Ask a Copyright and Licensing Attorney Your Photography Legal Questions Right Now

Ask a Copyright and Licensing Attorney Your Photography Legal Questions Right Now

Every photographer out there either has legal counsel or very much should have legal counsel. After all, it's a new world out there, and protecting your intellectual property here in 2015 is crucial. That said, there are those who have yet to seek legal counsel, or perhaps feel no need to as they shoot as a hobby. But if you could ask a copyright and licensing attorney anything, what would you ask?

The good news, there is a great opportunity to ask copyright and licensing lawyer John Arsenault any of your burning questions, right now, as a comment on this article (and a few other places mentioned below) for John to review and compile. We will then work to answer as many questions as possible during the live broadcast on YouTube.

Interview Q&A with copyright attorney John Arsenault
August 2, 2015
3:00pm CST
Live on Nino Batista YouTube Channel

Submit your questions in the comments of this article or the comments on the YouTube video, or in the Facebook event. John will be reviewing all submitted questions and he and I will work to get the best questions answered during the broadcast. There will also be a live chat going on during the broadcast, on the actual YouTube streaming page itself, where you can add your questions and comments as we roll along. If something really great pops up on the live chat, John and I will try to address it.

Check out the video on YouTube promoting the event, and leave your legal questions there, here or on Facebook, make sure you Subscribe to my YouTube channel to stay updated, and we will see you August 2nd.

Submit your questions below!



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Andrew Feller's picture

subscribed! total newbie to this world and wouldn't even know where to start as far as questions...

Chris Adval's picture

Thanks for offering this Nino. I know I would hire John Arsenault if I had a specific case or issue that may lead into a case. But if I had questions I'd submit them here cause I know asking a million questions during a real consultation could be about $1,000 or a lot more depending on John's per minute or per hour rate he has. I'd be gladly chim in asking many questions such as the one I've had but no one has been able to answer...

I'm sure Nino you know the answer as well since it does pertain to your genre regarding cars + beautiful women. Such as I'd like to photograph a car with a beautiful woman on or near it, then possibly sell the image as stock or direct sell posters/print products, etc. Wouldn't I need a release or something like that from the trademark owners of the vehicle, the patent owners of the design of the vehicle, and the copyright permission to use the logo+car from the manufacture?

I've always wanted to shoot these images but I need to ensure I can at least break even in ROI or surpass it from the costs to creating the images. But haven't done it cause the companies of these beautiful cars have teams of lawyers protecting their brand, copyrights, trademarks, etc... which is ok, hence why I am asking to ensure if its even worth it to do unless I just attend one of Nino's shootouts that can involve cars + women at a lower cost than if I were to run a shoot myself.

And somewhat another question but I guess with the above as well can include into this question is, shooting product shots for portfolio and stock library... do I need to remove the logos to ensure I do not violate the trademarks, but even then if I remove them wouldn't I have to worry about patented designs as well?

Mike Bartoszek's picture

So some basics that would be good to answer for new photographers.

an absurd amount of photographers make photo slideshows for their clients, and set it to the latest pop tune or wedding videographers use popular songs in their wedding coverage. Could you talk a bit about the copyright infringement with music synchronization rights?

Another good one, i imagine.

Could you break down "Work for Hire"
a lot of times photographers run into those clients who say "I've paid you for all those pictures" (or video clips) "they're mine" when they're actually just ignorant of copyright law.
Which leads to some confusion when you work for a type of client that is "Work for Hire"

Contractually, does video fall under the term photography?
for instance, i shoot for a local newspaper. They have a very old stringer contract that discusses ownership of photos, negatives, and prints submitted to them. No where in the contract does it list video, or digital negatives. I shoot mostly video for them, and they still take ownership under the assumption that they own the video when it's submitted. We actually got in a slightly heated debate over one of the videos and their disagreeance in the volume of the music. They mentioned once it's submitted having the "right to edit" as they saw fit, and requested my raw files, i denied them access, standing my ground in their lack of ownership. I know this one will be hard without reading the actually contract.

and while we're on news video.
Once a video is edited into a package, that package is then "sold" to the paper, do i still retain the rights to use the raw in other projects, or to sell as stock?
My assumption is yes,
but that would be nice to hear a definitive answer on.