Licensing and Transferring


Legal Survival Guide


Lesson Info

Licensing and Transferring

Everybody uh what do we learn yesterday we learned that we have to give birth to our business right so we gave birth to our business we've created our entity we've we've registered it we've got our tax I d number and now we've got a stack of documents and we're ready to take those documents to the bank or go get alone and I want to show you what needs to be in your business organization folder so blue steel photography is alive and well so in my blue steel corporate business documents folder this is what we're gonna have I'm just diving back in we're going to start with copyright in a minute but don't forget we have our articles of organization right that's our birth certificate well actually that's that's what we had to get into the hospital then we've got our certificate of organization that's our birth certificate that shows that were legal and we were born and we came up with some rules about how we're gonna play that's our operating agreement which we took off of the legal forms d...

isc got our operating agreement we made a couple of minor changes to it and again this is a missouri operating agreement and then finally we jumped online on dwi registered with the internal revenue service and we got our employer identification numbers so we can start to register to pay taxes so you absolutely must there is no exception have to have these documents in your corporations folder I'm going to say it again because it's so important you gotta have your articles of organization your certificate of organization you're operating agreement and then your letter from the I r s that says what your employer identification number is now listen this is how real life works you're not going to remember what your employer identification number is and if you don't print out this letter and put it someplace where he won't lose it and probably put a second copy someplace else where you could go look for it when you lose the first one you'll lose your employer identification number and if you lose it I don't have any great advice on how to get it back I suppose you can write the I rs or search back through your emails but you need to save this because if you forget your employee identification number it'll be a problem so what are we going to do now? Well let me tell you overnight blue steel photography came to life on the web it came to life on the web mike can you show me what my friend will tailor made for us will's a photographer up in d c and I asked yesterday if somebody would just bring blue blue steel to life on the web and well I think really captured the essence of blue steel and will is with us today in the chat room well, fantastic if you pull this up on yours we got a little we've got a little re sizing problem going on with the logo on the wicks website but that's okay, but that's ah that's well, we're live wheels online I think he really captured it for us I think he really did so big shout out to will I mean, I'm ready to hire him for my next commercial shoot right now I think he's got the vibe I need so thanks. Well, I appreciate it. That was fun. That was fun. Um so where are we? Uh we we now have registered our copyright, haven't we? We, um let's see what? Go back. We're gonna get you gonna dive right into it. All right? Remember what I said if you don't bother uh oh, our uh if you don't bother to register your work and somebody steals it, it might be bad business ethics but you're not going to be able to sue anybody that's where we left off yesterday so today we're gonna talk a little bit about transferring. So what are we going to do when our bride says I want the rights to put all of these pictures on facebook and I want the rights to print as many pictures as I want I want rights to give these pictures away and I want rights to sell him and I want rides to go worldwide with my image is so how do we handle that let's talk about this concept of copyright licensing versus transfer what's that mean what's that mean well and I'll ask you guys, how have you been dealing with your copyright licensing or transfer in your work throughout your professional career whether you're just starting out or whether you've been doing it for a while? What have you guys been doing? How's it work in the real world and I'll ask that question to the internet to tell me what you've been doing how have you been handling it? What forms have you been using? How have you been approaching this issue? Story of mine is the fairly informal but I just have a couple sentences in my contract that say that I retain the coffee right? Any limitation on their ability to use it? Do you give them a license so they don't even have your permission? We're stealing from you s oh there's this for you. You must have this kind of orel license if we this kind of feeling of license and a lot of people do that and so let's say this is great that you said that in you and you were honest because it tells us if there's a dispute about it where all of a sudden she takes your pictures and resells them and makes a million dollars and you approach her and say, well, I didn't say you could resell them we didn't say she couldn't you don't really say she could do anything with him so that's why we want to define our license with our clients so that there's no confusion about what uses they khun they can put the images to or the graphic art to or the music too. We define it. I'll tell you what, microsoft in adobe, they do a pretty good job of defining the terms of their license. Has anybody ever bothered to read a license agreement for a piece of software? Seriously, take a morning. Try it. Uh, it's a good time. Uh really? It it's substantially limits your ability to use it. How is there anybody else? Uh, bob, have you been dealing with it? I in the contract states that ion the copyright. And depending upon what the particular job is, I will then give them a license. We're using the images. I just did a company head shots they wanted for their website, so I gave them the right to use the images on their website. I also gave them the right that if they were to use those images on something else such as ah ah corporate document that I had to be given a credit for that photo and the internet um, a few people are saying that they just haven't gotten there that it's kind of been, uh, pushed to the in a little problem with the conversation about how clients might use and this is going to go out to the internet. They're going to participate in this. This is this is super important. How my clients use our work now don't limit it to photos think about music. Think about graphic art think about software because this idea of