Archive for September 2009

09 Sep, 2009 | Posted by: photosource

For photographers:

If you’ve been questioned by security guards, uniformed policemen, pranksters, off-duty policemen; detectives, or vigilantes, -- here’s where you can go for a review of your First Amendment Rights:

02 Sep, 2009 | Posted by: photosource



by Joel Hecker, Esq.

In my prior July column I reported on July 8, 2009 a motion by photographer Mannie Garcia to intervene in the action concerning the use of an illustration by poster artist Shepard Fairey which copied a photograph of then Presidential candidate Obama on posters, t-shirts and other material.

Garcia now claims in his court papers that in fact he was always the copyright owner of the images, that he was never an employee of AP, and that he never agreed to transfer his copyright to AP. Specifically Garcia now states that he never signed AP’s freelancer contract because he did not agree to its terms. The Court granted his motion to intervene.

AP has now responded to Garcia’s allegations in specific detail. AP claims, insofar as copyright ownership of the Obama photos, that Garcia was indeed an employee of AP. In support of its position, AP alleges in its cross-claim against Garcia that:

- In early March, 2006 Garcia became a freelance photographer for AP, at which time he signed a written agreement whereby he transferred to AP all copyrights to the assigned work.

- On March 29, 2006 Garcia submitted a written application for employment, seeking to be hired as an AP staff photographer on a full-time basis.

- In connection with this application, Garcia completed certain documentation that are only completed by employees, including that, if hired, he would be an employee-at-will.

- Garcia also completed other employee related documents.

- He also signed an agreement acknowledging that his employment as a staff photographer for AP would commence on April 3, 2006 at a stated salary which was to be based on a 40 hour work week.

- Garcia also became eligible to join the News Media Guild and became subject to the Guild’s collective bargaining agreement which covered AP employees (but not freelancers).

- Garcia was given photo assignments and listed as a staff photographer.

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