Post # 1
Hi all, so my photographer drama continues.
We’ve FINALLY received our images. I was under the impression that once we had the digital copies, we’d be able to post them on facebook – because we have the right to reproduce for personal use. But, Our disc says that we can only post watermarked photos on facebook or the on the web (they’ve included watermarked and non-watermarked versions of the images on our disc). Is that true? Or are they just trying to get free advertising?
This is what our contract says:
“Upon completion of the contract, Photographer will transfer possession of digital images of wedding images on disc to the Clients. Once the digital images are transferred, Clients agree to assume full responsibility for their care and condition. Photographer retains all copyright of the images and will have the right to make reproductions for marketing purposes, including, but not limited to, advertisements, samples, marketing materials, contests and display. Clients receive the rights to unlimited reproduction of those images for personal use only, and may not sell or publish images without written consent of Photographer (this includes distribution to vendors associated with the wedding).”
Can they actually tell us we can’t share the non-watermarked photos on facebook? I’m curious if someone who knows a thing or two about photography & copyrights can weigh in on this issue for me. Thanks everyone!
And ps. yes, I’m friends with my photographer on facebook…. and I’m considering de-friending or creating a limited profile setting.
Post # 3
- Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL
@FiddleSticks: If you post them and the photographer finds out they can request that FB take them down. Is the watermark tasteful? If so, why wouldn’t you want them recognized for their work? If not, ask them to design a more tasteful logo.
It’s not just free advertising. Once posted to FB, FB can use non-watermarked images for anything (adverts, catalogues, etc…) They are also trying to protect their work from being passed off as someone else’s work. Without the watermarks anyone could save the photos and then lie to brides that it’s their work when it isn’t.
Post # 4
@FiddleSticks: If you use the photos online, credit has to be given, weather you tag every picture with their page, or you use the watermarked versions. I should hope that the watermark is small and unobtrusive, so you can use those.
Post # 5
I think this is where you get screwed:
“may not sell or publish images without written consent of Photographer” to me that means no, you can’t “publish” these photos on facebook.
Post # 6
@FiddleSticks: Yep. They own the copyright meaning you don’t own the rights to the photos. You can’t post them without the watermark.
Post # 7
If it were me I would absolutely post the non-watermarked versions. The likelihood of her images being stolen is very small, so for me it’s all about marketing. What is she going to do if you put them up? Sue you? I’d love to see her try to come up with what her damages are.
ETA: Your photog sounds like a real jerk.
Post # 8
They own the copyright and have every right to tell you that you can’t publish them at all. Is a watermark a big deal?
Post # 9
If that is the contact you signed, then she has every right to say that as an artist. Unless you bought out the full rights to all of the images.
Post # 10
@almostmrsj: I think a watermark is a really big deal. If it’s bad, it’s the first thing you look at on a photo. They can be totally obstrusive.
Post # 11
Yes she can. Don’t be deceptive and defriend her and do it anyways. I’d test out one of the non-watermarked photos because when I got my e-pics on a disc, none of them had watermarks, but when I uploaded them to facebook, every picture automatically had Copyright Photographers Name, Date as the caption to the photo. So, maybe these are the same way?
Post # 12
As the copyright holder your photographer is legally entitled to set the rules where their work is distributed. Facebook is pretty controversial amongst photographers because they keep changing their policies regarding material you upload. Currently Facebook has a clause that allows them to use images uploaded to the service in ads without consent or compensation. To those who make their livelihood off of photos that’s disconcerning. Facebook also strips metadata out of photos, which erases the information embedded in the image that attributes copyright. All of which are serious issues for photographers.
Most photographers do not like the fact that they have to use watermarks. In a perfect world our clients would just credit the images to us anytime they were posted. Unfortunately that doesn’t always happen. Personally it’s not worth my time or energy to police my clients on whether or not they credit our work when they post it on Facebook. Most of them do, because they understand how important it is. I’m not sure what your relationship is with your photographer – but if I were you I’d just ask. We provide Facebook optimized photos to our clients with a white bar at the bottom of the photo that has our website URL. It’s small and it doesn’t cover up any part of the photo. It’s very easy to crop out, and we put people on the honor system when it comes to it. I honestly wouldn’t have a huge problem with any photo being posted as long as we’re credited. I don’t especially want Facebook using my work in ads, but there is only so much you can do to protect yourself.
I know it’s hard for people to wrap their minds around, but copyright law is very much on the side of the art creator. From a legal standpoint you do not own the images to your wedding.
Post # 13
@beachbride1216: Thanks for explaining – that makes a little more sense. And, the watermark is eh. It’s not horrible, but I’d prefer no watermark. Truthfully, I’ve had it up to *here* with my photographer and I’m not inclined to direct any more business her way – so I’d rather not post photos at all than post with the watermark.
@MrsTVLover: LOL I agree, total jerk… and that is exactly why I don’t want to be a marketing tool for her.
Post # 14
@MrsTVLover: But it’s Facebook. She has non-watermarked photos that she can print. The photog isn’t forcing you to print an entire album with their watermark on it. They are asking you to respect their business out in the public domain. They have that right as the copyright holder and I see no problem with it. Now if you purchased the copyrights to the images, you can post them without watermark – which obviously OP did not.
Post # 15
Your contract is pretty clear that you have to have her permission to repost the images, and she is only allowing you to post watermarked photos. Why does it matter so much? People will still be able to see the pretty photos.
Post # 16
@MrsWBS: +1 This. Usually the copyright info is put in as the caption anyways.
@MrsTVLover: I don’t think the photog is a jerk, I think she’s protecting herself. It used to be that you couldn’t even get your own images to make reprints at Wal-Mart without written permission. Now you can, and photo policies can be lax. I’ve known photographers who get screwed out big time because someone took an image and got it reprinted without permission. It’s akin to copying pages from a book and handing them out for non-educational purposes. Or uploading movies to YouTube. FaceBook is a little more muddled, but that still doesn’t make it right.
@continuumphotography: +1 This as well. It’s possible the photographer isn’t protecting against misuse from the customer, but from FaceBook.