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Author Topic: Selling someone else's vintage images  (Read 9144 times)

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« on: December 05, 2016, 07:37 »
0
My father-in-law has 1,000s of vintage photos of UK public transport and I'd like to try them on microstock.

I've got a few scanned that I'm going to try submitting but I wanted to see if anyone has experience of submitting vintage images that are someone else's, with their permission.

Shutterstock say they need a property release for each slide, I have contacted them to see if there are any other options.  I can't find any guidelines for iStock or Dreamstime.

Any thoughts or guidance would be much appreciated.


« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2016, 08:19 »
0
Property release? Regarding ownership of the image or regarding the subject matter of the image? Is your father-in-law still alive? If so, have him sign a document that states he took the photographs and is giving you legal entitlement to them. Submit that signed document each time you submit his photos and you should be fine.


« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2016, 09:21 »
0
Property release? Regarding ownership of the image or regarding the subject matter of the image? Is your father-in-law still alive? If so, have him sign a document that states he took the photographs and is giving you legal entitlement to them. Submit that signed document each time you submit his photos and you should be fine.

Thanks for your reply

Yes he is alive, and it's just for ownership of the image.  Shutterstock's site suggests that they'd need a PR for very slide with a reference image attached which seemed like a lot of faffing around!  I'll do as you say and try a cover-all PR and see what happens.

« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2016, 10:10 »
0
Beware of copyright and trademark rejections for names or logos and the design of the locomotives and carriages. One release for each photo, good for all agencies. If the shots are the same subject, same date, one release may work, just like a model shoot.

« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2016, 12:45 »
0
Beware of copyright and trademark rejections for names or logos and the design of the locomotives and carriages. One release for each photo, good for all agencies. If the shots are the same subject, same date, one release may work, just like a model shoot.


Just to be clear I'd be uploading these as editorial, Shutterstock require the PR for the image itself.

www.shutterstock.com/contributorsupport/articles/kbat02/000006618
« Last Edit: December 05, 2016, 12:52 by ColobusYeti »

« Reply #5 on: December 11, 2016, 07:49 »
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Shutterstock replied, they insist on a property release for each individual image and my father-in-law decided he doesn't want to sign the form!  That's that out the window then!

Will submit to DT and iS, see what they do.

« Reply #6 on: December 11, 2016, 08:28 »
+5
Shutterstock replied, they insist on a property release for each individual image and my father-in-law decided he doesn't want to sign the form! 

From my perspective I'd much prefer to err on the side of caution. If Shutterstock or any other agency for that matter requests additional legal forms, then so be it. They know the business better than I do. And frankly, if your father-in-law doesn't want to sign the form then personally I would abandon the project.

« Reply #7 on: December 11, 2016, 09:01 »
+3
Shutterstock replied, they insist on a property release for each individual image and my father-in-law decided he doesn't want to sign the form! 

From my perspective I'd much prefer to err on the side of caution. If Shutterstock or any other agency for that matter requests additional legal forms, then so be it. They know the business better than I do. And frankly, if your father-in-law doesn't want to sign the form then personally I would abandon the project.


In fact, if he won't sign a release, then he hasn't really given you the copyright. No one is going to accept that "he told you it was OK" or similar in place of a release.
It's one thing to be given, and so "own" a physical photograph in slide or print form, and quite another to hold copyright of that image.
Not having a release would leave any seller, and the OP, with the possibility of all sorts of legal problems in the future. As Asthebelltolls says, better to err on the side of caution.

« Reply #8 on: December 11, 2016, 11:49 »
0
Shutterstock replied, they insist on a property release for each individual image and my father-in-law decided he doesn't want to sign the form!  That's that out the window then!

Will submit to DT and iS, see what they do.
He won't sign?  Will he sue you though?

