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Monetary Value of Photographer Credit
Old 10-10-2005, 01:10 PM   #1 (permalink)
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I have a client who is about to file a copyright violation suit. I cannot give out specific details.

But one of the issues (there are many) involve a seperate and distinct issue.

For purposes of this question, assume the following.

Photographer agrees to allow the use of several images for a large run calender in exchange for photographer credit on the image or in the margin. Past examples of the calendar contain photographer credit on the images, so the argument that it is "not allowed" is moot.

Calendar gets printed and the only credit to the photographer is in small print on the back cover, not on the image.

This is not the only cause of action or claim in the matter, but on this particular issue, can anyone think of an appropriate manner in which to calculate the value of such a claim?

I would think that if I got a photo published in a major magazine, there is some value to having the credit right on the photo, versus buried in the back of the magazine on a credits page.

Thoughts?

If you were the photographer and you had "licensed" your image to a large publication with the specific proviso that you were to get credit on the image and did not, how would you place a value on the breach?

Mark Jesse
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Re: Monetary Value of Photographer Credit
Old 10-10-2005, 07:55 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Mark,

Not sure but are you an attorney or offer another kind of service to your photographer client? The reason I ask is my company is looking into a similar question regarding trademark infringement. Just so happens that I saw a post this morning here on GG regarding a local (to Atlanta) attorney who specializes in just such issues. Her name is Carolyn Wright and her website is here. I couldn't find the posting when I was looking it up for you but I could have sworn it was from a certain well know photographer in Marina del Rey,CA. In any case, if you are not an attorney - or even if you are - maybe she can help.

Doug
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The monetary value is about 1 cent.
Old 10-10-2005, 11:10 PM   #3 (permalink)
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This is all about EGO and not about copyright violation.

So we see that he took each photo and his name has to be on it
12 times..... for each month, including the cover, the
inside covers and the back? Oh, golly gee whiz, isn't that
special?

If anyone really cared about who took the photo, they will look
in the back of the calendar and read about it.

This would be a stupid lawsuit if he goes thru with it.
If he has that kind of money to spend-- let him have his fun.

If you gather 100 calendars, 95 of them will have
photographer credit in small print in back.

3 of the calendars will have no photographer credit (stock photos).

1 will list all the photographers on each image because it's part
of the liner notes. (example: playboy photographers, or sports
illustrated photographers, etc)... simply because they are "name."
photographers.)

And the other one- simply because the person self-published.

Tell the guy to grow up, be a man, and if he wants that kind of
recognition, go print up and sell his own calendar. Because the
money he will spend on a lawsuit could've been spent doing just that.

There are plenty of big time photographers who live with it, why can't he?

Greg.






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Re: The monetary value is about 1 cent.
Old 10-10-2005, 11:55 PM   #4 (permalink)
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The value of a credit or by-line is what you assign to it in your licensing agreement.

If you put in your standard agreement that the usage isn't valid, i.e. there is a copyright infringement without the by line, and you have registered your images, I think you can claim "damages" at 10K per image.

If you don't have your paperwork in order then the 1 cent value might be closer to what you get.

Standard disclaimers..not a lawyer...you should contact one.... just someone who wishes that they operated under the same copyright laws

grs
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Re: The monetary value is about 1 cent.
Old 10-11-2005, 12:40 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Greg - as someone who makes most of my living licensing images for calendars, let me address a few of your misconceptions:

[ QUOTE ]
This is all about EGO and not about copyright violation.

[/ QUOTE ]

That could be true, as long as the photographer was paid, although its still an important part of the compensation. We generally get photo credits for everything we do, except advertising, and our fees reflect that. In this instance, as he was not paid, the compensation consisted of the credit line, which he did not get. For whatever reason, the credit line was worth it to him, and ironically, costs the publisher nothing, so it was a stupid move on the part of the publisher.

Beyond ego, I can't tell you how many jobs and new calendar gigs I've gotten from people seeing my name on a calendar (even when its just my name, not my website). It is as valuable a marketing tool as a credit line in a magazine.

[ QUOTE ]
So we see that he took each photo and his name has to be on it
12 times..... for each month, including the cover, the
inside covers and the back? Oh, golly gee whiz, isn't that
special?



[/ QUOTE ]

That's really a design descision of the publisher. I've rarely specified how my credit appears, as long as it does, and I've had it done once on the back, as well as under every image AND on the front cover and back cover. It just depends on the publisher, but the photographer can always ask.

[ QUOTE ]


If anyone really cared about who took the photo, they will look
in the back of the calendar and read about it.



[/ QUOTE ]

You are correct most people don't care. But some do. Some are collectors, and some actually do want to find the shooter and perhaps hire them (as I mentioned above). In addition, where possible, I always try to get the model's names listed as well (usually on their own page) because I believe it helps them, and draws the viewer into the product.

