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Photos on business cards - copyright question (I guess)

Discussion in 'Photography' started by Patrick Sun, Mar 18, 2011.

  1. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    So, I've gotten tired of people asking me if I have business cards when I taken photos at conventions, so I decided to order some cards from Moo because you can have them put different photos on the backs of the cards, so I picked out 15 photos (5 of cosplayers, 10 of artwork), and populated the text side with contact info.


    For photos of a person(s) on the backs of these cards, is it a good idea to get permission (if possible) from the person before passing out the cards? I have way many photos, and don't necessarily know the person(s)'s name in the photos. I was modest with just 5 different people photos in the batch this time so it's not a lot of people to contact (if possible), but I imagine I'll order more in the future and upload newer photos of people then.

    Of course this idea occurred to me after I submitted my order to Moo last night. Doh! The photos used on the cards are all taken be me, or the artwork used was created by me. I was thinking photographers own the copyright on their photos, though model releases are required for publication, but I was wondering if that was the case for tiny images on personal business cards.
     
  2. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Well-Known Member
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    This info should be helpful. He also has a book available.


    http://www.danheller.com/model-release.html
     
  3. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    Thanks for the link. I still foggy after reading what he wrote for this particular situation if it's okay to use a photo I took of someone and put it on a card. I guess it would have to do with "association", and I'm just grey about that aspect for this instance. I'll keep reading...
     
  4. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Well-Known Member
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    Check out section 7.1, Publicizing: http://www.danheller.com/model-release-primer.html#7.1


    The business cards would just be an extension of your website, in which case no release would be needed if the photos are just for "illustration or presentation" of your work without advocacy of it.
     
  5. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    From the link above:


    "For purposes of this discussion, we assume that the way photographers typically use images are generally not violating people's civil rights, or break any civil liberties laws. In that case, what we have left over are uses that are not considered "publishing," so the rules of when a model release may come in don't apply. It doesn't mean that someone can't complain, and you'd have to deal with that. In fact, if you're a wedding photographer, you don't need to have model releases for people you have shot in previous weddings to display them on your website to illustrate the work you do. "


    and...


    "if you have a website that has thousands of thumbnails of images on a single page, and they are all full of random people, and the site simply says, "pictures of people I took on vacation," where is clearly no implied advocacy by these people. No one is going to presume that anyone "advocates" the photographer. They may or may not be happy about their photo being online, but they can't stop that, nor do they need to give consent for that. "


    and this is the grey area:


    "Since the web can be ambiguous, where sites both "illustrate" work, and have portions with promotional elements, the easiest way to assess any given image on your site is to ask yourself whether an objective observer would consider that person to be an advocate or sponsor of you or your business. "


    Anyhow, if I can reach these people, I'll probably ask them if it's okay with them. And if not, I'll cut up the cards or give those particular cards to them and move on. No harm done.
     
  6. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Well-Known Member
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    Which goes back to another section where he talks about balancing legal requirements with pragmatism and social and business considerations. Checking in with people (if you can actually get a hold of them) is ultimately good for business, even if you're not legally required to do so.
     
  7. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    Yeah, getting a hold of folks can be a tough thing, but facebook makes it a really small world too...
     
  8. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    So far, 2 for 2, and waiting on 2 more. The 5th person (is actually a pair of people) is not reachable by me, just cosplayers at Momocon this last weekend.
     
  9. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Well-Known Member
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    Cool. Let us know which pics you chose.
     
  10. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    3 for 3, may never hear back from the 4th (but that photo has most of her face obscured, so maybe my conscience can live with that). I'll take a photo of the cards if they show up in the middle of next week. Too bad they aren't cheap, but decided to splurge after getting my tax refund. I'm really hoping they show up as scheduled so I'll have them to pass out during Megacon next weekend.
     
  11. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    http://www.photoattorney.com/?p=22


    http://www.photoattorney.com/?p=512


    http://www.photoattorney.com/?p=267


    http://www.photoattorney.com/?p=123


    http://www.photoattorney.com/?p=64


    http://www.photoattorney.com/?p=44


    http://www.photoattorney.com/?p=39


    http://www.photoattorney.com/?p=34
     
  12. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    BTW there are great and inexpensive Model Release apps for the iPhone now!
     
  13. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    iPhone? What's that? Does not compute...
     
  14. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    I got my Moo card order in today. Here's what the 15 different card backs look like (the printing is a little unforgiving, so it pays to scrutinize the images you upload for printing, and fix them as best you can):


    http://www.flickr.com/photos/patcave/5552052940/
     
  15. Adam Gregorich

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  16. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    Thanks! The photo of the group of cards isn't quite the best (had to deal with flash wash-out), but hopefully you get an idea. The other thing I thought I'd mention is that Moo makes European sized business cards, so they are slightly different in size (3.3" x 2.16") than the usual business cards (3.5" x 2") you see in the US.
     
  17. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Well-Known Member
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    I've thought about getting some of their mini cards, for the cinematic aspect ratio. :)


    http://us.moo.com/products/minicards.html
     
  18. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    I tend to lose the mini-cards, and my presbyopia doesn't endear the micro-type on mini-cards to me.
     

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