licensing release versus transfer if you release your copyright well to them or you, you give them a release to use it a license versus transfer of your copyright that's completely completely separate. Everybody understands if we transfer the copyright it's as if we never made the work, we've never push the shutter button, someone else owns it, it's game over, you better have gotten paid handsomely for it because you'll never get another dime. Everybody gets that right. So now we're going to focus on licensing and the creative ways that we can license our work, because licensing is on ly limited by your imagination. So that's that's kind of a concept of a release transfer of your exclusive rights isn't valid unless it's in writing so you can never accidentally transfer your rights away without a riding can't orally give them away, and, uh in addition, if you do transfer it there's a fifty six year termination provision and some notice requirement so it can come back to you on again. You, khun, transfer your rights to a copyright under your will and trust there's also the ability to use plus or the picture licensing universal system for modifying your licensing agreement. So if you've got some time afterwards offline, google plus for licensing and you can get a lot of great information from the plus system. But let's, talk a little bit about transfer. Who were we given it to? To who? So think of the four w's who gets the license bride, mom, everyone in the world, third parties, your client corporations. Who do you want to give this license, too? So we have to answer that in our lives. Who is that? Who's? No, named on the license. So, for instance, on my standard, uh, license that I give when I deliver the disk, it will. It will go to the bride and the groom. That was my client that you signed my contract. I don't give the license to anyone else. Sometimes, mom, uh, hit a mother recently say, well, I would like a license as well, and I chose to give her one she wanted one she knew that she couldn't use it without one she asked I gave her one I didn't charge her for it I wanted to maintain great customer service and client relations but we did it legally so that's the who you know your client where where can your work be used in your city in your state nationally internationally globally galactic lee you can limit the terms of your license to a geographical area. Why purposes this that's purposes not purposes purposes the reasons can they use it for personal reasons because they use it use it for commercial reasons can they use it for advertising? Can they use it for, uh, portfolio can they use it for um these are questions you have to answer for yourself, right? But you have to ask the question why are they going to be allowed to use it? So what are the purposes? Um so we talked about the who the where and the why now let's focus on the what? What can they use it for? And that kind of goes along with purposes. Maybe they wanted you can give him you know he can say any personal way might say commercial what commercial purposes are there that's where they're trying to make money off of it that's where they can sell it personal and commercial are the complete opposite so if you give somebody a licensed to use your work for personal reasons, that necessarily means they're not going to be able to sell it commercial we know is when we're trying to make money off an endeavor commercial purposes and if it's personal, we can say personal web only or commercial web only personal like for you bob commercial you can use on your internal documents we might say, you know, print now let's think about print I mean, this is how we make money creatives you've got to ask these questions and you've got to stand up for yourself. How much do you think you can charge for your work if you're selling it to a corporation that wants you, they really want you on, they're going to do a print run of one hundred thousand well one hundred thousand, that sounds like a lot of prince, right? Um, ok, how much would you charge for that same work if that you knew that they really wanted you and they were going to do five million? Would you charge a little bit more? You would so before it during the sales meeting. When you're explaining your vision in gym like fashion about really, really feeling what they need and meeting their needs, you need to ask, what do you use it for? Well, I may use it for prints well the question's can't stop there you're using it for print what's the print run going to look like oh you know fifty five hundred five thousand five million that's going to govern what your your work is worth and you if you don't ask those questions on a commercial job you're never going to get paid what you're worth and if you go to that what was that link that I gave yesterday photo uh um so you wrote it down for your commercial rates uh checking your commercial rights online if you if you find that hollered out but that's one of the questions they'll ask is what's the print run gonna be if it's used for print what about billboards uh publications books portfolio for it was a photo quote photo quote dot com with an f um these air the what's that we can put in our license so your fee for what you're going to charge if it's not included in a package needs to be based on use you could put all different other terms in there bob bob has an attribution claws right here. You know what? You can use my work if you if you use it for internal print but you've got to attribute the work to me I need to receive credit for it. What about changes to your work let's talk about that ladies and gentlemen I have a lot of clients that are excellent excellent photo shoppers that always gives me an opportunity to say photo shop is not a verb photo shop is a proper noun photo shop is a proper noun, and it describes a system where we artistically enhanced an image or a graphic for a small additional charge. Um, and what we do is we have these clients that want to edit your images. I went years in my career without anybody ever asking me for my raw images. Well, I want you raw images. Well, now your clients can get into a photo shop or a light room, and they want the raw data because they've realized there's there's greater ability to manipulate it. So do you want your client in your license to be able to change your work? They would love to take that fantastic pose that you, you know, you you pulled off with wedding with the bride and they would love to get a hold of that and add some grain to it selectively color it up and really put it out there and make sure that they tell everybody that you took this image. So I like to I like to make sure that I let my clients know that they can't change my work other