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Author Topic: Copyright Ownership  (Read 4097 times)

Junglejava

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Copyright Ownership
« on: November 22, 2014, 01:39:08 PM »
Hi everyone, firstly I wanted to say thank you to everyone here who contributes their time and energy into this forum. Without it, the average person wouldn't have a CLUE how to proceed in these dealings.

Having recently received a letter myself (and a follow-up registered email as it seems is their standard tactic) I am wondering about some of the Canadian copyright regulations. I know that this forum typically covers US regulations, and Canada is somewhat different, but I am hoping that someone may know the rules on this.

Can Masterfile *and* the original image author BOTH claim copyright of an image (with watermark)?
And if so, can Masterfile claim Infringement on an image that had the author's watermark on it?
Is that part of their allowances for a Rights-Managed image?

Thank you in advance for your help!


Robert Krausankas (BuddhaPi)

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Re: Copyright Ownership
« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2014, 02:05:33 PM »
First I'm not canadian ( I apologize ; > )
i'm fairly certain the copyright can only be held/owned by a single entity, but MF may have the right to enforce the copyright on behalf of the owner. If you were to get a letter from both the owner AND MF, I would most certainly call BS. As far as MF claiming infringemnt on a watermarked image, again this would depend on if MF has an exclusive deal/contract with the artist to enforce copyright.
Most questions have already been addressed in the forums, get yourself educated before making decisions.

Any advice is strictly that, and anything I may state is based on my opinions, and observations.
Robert Krausankas

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Jerry Witt (mcfilms)

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Re: Copyright Ownership
« Reply #2 on: November 22, 2014, 03:17:24 PM »
Can Masterfile *and* the original image author BOTH claim copyright of an image (with watermark)?

I'm confused by this statement. Did you post an image on your site that had a watermark? Did you remove the watermark? Were there two watermarks?
Although I may be a super-genius, I am not a lawyer. So take my scribblings for what they are worth and get a real lawyer for real legal advice. But if you want media and design advice, please visit Motion City at http://motioncity.com.

Junglejava

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Re: Copyright Ownership
« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2014, 04:38:58 PM »
LOL No apology necessary for not being a Canadian! Although your quickness to apologize would imply that perhaps you ARE Canadian, since we do tend to apologize for everything regardless of fault LOL

I will be requesting MF to provide proof of exclusive Copyright Assignment and/or details of Partial assignment.

As for the mention of the dual watermark, turns out the image used did have the original photographers copyright watermark placed along the bottom of the photo (not placed obnoxiously across middle of picture like many image sites do, hence it's mistaken use).

Upon further research, I am not sure that MF has placed an "official" copyright watermark on their image. They seem to display their photos with either NO Masterfile watermark, or with it prominently displayed across the middle of photo. I suppose the question should have been worded "Once the author has transferred ownership of copyright, can they still watermark the photo with their name as the copyright holder?"

**Point of Interest, I JUST discovered that a Peruvian Photo Stock Company is also offering the sale of the same photo. As well as many other Masterfile photo's (www.perfotostock.com). So exclusivity may very well be in question.

Robert Krausankas (BuddhaPi)

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Re: Copyright Ownership
« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2014, 06:45:52 PM »
LOL No apology necessary for not being a Canadian! Although your quickness to apologize would imply that perhaps you ARE Canadian, since we do tend to apologize for everything regardless of fault LOL

Precisely why I did that, I know of your habits to apologize, I was just being snarky....aye?

I will be requesting MF to provide proof of exclusive Copyright Assignment and/or details of Partial assignment.

As for the mention of the dual watermark, turns out the image used did have the original photographers copyright watermark placed along the bottom of the photo (not placed obnoxiously across middle of picture like many image sites do, hence it's mistaken use).

Upon further research, I am not sure that MF has placed an "official" copyright watermark on their image. They seem to display their photos with either NO Masterfile watermark, or with it prominently displayed across the middle of photo. I suppose the question should have been worded "Once the author has transferred ownership of copyright, can they still watermark the photo with their name as the copyright holder?"

