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HelicopterAerial Photography and Video › Copyright laws
03-10-2006 02:46 PM  11 years agoPost 1
Brett Horton

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Hey guys,
Got a little problem,
We did a job for a Realtor a couple of years ago of a rental property here at the beach. The property is no longer a rental and is being sold. The Realtor we sold the picture to, initially listed the house for sale. They used the picture on the MLS directory which was fine with me, as they paid us for the pictures.
Now the problem. The house has been re-listed by another company not affiliated with the first. Our picture was copied from the MLS website (I spoke with the first Realtor, they did not "give" the picture to the second) and placed under the new realtors listings.
Now, first I did not have the first realtor sign ANYTHING about copyright use, but isn't there a "given" about pictures and copyright infringement?
No tremendous biggie with the one picture but I do not want it to escalate.

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03-10-2006 02:51 PM  11 years agoPost 2
peaks view

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City, State

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..

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03-10-2006 02:52 PM  11 years agoPost 3
GMcNair

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Birmingham AL

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Brett, one thing I put on my invoices in the comments section is that photos may not be resold or redistributed. One thing I learned yesterday from one of my realtors is that many are passing the costs of such advertising directly on to the consumer. So in effect, the homeowner is who paid for many of my photos in the past. To that end, I can't stop them from using it with whatever realty company they choose. They just can't resell it.

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03-10-2006 03:14 PM  11 years agoPost 4
Brett Horton

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This seems to explain it.

What is Copyright?

Much of the information you will find in our “Copyright Basics” sections has been adapted from information found on the official website of the U.S. Copyright Office; see “Links” to go directly to the Copyright Office’s site for additional, more detailed information.

Copyright is a form of protection provided by the laws of the United States (Title 17, U.S. Code) to the creators of “original works of authorship,” including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain other intellectual works. This protection is available for both published and unpublished works. Section 106 of the 1976 Copyright Act generally gives the owner of copyright the exclusive right to do and to authorize others to do the following:

To reproduce the work in copies or phono records;
To prepare derivative works based upon the work;
To distribute copies of the work to the public by sale or other transfer of ownership, or by rental, lease, or lending;
To perform the work publicly, in the case of literary, musical, dramatic, and choreographic works, pantomimes, and motion pictures and other audiovisual works;
To display the copyrighted work publicly, in the case of literary, musical, dramatic, and choreographic works, pantomimes, and pictorial, graphic, or sculptural works, including the individual images of a motion picture or other audiovisual work; and
In the case of sound recordings, to perform the work publicly by means of a digital audio transmission.
In addition to copyright, certain authors of works of visual art also have the rights of attribution and integrity as described in section 106A of the 1976 Copyright Act.

It is illegal for anyone to violate any of the rights provided by the copyright law to the copyright holder.

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Who Owns Copyrights?

Copyright protection subsists from the time the work is created in fixed, tangible form. The copyright in the work of authorship immediately becomes the property of the author who created the work. Only the author or those deriving their rights through the author can rightfully claim copyright.

In the case of works “made for hire”, where an artist has created the work while in his/her capacity of employee, the employer and not the employee is considered to be the author and copyright holder. Where a work was created jointly by more than one artist, the authors of a joint work are all co-owners of the copyright in the work, unless there is an agreement to the contrary. Copyright in each separate contribution to a periodical or other collective work is distinct from copyright in the collective work as a whole and vests initially with the author of each contribution.

The mere ownership of a book, manuscript, painting, or any other work does not give the possessor of that work its copyright. The law provides that transfer of ownership of any material object that embodies a protected work does not of itself convey the copyright or any interest in the copyright. This remains in the possession of the creator and is often referred to as the underlying artist’s copyright, distinct from the physical object with embodies it.

