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What to charge?

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Mick Haensler
What to charge?
on Jan 30, 2008 at 3:13:17 pm

Hey everyone. I just got back from and out of town shoot for a real estate developement company shooting a prototype retirement community. The job comprised video as well as still photography. This was not a work for hire job but my contract is not specific about who owns the footage. I know, I know, bad move on my part. This morning I got a call from the local sales rep for this company who recommended me for this job. She needs some of the stills for a brochure that needs to go out next week and wants to use some of my shots. This is not part of the final product outlined in my contract.

These are great people and will be a good referal in the future as well as repeat business. So do I charge her something for the stills? Charge her for my time to download, sort and deliver them? Or just be a great guy and give them to her? What would you do?

Mick Haensler
Higher Ground Media



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walter biscardi
Re: What to charge?
on Jan 30, 2008 at 3:30:09 pm

[Mick Haensler] "This was not a work for hire job but my contract is not specific about who owns the footage. I know, I know, bad move on my part."

If it's not a work for hire, they don't owe you anything. you give them the stills.



Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Biscardi Creative Media
HD and SD Production for Broadcast and Independent Productions.

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Mick Haensler
Re: What to charge?
on Jan 30, 2008 at 7:09:02 pm

That's what I was thinking. Thanks for the input.


Mick Haensler
Higher Ground Media



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Arnie Schlissel
Re: What to charge?
on Jan 30, 2008 at 8:23:00 pm

[walter biscardi] "If it's not a work for hire, they don't owe you anything. you give them the stills."

My own, personal experience as a former still photographer is the opposite. If it's not a work for hire, you should own the negatives, and may be entitled to charge extra. That doesn't mean that it's always in your best interest, though...

How well do you know these people? How badly do you need the money? How much do you want the next gig? It may be very much in your interest to give them a "freebie", or it may be more in your interest to charge a modest extra fee.

Arnie

Now in post: Peristroika, a film by Slava Tsukerman

http://www.arniepix.com/blog


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Nick Griffin
Re: What to charge?
on Jan 30, 2008 at 10:30:26 pm

[walter biscardi] "If it's not a work for hire, they don't owe you anything. you give them the stills."

Huh?? Isn't that kind of inverted?

Work for hire means you're essentially an employee and the employer therefore owns the work product, and by inference the copyright.

When it's NOT work for hire, by virtue of NOT being spelled out as such, you own the work product and the copyright.

All this said, in this case I'd explain to your contact that you really should be charging for this and would like to be paid for future uses, but for her and especially because of the referral, and for this ONE use you're happy to waive the fee. Just make sure you have this in writing. In this digital age it's far to simple for the pic from today's brochure to end up in tomorrow's newspaper ad and billboard.


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Patrick Ortman
Re: What to charge?
on Jan 31, 2008 at 12:45:02 am

Nick's right. Work For Hire means they own everything.

Easy to get flipped, especially while AE is rendering... :-)

Patrick



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(818) 653-9144


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Bruce Bennett
Re: What to charge?
on Jan 31, 2008 at 1:28:47 pm

Mick,

We’ve had discussions about “Work For Hire” and who owns copyright several times on this post. Some say that if a Work For Hire agreement is/was not signed, then you own copyright even if your client paid you. Others say that if a client pays/commissions you without a Work For Hire Agreement, it doesn’t matter because their “act of hiring you” implies/constitutes a Work For Hire project and thus their copyright ownership (this is also what I interpret/believe from what I’ve read at http://www.copyright.gov).

If your client doesn’t care if your local sales rep uses the photos, then I’d just give them to them.

Bruce

Bruce Bennett,
Bennett Marketing & Media Production, LLC
http://www.bmmp.com


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Mick Haensler
Re: What to charge?
on Jan 31, 2008 at 3:17:45 pm

Thanks for your input everyone. Seeing as these are great folks to work with and will more than likely be long term clients, me thinks they get the pics for free. Thanks again for the opinions.

On a side note. Before I posted this, I read many of the posts concerning footage rights, work for hire, and the like. As much as it has been discussed here, it seems there is still no definitive answer as to who owns what no matter what your contract says. I'm in the process of revamping my contract and would love to put this to rest. I'm coming to the conclusion that there is no clear answer here and if it were to end up in court it would pretty much be up to the judge and how he/she interprets the law. It would be nice to get the opinion of an entertainment/DRM lawyer in on this discussion, as I'm sure I'm not the only one still confused.

Mick Haensler
Higher Ground Media



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Randall Raymond
Re: What to charge?
on Jan 31, 2008 at 9:33:10 pm

[Mick Haensler] "I'm in the process of revamping my contract and would love to put this to rest."

"Unless otherwise agreed to in writing, I own all copyrights."
Clear as a bell.



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Brendan Coots
Re: What to charge?
on Feb 1, 2008 at 2:09:58 am

Exactly. The reason it's not clearly defined is simple - no one uses the same contract (if they even USE a contract), deals are all structured differently etc. My contract clearly and specifically states who owns what. We will break this rule as we see fit, such as the poster's situation (I'd give them for free, why not).

In my experience, nothing is really "standard" in this industry.


Brendan Coots

Splitvision Digital

http://www.splitvisiondigital.com


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Bruce Bennett
Re: What to charge?
on Feb 1, 2008 at 2:21:10 am

[Randall Raymond] ""Unless otherwise agreed to in writing, I own all copyrights."
Clear as a bell."


Randall,

Just curious, has a client(s) ever challenged you on this? And if so, what was/were the results?

Bruce

Bruce Bennett,
Bennett Marketing & Media Production, LLC
http://www.bmmp.com


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Randall Raymond
Re: What to charge?
on Feb 3, 2008 at 9:10:45 pm

[Bruce Bennett] "Just curious, has a client(s) ever challenged you on this? And if so, what was/were the results?

Bruce"


Legally challenged it? No.

Wanted to own the copyright? Yes. But they pay a bit more and I won't store their assets.



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