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Christopher Woods

2 Years Ago

Release Needed? Should I Take This Photo Down?

I love this photo. However, to sell it is another thing. I don't know if I need a release because the people at this auto show can be clearly seen?

-Chris

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Delete Delete

2 Years Ago

I am not sure the release, would help this to sell any better???

It's a cool looking car, but why would someone want display something with all the people around it.

Why not try to go to a local VW dealership and ask permission to shoot one there, with no one around it?

The KIA sign, in the top right corner, does not do any justice to the VW beetle as the subject.

Just an opinion. :)

 

Christopher Woods

2 Years Ago

Those are good points. I thought about it and thought the same thing...if I were to buy the print, it shouldn't have people in it...but I wasn't sure...and the KIA part I missed completely. Thanks for you help on this one.

 

John Crothers

2 Years Ago

VW owns a tradmark on that vehichle design, you may want to check with their corporate headquarters.

I'd be more worried about a car company than people.

 

Paul Cowan

2 Years Ago

Technically, you need a property release from VW, which I'm pretty sure you won't get (especially with a KIA sign hanging over their car), a release from KIA (likewise, with a VW in front of the sign), releases from each visible person and possibly a property release from the owner of the venue on whose land you took the photo. If you want to take the risk, that's your decision.

 

Mike Jeffries

2 Years Ago

The people around the car who are clearly admiring its lines help to make the picture interesting, if you remove them it would just resemble any image seen in a VW sales brochure. The KIA sign in the background could suggest that nobody's that much interested in THEIR cars and that the Bettle is getting all the attention---------Dr Ferdinand would approve methinks!

 

Chris Gudger

2 Years Ago

I doubt that you would need model releases from the people. Most of them are not recognizable. The only one who could be is the guy holding the jacket on the right, just under the Kia sign. Releases from Kia and VW are another issue entirely. You don't need to remove the picture though. It is a picture that you took at a public exhibition where the people running it kind of expected people to take pictures. Any release issues would only occur if the picture were sold.

 

Christopher Woods

2 Years Ago

Wow...That's right. I didn't even think about the Convention Center's release. And then the car company's permission as well but of course that all makes sense.

Now, if we post photos of cars or parts of them...then any of those we can't sell because we need a release from the manufacturer...as that correct?

 

Christopher Woods

2 Years Ago

Wow...That's right. I didn't even think about the Convention Center's release. And then the car company's permission as well but of course that all makes sense.

Now, if we post photos of cars or parts of them...then any of those we can't sell because we need a release from the manufacturer...as that correct?

 

Christopher Woods

2 Years Ago

Because now it's making me think I should just take all my car photos off here altogether. This is a great discussion for me, I've never really had people to ask these questions...so this is a big help.

 

Joy McKenzie

2 Years Ago

If it's a concept car, then yes, VW would be upset with you trying to sell an image of it on here. This is a very sticky area...best to contact the car companies that made the cars in your images to get advice on selling. I don't think anyone cares if we take photos of things like concept cars, cars at car shows, etc...but it's the selling part that gets sticky.

 

Chris Gudger

2 Years Ago

Cars are commonplace items. The whole release issue could come up only if you sell the picture. This was a public venue. The people running it kinda expected people to take pictures. (If they did not want photography, they would have posted notices forbidding photography). Any street shot will have cars in it. To get releases before selling one would be a nightmare.

 

Mike Savad

2 Years Ago

if this is a public event, then keep it up. if the people aren't being used in a negative way, then keep it up. if your using this as an advertisement, then you need the releases, the permission from the car company, etc.

---Mike Savad

 

Christopher Woods

2 Years Ago

So, then if there's a car on the street that I like. I take a great photo of it and want to sell it...then I would need the car's company's release? I think that's what you're all saying. I can understand that in I would be gaining profit from the design of something that's copyrighted...is that right or?

 

Christopher Woods

2 Years Ago

So, then if there's a car on the street that I like. I take a great photo of it and want to sell it...then I would need the car's company's release? I think that's what you're all saying. I can understand that in I would be gaining profit from the design of something that's copyrighted...is that right or?

 

Mike Savad

2 Years Ago

you only really need a release if you sell it commercially, in other words for advertisement, or product use beyond art - mass produced. like pillows or posters for wallmart. on here it's an image until it's printed and even then you shouldn't get in trouble for it. people on the street, anyone in public is ok to sell. the copyright laws are tough because they vary so much. trademarks though companies are aggressive about, and things like car logo's and big name brand stuff they can and will sue over. as long as it's a part of the scenery and you don't mention it by name you should be safe. i often clone out logo's just in case, along with license plates and phone numbers.

partly it's gaining profit because of that item. and partly it's representing an item that it wasn't intended for. like a fat guy on a bench, you can't single him out and make fun of him, that's slander. and you can't connect him with a weight loss place either.


