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Old September 23rd, 2007, 05:37 PM   #1
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'Can I copy your stuff?'

A lady called me Friday afternoon. She's getting in 8 days and her video person just backed out. Looking for anyone to video her wedding, she calls me.

I go over all the odds and ends, what's included, congratulations, etc. I mention that each package comes with 6 DVDs. That's one for them, their parents, grandparents, etc. I don't think I've ever had anyone request more than 6 DVDs.

Then she asks if she could COPY them.

Uh... what?

So I asked what I remember someone on this board saying:

'I'd rather you didn't. Are you going to copy the still photographer's pictures as well?'

It drove the point home. I hope.
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Old September 23rd, 2007, 06:02 PM   #2
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I personally encourage my customers to copy them if they need extra copies. I really hate to do copies. To me it is just a waste of time. I rather be editing than looking for masters and holding me up while it burns, print and put them in a case.

Most videographers see it as extra income, but if you charge what it is really worth, they will copy them without your permission.

That is just me.
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Old September 23rd, 2007, 07:46 PM   #3
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I don't have a problem with paying customers making copies of the video I produce for them.

I still hold the copyright. But I tell wedding customers they can make additional copies if they have the means to. Of course, if they want me to make additional copies, the discs and cases will look just like the original.

I also produce promo videos for bands. I actually issue them a license to reproduce and distribute copies so if they go to a commercial duplicater service, they have a paper showing they have permission to make copies. Again, if they want me to make the copies, it looks just like the original. I do charge for copies I make.

To each his own but I never could understand wanting to prevent videography customers from making their own copies if they choose to.

Just out of curiousity, why would you object to your paying customer making copies of the video you produced?

Jeff
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Old September 23rd, 2007, 08:09 PM   #4
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Most photographers these days include high-rez files in all packages exactly for this reason. We personally don't- but it really makes the point moot I think.
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Old September 23rd, 2007, 10:48 PM   #5
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I will offer to make additional copies for clients for free (within reason). After all, I want my demo DVD to get into as many hands as possible, why not an actual wedding DVD? This is advertising that people are asking for! Why not give it to them?
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Old September 23rd, 2007, 10:55 PM   #6
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It's not like it's a short film. It's their wedding. Really, they own it as much as you do (regardless of the fact that you edited it and such). Be fair, and charge for making it, but let them give it to whomever they want. Not like you can sell it or anything.

If it were a case where they were going to make 1,000s of copies (ie a celebrity, though this probably still isn't the case), then you might want to get in on that a bit. But for even 100 family members... how does that harm you?

The idea of it is silly, I say.
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Old September 23rd, 2007, 11:16 PM   #7
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Back when I was a wedding photographer (pre-digital days), I'd set the price so I made a suitable profit up-front, and would turn over the sleeved negatives along with the album(s). It saved me the hassle and liabilities of negative storage, print re-orders, etc. As far as I was concerned, I was working for hire, and the customer owned the copyright to their wedding images. The customers liked the idea that they could get whatever prints they wanted and had control over the negatives.

Me? I collected my money, thanked them, then walked away to do the next job. I called them kamikaze weddings -- hit and run.

Martin
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Old September 24th, 2007, 01:47 AM   #8
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Photographers have the disadvantage of not being able to 'brand' their work. You see photos and nobody knows who took the picture.

With videography, I have my three second animation attached to the video. True, the client could remove it in a NLE, but unlikely. I want the client to show people, so I don't charge royalties. I don't burn multiple DVDs because I want *them* to. It's a waste of time for me to do what they can do on their own.

I agree with the philosophy that the wedding belongs to the couple, but I understand it would be hard to swallow that philosophy as a photographer. We've got to make money to provide the service to a couple in the first place. If I were a photographer I would charge for my *talent* and leave it at that.
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Old September 24th, 2007, 03:42 AM   #9
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I always maintain that I own the raw footage, however they have paid me to make an edit of their day and when I supply the wedding dvd to them I also transfer the copyright of that edited work to them using a creative common license. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.5/

They are free to copy it (after all, if sony cant stop people copying their blockbuster movies what chance do we have....) but I do charge a small price if they want a copy with the nice artwork and printed disc...(15 per disc).

Interesting to see how many different opinions there are on this topic though...
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Old September 24th, 2007, 03:50 AM   #10
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Sure, for your work in copying it, a small fee is quite reasonable.
CC is a good idea too.
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Old September 24th, 2007, 03:54 AM   #11
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I'm with the majority here. I encourage clients to make copies. It's just so easy to copy a DVD that I don't see a point of making clients "feel bad" about it - which is pretty much the only thing you can do.

As for raw footage, I never give them out. I've lost potential clients because of it, but I maintain that policy. I'm not trying to make more money out of them or anything, it's just that raw footage isn't representative of what we do, and I would never want an audience to sit through it.
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Old September 24th, 2007, 04:18 AM   #12
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I also encourage clients to do their own copying or if they prefer I will do it but then I will charge for it, I hardly get any requests for extra copies but that's fine by me.
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Old September 24th, 2007, 07:59 AM   #13
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It is nice to see the non-gouging attitude of this board.

I agree, we should charge for our talents and products and let everything else go as it will.

When I photograph, I deliver the orginals on CD but give them an option to buy prints from me as well.

I use a pro lab and charge reasonable prices for the prints and the customers will often print pretty many because of the longevity issue with cheaper labs.

In this day and age, the business model of making your money on the back end is gone.

Charing up front allows you to focus on quality and lets the customer feel like they are getting a lot in return.
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Old September 24th, 2007, 08:07 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Polster View Post
In this day and age, the business model of making your money on the back end is gone.
Are you taking about photo or video here?
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Old September 24th, 2007, 08:52 AM   #15
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No-one has mentioned this point yet:

Here in UK: it is assumed that professional videographers supply a PPL holographic sticker on each copy (which costs a few pounds) for the (limited) rights to dub on copyrighted music.

If clients copy (or are encouraged to copy) such a DVD with dubbed commercial music, they are strictly doing it illegally, as they obviously won't be buying and applying the PPL sticker for each copy.

Of course, no-one has been prosecuted for private copying of such a DVD, but it's an issue that might impinge on how we handle this.

I assume there is some equivalent per-copy-payment in other countries that strictly should be applied to each copy?
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