General Question

zina's avatar

If a photographer gives you the rights to your wedding photos, and then the band at the wedding wants to use one on their CD (sold for profit), what happens?

Asked by zina (1650points) August 22nd, 2008

Besides crediting the photographer, what else is done? Is money typically still paid, to whom and for (roughly) how much? (and when?)

There was no written contract, as it’s a friend, so I just want to get a sense of standard procedures to be fair.

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9 Answers

phred78's avatar

You should decide the royalties. An x amount for every record sold. But mind you that if your photographer friend didn’t put in writing that he’s giving you the copyright, the photos are still his.
Maybe you can split the royalties between you and him? That sounds fair enough.

marissa's avatar

You definitely need to get it in writing. If it is a friend, perhaps just having their work used and them getting credit will be enough, perhaps they will want some money (either a lump sum or royalties), either way, it needs to be in writing. In my opinion, if you are getting paid for use of the wedding picture, your friend should get a portion of that, if you aren’t getting paid, I’d think it would be okay to ask your friend if the photo could be used with them only receiving recogonition of their work. Unless this is a well known band, they are probably strapped for cash as it is.

marinelife's avatar

It is unlikely that you would get royalties merely for the use of a photo. If it was not a friend, the photographer would probably be paid a flat fee.

You need to look at your original contract for the wedding photos. Most photographers would have very limited rights of reuse or resale for this type of personal photo. They probably have rights to use the images only for marketing their own services.

If you want to allow the band to use the photo, make sure from the original contract with the photographer that you can use your wedding photos for commercial purposes without providing the photographer with additional compensation. If there are restrictions, ask the photographer for a release for this purpose. He or she will probably agree. It would be nice to provide a photo credit.

Even if the band members are friends, I would draw up a release outlining what the photo can be used for. You want to make sure it is not used in other mediums or in other ways without you express written permission.

Poppet's avatar

I wouldn’t do a thing without contacting the photographer. As others have mentioned, unless you have it in writing from the photographer that the copyright is yours, you could end up in a sticky situation by allowing someone else to use them commercially. The deal most likely will be between the photographer and the band; they need to work this out.

zina's avatar

To clarify: both the photographer and the band are friends, but both were paid for their work and I want to treat them professionally and fairly. There was no written contract with the photographer, but it was explicitly said (many times) that I was getting the rights to the photos – not envisioning the situation of the band wanting to use a photo this way, I don’t remember if we discussed using the photos in commercial situations. I guess I’m wondering [1] if commercial use/payment is included in “rights” (copyright), and [2] what common practice is for paying for use of photos in CD inserts—flat fee ($75? $500?) or royalties (.1% of sales? 25 cents per CD? etc).

scamp's avatar

Whatever you decide to do, make sure you get it in writing from both parties. You may all be friends now, but this is the stuff TV court shows are made of.

loki's avatar

the photographer owns the pics without a written contract stating otherwise- how did the band get the pic?
What do you want?

Knotmyday's avatar

Have the band ask the photographer for permission, if you’re ok with them using it. Don’t overthink things like this, and don’t charge them, for god’s sake. There is a line between “fiscally responsible” and “tacky” that you don’t want to cross (for your own mental health).

tigran's avatar

the photographer owns everything. You might have rights to print and distribute your own photos for personal use if he verbally agreed to it (although a contract would still be necessary to prove it).

But to commercially distribute those photos that he took for your personal use you’d have to have a written agreement with the photographer stating so. I don’t see how you would make any money from this. You paid for the wedding service, but the commercial value of the photos is the photographer’s area, unless you initially agreed to have all rights, written and signed.

I am no lawyer though

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