---Mike Savad

 

John Crothers

2 Years Ago

I am resigned to the fact that what we should do and what we do do (I said do do) are two different things here.

It just depends on what camp you fall in.

Are you a "I am going to cover myself and not post any cars for sale"

or

"I'll deal with it if I get a letter from a lawyer for the car company".


I did the first camp, but many, many people are in the second. I had some images of old Ford trucks in a field. I sent an email to Ford and they said no new licenses are being given out. So, I took the images down. I did it for two reasons. First, why take the chance? Going up against Ford would not be a good thing, even if I tried the old "but it's art" argument and won, it would still cost a lot of money to defend myself. Second, and probably more important to me, is I respect Ford's trademark, just like I respect your copyright. It would be a bit hypocritical to want my work protected while I am stealing someone elses (even if it is a big corporation).

 

Dan Turner

2 Years Ago

Christopher, if you are planning to use the photo commercially (i.e. to sell a service or a product, whether that be the car or something else) then you will need signed releases and permissions. If, however, it is "art", you may legally sell and profit from fine art originals and fine art prints without anyone's permission.

 

Mike Jeffries

2 Years Ago

Sell Art Online

John, your old Fords in a field would in my experience come under fair use and you would have been perfectly safe to use and offer to sell the image. It is a sad fact that American society in general and it appears artists too are so hedged in by fear of being sued at the drop of a hat by all and sundry that it inhibits their rights in law. Lawyers as non producers have to drum up business from somewhere and it is in their interest to encourage conflicts whereas artists who are producers actually produce value and wealth from nothing more than their vision. For twenty or more years I have painted images for transport calendars, amongst other products too, and they have sold in their many thousands. The main calendar company I worked for employed hundreds of people and my images sold calendars of that there is no doubt and as well as giving me income helped to keep their workers from warehousemen, printers and the receptionist in a job.

Every one of the images I produced featured a make of vehicle, including Ford, as its main subject and for my sins I never considered that I should ask the various companies' permission to depict their products because these very products were, and still are, so commonplace so as to be part of the world around us and to exclude them would mean that my depictions of the past would lack any authenticity. I include in my paintings representations of well known and not so well known trademarks from Coca Cola to Jaguar sports cars because these icons were part of the world before me. To date no lawyer's letter has dropped though my letterbox and probably never will and in the unlikely event that one may do so I would not need a lawyer to defend my position of fair use, but then this is England. My advice is to do your homework on what is fair use and you will have the confidence to defend what is your right without recourse to a lawyer.

 

Dan Turner

2 Years Ago

Well said, Mike. We are artists and producers, not spectators and bystanders.

"A step in the wrong direction is better than staying in one spot all our life. Once you're moving forward you can correct your course as you go. Your automatic guidance system cannot guide you when you're standing still." ~ Maxwell Maltz

 

Mike Jeffries

2 Years Ago

Thank you Dan, we are of course not above the law but we in turn should be aware of our rights and not have to tiptoe around.

 

Susan Wiedmann

2 Years Ago

My two cents:

Dan, you wrote: if you are planning to use the photo commercially (i.e. to sell a service or a product, whether that be the car or something else) then you will need signed releases and permissions. If, however, it is "art", you may legally sell and profit from fine art originals and fine art prints without anyone's permission.

That's not necessarily always true for "art," especially when products are involved or when people's expectations of privacy are involved. Courts have ruled on that, and the Web has lots of legal web sites with mind-boggling information for photographers, including art and editorial, that often includes the words..."it depends...". Are you going to, e.g., sell an image that includes Mickey Mouse as "art" without permission? Or sell a photo you took of a private citizen on his property as "art" without his permission? If you do, hope you have deep pockets for legal fees!

Chris, does the convention center have a written policy on publishing photographs of events there? Although anyone might be able to take a photo there - with iPhones it would be hard to prevent - it's what you do with it afterwards that can cause you major problems. Putting it on FAA shouts that you want to sell it. And, aside from the trademark issue of the NEW car, the people are not on a public street so they might have expectations of privacy. The trucks in Mike Jeffries wonderful photo are part of "Americana" at this point, while the white car is a brand new profit-making product of the 21st century.