« Reply #9 on: December 11, 2016, 18:41 »
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this is a perfect example as to how stock agencies are completely clueless as to what copyright law is and as to how it works. demanding a property release for the images has no legal value whatsoever. in fact, you won't find 'property releases' mentioned anywhere in copyright law.

what you need is a copyright transfer agreement. you file a copyright transfer agreement with the government agency in your country (such as the US copyright office) for the entire collection. once you do that, you are the copyright owner, and your rights are recognized by any and all countries that have a copyright treaty with the US, which is going to cover the majority of the world.

once you transfer the copyright to you, you don't have to acknowledge or mention the original copyright owner, ever.

copyrights are not always owned by the person who took the photograph. they can be transferred, sold, done as work for hire, etc.
« Last Edit: December 11, 2016, 18:43 by unnonimus »

« Reply #10 on: December 12, 2016, 04:20 »
+1
That may be so but you have to conform to whatever S Stock want whether its right or wrong

« Reply #11 on: December 27, 2016, 01:27 »
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In addition to the copyright transfer agreement, get the property release forms from each stock agency, and contact the UK dept of transportation, and ask them to sign the release, and be very specific that the release covers photos taken by your relative, and they will sign the forms if you ask the right person (probably in the media department).

« Reply #12 on: December 27, 2016, 02:20 »
+1
UK Public transport arrangements are very complex so I doubt the Department for Transport will be in a position to sign anything. Trains were not govt controlled pre 1945 for example and aren't now and most buses are /were local council or privately owned

« Reply #13 on: December 27, 2016, 02:53 »
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if you don't ask, you definitely won't get permission.

dpimborough

« Reply #14 on: December 27, 2016, 03:53 »
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Put them on Alamy via the archive route you don't need property releases and they will go automatically as Rights Managed

You will need to apply to Alamy for archive/reportage uploading so you will need a sample of a small number of the images (dropbox folder will do)

dpimborough

« Reply #15 on: December 27, 2016, 03:55 »
0
In addition to the copyright transfer agreement, get the property release forms from each stock agency, and contact the UK dept of transportation, and ask them to sign the release, and be very specific that the release covers photos taken by your relative, and they will sign the forms if you ask the right person (probably in the media department).

The dept of transport will not sign Pauws99 is quite correct plus a lot of older transport companies are no longer in business.

Rather than go through that rigmarole just sell them rights managed or editorial without property releases.
« Last Edit: December 27, 2016, 03:58 by Zarniwoop »

« Reply #16 on: December 27, 2016, 23:58 »
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you said: "The dept of transport will not sign"

if you contact the right person, you will get a signed release form.


SpaceStockFootage

  • Space, Sci-Fi and Astronomy Related Stock Footage

« Reply #17 on: December 28, 2016, 00:43 »
0
Slightly off topic, although kind of along the same lines... when asking for people to sign releases, how do you broach the subject? I'm just imagining something like this...

You: "Hello. You own the copyright of something which I would like to take a picture of, or have taken a picture of. I would now like to sell the picture, and make money off of my image of your copyrighted thing, so would be grateful if you could sign this release form. You will receive nothing in return for this."

Them: "Of course! I would be happy to sign your release form so you can make money from an image of my copyrighted thing, and I won't make money from your image of my copyrighted thing."

I'm sure people word it a bit more positively, but still... do a lot of people happily sign their design/face/intellectual property/building on a release form? I mean what if it was the other way around...

Them: "Hello! I've seen your images on Shutterstock. I'd like to draw/paint/illustrate a recreation of some of your photos and then sell them on at all the different stock sites. So if you could fill out this release form then that would be much appreciated. You will receive nothing in return for this." 

You: "Is this a joke?"

« Reply #18 on: December 28, 2016, 02:55 »
+3
you said: "The dept of transport will not sign"

if you contact the right person, you will get a signed release form.
Good luck with that you clearly have no clue what the role and functions of the UK Department of Transport are

« Reply #19 on: December 28, 2016, 11:04 »
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Thanks for all the replies!

The reason he won't sign a property release is a long complicated story that I won't bore you all with here.  He's more than happy for me to use the images for this purpose and is happy to write legal statement confirming this.  In fact he likes the idea of his images being used but isn't in a position to scan, correct, clean up etc.  He is however more than happy to provide accurate and detailed information for the captioning.

Zarniwoop suggests using Alamy and this is actually what I've done.  I've had my first images accepted and they've enabled uploads via the archive route so I'm going to start uploading them there.

