Archive for July 2011

27 Jul, 2011 | Posted by: st

What's an indemnification clause? Sometimes a large (or small) publishing house will ask you to be totally responsible for anything that goes wrong in the publication of one of your pictures.
It's not the photobuyer asking you to shoulder the responsibility of potential legal action, it's actually the attorney who writes up the contract.
The publisher is always happy for the photographer to sign such a document because it absolves the company from any legal action. (Paper work.) (Administration hassle)
Again, the answer: draw a line through anything that smells of indemnification, initial it, and submit your signed contract. If the publisher needs your stock photo bad enough, she/he will 'look the other way.' This is a time-tested technique stock photographers have used for decades.
If you don't sign their waiver to absolve them from any possible legal or public relations problems, they leave you with the impression they won't license your stock photo.
Don't go for it. Read the exchange this week in the Kracker Barrel.

Go here to find it:,10981

20 Jul, 2011 | Posted by: st

MAMBO-JAMBO -- Lawsuit over Dance Steps settled. The photographer who was sued for selling photos of the famous Mambo Dance Steps announced yesterday that he settled the suit less than two weeks before the case was due in court. SOURCE: Conor Christofferson;
TAKEAWAY: NOTE: The photographer wasn't sued for taking the picture. He was sued for selling the picture and not sharing the profit with the owner of the copyrighted object.
It's a classic case of the difference between editorial stock photography and commercial stock photography.
There’s no problem in taking a picture of the ‘dance steps’ and selling it as a stock photo to a magazine or book publisher. The courts recognize that as “informing and educating the public” just as I’m doing in this news article.
But if a photographer would take a picture of a copyrighted object and sell it as Hipple did, to a stock photo agency for profit, (violating the sculptor’s copyright), then that’s commercial use. Mackie ought to be compensated for his intellectual property.
And that brings up another point. Stock agencies assume you have a release for any copyrighted entity you have photographed. They have you sign an indemnity clause, which protects them in case of a lawsuit. LESSON: Stick with editorial stock photography, you’ll rarely have any lawsuit worries. –RE
PHOTO: John Mackie

13 Jul, 2011 | Posted by: st

BOXING GLOVES ARE OFF -- Ending a legal dispute that began last summer, Rick Norsigian has agreed he will stop using Ansel Adams’ name, likeness, or the “Ansel Adams” trademark as he continues to sell prints and posters of Yosemite National Park and coastal California that he has long contended document “lost negatives” shot by the great nature photographer.
The joint statement about the settlement said that both sides continue to deny the other’s claims, but “have now agreed to resolve these disputes” in a confidential agreement, with each side paying its own legal and court costs. Norsigian may continue to sell his prints, but under the settlement he must use a disclaimer that has been approved by the Adams Trust.
PHOTO: Who knows?

TAKEAWAY: The Power of Public Relations. If a “no-name” could be mistaken for a great-name, it begs the question, “How many more Ansel Adam look-alike collections are stashed away in attics and cellars in the USA, or in the world, for that matter? Sometimes, “greatness” is no more than good luck or the quality of your publicity agent. -RE