**Point of Interest, I JUST discovered that a Peruvian Photo Stock Company is also offering the sale of the same photo. As well as many other Masterfile photo's (www.perfotostock.com). So exclusivity may very well be in question.

wait! stop the truck! if perfotostock.com is selling the same image, something is amiss for sure.. you can easily state that you obtained the image elsewhere, in the US, you have to be found guily, it is upon MF to prove this..who's to say you did not purchase the image from this other source? and if you did, and they are selling images they shouldn't be, that would not be your fault.
Most questions have already been addressed in the forums, get yourself educated before making decisions.

Any advice is strictly that, and anything I may state is based on my opinions, and observations.
Robert Krausankas

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Greg Troy (KeepFighting)

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Re: Copyright Ownership
« Reply #5 on: November 23, 2014, 01:53:37 PM »
Robert is right, if the ownership is in question the courts tend to side more with the defendant (each case is different and there is no guarantee what a court will do).  A great example is the Masterfile v. Martin Gale.  The Gale's bought a CD for their real estate business and paid 450.00 for it, it contained web templates and photos which the Gale's used.  Masterfile claimed ownership of 27 of the images being used to promote the Gale's business.  Between 5 years back leasing, statutory damages, regular damages and legal fees MF asked for just under a million dollars. 

Masterfile finally admitted that the Gale's could have presumed they had rights to use these images on the CD since they paid 450.00 dollars for it and were innocent infringers.  The courts then awarded MF the minimum of 200.00 an image or 5,400.00 and no attorneys fees.  Masterfile claims to have paid 33,000 in legal fees which is what they were asking for, so they spent 33k to win 5.4k. 

There have been other cases like this too, I think the stock photo companies are leery about filing suits if you can show there are issues as to who has rights to the image.

https://www.scribd.com/doc/213801682/66-0-Decision-and-Order

Here are the images and Masterfiles breakdown of the fees
https://www.scribd.com/doc/213801687/58-1-Apendix-Exhibits-1-3


You have to do what you think is best for you and your situation but I would fight this, big time.
Every situation is unique, any advice or opinions I offer are given for your consideration only. You must decide what is best for you and your particular situation. I am not a lawyer and do not offer legal advice.

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fighting_masterfile

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Re: Copyright Ownership
« Reply #6 on: November 23, 2014, 09:15:46 PM »
In my case with Master Fail 2 of the 3 photos they were claiming were also on visualphotos.com showing visualphotos as the copyright holder.  one of the photos they had the artist as the artist/master fail

I am searching more of Master Fails Rights managed photos to get more examples like that.

Please read and learn from this site before responding to Master Fail. 

Greg Troy (KeepFighting)

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Re: Copyright Ownership
« Reply #7 on: November 23, 2014, 09:26:40 PM »

Please read and learn from this site before responding to Master Fail.

Good advice for any of the stock photo companies employing the settlement demand business model.  You must educate yourself before talking to them or you may hurt or ruin your case without intending to.
Every situation is unique, any advice or opinions I offer are given for your consideration only. You must decide what is best for you and your particular situation. I am not a lawyer and do not offer legal advice.

--Greg Troy

Junglejava

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Re: Copyright Ownership
« Reply #8 on: November 24, 2014, 12:00:03 PM »
Thanks for all your thoughts on this! The other company that is offering the photo has the photographer listed as: MASTERFILE and the artists name.

Ohh.... Wow! Visualphotos.com ALSO has this image on their site as well. Thank you! They list the Agency as Masterfile. I love the fact that they even use the same photo ID #. Although I can't help but wonder why that site didn't show up when I google'd the photo ID#.

At this point, the only contact I will be having with them is to request verification that they are in fact the exclusive copyright holder for that photo.

Greg Troy (KeepFighting)

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Re: Copyright Ownership
« Reply #9 on: November 24, 2014, 04:13:24 PM »
At this point, the only contact I will be having with them is to request verification that they are in fact the exclusive copyright holder for that photo.

....and have the right to collect on behalf of the artist.
Every situation is unique, any advice or opinions I offer are given for your consideration only. You must decide what is best for you and your particular situation. I am not a lawyer and do not offer legal advice.

--Greg Troy

 

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