No Good Deed Goes Unpunished
Summer is here, times are slow, so I use this time to see friends, acquaintances, renew networks. This week I had coffee with Georges, it's a French Georges with an s. He recently did a favour to a friend, Tracy, by offering her to do a photo shoot for free. Tracy needed some samples for her portfolio, times were slow, and she's a very good friend. Did I say that the photo shoot was free? The photo shoot went well and Tracy was very happy with the photos, she paid the actual cost of the 3 prints for her book.
Last week, George got a phone call from Tracy and she was ecstatic. When she was doing rounds, showing a portfolio, a local publication wanted to use one of her photo for their calendar, and they will need the raw file.
And that's where the problem starts:
- Who owns the copyright? Lawyers can argue both sides. I'm in Canada and not in the US. No money changed hands but Tracy asked for the photo shoot and no model release was signed.
- Will the calendar be a big publication?
- Since it's a publisher, will they want to use the photo for other uses?
- Does Georges want to antagonize this local publisher? We are a small community here, we don't need enemies.
- Does Georges want to antagonize Tracy?
My suggestions were:
- Make a contract/model release with Tracy that would state:
- The name of the publication
- The usage of the raw file: that specific calendar
- Asking also for proper credit
- The copyright is being reverted to Georges
Any further usage except for her portfolio and that specific calendar is not allowed unless proper payment for usage is done.
To which he thought that it was a good idea and I let him pay for my coffee and banana loaf for my "consulting".
- It's so much easier to give advice to somebody else than when it happens to you.
- That's why you need to network, so you can ask for advice.