the Joy of being a photo specialist

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Scott Thomas, May 2, 2006.

  1. Scott Thomas

    Scott Thomas Second Unit

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    Working at a popular Drug Store Chain with film is not the worst job in the world, but man sometimes you just have of those days with a crappy customer comes in to ruin your day.

    Both by company policy and by state law, you cannot reproduce professional made pictures (IE, Prom, Senoir picutres, picutres at studios etc) without written premisson from the photographer (and NO , you do not own the rights to your pictures, unless you ask for it)

    Any 20 minutes before I was supposed to shut down, a woman comes in and ask if I can make a CD for a wedding album. I showed her the procedure how to scan her picuters and told about not copying Prof. picuters.

    After about 30 minutes shes finshes her home pictures, and then reach into her bag and starts copying family portraits, Senior picutes, old class pictures, ETC ALL PROFESSIONAL picutres. I reminded her that she couldn't copy. She started to moan and complain about it. I decided to let her finsh because I can erase any picuters before I make a CD. Every times she scans one she compalins more to me saying that these are not professional, that her grandparents took this pictures (I think I can tell the difference). She also states that the pictures had no signs of be professional ( company policy states that if it LOOKS professional, we have to assume it is). When she is finally done, she starting yelling at me and cursing saying that she wants these picutres, I refuse. Of course she asks for the manager, so I call him and she starts bitching and cursing at the both of us. Still we told it against store poilcy. She then starts screaming at us, saying "I hope you like ruining my F#$KING wedding". She then demands for our corporte number and the distric office, threating both of our jobs. By this time, the AM and myself are trying VERY hard to keep our cool, but we are.

    After another 2 minutes of screaming and cursing, I start deleting the Prof. picutres and she is screaming more and more after every picutre I delete. Finally I delete all prohibted picutres and ask for her name. Not surprisly, she doesnt want to give, so I called her Ms Smith and sent her own.

    Next day I reloaded her order and showed to my Manager and another Assistant. they both agree that all the pitcures I deleted were Professional. They then said if we get a customer like that again, we should call the poilce and arrest them for trespassing.

    I'm looking forward to that
     
  2. Paul D G

    Paul D G Screenwriter

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    You know, I used to work in a hotel and used to get into arguments of that nature all the time (ie - company policy). After bringing in the manager and have them just go ahead and do it anyway (which REALLY pissed me off) I stopped caring and did whatever was reasonably ok to do.

    My point is - yes, they're not supposed to copy professional pics but at the end of the day who really cares? Is the photog going to go sue your company because you allowed a copy of a 30 year old high school graduation pic? So unless your company keeps a thumbnail copy of all scanned pics (i sure hope not!) then it's really not worth getting into an arguement over.

    -paul
     
  3. Jordan_E

    Jordan_E Cinematographer

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    Talk about SO 20th century! Doesn't the woman have a computer and a scanner?!
     
  4. Max Leung

    Max Leung Producer

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    I don't see what all the fuss is about. Maybe her grandfather/grandmother is a professional photographer? It isn't THAT hard to make a professional picture...sheesh! I am assuming there was no copyright@somepersonsnamehere printed on the back or in the corner...

    What the f$%^ happened to Fair Use anyways? It is OUR right.
     
  5. JeremyErwin

    JeremyErwin Producer

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    Periodically, these places get sued for contributory copyright infringement. My advice to amateur photographers is to repress your developing talent, or buy your own equipment.
     
  6. Max Leung

    Max Leung Producer

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    Big Brother isn't the government - it's a guy in a suit that drives a BMW, owns your slum building, and is on the board of directors for a chain of drugstores! [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  7. DonRoeber

    DonRoeber Screenwriter

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    If the grandfather was a professional photographer, he probably would know about this restriction, and would've provided a waiver or somesuch.
     
  8. JeremyErwin

    JeremyErwin Producer

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    Perhaps we should follow Dick the Butcher's advice.

