse to do so. If however, by mutual consent, he agreed to do so as a favour to his employers, this would be outside the scope of his normal terms of employment, and would be no different to a non-employee agreeing to take the pictures. This seems to be a goodwill gesture that has been taken advantage of by a company to the detriment of a photographer who has every right to retain his legal ownership of the copyright.
nacl1

Re: Image Ownership

Postby Lighning Fan on Sat 01 Jul 2017, 7:22 pm

nacl1 wrote:This matter really hinges on whether rob68 acted as an employee taking the pictures or whether he simply did so as an ordinary third party. For the employee context to apply, it would have to be the case that he was instructed or required by his employers to take the photographs, as part of his usual employment, or under a contract of service or job description, and without the option to refuse to do so. If however, by mutual consent, he agreed to do so as a favour to his employers, this would be outside the scope of his normal terms of employment, and would be no different to a non-employee agreeing to take the pictures. This seems to be a goodwill gesture that has been taken advantage of by a company to the detriment of a photographer who has every right to retain his legal ownership of the copyright.


I think the real answer is it would have to be tested in court and depend on what the contract of employment states. Personally if you enjoy a bit of photography in the firms time I'd just carry on and not worry about the copyright. I would imagine if you kick off then your future photographic opportunities could be limited to say the least. If you need to use them for a portfolio for example, why not ask your employer for a royalty free licence
Lighning Fan

Re: Image Ownership

Postby rob68 on Sat 01 Jul 2017, 7:29 pm

TBH there is nothing in my T&C that refer specifically to me taking photographes. I have happily taken them approximately once a year and have previously refused to lend my kit to other employee's. I did buy a SLR with company money a few years ago for all to use but it lasted 3 weeks before it disapeared. The difference this time is that the image has been given to a 3rd party without asking me 1st.

Other than this comment I am not responding to Dan, his comment is irrelevant to this thread and I wish to keep to the subject
rob68

Re: Image Ownership

Postby Go4Long on Sun 02 Jul 2017, 2:23 am

rob68 wrote:TBH there is nothing in my T&C that refer specifically to me taking photographes. I have happily taken them approximately once a year and have previously refused to lend my kit to other employee's. I did buy a SLR with company money a few years ago for all to use but it lasted 3 weeks before it disapeared. The difference this time is that the image has been given to a 3rd party without asking me 1st.

Other than this comment I am not responding to Dan, his comment is irrelevant to this thread and I wish to keep to the subject


Here's where it'll become an issue. You did it on company time. Whether it's included in your contract or not is irrelevant. As you have previously done it on company time as well, and never separated the two, it could be reasonably assumed that the company had reason to believe that you were working on pictures as part of your normal duties, and as such they owned the copyright.

In order for it to come down in any other direction you would need to have previously established that the photography work was NOT part of your normal duties. There's a couple ways you could have done this, all on paper. One was to have it in writing from the company that you owned the copyright to the images. Another is to have it in writing that the photography was separate from your normal job. and the third is to have invoiced them for your time/service. But unfortunately in the situation your in, the time has passed.

Coles notes...you're up the creek without a paddle my friend.
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Re: Image Ownership

Postby speedbird2639 on Sun 02 Jul 2017, 6:53 am

Rob

I'm inclined to agree with Go4Long and others on here who say you were doing a task for your main employer in works time relating to a works project. Now we can spend forever and a day arguing about what the absolute legal position is but from a pragmatic view point that is the position.

Yes it was a bit naughty of them to not credit you for the photo when it first appeared as it would have cost them nothing. It could be argued that they maybe shouldn't have sold the photograph on to someone else but I'm sure if they were challenged on it they would reply that as it was a works photo that had previously appeared in their own publication they felt it was theirs to dispose of as they felt fit.

In most working environments there is a lot of 'good will' where stuff which isn't strictly in the contract gets done. Example: you agree to work extra hours to ensure a deadline is met; they give you extra time off when things are a bit quieter. This is one of those things: you got to play with your camera when you should've been working on something else; they feel the photo you produced as a result of that time out of the office when they were paying you to work is their property.

Additional point:given that this is your main employer it might not be prudent to rock the boat with them too much as you never know what might be happening in the future. Bosses have a habit of remembering who knuckled down and did the work and conversely those who through their toys out of their pram and caused a big storm over something as petty as who owns a photo. If in 6 months time when they have to down size and are looking for redundancy candidates your name might be the 'first on the team sheet' if you make a disproportionate fuss now.

If they ask you to do it again then maybe discretely mention you didn't get any credit/ payment last time and how about something nominal like they pay for a meal out for you and your significant other - you get your pat on the back and they can charge it to hospitality.

Regarding your worry about your 'media accreditation' I'm not sure having one picture of a JCB published in an internal works magazine (or whatever it was) is going to see DBH rushing you an 'Access All Areas' pass for RIAT if I'm honest.

In short: just let it go; they handled it badly but it can be argued you had no case to start with.
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Re: Image Ownership

Postby melvyn hiscock on Sun 02 Jul 2017, 11:14 am

Anything you cvreate is your copyright unless it has been signed over to someone else, either as part of your contract (often not even in the t&c but as a clause in the main contract covering intellectual rights) or as part of a separate contract for the work. If it was a verbal agreement then copyright is yours.
melvyn hiscock

Re: Image Ownership

Postby McG on Mon 03 Jul 2017, 8:14 am

I looked up my employers policy this morning - this is contained within their business management system, not an individuals contract of employment. The BMS contains rules and policies that apply to all employees.

As others have said, as an employee, copyright belongs to your employer when taking photos on behalf of them.
McG

Re: Image Ownership

Postby melvyn hiscock on Mon 03 Jul 2017, 6:43 pm

Companies vary, but it would need to specify intellectual rights. Most of this is done to protect anything they are paying to develop, ie new products, and so often photography is not included.

Larger companies may well do this as standard but smaller ones may not.

It is a good rule of thumb that you own copyright unless it has been signed over. This was quite useful when a magazine (not aviation) republished four of may aticles without credit or payment. Since the original deal had been 'single use' they had to pay up again. They tried to argue they owned the copyright but they would have had to have shown an agreement, they had none.
melvyn hiscock

Re: Image Ownership

Postby rob68 on Mon 03 Jul 2017, 9:36 pm

Thanks guys for all the advice, appreciated . A lesson learnt I think and a cautionary tale for any one else.
rob68

Re: Image Ownership

Postby jingernut on Tue 04 Jul 2017, 12:33 am

Out of interest what do you feel you are missing out on with them having sold the image one... is it just the fact you were not credited in some way?
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Re: Image Ownership

Postby rob68 on Tue 04 Jul 2017, 9:51 pm

TBH I don't know now. I was annoyed that an image I took was found on another companies/competitor site that I knew nothing about. The credit can be useful if you want to investigate other avenues
rob68


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