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   Can someone arbitrarily declare a photo copywrite
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   Author  Topic: Can someone arbitrarily declare a photo copywrite  (Read 1004 times)
asj
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Can someone arbitrarily declare a photo copywrite
« on: Jun 28th, 2006, 12:45pm »
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I am a recording artist and I just recently terminated my management.  We basically operated off of a "handshake" for the past 3 years.  During the stent of the relationship he would also take photos of me performing and periodically we would have them put onto the website for display.  As a means of retaliation because of his termination, he pulls the website down, which contained approximately 2 years of photos.  Luckily I owned the domain name, so I had a new website designed, and I was able to save the photos from the previous site.  
 
A month after being terminated, the manager is declaring that I am in violation of copywrite laws because several of the photos that were on the previous site are on the new one too.  Keep in mind that I was given the majority, if not all, of these on disk by the manager with no stipulations.
 
Can he sue me for copyright infringement?  All of the photos are of me and none are being sold.
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Isaac
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Re: Can someone arbitrarily declare a photo copywr
« Reply #1 on: Jun 28th, 2006, 1:11pm »
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Photographs and other copyrightable works are protected by copyright automatically upon fixing in a tangible medium of expression.  For a photograph, copyright protection would exist essentially as soon as the camera shutter opened and closed.
 
Having physical possession is not equivalent with copyright ownership, so the fact that you were given the photos does not mean you are free to copy them or host them on a web page.
 
You may have some defenses available, but the facts you describe in your post are sufficient to make out a case for copyright infringement.
 
« Last Edit: Jun 28th, 2006, 1:43pm by Isaac » IP Logged

Isaac
JSonnabend
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Re: Can someone arbitrarily declare a photo copywr
« Reply #2 on: Jun 29th, 2006, 6:12am »
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I agree with Isaac's answer, but would amplify his final thought (was that the edit, Isaac?).  While copyright infringement is fairly clear, your defenses might be significant.
 
The best advice anyone here can give you is to talk to a lawyer directly.
 
- Jeff
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SonnabendLaw
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Isaac
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Re: Can someone arbitrarily declare a photo copywr
« Reply #3 on: Jun 29th, 2006, 6:31am »
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on Jun 29th, 2006, 6:12am, JSonnabend wrote:
I agree with Isaac's answer, but would amplify his final thought (was that the edit, Isaac?).  

 
The edit added ", but the facts you describe in your post are sufficient to make out a case for copyright infringement"
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Isaac
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