« Reply #20 on: January 02, 2017, 18:31 »
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you said: "Good luck with that you clearly have no clue what the role and functions of the UK Department of Transport are"

The UK Department of Transport will have a media department, and the media department deals with public relations including photography and journalism. if you want permission to use something that they have rights to, you send them a written request and they either approve it or deny it.

second, copyrights protect creative works such as music, art, and literature. trains are not creative works. copyrights cannot and do not protect objects that are used for functional or utility reasons. trains cannot be copyrighted or trademarked.

the intellectual property of trains are only protected by patent law.

« Reply #21 on: January 03, 2017, 13:04 »
+1
you said: "Good luck with that you clearly have no clue what the role and functions of the UK Department of Transport are"

The UK Department of Transport will have a media department, and the media department deals with public relations including photography and journalism. if you want permission to use something that they have rights to, you send them a written request and they either approve it or deny it.

second, copyrights protect creative works such as music, art, and literature. trains are not creative works. copyrights cannot and do not protect objects that are used for functional or utility reasons. trains cannot be copyrighted or trademarked.

the intellectual property of trains are only protected by patent law.
and tell me what vehicles do you think they have rights to?

« Reply #22 on: January 04, 2017, 02:15 »
+1
Thanks for all the replies!

The reason he won't sign a property release is a long complicated story that I won't bore you all with here.  He's more than happy for me to use the images for this purpose and is happy to write legal statement confirming this.  In fact he likes the idea of his images being used but isn't in a position to scan, correct, clean up etc.  He is however more than happy to provide accurate and detailed information for the captioning.

Zarniwoop suggests using Alamy and this is actually what I've done.  I've had my first images accepted and they've enabled uploads via the archive route so I'm going to start uploading them there.
If he won't sign a release I wouldn't even think about it, move on.  You risk getting sued and having your account closed.

SpaceStockFootage

  • Space, Sci-Fi and Astronomy Related Stock Footage

« Reply #23 on: January 04, 2017, 03:39 »
0
trains are not creative works.

Do you have some kind of reference/ruling for that claim?

« Reply #24 on: January 04, 2017, 05:02 »
+2
trains are not creative works.

Do you have some kind of reference/ruling for that claim?
I doubt if trains or buses are creative works, but their livery will be trademarked or copyright.

« Reply #25 on: January 04, 2017, 06:10 »
0
you said: "but their livery will be trademarked or copyright."

trademarks are for words and short phrases and logos that identify the source of a product or service. a train cannot be trademarked.

copyrights are for creative works, such as books, art, music, etc. they do not protect anything whose pruimary purpose is functionality.

the livery will not be trademarked or copyrighted.

SpaceStockFootage

  • Space, Sci-Fi and Astronomy Related Stock Footage

« Reply #26 on: January 04, 2017, 07:21 »
0
What about Kikkoman soy sauce bottles? The bottle itself, not whatever is on it.


« Reply #27 on: January 04, 2017, 08:00 »
+1

It's not as simple as "these are the rules"


Many companies are protective of their recognisable designs and packaging whatever the rules say.


Being "in the right" doesn't stop you getting sued. The rules might be a defence, which may or may not work.



And remember, that whatever you may think of individual agencies, they have vast experience of what will give problems and what won't.


I've always been happy to have anything refused that could be a problem in this way.




« Reply #28 on: January 05, 2017, 10:47 »
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If he won't sign a release I wouldn't even think about it, move on.  You risk getting sued and having your account closed.

Who is likely to sue me?  I have permission to use the images, they're available for editorial use only and I explained the nature and source of the images very clearly to the agency.

I'm not trying to be awkward, this is an area that I'm not particularly knowledgeable in so would like to know if there's something else I should be aware of.

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #29 on: January 05, 2017, 10:59 »
+1
If he won't sign a release I wouldn't even think about it, move on.  You risk getting sued and having your account closed.

Who is likely to sue me?  I have permission to use the images, they're available for editorial use only and I explained the nature and source of the images very clearly to the agency.

I'm not trying to be awkward, this is an area that I'm not particularly knowledgeable in so would like to know if there's something else I should be aware of.

Without anything in writing, and in a tight legal form, from the copyright owner, anything could happen down the line. Family feuds can be the worst, and in-laws can too easily become outlaws.