[ QUOTE ]


This would be a stupid lawsuit if he goes thru with it.
If he has that kind of money to spend-- let him have his fun.



[/ QUOTE ]

I'm not his lawyer, and we don't have all the specifics. There may be issues we don't know about. For example they could have negotiated the usage such that payment WAS the credit line. W/O the credit, there has been no payment, w/o the payment, there is no license, w/o the license you get a trip to copyright court (if the images were registered). That CAN translate into some big bucks - up to $150k for EACH image, regardless of what value one might try to put on the credit line in the first place.

[ QUOTE ]


If you gather 100 calendars, 95 of them will have
photographer credit in small print in back.

3 of the calendars will have no photographer credit (stock photos).

[/ QUOTE ]
I have been part of a collection of photographs in a few calendars of all types (include datebooks). I have ALWAYS gotten a credit line, sometimes with my stock agent (if one arranged the sale) next to mine. I can't remember ever seeing a calendar with no credits, even (and especially) from stock, which is where most calendars come from. Generally, on retail calendars, when all the photos are done by one photographer, his (or her) name goes on the front in nice type, and then again on the back in the legal section, usually with a copyright notice. As I said, sometimes you also get one under each shot inside. In the situation with mutiple photographers, their names are usually under each shot they did, and maybe listed as contributors on the back.

[ QUOTE ]


1 will list all the photographers on each image because it's part
of the liner notes. (example: playboy photographers, or sports
illustrated photographers, etc)... simply because they are "name."
photographers.)



[/ QUOTE ]
Believe me its not SIMPLY because they're names, its also partly contractual, and partly because those names may help sell the calendar.

[ QUOTE ]


And the other one- simply because the person self-published.



[/ QUOTE ]

Well that goes without saying, but if he paid for it (which is REALLY rare) then he can have whatever he wants.

[ QUOTE ]

Tell the guy to grow up, be a man, and if he wants that kind of
recognition, go print up and sell his own calendar. Because the
money he will spend on a lawsuit could've been spent doing just that.



[/ QUOTE ]
This isn't missing a play on a football team. This was obviously a business arrangement gone bad. It may have been a perfectly innocent error on the part of the publisher or the designer or whatever, but if the deal was photos in exchange for credit, then I say go for it, IF he can find a way to do it without spending a lot on the attorney. If the attorney is willing to work on contingency, then the photogs only expense is the lawyer's expense. If its a solid copyright infringement, and there are enough images involved and some kind of willful wrongdoing can be proved, they can make a bundle. The copyright law provides for (as long as the images were registered prior to the infringement) up to $150,000 per image in statutory damages, plus costs and attorney's fees. Nothing to sneeze at if the publisher has deep enough pockets.[ QUOTE ]


There are plenty of big time photographers who live with it, why can't he?

[/ QUOTE ]

I'm not a big-time photographer, and I won't live with it, can you name one who has (or maybe not - since if they left his name off the calendar, you wouldn't know who he was!).

Regards,
Andy Pearlman
Andy Pearlman Studio


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Re: The monetary value is about 1 cent.
Old 10-11-2005, 12:47 AM   #6 (permalink)
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[ QUOTE ]
The value of a credit or by-line is what you assign to it in your licensing agreement.



[/ QUOTE ]

That's a great point. In the few situations where I've allowed images to be used for no fee, I create a license in the format of an invoice, and specify a licenseing fee for the specific usage, then waive the fee lower on the page, as long as a certain condition is met, in this case, a proper credit line. That sets the value for each situation, and to avoid paying it, the client has to give me the agreed credit.

[ QUOTE ]


If you put in your standard agreement that the usage isn't valid, i.e. there is a copyright infringement without the by line, and you have registered your images, I think you can claim "damages" at 10K per image.



[/ QUOTE ]

I wonder where you got that number? In most copyright claims, you do need to justify what you should have received, and unless you did what I said above, I couldn't come up with what a credit line is worth myself. BUT - if its a valid copyright claim (with correct registration prior to infringement) the correct number could be up to $150k. The figure "$10k" doesn't appear anywhere.

[ QUOTE ]


If you don't have your paperwork in order then the 1 cent value might be closer to what you get.



[/ QUOTE ] Paperwork IS king.

Regards,
Andy Pearlman
Andy Pearlman Studio
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Re: The monetary value is about 1 cent.
Old 10-11-2005, 01:10 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Hello Andy,
Always great hearing from you.
I did not see anything about financial compensation, so I ASSumed there
was some "payment." I got the impression it was all about how it was
displayed.

The movers and shakers will look in the back--- that's for sure.

It's great to have your name on a calendar, or anything for that matter.
It's good advertising,,,, I do know the power of that, it's what keeps
me going in my freelance business. I'v been dabbling in the land of OZ
( that's my nickname for Los Angeles) since '68.

