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Old 02-19-2006, 07:11 PM   #1
Patt Legg Patt Legg is offline
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Photo legal issues




I have searched for an answer to my question and did not see it here but if indeed it is I would appreciate someone pointing me in the right direction.

My question is this: How or what kind of agreement does one use to ask for permission to use "photos" taken of your clients artwork that you did yourself--to use those photos of your work in your brochures, on your web site, etc.?

I just had a business meeting with my client. She was ok with having her grandchildren painted by me. When I asked her to sign a release she was a bit uneasy as to why I needed it. Her reaction made me re-think of my own agreement. She pointed out that I had asked for the use of photos for advertising ,etc but I had not stated that names would be withheld and anonymous. But she also seemed a bit fearful of the computer thing as she does not use a computer but hears about "children being exploited on-line"

Now realize that she did not doubt me at all and the agreement went through but wondered if I might need further wording to protect myself.

Do I make sense? The other one was of Sales Tax. I always tax. She claimed that no-one has taxed her on artwork (she has loads of it)

What do you think? Any one wish to share their wording for a Release Form?

Thanks

Patt
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Old 02-19-2006, 08:09 PM   #2
Terri Ficenec Terri Ficenec is offline
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Hi Patt--
Well, I'm no legal expert. . . and what I use is a combination and reorganization of things from right here on the forum that I modified so that I felt comfortable with it. . . My portrait contract that is signed when the portrait is originally commissioned is a one page document that spells out the anticipated process etc. but also includes a bullet specifically stating that they are purchasing the original portrait only and that I retain rights of reproduction in any form. . . Upon completion of the portrait, I'll also usually have them sign a second document that further gives the opportunity for the client to specify how they'd like the portrait to be identified in any such use. I'll include the text of both below. . . I'm sure a couple of people here will recognize bits (if not large parts) of text that's been previously posted (Thanks everyone who's thoughts/words I've been using!!!)

[Quote]Portrait Contract

THE GOAL of both the portrait Artist and the Client is the creation of a Portrait painting which is pleasing, captures the likeness and personality of the subject(s), and is able to stand on its own merits as a work of art.

* On the average, it will take two to three meetings to produce a quality Portrait. At the first meeting, the basic composition of the Portrait (size, pose, format, type of clothing, tone, background, and lighting) is determined and a series of 60 to 100 reference photographs are taken. This meeting/photo session takes approximately 1-
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Old 02-19-2006, 08:14 PM   #3
Terri Ficenec Terri Ficenec is offline
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I should further note that these documents are customized to the client and portrait situation. . . (for instance if the client wants to pose live for the portrait, the section about 'photo reference would be altered to describe the planned schedule for sittings. . . )

When the contract is written up and signed, I talk to the client specifically about the copyright section, and also ask their preference on whether they'd like their work in progress to be shown (so they can follow the progress) on the 'On the Easel' pages on my website. (This might be declined for example by a client whose commission was intended as a gift for fear that the gift recipient might discover the work ahead of time. . . in that case, I'll provide clients the option to have access to the work in progress via an 'un-linked' URL on my website --you have to already know the URL to get to the page.) I typically show the work as 'Untitled' while it is in progress. When the work is completed/delivered, I'll bring along the Portrait release form, with the default title of the work typically the subject first-name only. In the context of the discussion surrounding this release, I'll be the one to bring up internet safety and will offer them the opportunity to choose an alternate moniker for public depictions of the portrait. (Sometimes, I'll have an idea other than the child's name and will suggest this as a possibility . . . ) In any case, by that time. . . the client's pretty much used to being able to show off their painting to friends and family on-line and appreciates the safety considerations.
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Old 02-20-2006, 03:34 PM   #4
Julie Deane Julie Deane is offline
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I used to do a more complicated release form. I now do a very simple model release form that states:

1. I am getting permission to show the art for my advertising purposes (and I list specific things like my website, business cards, etc).
2. The child will not be identified by name.

The parent then puts down their name and child's name, stating that he or she is the child's guardian and signs/dates that permission is given.

As far as sales tax, if it came up, I would state that I am in business and all businesses are required to collect sales tax.
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Old 02-20-2006, 09:16 PM   #5
Patt Legg Patt Legg is offline
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Many thanks to you, Terri and Julie. Your info was very helpful and I plan on doing my own over now with a few additions as you have suggested.

Most people have just signed it, but then they know me personally somewhat and therefore was no question as to my intentions. This client as I said was actually fine with it but suggested that I may want to check further.

I appreciate that all so much. This forum is indeed such a helpful tool. Thanks too, Cynthia.

Best

Patt
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Old 02-20-2006, 11:29 PM   #6
Michele Rushworth Michele Rushworth is offline
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On the sales tax question: You, and everyone else selling art, are required to charge and submit sales tax to the state (assuming you live in a state that has a sales tax and assuming the sale is not to someone in a different state.)

On the question of getting permission to use your portraits in your marketing material: legally speaking an artist has the right to make a forty foot billboard of art that he created and plaster it all over Times Square, if he wants to. The artist owns the copyright to it even if the original art is sold.

What you do need to legally ask permission for is to use "the likeness" of that subject (it's a Privacy law issue, not a Copyright law issue at that point). Whatever language you use in the Model's Release portion of your contract, where you get permission to even paint a likeness of them in the first place, is where you should specify that you need the rights to use the image of that person in your marketing materials.
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Old 02-21-2006, 09:17 AM   #7
Alexandra Tyng Alexandra Tyng is offline
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Thanks. . .I can see some places where my contact could use some improvements.
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Old 02-21-2006, 09:37 AM   #8
Patt Legg Patt Legg is offline
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Thanks Michele, I knew about the taxes and have always charged so. I believe what had happened to this person was the other local artists whom she had purchased artwork had obviously assumed their taxes within their quoted price. But, on paper when one is filing at the year's end, there is a separation there and could be confusing. Why not have the "tax" blank filled in ?

Oh well, we have a contract already. It just seems funny to me that her comment was," hum-m-m-m, I think if the others would have charged me tax I think I would not have purchased them".
Now this person is not an ignorant sort and quite versed, well traveled, and very rich. So I know that it is not a money issue with her.

Thanks and I am definitely doing some changing in my wording of the contract. She was very concerned about the naming more than the photo in the marketing materials.

Best Regards

Patt
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Old 02-21-2006, 10:08 AM   #9
Alexandra Tyng Alexandra Tyng is offline
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Hi Patt,

I just want to say that I have had problems with clients nitpicking over tax or price in general, and often these clients are in no way short of money, so it is not a money issue.

Sometimes I feel that people who buy art feel that the artist should be grateful that their lifestyle is being supported, and not get too businesslike. Some people like to feel that they are patrons of the arts, and they are doing artists a favor while, of course, getting something they want. Art is a luxury item. In their minds, artists shouldn't act as though they are bona fide business people, and if you do, they get annoyed and uncomfortable and maybe even suspicious or worried.
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Old 02-21-2006, 10:17 AM   #10
Patt Legg Patt Legg is offline
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Alexandra, DITTO I believe that too. There are still people out there who believe that artists' work is not a legitimate job, only a great pass-time. While it is not ABOUT the money for me, I am so honored and fortunate that I can do what I absolutely love to do and be compensated somewhat with it.

Thanks for adding to this

Patt
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