Any or all of the copyright owner's exclusive rights or any subdivision of those rights may be transferred to another party, but the transfer of exclusive rights is not valid unless that transfer is in writing and signed by the owner of the copyright or such owner's duly authorized agent. Such transfers are comparatively rare in the U.S. and are almost never knowingly engaged in by European artists. For more on this subject, go to “Related Topics” and see the pages titled “Do U.S. Owners of Works of Art Also Control the Copyrights?”

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How Long Is a Work Copyright-Protected in the United States?

Works created on or after January 1, 1978: A work that is created (fixed in tangible form for the first time) on or after January 1, 1978, is automatically protected from the moment of its creation and is given a term of copyright protection enduring for the lifetime of the artist plus an additional 70 years after the artist's death. In the case of "a joint work prepared by two or more artists who did not work for hire," the term lasts for 70 years after the last surviving artist's death. For works made for hire, and for anonymous and pseudonymous works (unless the artist's identity is revealed in Copyright Office records), the duration of copyright will be 95 years from first publication or 120 years from creation, whichever is shorter.

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03-10-2006 03:42 PM  11 years agoPost 5
aambrose

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Pana, IL

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Brett,
We went through something similar to this a few months ago with a realtor. I wrote a short polite letter to the realtor expressing my gratitude toward the fact that they decided to use one of our photos. In our case, they put the photo in an electronic brochure (PDF). I enclosed an invoice for 1 year usage fee starting from the creation date of the PDF. We received payment within 2 weeks. They couldve easily been buttholes about this but they werent. I think the fact that I was polite up front helped. The part that really peed me off was that I had just spoken with the realtor days before I discovered them using the photo and he said he "didn't want to violate any copyright laws". Go figure!

I think it's best to approach the situation politely at first (then get gritty if you have to).

Actually, the realtor somehow got the photo from another big customer of ours -- I know this for a fact. Our invoices state that reproduction and redistribution is prohibited, but that just goes to show you that people don't always pay attention to that stuff. It also goes to show you that others like your work and want to use it!!!


Tony

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03-10-2006 05:11 PM  11 years agoPost 6
hobbyguy4

Senior Heliman

Lafayette Indiana

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It may be even an additional point on an invoice to have the customer initial points of attention such as copyright rules or procedures that are specific to your business. It has been something I have been rolling in my mind for quite some time.

Sean

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03-10-2006 05:19 PM  11 years agoPost 7
aambrose

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Pana, IL

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Same here Sean. Our procedures for delivering the product and invoice aren't always the same. Might need to standardize this process or at least get those initials prior to performing a job.


Tony

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03-10-2006 07:50 PM  11 years agoPost 8
Brett Horton

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Tony,
I totally agree with you about being polite.
Always be polite in the business world.
Thanks guys.

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03-10-2006 11:56 PM  11 years agoPost 9
tabbytabb

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seattle

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Brett, here is another variable to throw into the mix. With our MLS in Washington State any photo you submit to the MLS becomes in essence their property. On many of my own listings I have tried to submit my own aerials with a "copyright nwaerialphotography.com" byline on the bottom of the photo and they will not accept them.

Additionally the MLS often provides past photos for use to other agents who list the property in the future. So what may have happened was the present agent just grabbed the old photo off the MLS thinking nothing about the copyright issues associated with said photo and slapped it on their advertising package.

In any event the end result is the same and you are on the right track, just contact them and be polite and that is all you can really do. If they dont wanna pay it probably isnt worth your time to really go after them.

Just my 2 cents as an agent.

Take Care

Tabb

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03-11-2006 02:36 AM  11 years agoPost 10
soupisgoodfood

Senior Heliman

New Zealand

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I guess it depends on wether you're selling the whole image, including copyright, or are selling them the right to use the image. Probably something you'll want to clarify in the future.

Some clients expect to own the copyright. There is nothing wrong with that, as long as it's sorted out before hand.

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03-11-2006 02:40 AM  11 years agoPost 11
jeffscholl

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Whitefish, MT

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This could be a drag:
http://www.robgalbraith.com/bins/co...cid=7-7892-8253

Cheers,
Jeff Scholl
GravityShots.com

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