 

Dan Turner

2 Years Ago

"that often includes the words..."it depends...".

And thus we start nit-picking and splitting hairs and citing exceptions. Perhaps we should say "if you are the kind of person who has no common sense and are always in trouble with the law and just can't catch a break, then you shouldn't pick up a camera at all."

"Are you going to, e.g., sell an image that includes Mickey Mouse as "art" without permission?"

Precedents have already been set. If you have an adventuresome spirit and use a bit of common sense, you can do anything.

Look Mickey! is a 1961 painting by Roy Lichtenstein.

 

Christopher Woods

2 Years Ago

THIS is a great discussion thread. I think I agree with the train of thought that it isn't a photo I should try and sell en masse on FAA. If it were a one off fine-art print, that would be different. I think the photos was about the car. I love cars. I love the design of them. In this case, I loved the peoples' reaction to it as well. And, I feel, it's capturing a specific point in time. Eventually, years from now, photos like this will have much more meaning because of what it's capturing (even in the clothes the people are wearing who are looking at the car). However, for today, I think it's best not to try and sell it on here.

Lichtenstein and many Pop Artists are a great examples. I can't see Warhol getting sued for his Brillo or Campbell's soup stuff...but then again, maybe he was and I just haven't been tuned in to it enough? Then there's the photo realists who use snippets of everyday life in a lot of their works...however, they're not mass produced.(that I recall?)

.. So, I can understand why a copyrighted object would want to protect their brand. Branding is a very tangible asset and deserves that protection. However, there does seem to be more grey than what the law would say is a rather black and wihite issue.

As some of you said on here...If I don't have the deep pockets...then it's best just to not put that work up for sale.

 

John Crothers

2 Years Ago

Mike,

Like I said, it's more than being "afraid" of a lwasuit.

I respect the properties of others and I expect the same in return.

I go on photographic drives around where I live. The old trucks, for example, were in someone's field. There were a few "no trespassing" signs at the end of the driveay.

I drove up to the house and talked to the guy that lived there. He was very nice and had no problem with me taking pictures of the trucks. I may have been able to get the shot from the street with a zoom lens but why not ask?

This barn...

Sell Art Online

...obviously belonged to someone. It is visable from the street. But I went up and talked to the old couple that owned it. They were also quite nice. I brought them back a framed print when I was done. They told me I can come back whenever I want. To get this shot I was able to drive down a lane to get a much better view than would have been done from the street.


Being an "artist" does not make someone special. It does not remove them from common courtesy.

I ALWAYS ask. So far, I have never been told no. If I am, then the answer is no. Be that Ford or a property owner.


 

Dan Turner

2 Years Ago

"If you do, hope you have deep pockets for legal fees!"

Those kind of over the top statements are pure fear-mongering. It makes one think that one moment you're a happy artist skipping along life's path to suddenly being destitute, living under a bridge.

Let's please recognize what "trouble" looks like: Usually a letter from an attorney asking an artist to stop whatever it is they're allegedly doing. At that point they can stop, continue on, or modify their course. They can seek legal advice and see if "it depends" applies to them or not. In any case, the artist has plenty of time to decide if "doing nothing" will be his legacy, or whether he'd rather be known for "doing something."

Don't fear legal action. Embrace it. If you are successful in today's world, if you are living life, taking action, making a difference, you will face legal challenges.

 

Christopher Woods

2 Years Ago

Imagine all the works and events we see today as genius...would they even come to fruition if the artist thought "Gee, I wonder what the legal ramifications would be if...?"

 

John Crothers

2 Years Ago

Think about it Christopher, most works you can think of don't have to worry about the legal ramifications would be because they have releases or permission of the subject.

Warhol may be an exception but must artist cannot count on their fame providing enough publicity that the company would be dumb to sue. Paul Simon dodged a bullett with his "Kodachrom" song. The CEO of Kodak wanted to sue him but he was talked out of it because it was free publicity.

Somehow I doubt they would think the same way about some artist on a POD site.

 

Dan Turner

2 Years Ago

"Imagine all the works and events we see today as genius...would they even come to fruition if the artist thought "Gee, I wonder what the legal ramifications would be if...?"

Now you're thinking. And the answer is NO. Not even one. Did lawsuits stop Steve Jobs? Bill Gates? Google? Samsung? When an artist stops because someone might sue him....! Wow.

 

Christopher Woods

2 Years Ago

I didn't know that about Kodak? It's inane...He has a hit song and it's extolling the virtues of the product....You'd think the choice to NOT sue would be a no brainer....