than cropping, I'll let them crop it, but I won't let them make changes to it. The other thing we can limit is the number of copies so if it is going for ah commercial purpose we could limit the number of copies that the client can make of it so that's licensing and that's how we maintain control let's go ah full screen on this mic and let everybody take a look at the the difference between a copyright transfer form and ah copyright license good throw that up there so we've got that full screen now here on the left is a transfer form and in this one look what I put their this is this is to help you do not use this unless you intend to transfer the entire copyright photographer does not retain copyright I would rarely use this form but if you had some this is basically equivalent to a work for hire agreement where you're transferring it and we specifically transfer all ownership rights title and interest to the following photographs and it ends here but down here there's this blank space see this right here you have to put something in there what is it it's image such and such its image such and such and I print out thumbnails and I attach it and I also say see exhibit a and I just print out a contact sheet of thumbnails alright exhibit a on it transfer it are stable into it and that lets me and everybody else no which images are being transferred? Because if you don't show a picture of it, what do we send to the copyright office? A copy of our work, right? If we don't attach a copy of the work to the copyright transfer form it's difficult to know what the heck were transferring? Uh, so that's, the copyright transfer form let's. Come over, teo, and you can pull back out. Mike from that on, we'll go over here to the copyright owner's. Consent form. Limited use. Ok, this is a license. You could strike this here and you call it a license. It says that, uh, the studio wants to let the client reproduce certain copyrighted material. We warrant that were the owner of it. And then we agree for a buck and other consideration. The customers granted limited license to reproduce the following materials and that says, see attached, disc or otherwise described the work that's raul attach a actual contact sheet to it. The photographer authorizes and consents to the reproduction for the following purposes, any personal use licenses, non transferrable to third parties. So, it's, this is just a broad general, unrestricted personal use license to allow your clients to make use of your pictures for any personal use we might say here, web only, we might say you know client may not change them or manipulate the mother than cropping it might say license good for ten years it might say license good in missouri it might say license good on ly of clients wearing a red shirt you khun literally drill down and limit that license anyway you want now the final paragraphs makes the client acknowledged that if the customer violates the terms of the agreement it's a violation of your copyright punishable under law in any action to enforce the agreement they have to pay for your attorney's fees and expenses and expert witness fees etcetera. Now listen this is where if you have not registered your work it's a little teachable moment if you have not registered your work with the copyright office but you have the client sign a limited use agreement like this that includes an attorney feed provisions and they rip you off by selling your image or sending it to another vendor who puts it on their website that client then is agreeing to pay for your attorney's fees because they signed this contract does that make sense so that's another way that you could kind of protect yourself a poor man's way to register but listen that only works if the infringer is the person that signed it okay you only get your attorney's fees from the client because your client signed it so if she gives it to the other ah wedding venue and they rip you off you're not going to be able to collect your attorney's fees from that wedding venue unless you've registered your work does that make sense? Okay? Uh, yeah, lorenzo you're saying that okay if I give you our transfer not transfer if I licensed the image too jane doe her way, but she gives them to the banquet hold right? And did they go and publish all of that? Yeah. You know anybody that that happened to no me and you yeah, go ahead. And so that so that basically what if I were to bring a lawsuit upon them? I can't sue the defend you I have to go through. Are you saying I have to go through? No, no, no, no, no. And I apologize. I didn't mean to confuse that you consume the banquet hall, you can see the bride. If you see the bride, you get your attorney's fees. If you see the banquet hall, you'll get your attorney's fees if you've registered with the copyright office and this is why I hear your attorney's fees are recoverable under contract act if you've registered the attorneysfees air recoverable under federal copyright law oh, I see the lights going off like bone he's got it he's got it he's an expert he's ready to go

Class Description

Ready to turn your creative side project into a thriving business? Join Craig Heidemann for an introduction to the business and accounting principles every creative professional needs to know. 

In this class, Craig will take you step-by-step through the process of setting up, running, and growing a small business. You’ll learn how to use QuickBooks to manage your finances, including managing client contracts and invoices. Craig will also help you navigate the potentially-confusing tax, legal, and copyright issues surrounding small businesses. You’ll also learn how to contract and/or hire people to do the tasks you can’t do yourself. 

Whether you’re just starting out as a business owner or you’re a longtime entrepreneur ready for a refresher course, this course will give you a roadmap to business success.


a Creativelive Student

I'm literally fresh off the boat, as the saying goes, having moved back to the US after decades of living abroad. I have the photography down (in some measure due to the instructors and courses here at CL), but being new to the business of photography in this environment I was rudderless. This course helped answer all my initial questions and put me on the way to getting established in my region... and beyond! Craig makes legal issues almost fun with his jocular, engaging style. Thanks so much to Chase and the people at CL for knowing what courses real working photographers need.

Andrew V Gonzales

This class is amazing (as is the Instructor). Funny, real, and to the point, Craig has a great way of making these aspects of business MUCH less intimidating. Still very applicable even in 2016. Loved it!