Old 07-12-2012, 04:32 PM   #1
J Douglas Moore
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I am not versed in this procedure. A major RR has asked to use a couple of my shots. The price offered is very modest and not at issue.... Just wondering if the verbage is standard... I am not in this for the money but I donot want to give away the bank either..... I welcome any comments/advise here..........

This is what I have to agree to:

Unlimited usage means: Photographer grants to RR non-exclusive worldwide rights to use, copy, distribute, display, edit, revise, adapt and crop any Photographs, in any and all forms or media, including but not limited to print, electronic and digital media, whether known or unknown or hereafter created. In addition, Photographer hereby grants to RR:
(a) The right to publish and use Photographers name, likeness and biographical information, to advertise and promote any promotional or historical materials created by RR;
(b) The right to include Photographs in any anthology, in any and all forms or media, including but not limited to print, electronic and digital media, whether known or unknown or hereafter created; and
(c) The right to cause/allow others to use, edit, revise, adapt, and crop the Photographs in connection with or on behalf of RR.
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Old 07-12-2012, 04:45 PM   #2
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On the one hand, you have the potential to get good publicity for yourself out of the deal, as well as the ability to put on your resume (or whatever else you want to put it on) the statement that "Big Class I Railroad A used my photos for such and such." On the other hand, the rights to unlimited usage and that ability to do essentially whatever they want to and with the photo sounds like alot to give up for "very modest" amounts of money. Of course, I'm saying this never having sold a photograph to anyone for anything. It will be interesting to see what others who have been down this road have to say.

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Old 07-12-2012, 04:53 PM   #3
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Jon...... Your comments mirror my thoughts on this... These are not by any stretch award winning shots and pale in comparison to many on this site. I do not see them being used much beyond a promo flyer or perhaps in an inter office environment......
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Old 07-12-2012, 05:46 PM   #4
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I would have a real problem with clauses (a) and (c).

I would never cede control over my name and likeness to anyone - period.

I also never sell copyrights (unlimited usage, and use by 3rd parties) of my images and would never do so for a "modest sum."

I only grant licenses for use and they are in writing and the terms of which are well defined.

I also require a hard copy of whatever publication or media product they are used in.

And, I have never had a legitimate vendor balk at the terms of my use agreement.

Course, I don't make my living taking pictures, so I can be picky.
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Old 07-12-2012, 05:52 PM   #5
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I would concur with Jon. I don't shoot for money either, but I have had magazines and calendars approach me for the rights to use. In all cases, the specific use of the photo was stated, right down to the number of copies they intended to make.

In this case, their language says they can do just about anything at any time with the photo. If you're convinced the price is fair considering what it cost you to get the shot and its significance to you, then go right ahead and complete the deal. On the other hand, if you suspect that they might use it for commercial ads for instance, and they are, as you say, a MAJOR RR, you may want to re-think the pricing. Certainly, I would think that for those kinds of rights, the price ought to be a few hundred dollars at least. I've gotten that much for a single calendar shot.

This is always difficult. You want to come off as being easy to deal with, but you don't want to "give away" something that they might otherwise pay a pro a lot of money to get. If we all let our stuff go cheaply, we definitely diminish what little market there is for train pictures.

Good luck!
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Old 07-12-2012, 07:51 PM   #6
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I think that for one-time photo usage rights, a modest sum is OK.

However, for something like that "major RR company" is asking, I would at least want a couple hundred dollars.

Don't forget that this is business. Don't assume they will automatically back out if you ask for more. They might be trying to lowball you.
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Old 07-12-2012, 08:33 PM   #7
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I've sold unlimited usage rights to CP before for a bit more than modest fee, but those terms are more than I would personally agree to without a fair bit of compensation.
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Old 07-12-2012, 09:17 PM   #8
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If it's not the money you have issues with, then tell them you'll agree only to less usage rights. For example, you can say that you don't give them the right to use your photo in advertisements.
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Old 07-12-2012, 10:01 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe the Photog View Post
If it's not the money you have issues with, then tell them you'll agree only to less usage rights. For example, you can say that you don't give them the right to use your photo in advertisements.
Right, Joe. If financial negotiations aren't fruitful, work the usage angle, but definitely get it in writing.

This is an odd situation, because as I noted earlier, most folks who approach one of us to use a photo have a definite application in mind, and the agreement is written around that. If the usage is to be completely unlimited, I would stand your ground for reasonable compensation, and I would say that compensation should be at least what one would get for a decent calendar deal....which is to say a few hundred dollars. Hey, if they had to pay a pro to go out and get the shot, the cost would likely be much higher.
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Old 07-12-2012, 11:57 PM   #10
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Quote:
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................ Hey, if they had to pay a pro to go out and get the shot, the cost would likely be much higher.
Probably not anymore.

Now it seems you just have one of your salaried employees do it.
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Old 07-17-2012, 01:35 AM   #11
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I have read on other photo sites that a lot of the time companies do that to cover their own ass because they have a bad habit of reusing material without bothering to recheck the original contract, its just easier this way.

Personally if you are a nobody I would work the publicity angle, give them unlimited (but never exclusive) rights to the picture with the requirement that your name is always in print as the photographer when it is used, that would be worth more to me than a photo that would likely never get used (or sold) again anyways.
Photography for money is just a popularity contest, don't believe me look up the most expensive photos ever sold page on Wikipedia its mostly total garbage by photographers who are well known.
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Old 07-17-2012, 01:46 AM   #12
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If the shot is nothing to you, sure.

If the shot is something to you, get hundreds for it or limited use for less.

Negotiate. It's your work.
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Old 07-17-2012, 03:51 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by PPPPPP42 View Post
........that your name is always in print as the photographer when it is used, that would be worth more to me than a photo that would likely never get used (or sold) again anyways.
It does you no good if your images are in print and you have no idea where they are, or who is printing them.

Further, how are you ever going to know it is only being used by who you sold it to?

There is a reason you need to who is using it, and for what.

Course if you don't care, so be it.

What irks me is that I know someone who sold a photo to GE for $20.00.

$20.00 to GE!

What a waste.....
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Old 07-18-2012, 03:35 PM   #14
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FWIW I'd echo the majority on here - single use licenses are the best way so you can control where your image is. To give a recent example - I sold a picture through this site to a subsidary of ABB recently for the modest sum of $50 for a one off printed use. Afterwards I did think I should have charged more but then the next day the same guy from paid the $50 AGAIN as he was going to use it in a PDF file as well....

Whilst thats great for a photo I took with no intention of selling, I still wonder if I should have charged more but its all good. For the agreement above I'd want a lot more!
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Old 07-18-2012, 04:07 PM   #15
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Sorry guys, but I don't buy the publicity thing.

I'm not looking for fame or recognition. I'm going to keep doing choo-choo pictures whether I make a dime out of it or not.

Look at it this way: the people who will even notice your name under a photograph are very little likely to 1) know who the heck you are and 2) give a crap about you.

So my policy is: show me the green stuff (even if it's a symbolic amount) or use someone else's photograph.
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Old 07-18-2012, 04:29 PM   #16
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I'm with you, Matthieu, especiually when it comes to a big company. If it is a non profit or some such, then maybe I'd reconsider.
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Old 07-18-2012, 07:57 PM   #17
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A tricky call as it would seem these days anyone can simply move on to the next photographer. I would never offer an image for unlimited usage and especially not for exclusive use unless the offer was relatively substantial.

The more info you can provide the better we can help offer advice and even more so, the better informed and prepared we all can be as a group in regards to proper compensation. Keep in mind, any and all accepted offers help establish future trends in compensation.

So - what exactly is modest?


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