     
  9. Jeff_CusBlues

    Jeff_CusBlues Supporting Actor

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    If they were truly professional pictures, wouldn't they have had a copyright or a logo on them somewhere? If not, then how can a store be expected to be responsible for enforcing your policy? You can tell just by looking? Well, maybe so, but I'm not sure that would be good enough for me to go through the pain and anguish of protecting a photographers copyright. I'm no lawyer so this is only my opinion, but it seems to be a lot of crap to go through to enforce a policy that appears on the surface to be un-enforcable.
     
  10. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    Wasn't that Shakespeare?
     
  11. JeremyErwin

    JeremyErwin Producer

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  12. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    I'm always amazed when local businesses will pay my company to have things burned to CD. [​IMG]
     
  13. CameronJ

    CameronJ Stunt Coordinator

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    I love this discussion - I think I've had it on just about every board I'm a member on.

    I'm a photographer. Not really professional, but I do some event shoots and have sold a number of pictures. I take tons of pictures that a photo lab employee would probably reject as "professional".

    The most restrictive store in this respect is probably WalMart. I have a WalMart right by me and I like the service, the prints are pretty good, price is good, etc. All it took was for me to go down to Walmart one day with my camera and talk to the photo lab manager for a while. End result - I can print anything I want there.


    While I put a stamp on the back of all pictures that I print, there's nothing to stop someone from scanning that picture in and then sending that scan off to a photo lab. In my mind that's the issue.

    Look - I don't necessarily agree with the heavy handed approach that a lot of labs have taken - but I am happy that they respect my legitimate rights as a photographer. Whether you agree with the fact that I have a right to protect these rights is honestly not an issue, the fact is that I do, and photographers can and have successfully sued photo labs. I wouldn't unless it was blatant (i.e. the photo lab was truly complicit the violation of my rights), but what do you want the labs to do in this situation?
     
  14. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    Here is something intersting:
     
  15. EugeneR

    EugeneR Second Unit

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    Any work that is eligible for copyright protection is automatically protected by copyright, including your snapshot of aunt Sally and your third-grade masterpiece "What I did on my Summer Vacation."

    As far as copyright notices, many if not most pro photos don't have them. Do you really want the photog's copyright notice on your wedding photos?
     
  16. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

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  17. Kelly Grannell

    Kelly Grannell Second Unit

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    Not to attack you personally, but this is why I don't frequent places with people like you work. I've been turned down too many times at WalMart, Sam's Club, Costco, Shopper's Drug Mart because the so-called photo specialist thinks I'm infringing copyright.

    Just because I'm a woman, not looking like a photographer doesn't mean I'm not a professional photographer. I've taken pictures of Mariah Carey, Brian Roman, Gloria Estefan, Dave Koz, Patti Labelle, done some projects for Disney, MGM, Universal and more. To be turned down by know-it-all person behind the counter is just insulting.
     
  18. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    This is definitely one of those cases of "The innocent get shafted" - I'm sure Scott's store has their (if it LOOKS professional, we have to assume it is) policy because a lot of people would lie and say that a professional photo isn't professional.

    Yes, it's the dishonest consumer that makes things more difficult to the point that stores have to have harsher policies.
     
  19. JeremyErwin

    JeremyErwin Producer

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    How do you know that the reason I'm scanning in professional photographs is not for the purpose of criticism? Suppose I wanted to criticize a wedding photographer's technique on my blog?
     
  20. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    I don't claim to know the law here, but doesn't fair use apply to the actual use of said work?

    Meaning, copying the photo isn't where the fair use comes into play. Isn't it what you do WITH the copied photo?Wouldn't it be the use of that photo (on your blog), is what's illegal? Copying the photo isn't - but I could be wrong.


    It just sounds like the Radar Detector crime here in CT. It's not illegal for places to sell them, it's just illegal for you to have them (and use them) in your car.
     

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