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What\'s the PPA done for me?
Old 10-13-2005, 02:19 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Well, if you photograph anyone and give them prints, the PPA has done a lot for you. Just read:

October 13, 2005

Dear PPA Member,

Good news! PPA’s RECON Team has seen major improvements in copyright protection throughout the country, with some retailers boasting a 100% compliance record.

RECON (Retailer Compliance Network) is a group of members who volunteer to investigate copyright compliance of retail stores and online photofinishers. Their dedication to the program has helped reduce the levels of copyright infringement at many retail chains in your area.

For example, the first investigation of Walgreen’s in 2002 indicated that stores in the chain complied with copyright law 70% of the times they were presented with professional images. During our last investigation of the retail chain, Walgreen’s complied with copyright law each and every time an investigator attempted to copy an image.

Prior to the release of recent RECON results to Walgreen’s corporate offices, one of their employees posted great information on the forum at www.Our PPA.com regarding the stores’ copyright training process. According to the employee, all photo lab employees are now required to complete training not only on operating the machines, but also on deciphering professional images. The employee writes, “Just wanted to let everyone know that their membership has paid off, at least where copyright issues are concerned.�

Walgreen’s, along with Wolf/Ritz Camera, has set a new benchmark for retail compliance at 100%. PPA hopes to continue to investigate retail stores until all retail chains reach the 100% mark in RECON investigations. To make this happen, we need to test stores around the country to ensure the results are indicative of the company’s willingness to comply with federal copyright laws. Anyone interested in bolstering the RECON Team’s efforts, please contact Deyanna Jones at djones@ppa.com. A new mission is currently being organized.

Also, thanks to all the investigators—your willingness and dedication is appreciated by all photographers.

Keeping retail photofinishers on the up and up: that’s part of the value of PPA membership.

Al Hopper
Director of Membership, Copyright & Government Affairs
Professional Photographers of America
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Re: What\'s the PPA done for me?
Old 10-13-2005, 03:44 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Very interesting. Does anybody know what the law requires a retailer to do with regard to copyright protection?

My sister-in-law printed some photos that I took of my daughter at her local Wal Mart. The technician wrote on the package "Professional Images - possible copyright infringement" then he questioned her about it (rather aggressively) when she came to pick-up the prints. Heather's a pretty stubborn lady, so she wasn't leaving without her prints. I'm not sure whether he bought her story that her brother took the photos, or just caved to the pressure. But I was happy to see that somebody is looking-out for our copyrights. Maybe I should include a copyright release on the CDs I distribute to family.


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Re: What\'s the PPA done for me?
Old 10-13-2005, 04:54 PM   #3 (permalink)
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When I worked in a mom and pop lab back in my early GG days we would often get shots brought in that had pro paper or the © on them. A lot of times we would say nicely how they are pro pictures and we need a release from the photographer.

Usually that become "well i am the photographer" "where are your negatives" "we lost them" "i see, and you used what kind of film?" (they would point to a 35mm film bin" "right, this film is 120 and 220, you shoot that? With what kind of back? and we would outwit them. Sometimes we got releases, other times we got the middle finger, but we protected the photographic populus.

I like it when people would bring in my work and try to copy it and claim they were the owners of the shot. "No , excuse me, I am the guy who shot your picture, I have your negative, it didn't get damaged in a fire".

Ah good times. Sadly they are all not like we were, and with those image stations everywhere, it is hard to monitor it. Some of the machines can detect © pro paper and make you override it through the manager (50/50 there) but otherwise its discression of whoever is working with you.

No system to truly help you, thats where the PPA comes in [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

They are working on some more agressive ways to protect photographers in 06', don't think they have anything passed yet.

JasonNJ
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Re: What\'s the PPA done for me?
Old 10-13-2005, 06:29 PM   #4 (permalink)
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A retailer is just as liable for copying a picture as the person who own's the print.