Dan, That's one thing I think I need to keep in mind with my photography in general. That is, I can't just produce the same thing everyone else is...same shape, pretty much the same technical skill and pretty much the same subjects. It has to be memorable in some way for something...different in some way. It's something I have now, more than years past, been trying to hammer out what I love to do that I can distil into something different and that I'll be able to sell.

 

Diana Child

2 Years Ago

Copyright laws are soooo hard to understand.

In the case of the picture of the VW, as long as it is recognizable as a VW, you need a release from most sites. Just like the Nike swoop, the Coca-Cola red and white swoosh, etc. And anyone who doesn't think Disney won't come after them for copyright infringement think again. We had a daycare center who had Disney characters painted on their wall without permission. They were sued and had to repaint the wall. And they made no profit from having the characters on the wall. When you post photos on sites like this, the ultimate goal is to sell it. You will be profiting from their design and likenesses. Sadly, I have a friend who photographed some flowers at a green-house and sold prints. The owner of the green-house sued because the dayllily was from his own propagation and was licensed. They settled out of court.

 

Christopher Woods

2 Years Ago

I know...Disney is just rabid about their image. you can't even show up at Disneyland dressed as one the characters...they'll tell you ...you have to change or leave the park!

 

Mike Jeffries

2 Years Ago

Sell Art Online

Who shall I ask for permission here? Bovril, London Transport, Maples, Schweppes, Guinness, Atlas Insurance, AEC, the taxi driver?

 

Mike Jeffries

2 Years Ago

Art Prints

Hi, Mickey!

 

Mike Savad

2 Years Ago

the people you would ask is all of the above. especially since you had the choice of painting in fake names. often i'll add grunge to it to make it less readable, but still readable.


---Mike Savad

 

Claude Oesterreicher

2 Years Ago

Here's the simple, easy solution to this dilemma that you all overlooked...

NOBODY PAINT OR DRAW OR SKETCH OR SCULPT OR PHOTOGRAPH A-N-Y-T-H-I-N-G...ANYMORE!!!!!!!!! I MEAN IT!!!

Unless, of course, it's for personal use. :)))

My work here is done. :-p

 

WOW !!!

Art Prints

 

Mike Jeffries

2 Years Ago

Mike if I painted in fake names the image just wouldn't ring true which is the whole point of the work, it is merely a representation of what actually was there in the fifties and fair use of the imagery. I show no disrespect to these famous names by not asking permission to depict them thus and even if the billboard in the background was advertising a Disney movie instead of Schweppes Tonic Water the same criteria of fair use would apply.

 

Peter Chilelli

2 Years Ago

I'm actually in this picture....I and 100,000 of my closest friends are still awaiting a release...

Sell Art Online

 

Mike Savad

2 Years Ago

i know that fake names make it less true. but if it was sold commercially - advertisement, etc, then you could get in trouble. trademark stuff is a pain when it comes to things like that. like zazzle will often remove something because it has a small thing in it that is trademarked.

Art Prints
while sometimes they miss it. i posted this again and they stopped it because that coke machine was labeled. that's pretty annoying.

as art your probably in the clear, but to answer as commercial, it would probably need permissions. i'm not sure how fair use works when it comes to trademarks, because it isn't a copyright at that point, it's a recognition of a brand. or something like that.

---Mike Savad

 

Mike Jeffries

2 Years Ago

The images of my originals have been sold commercially in the sense that calendar, greetings card and jigsaw companies have paid me to use them on their products. Not having a private income I cannot indulge my desire to paint pretty pictures without in turn making money from them.

However if I painted a picture of Thomas the Tank engine or the Hogwarts Express it would be obvious that I would be trying to cash in on those fictional images' present popularity and that's where one uses one's common sense. The Coca Cola sign in your excellent image of a typical American soda fountain comes under the heading of fair use in my estimation because it helps tell the story that this is indeed a soda fountain and therefore essential to the artistic depiction of the subject.

 

Paul Cowan

2 Years Ago

I'm pretty sure that trademarks are at least as troublesome as design copyright and right to one's personal image. After all, a trademark is the ultimate defining image of an organisation, while a single recognisable product is just a small part of their work.
I'm unclear about the "art" defence on work which is purely photographic. After checking out rules on photos of sporting personalities, it turned out that you can use their images if you have made a significant artistic interpretation, e.g. making the image of daubs of paint, but simply clicking the shutter doesn't count legally as creating an artistic interpretive work, regardless of where it is sold.

 

This discussion is closed.