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Question about the legal aspect of Facebook and professional photographers taken of you.

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Donell HallQuestion about the legal aspect of Facebook and professional photographers taken of you.
by on Aug 14, 2012 at 1:15:38 am

Here is my question, I have been working in TV/Film for 10 years on the video side of things so I am a little rusty on the Photo side of things.

I recently got married and of course hired a professional photographer to capture the event. Here is my problem, although we signed off on her being able to use any photo each takes as promotional material and portfolio which is fine, I do the same thing on the video side. I am although extremely concerned by the fact that, portfolio apparently means post over 60 photos of my personally wedding day on a 3rd party, for profit company website that in turns claims to own every image that is upload to their site.

Hell a handful of picture I would have been fine with but we are over half way to a hundred pictures online and I dont know what her privacy settings are, I dont know how each is operating her facebook account, she could get drunk one night and make a crazy post that now as our wedding pictures attached to it.

I have not asked her to take them down yet as I didnt know they existed until my wife showed me today but I want to find out more information on this subject before hand. I legally gave her the right to use our photo's in their companies promo but facebook is not owned by their company and it seems to be that she just broke that contract by giving the rights away to a very wonky company that has a history of less than stellar privacy issues.

Just to be clear, I like face book but I am a fairly private person, I like my personally life just that...private, I dont need or want the entire world having access to hundreds of pictures of my wedding. So the questions is, does giving a photographer the right to use photos in personal promotion = facebook?


Here is the exact wording:

"The customer hereby grants to the photographer the right to use any image taken as a result of the agreement, including engagement photos for use in display in their portfolio exhibitions and competitions and other promotions of their work. The photographer agrees that no commercial or product promotion use will be made of the photos unless agreed to in writing by the client."


Again, Facebook is a for profit company...it would be the same as handing them over to Ford Motor Company. Facebook reserves the right to use any photo on their website for virtually anything they want thus breaching our contract correct? Facebook would be in the right but the photographer wouldnt right? I am fine with them using photos for their personally business but not with giving them to other businesses that without my input.

Anyone got any insight with this?


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walter biscardiRe: Question about the legal aspect of Facebook and professional photographers taken of you.
by on Aug 14, 2012 at 10:49:54 am

[Donell Hall] "Again, Facebook is a for profit company...it would be the same as handing them over to Ford Motor Company. Facebook reserves the right to use any photo on their website for virtually anything they want thus breaching our contract correct?"

Not exactly. They can't just use the photo for their own advertising whims as they once thought they could. They would require permission from the photographer and the people in the photo.

Your contact allows the photographer to post the images on Facebook as an example of her work. She's not earning profit from Facebook, she's using it to showcase her work. So I don't see any recourse for you, it's the same as if she posted 200 photos of you on her own website.

Facebook is a major marketing tool for consumer services driven companies along with Twitter, Pinterest and the like. You gave her the permission to use the images, and she is.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

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Mark SuszkoRe: Question about the legal aspect of Facebook and professional photographers taken of you.
by on Aug 14, 2012 at 2:32:11 pm

Walter's right, you don't have a legal case, so, use soft words, reason, and persuasion instead of threats, when you ask the poster to throttle back on the use of the pics. That's your only recourse I think


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Donell HallRe: Question about the legal aspect of Facebook and professional photographers taken of you.
by on Aug 14, 2012 at 2:40:29 pm

I guess I am confused by the statement of "Its just like if she posted on her own personal website." How exactly is that? I would not have a problem with that but she doesnt in fact own facebook.

Facebook in there terms of services says that by posting a image to their site you,

"For content that is covered by intellectual property rights, like photos and videos (“IP content”), you specifically give us the following permission, subject to your privacy and application settings: you grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any IP content that you post on or in connection with Facebook (“IP License”). This IP License ends when you delete your IP content or your account unless your content has been shared with others, and they have not deleted it.


Basically I gave HER permissions to use the photos for personal gain, I did not give her permission to transfer the license to a for profit company that can use the photos as they see fit including decisions for profit. That language is not in the contract.


From what I have been researching, I am pretty sure I have a point but thanks for your insight.


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Mark SuszkoRe: Question about the legal aspect of Facebook and professional photographers taken of you.
by on Aug 14, 2012 at 4:14:12 pm

A difference that makes no difference, IS no difference. Try diplomacy, and suggest that in exchange for posting only a few best of pictures, you'll write a glowing customer satisfaction review she can post, which would make you more comfortable. If she's not completely tone-deaf to customer satisfaction and client relations, she should figure this out and play ball. Do NOT try to force the issue. You have zero leverage.


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