« Reply #30 on: January 05, 2017, 11:49 »
0
If he won't sign a release I wouldn't even think about it, move on.  You risk getting sued and having your account closed.

Who is likely to sue me?  I have permission to use the images, they're available for editorial use only and I explained the nature and source of the images very clearly to the agency.

I'm not trying to be awkward, this is an area that I'm not particularly knowledgeable in so would like to know if there's something else I should be aware of.
If you have permission why would they be opposed to signing a document saying you have permission?

« Reply #31 on: January 05, 2017, 13:53 »
0
If you have permission why would they be opposed to signing a document saying you have permission?

He didn't like the wording of the SS property release.  I didn't quite understand why but I know he won't sign it.

« Reply #32 on: January 05, 2017, 13:55 »
0
Without anything in writing, and in a tight legal form, from the copyright owner, anything could happen down the line. Family feuds can be the worst, and in-laws can too easily become outlaws.

I'm confident that won't happen, if it does I'll let you know!

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #33 on: January 05, 2017, 13:56 »
0
If you have permission why would they be opposed to signing a document saying you have permission?

He didn't like the wording of the SS property release.  I didn't quite understand why but I know he won't sign it.
His call.
Don't even think of uploading to SS.

Does he like any of the other releases? If not, don't submit. You have no legally-binding evidence of permission.

« Reply #34 on: January 05, 2017, 14:07 »
+3
If you have permission why would they be opposed to signing a document saying you have permission?

He didn't like the wording of the SS property release.  I didn't quite understand why but I know he won't sign it.
Sounds a lot like he doesn't want to give you the necessary permissions. 

If your question is:  "Can I do whatever I want and hope Shutterstock never finds out?"  then no can stop you but you will open yourself up to being sued and having your account terminated.  If your question is:  "What should I do if I want to sell someone else's images?" then the answer is get him to sign a release or transfer the copyright to you.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2017, 22:03 by tickstock »

« Reply #35 on: January 05, 2017, 15:59 »
+1

If you have permission why would they be opposed to signing a document saying you have permission?


He didn't like the wording of the SS property release.  I didn't quite understand why but I know he won't sign it.

Sounds a lot like he doesn't want to give you the necessary permissions. 

If you question is:  "Can I do whatever I want and hope Shutterstock never finds out?"  then no can stop you but you will open yourself up to being sued and having your account terminated.  If your question is:  "What should I do if I want to sell someone else's images?" then the answer is get him to sign a release or transfer the copyright to you.
That says it all. No release, no sale. I certainly wouldn't do it without.


« Reply #36 on: January 05, 2017, 16:55 »
+2
I would strongly suggest that you don't attempt to license these images anywhere without a signed property release (and your father in law could sign just one and you could attach the different visual references.

You could see if the Getty property release was any more OK with him (and that could easily be modified to be your own universal release that any of the agencies will accept; that's what I do).

You have a couple of possible outcomes with sales - little to no interest, or the images sell really well. If they don't sell much, then it's a massive investment of your time for no return. If they sell really well, you increase the likelihood of future legal trouble (directly in proportion to the amount of money made).

Also, I don't mean to be morbid, but whoever is your father in law's legal heir will own the copyright in the future and without a release (and with good sales) you have to consider their attitude, especially as it's a he said/she said situation with respect to permission.

Licensing other people's work and holding it out to the agency as your own (look at the artist supply agreements and you'll see they generally include the terms you agree to with every upload) will get your account closed, which puts all your other income at risk.

Just say no :)


« Reply #37 on: January 09, 2017, 12:38 »
0
I appreciate everyone taking the time to contribute, thank you.

I think I already mentioned earlier that I've given up on the idea of submitting to SS and the other agencies I'm already with and have created an account with Alamy with the intention of submitting them there exclusively.  I discussed the nature and origin of the images with them and they're are happy for me to upload them to the site.  It appears I can add additional information the files which is ignored by searches etc. so I may use that the credit him as the original photographer.

My father-in-law will be visiting soon, I shall discuss this with him and sort out something in writing just to cover myself if required.

Now hopefully there's a market for vintage images UK public transport!


 

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