Now YOU have a name,,, even before we met, I knew who you were thru industry
folk and some friends. But I know you look back on those "salad" days and
wonder how'd you last this long?

My impression of this situation is that the lawsuit will not be "worth" it.
Yea, I have won copyright infringment complaints and the reward was very
well worth the time....the perpetrator had deep pockets and I made sure
it was very costly. But being the cool person that I am,,, I made sure it
worked out for the loser too.

My point was and it was probably too harsh given the lack of details, is
that unless there was a lot at stake and the photographer went through
some "out of pocket" expense in excess of what the potential reward would
be, it would not be worth the time or money to complain about it.

Just be more vigilant next time.

Right now, intellectual property - especially in the visual arts and sound
is being literally abused by corporations and consumers alike. It's one
reason why it's hard to make a living,,, then include the competition
and you really have it rough.

Next time I'm in town, lets do lunch

Greg.






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Re: Monetary Value of Photographer Credit
Old 10-11-2005, 01:19 AM   #8 (permalink)
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On a not quite so related note,... I agree...

I have had my work published with full credit around the world,...and too many times to count locally,....where you'd think would lead to the phone ringing.. well, it hasn't. I have gone places, and the people there recognise my name from photo credits, but no one has ever looked up my info in the phone book, or on the www, and asked if I could shoot something for them...never.

Funny thing,...a few months ago, I covered a grand opening ribbon cutting event at some business in the city,..and the alderman's photographer couldn't get the camera to work,..but asked me for a business card,..and called me a week later asking me to "donate" my pictures to him so he could run my pictures with full name credit of the event in his news letter which would be seen by all his constituents..(who didn't toss away the news letter along with the other junk mail).......I'm like,......nope.... that will cost you "x" amound of $$ sir.....and so I quoted him a reasonable figure for what I thoiught the images were worth to me,..and he still refused! The guy infered that local businesses (gas stations, pizza parlors..etc...whoopie..) would be seeing my name on those pictures, there by giving me free publicity.....and so I had to remind him who he was talking to.. (idiot,..I hope he loses in the next election!!)

Sorry,...name credit on news letter photographs and 50¢ can get me a can of pop!...(depending on which machine you buy it from...some are charging 1.00 for a can now).. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/frown.gif[/img] That's a lot of money to pay for pop..

This guy should have been PAID, not given photo credit only.

The only thing that he could have gotten from this was a tear sheet with his name clearly on the page of the calendar, which I don't believe is asking too much from the publisher since they didn't actuallly pay the guy a flipping dime,.......and so the fellow could use that tear sheet as marketing materials, which would have been seen by the right people,...not just by any old people..

I wonder if that fellow could sue for the amount that they "would have" paid him if he was looking for money rather than a photocredit, since they didn't seem to make his name look obvious to the viewers of those images..

Tell your client,...learn from this,...don't make the same dumb mistake again..

Tell him to read this forum.. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img]

JP
 
 
Re: The monetary value is about 1 cent.
Old 10-11-2005, 06:38 AM   #9 (permalink)
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[ QUOTE ]

<snip>

I wonder where you got that number?

<snip>

Regards,
Andy Pearlman
Andy Pearlman Studio


[/ QUOTE ]

This figure comes from another list i follow ( and could be wrong), but my understanding is, if you register your image before it is published, the minimum "damage" ( not sure if that is the right word) can be 10K. If the image isn't registered then you have to "prove" the value of the image... if your normal fee is $10 then that is what the value is.

Since I operate under a different set of laws ( and paperwork) this is just theory for me.

grs
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Re: Monetary Value of Photographer Credit
Old 10-11-2005, 07:27 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I gladly and joyfully gave away a few of my photos to a friend of mine for the DVD of his film Jimmy Scott: If You Only Knew. The film received critical accolades, and the DVD sales have been impressive. I have three photos in the extras part of the DVD, including this one:


I also have a credit line in the extras section of the DVD. I'm very proud to have been able to contribute to my friend's success, and to date, the inclusion of those three photos and my name on an internationally released DVD of an award winning documentary has brought me exactly no business.

Zero. Zip. Zilch. Nadda. Bupkus.

I have shot more "grip and grins" for my company than I can count. Those shots have been published in numerous hotel/motel trade publications. Each one of the photos has a mice-type credit line "photo by Ed Selby". Those publications are distributed to the movers and shakers of the hospitality industry. Thousands of industry people see those photos and can see my name associated with them. How much new business have I received based solely on those credit lines? None.

Zero. Zip. Zilch. Nadda. Bupkus.

I recently did a corporate headshot for my little sister. It has been published in a half-dozen magazines for her industry. In two of those magazines, I have a credit line next to the photo (thanks, Sister!!). How many new corporate headshots have I shot based on that credit line? You got it.

Zero. Zip. Zilch. Nadda. Bupkus.

The "monetary value of photographer credit"? Not a damn thing.
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