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   Wedding Photos - Copyright Infringement
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   Author  Topic: Wedding Photos - Copyright Infringement  (Read 871 times)


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Wedding Photos - Copyright Infringement
« on: Jan 11th, 2006, 11:40pm »
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A friend of mine, who is a professional wedding photographer, received a complaint from a client claiming that she was not happy with the wedding prints she received.  
While the photographer was reviewing the prints in question, she presented him with a set of prints she had made from the CD that was given to her by the photographer (no copyright release was granted by the photographer).  
She is asking for a partial refund for the unsatisfactory prints.  The photographer is considering a counter action for copyright infringement.  
Any thoughts on what action he should consider is appreciated.
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Re: Wedding Photos - Copyright Infringement
« Reply #1 on: Jan 12th, 2006, 7:38am »
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Does the photographer consider word of mouth advertising from a satisfied customer important?
Making the copies might be infringement, but arguably, making a set of prints for the purpose of evaluating the photos or for some other limited purpose could be defended as fair use.   Alternatively the client might try to argue some type of implied license.  If the photographer wants to go to the point of registering the copyright on the photographs and filing an action in federal court in response to some action in small claims court, he could get that issue resolved.
OTOH, I'm not sure that suing customers in such a fashion is conducive to building a business.    
Or the photographer could deal with the unsatisfied customer and also clarify exactly what the customer is allowed to do with the CD.  Maybe that would clear up the entire issue.
One thing your friend might want to consider for future customers is giving a *written* release specifying what the customer can and cannot do with the photos on the CD.  Maybe there could even be a tiered release pricing system with different levels of rights.  Sure there would be some cheaters who would print them out on home equipment without permission, but there are others who would value a release allowing them to obtain prints at commercial locations who would refuse to do so without a release.      
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