Including a copyright release on the CD is a great idea. I work in a Wal-Mart photo lab and we run into this problem almost every day. Our policy is we will not copy any image that appears to be taken by a professional without a written release.

I don't think the general public really understands ANYTHING about copyright law. I've had customers that I've denied copies to say things like "Well, I'll just go to Kinko's and make copies." They just don't seem to realize that it's a federal law.


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Re: What\'s the PPA done for me?
Old 10-13-2005, 07:11 PM   #5 (permalink)
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[ QUOTE ]
They just don't seem to realize that it's a federal law.

[/ QUOTE ]

I'm not sure it's "realize" so much as "care." Thanks for looking out for your fellow photographers...oh, and obeying the law. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/laugh.gif[/img]
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Re: What\'s the PPA done for me?
Old 10-14-2005, 03:34 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Wal-Mart...hmmm

Here is my experience with Wal-Mart photo. I have been known to use Wal-Mart to print some of my photos that I want for personal use (on my own walls and shelves) from time to time (actually, quite often) and I have NEVER been asked for a copyright release. The only time that someone at the counter EVER made a big deal about it was the last time when I asked them about it. At that point, the person in charge of the photo lab started getting nasty with me and, at that point (after I had pointed out the ©2005 Jeremy R. Wirtz in the corner, had the photos and had already paid) did she DEMAND a copyright release be signed. The other photo lab employee told me that she saw the photos and even told the other person that they were pro photos, but obviously was ignored. Overall, the Wal-Mart stores in my area are really bad about it (come to think of it, when I was in another state and got a few done, same thing, no release required).
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Simple answer...
Old 10-14-2005, 06:09 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Were they being printed off of a CD or memory card? Then you were allowed to print them. And that particular Wal-Mart was a bit more informed than some.

But if you were using the free-standing kiosk and flatbed-scanning an existing print for copies, that's a whole other thing entirely.

See the difference? There's a logic at work here. Being in possession of a CD is exactly like having the negatives. If the photographer hadn't wanted you to make prints, he/she would never have given or sold it to you. Or they would have stipulated a size limit on the CD, or burned the CD with low-res images. Printing from a card automatically implies they are your images.

But every photographer sells prints, and none want them copied. That's where the signed copyright release form comes into play.

Why was that Wal-Mart more informed than some? Because Wal-Mart allows the lab managers to interpret copyright printing rules. And the 2 in my area have recently changed lab managers. They both see the reason for not printing professional photos as an unfair profit issue. So they especially will not print them if you took them! "Go to a professional color lab, that's what they're for!" is their answer. They say the copright release forms are there for the clients, not the pros themselves.

And FWIW, your copyright mark means virtually nothing. The US has followed the Berne Convention regarding copyright law and standards since '89. Copyright marking is no longer required nor is it a "stopper". Photogs put it there simply as an ID, a kind of advertisement.

How do I know this? I'm a lab supervisor at the local CVS, and I'm getting more pro work everyday. And more ticked-off customers wanting to pirate prints too.

David
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Re: Simple answer...
Old 10-14-2005, 02:16 PM   #8 (permalink)
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The photos that I get done at Wal Mart are uploaded to them then printed and picked up later. Never see me until it is time for the money.
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Ok, cool....same difference...
Old 10-14-2005, 11:10 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Ofoto, Kodak, all the "upload" type printers use the same logic. The only way someone would have a high-res image file, even if marked with your copyright, is that the photographer gave it to them or it is the actual photographer ordering the prints. Otherwise, there's no access to the file to be uploaded. But what about low-res stuff downloaded off the net? That's a whole lot grayer area.

Again, with most printers, the copyright release forms are required when copying existing photo prints, not for printing from files, slides or negatives.

Besides, according to the Berne Convention, all works of art are automatically protected by copyright at the instant of creation. Which means every image printed anywhere is copyrighted. So if a lab couldn't print copyrighted images, they couldn't print anything.

Food for thought...

David
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