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Need clarification: personal vs. self-promotion vs. commercial use
Old 01-07-2007, 10:41 PM   #1 (permalink)
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I need a little clarification on where the lines are between various uses of a photo. I understand that sometimes the lines are a little fuzzy and there can be some interpretation involved.

If someone uses a photo on their MySpace page, and that page is used exclusively as a method of communication with friends and family, I would argue that it would qualify as personal use. If a photo is used on a "commercial" MySpace page, like some businesses have, and say it is a photo of chicken wings and under it it says "Eat at Joe's Chicken Shack", I would argue that would qualify as commercial use.

What about this: A model has a MySpace page, and on that page are a few photos of her, along with words to the effect of "I am a model, please hire me". Is this self-promotion, like carying around a tear sheet, or commercial use to advertise a product (her)?

Comments and observations from people with more experience than I with these distinctions will be welcome.

Final note: Yes, one of the images on her page is mine. No, the release gives her no rights to the image and no, she didn't ask, but no, I don't care because I have known her socially for a few years. However, I want to check if I need to talk to her to keep other photographers from getting mad.
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Re: Need clarification: personal vs. self-promotion vs. commercial use
Old 01-07-2007, 11:01 PM   #2 (permalink)
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[quote=RobArtLyn;241199]I need a little clarification on where the lines are between various uses of a photo. I understand that sometimes the lines are a little fuzzy and there can be some interpretation involved.

If someone uses a photo on their MySpace page, and that page is used exclusively as a method of communication with friends and family, I would argue that it would qualify as personal use. If a photo is used on a "commercial" MySpace page, like some businesses have, and say it is a photo of chicken wings and under it it says "Eat at Joe's Chicken Shack", I would argue that would qualify as commercial use.

I RESPOND: Both are, strictly speaking, a violation of copyright. I would agree that the 1st use cited is personal, the 2nd is commercial.



What about this: A model has a MySpace page, and on that page are a few photos of her, along with words to the effect of "I am a model, please hire me". Is this self-promotion, like carying around a tear sheet, or commercial use to advertise a product (her)?

I RESPOND: There is no particular distinction. It is commercial use, self-promotion, advertising her own services. Same comments re: copyright apply.


I ADD: The distinction between private and commercial release applies more directly when the photographer is using photos to promote himself. When a model uses the photos, the question usually involves copyright, including the 4 factors of "fair use."
 
 
Re: Need clarification: personal vs. self-promotion vs. commercial use
Old 01-08-2007, 01:19 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Here is a whole book on the legal aspects of photographer, model, releases, etc. The link takes you to a chapter in this online book which is on the lines of what you are asking.

http://www.danheller.com/model-release.html#8.7

Also take a look at the whole book, because it has a lot of good info.

Cheers,
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Re: Need clarification: personal vs. self-promotion vs. commercial use
Old 01-08-2007, 03:57 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Perhaps I didn't ask my question properly. I understand the difference bewteen physical ownership and usage rights. I strongly suspect, however, that the model in question does not. Before I speak to her about it, I need to know how her usage would be classified in this particular context.

I hold the copyright to the image. I have a model release from her. There is absolutely nothing in the release that explicitly provides for any rights for her to use the image. The image in question was used in a calendar. As a curtesy to her, I gave her a copy of the final image as printed.

If she had framed it and stuck it on the piano in her living room, that would unarguably be considered personal usage and I doubt that any sane photographer would have a single ill word to say on the matter. On the other extreme, if she used the image in an ad campaign, that would be commercial usage, and since she has no commercial rights to the image it would be a definite infringement.

Commercial usage aside, models do collect tear sheets. She could grab a copy of the calendar, tear out her page, stick it in her portfolio, and show it to anyone that might want to book her for a shoot. So the first part of my resubmitted question is: Are there generally any issues related to models showing tear sheets? Can they ever be restricted? Do they need explicit rights, or is there anything implicit?

Second, would posting the image, along with others of her done by other photographers, on her MySpace page, along with words to the effect of "I'm a model, please hire me" qualify as the on-line equivalent of a tear sheet, i.e., self-promotion, or is it commercial use?

Thanks again for your time.
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Re: Need clarification: personal vs. self-promotion vs. commercial use
Old 01-08-2007, 01:24 PM   #5 (permalink)
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In my "opinion" the model should be able to use the "tear shieet" in her portfolio whether in a book or online. I think this is usually a win win situation where the photographer gains benefit also, because more people see the photographer's work and that opens up more opportunities.
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