Help! Client hired other photog to copy my work...

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ranplett
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Posted Mon Jun 20, 2005 6:39PM
I'm designing a website for a Client and did two photoshoots with her as well. We did bartering, so there was no signed documents or anything. She got a hair cut and realized she couldn't afford me to reshoot the portrait.

Here is my original photo:
linda1

and here is the other photogrpahers photo:
linda2

and:
linda3

Clearly, the other photogrpaher isn't professional, but the Client feels she looks better in the photos taken by the other photog.

Does the second and third photos show copyright infringement in a derivitive way?

I feel it does, and I am really not impressed, especially since she is an artist, and I would imagine she would be very upset if someone copied her work.
juliec0211
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Posted Mon Jun 20, 2005 6:42PM
Ouch. Well, she looks better with a haircut, but the quality of the photograph isn't nearly as good. Yours is so much warmer in tone.

I don't know about the copyright, but I wanted to extend my sympathies.

I hope you got your bartered goods already!
JSABBOTT
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Posted Mon Jun 20, 2005 6:52PM
Barter system with no contract? I think you've been hosed my friend. Your photo appears to be much better quality though.
RedBarnStudio
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Posted Mon Jun 20, 2005 6:54PM
Yeah I think she looks better in the first shot too. And I don't think the haircut looks so hot either. The other photographers shots look out of focus. Sue the crap out of her
sjlocke
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Posted Mon Jun 20, 2005 7:05PM
It's a woman in the doorway of her studio. How much different do you want it to be? Yes, you should get a contract next time.


Clearly, the other photogrpaher isn't professional, but the Client feels she looks better in the photos taken by the other photog.


I like the tones in the second one, sorry. I think the dim background helps draw attention to the artist, and I like the cropping better. They come across as a "Hidesy" type image.
ranplett
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Posted Mon Jun 20, 2005 7:16PM
Thanks for your help guys.

I like the longer hair better myself! She is a nice person and she gave me about 50% worth of services (essentially, her site cost twice as much) but I don't need her services anymore and agreed that I would complete the website if this copyright problem was handled properly.

But she won't budge. So I pulled her site down.

Now she is saying that I should hand over the artwork files. I'm feeling so disrespected.

The question still remains:
Is the second and third photo different enough from the first one?
velusariot
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Posted Mon Jun 20, 2005 7:21PM
Yeah, that's pretty shady - and as an artist she should know that would be stepping on your toes...

I know it can be hard to insist on making a contract, especially when you want to keep it a friendly, casual kind of barter situation - but at least now you have a specific situation you can refer to in the future if someone asks why a contract is needed.

I liked yours better, too. I just think it looks more crisp and sunny.
PhotoInc
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Posted Mon Jun 20, 2005 7:23PM
Sometimes you have to let stuff go. She got another photog to shoot her portrait, yes they copied you but what are you going to do. Finish the job and move on, you could see more work down the road. I don't think you would have a very strong case in court.

I would call the artist and offer to re-shoot the re-shoot, just so she can have a nice shot, it might go along way later too.
Somtimes it's better to Give than to Take
swalls
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Posted Mon Jun 20, 2005 7:25PM
If you take a photograph of her then you own the copyright of that photo. If someone else takes a photograph of her then they own the copyright of that photo. You can't copyright a scene. Only the photograph.
fullvalue
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Posted Mon Jun 20, 2005 7:29PM
What ^ said. Really the only thing that's the same is that the woman is standing in her doorway.
RedBarnStudio
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Posted Mon Jun 20, 2005 7:35PM
I was jokeing about sueing her. I realy don't think you could.
benoitb
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Posted Mon Jun 20, 2005 7:38PM
Have you done a lot of work on the web site yet?
titaniumdoughnut
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Posted Mon Jun 20, 2005 7:47PM
I doubt you could sue. Yours looks a million times better though. The other one is purplish, and out of focus, and she's not posed as well.
ranplett
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Posted Mon Jun 20, 2005 7:54PM
My girlfriend is taking a professional photography courses in school, including several business courses.

She says it is a derivitive work:

Copyright Rehab

It may be a grey area whether these images are too similar or not, but the point is, I have to protect my ideas and my work.

What should I say... "You are right, it is only slightly copied, nevermind."

We have to be firm and assertive.

Somtimes it's better to Give than to Take


I've already given her a great deal, a nearly complete portfolio website and two photoshoots for approximately $975 of her services. Based on my billing structure, it is at least a $3000 value. That is my mistake and I don't mind.

I can't have someone steal my intellectual property.
ranplett
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Posted Mon Jun 20, 2005 7:58PM
Additionally, the Client mentioned that she was having someone re-shoot it with her new haircut.

So I pulled her site down, until she realizes that she copied my photo. If she wants to use her version of it, then she can, but she will need another website to post it on.

(Edited on 2005-06-20 20:00:00 by ranplett)
sjlocke
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Posted Mon Jun 20, 2005 7:59PM
For gosh sake, you didn't create the "Thinker". She probably said to the other guy "Hey, I want a picture of me in the doorway". Did she tell you what she wanted originally? She's got a different pose, lighting, hair, artwork in the picture... Live and learn.
nano
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Posted Mon Jun 20, 2005 8:00PM
For all you know, she probably loved your original and instructed the photographer that she wanted one "just like this... me standing in the doorway in front of my studio." (but with her new haircut).

And she likes the new one better because after all, she spent that $ on her new haircut and couldn't afford you to reshoot it. It's not what she sees that she likes but what she thinks in her mind that she's reacting to.
ranplett
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Posted Mon Jun 20, 2005 8:04PM
Live and learn.


Very true! I just don't understand the rest of your post :P

Are you saying that they are different? They look pretty similar to me!
dscott
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Posted Mon Jun 20, 2005 8:15PM

I've already given her a great deal, a nearly complete portfolio website and two photoshoots for approximately $975 of her services. Based on my billing structure, it is at least a $3000 value.

Yet you used 50% of the $975 of her services AND you pulled her site down?

Either tell her that was the photography fee and walk away or do the job you agreed to and walk away.
RedBarnStudio
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Posted Mon Jun 20, 2005 8:16PM
I dunno if it's the haircut or the lighting or both but she looks about ten years older in the second two. How far aprt were they taken?
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