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Old 08-07-2014, 05:26 PM   #11 (permalink)
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That would mean that any time a photographer is not in direct control of his camera that nobody own the image. So if one is attached to one of those quad-rotor-copters or even an animal, they're owned by nobody?

Remote cameras are controlled or programmed by the operator to function by the user. Surely you are not implying this was a programmed function of the operator right? I find the argument interesting. I'm not certain what I think the outcome should be.
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Old 08-07-2014, 05:29 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Remote cameras are controlled or programmed by the operator to function by the user. Surely you are not implying this was a programmed function of the operator right? I find the argument interesting. I'm not certain what I think the outcome should be.
No, I'm not but giving a camera to a monkey and allowing a paid assistant can be see as the same thing, a living creature (as opposed to a piece of machinery merely me]ant to hold a camera) actually taking the picture. If an assistant has no claim to the image, why would a monkey? Are you going to argue that the assistant had prior knowledge that they wouldn't own the image?
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Old 08-07-2014, 05:36 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I think the paid assistant argument is a poor analogy. Compensation makes a difference
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Old 08-07-2014, 05:43 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Okay, so a kid at wedding? And if he gave the monkey a treat, would that be compensation?
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Old 08-07-2014, 05:48 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I would think it has more to do with intention than anything else. If you give a kid a camera, or hire an assistant to take pictures, you intend on getting pictures from that.

If the monkey took the camera without the photographers consent, then he never planned on having those pictures taken, and therefore wouldn't technically own them.

It would come down to whether or not he gave the monkey the camera, or it took it.

This is of course based on nothing, and is only what I think.
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Old 08-07-2014, 06:02 PM   #16 (permalink)
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It amuses me how closely opinion on the issue of copyright correlates to self-identification as a photographer.
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Old 08-07-2014, 06:16 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Okay, so a kid at wedding? And if he gave the monkey a treat, would that be compensation?
A) I did not really intend to argue either point. I intended to note that I found the argument interesting. I am too stupid and verbose to simply make that statement and let it go.

B) I am not well versed in copyright law. In fact if I confess fully the concept of IP where no product is involved generally confuses me

I thought about several analogies and the one I settled on was this. If I have art supplied and a monkey "borrows" them without my objection or trying to take them back and paints on a public bridge the image is public. If that monkey paints on a canvas that I purchased the painting belongs to me.

So I considered it from that point of view and it is not the ownership of the equipment that matters IMO but the ownership of the media that the image was originally stored on. I think that contracts can change this entirely but absent a contract between the owner of the media and someone elseI think it is the media that matters. Thus if two professional photographers accidentally swapped media cards at an event and took pictures each would hold rights to the images stored on his or her media card - not the pictures that he or she took.

So while I find the case mildly interesting I would argue that the owner of the camera (and presumably the media it stored the pictures on) is the owner of the images.

However... if photographers want to argue that it is the taking of the picture that determines ownership than I have to argue that the media company is in the right on this. Its not the stance I think will ultimately be held though.
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Old 08-07-2014, 06:20 PM   #18 (permalink)
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super interesting argument, however one point you have brought up seems incorrect (based on a cursory review of statutes and treaties affecting copyrights) which is that whoever takes the photograph is by default the owner of the copyright EXCEPT in an employment (employer/employee) situation.

edit: here is a source that seems to be consistent with what I have read

Q: Who owns the copyright in a photograph once it is taken?

In general, when the shutter is released, the photographer who pressed the button owns the copyright. An exception is when the image falls into the “work-made-for-hire”(also known as “work for hire”) category. A work-made-for-hire relationship is created in two situations: (1) the photographer is an employee hired to take photographs for the employer—an example would be a photojournalist who is an employee of a newspaper but not a wedding or portrait photographer who is hired for one event; or (2) the photographer is hired to provide photographs for collective works or compilations and signs a written agreement that specifically states that the work is to be considered a work made for hire. Therefore, freelance photographers are subjected to work-for-hire status only when they agree to it contractually.



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Photography and Copyright Law


COPYRIGHT – Part 1

In part one of a multi part series on Photographer’s Copyright, I’ll be talking with Carolyn E. Wright of the Law Office of Carolyn E. Wright, LLC. She is a full-time attorney whose practice is aimed squarely at the needs of photographers. Carolyn understands the special issues that confront both professional and amateur photographers alike, and was the perfect person to talk with about Photographers, Copyright, and the Law. While her legal credentials are among the best in the business, Carolyn thinks it is important to keep ties with the photographic community. That’s why she maintains an active wildlife photography business at www.vividwildlife.com, and enjoys teaching, writing and speaking about photography. She is a regular leader of photography workshops, and is a moderator and columnist for www.Naturescapes.net. When you turn to Carolyn for legal help, you are literally turning to the person who wrote the book on photography law. “Photographer’s Legal Guide”.
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Old 08-07-2014, 06:30 PM   #19 (permalink)
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I would think it has more to do with intention than anything else. If you give a kid a camera, or hire an assistant to take pictures, you intend on getting pictures from that.

If the monkey took the camera without the photographers consent, then he never planned on having those pictures taken, and therefore wouldn't technically own them.

It would come down to whether or not he gave the monkey the camera, or it took it.

This is of course based on nothing, and is only what I think.
I don't think this is a valid argument. If the camera was "stolen" from the owner and returned, I believe the content would be legally his.

Lohman is right about the claim. It's NOT that the monkey owns the image, it's that the photographer didn't take it so it falls under public domain (which they're not going to compensate him for).
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Old 08-07-2014, 06:36 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I really hope this guys takes it to court.

I also don't think it is public domain, as it is not created by the government, nor was it dedicated to the public domain, nor has the copyright expired. Going to have to do some more research.

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