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Old August 13th, 2012, 02:29 AM   #1
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Can they sue you?

Guys, I would like to know, if the bride or groom can sue you for uploading their short musical video on You Tube or Vimeo without their concern? Haven't you got the rights of these videos?

Stelios
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Old August 13th, 2012, 03:09 AM   #2
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Re: Can they sue you?

I guess that if you took and own the images they can't prevent you unless you agreed not in your contract with them.

Many videographers/filmmakers rely on their online samples to promote themselves and upload their footage without any reference to, or thought of, the wishes of the clients. I never would without asking them first. I know that as film-makers/videographers we view images as material but couples regard it as something more personal and don't always have the same enthusiasm for world-wide exposure.

I have the same sort of agreement with commercial business where the inside of their company buildings and/or working practices may have commercial sensitivity. If a company declines my request to use clips from the work I shoot for them I'm happy to abide.
Recently I filmed for a world-wide company. In the particular building they re-package returned goods for a number of national retailers, They wanted to see as many brands as possible being worked on to show at a meeting of their top management to show the new facility but they didn't want anything that showed the various company logos getting on to the internet as it might compromise their relationships with them. Others have bespoke machinery or specialised processes which they don't want their competitors to see.

I would think that to be sued there'd have to be some sort of contract or agreement that had been broken.

Last edited by George Kilroy; August 13th, 2012 at 04:01 AM.
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Old August 13th, 2012, 03:35 AM   #3
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Re: Can they sue you?

Hi Stelios

If it's not in your contract then it's worth putting it in!! Mine sayssomething like : "We reserve the right to use clips for demonstration, publication or other purposes"

As George says, wedding videographers need to show previous work to new clients whether it's in DVD format or as an online clip. I however always change the music track if there is any likelyhood of copyright issues when uploading to YouTube.

I think just once I didn't upload a clip on the bride's request as her new hubby was a police officer and used to do undercover work...I complied of course with that one!!

Chris
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Old August 13th, 2012, 04:10 AM   #4
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Re: Can they sue you?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stelios Christofides View Post
Guys, I would like to know, if the bride or groom can sue you for uploading their short musical video on You Tube or Vimeo without their concern?
If the bride and groom contract you to shoot the video, then by default it is considered work for hire and they own the copyright. If you shoot the video free of charge, then by default you own the copyright.

Even if you do own the copyright, you may want to get a release from the people appearing in the video (unless the wedding was held in a public place) before broadcasting it on YouTube. Even if you don't own the copyright, there is a possibility that privately showing the video to a prospective client for comment and analysis would be considered fair use.
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Old August 13th, 2012, 04:32 AM   #5
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Re: Can they sue you?

Worth mentioning that's not the case everywhere - here in the UK, for example, the photographer has the copyright unless it is assigned to somebody else.

Personally, I never put material on Youtube or Vimeo for public consumption unless the person who commissioned it gives their approval, because they will always assume it belongs to them, as they paid for it - even if your contract says the opposite. I like the common sense approach - like the Police Officer example - makes everyone happy.
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Old August 13th, 2012, 04:33 AM   #6
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Re: Can they sue you?

Eric - this is interesting what you are saying. Is this the law there?
Chris - No contract is signed with the videos I shoot. We verbally agree with the price and what I shoot and that's it. In our country most videographers do not sign a contract as it is considered that you don't trust each other. The word of mouth is good enough.

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Old August 13th, 2012, 04:43 AM   #7
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Re: Can they sue you?

Stelios.
Do you have a situation in hand, is someone objecting to you doing this or is this this just general information you want for the future?
It's worth checking your local laws of copyright then.

I'd have thought it would be sensible to have some sort of tangible contract or at least a less formally written agreement for just this sort of case as the "trust your word of mouth" agreement falls apart when something has not been said but is just assumed by one side or the other.

Is this how all business is conducted in Cyprus?
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Old August 13th, 2012, 04:56 AM   #8
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Re: Can they sue you?

George fortunately did not happened to me ( as I always ask my clients about this) but to a friend of mine some 2 months ago. that is why I wanted to know. No that's not how all business is conducted in Cyprus.

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Old August 13th, 2012, 05:08 AM   #9
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Re: Can they sue you?

Stelios.
Reading back my last comment written like that seems a bit impermanent, it wasn't mean to be, I'm just surprised that even something as personal as wedding video is undertaken without some sort of written agreement.
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Old August 13th, 2012, 05:44 AM   #10
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Re: Can they sue you?

George don't worry I didn't take it like that, but you are right that something as personal as wedding video is undertaken without some sort of written agreement. Maybe I should do that but as I said the jobs that I get ( and most of other guys as well ) is because they know you or your friend and that's why they come to you. Don't forget Cyprus is a small place and in towns and cities almost everyone knows everyone.

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Old August 13th, 2012, 05:50 AM   #11
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Re: Can they sue you?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric Olson View Post
If the bride and groom contract you to shoot the video, then by default it is considered work for hire and they own the copyright. If you shoot the video free of charge, then by default you own the copyright.
That's not true in the UK, EU or Australia & in fact I am pretty sure that it's not the case in the US. Work for hire has a very particular meaning & the simplest example is where you are hired as a camera operator & hand over the tapes/memory cards at the end of the day. It's not a work for hire if you then go ahead to do the edit & produce a new work of art i.e. the wedding video.
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Old August 13th, 2012, 05:57 AM   #12
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Re: Can they sue you?

I have a few demo's on my site of which I have a verbal agreement with the couple to use it there, I have had 2 couples so far that requested after a year or so to remove them and then I just do that. I do however publish a lot of trailers without their permission on a password protected site and then send them the link as surprise before they have their actual dvd's, for the past years they all loved that as they decide who get's the link. I get a peak in traffic to my site everytime I do that and free advertising :)
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Old August 13th, 2012, 07:07 AM   #13
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Re: Can they sue you?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric Olson View Post
If the bride and groom contract you to shoot the video, then by default it is considered work for hire and they own the copyright. If you shoot the video free of charge, then by default you own the copyright.
This is false information. Work for hire in the USA with independent contractors can only be established with a contract. You are not in the employment of the B&G and you can not be assumed to be in a work for hire situation.
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Old August 13th, 2012, 07:11 AM   #14
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Re: Can they sue you?

Hi Stelios

You still should have a contract, even a simple one, normally if you tell the couple it's for their protection and safety... I mean if a videographer did a verbal deal with someone, walked out to his car and got run over by a bus (I wouldn't want that to happen of course) what would be the bride and groom's chances of claiming from the late videographer's estate for the money they just paid him??

You don't need a 200 page document but some basic terms and conditions I think are wise for both of you!

If you totally messed up their wedding..can they sue you for huge amounts of money??? My contract has a limited liability paragraph saying that liability is limited to a full refund only.

I must admit I have never had a bride question a contract and sign to say she agrees with the terms and conditions but it does make good business sense and you are running a business.

Chris
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Old August 13th, 2012, 07:13 AM   #15
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Re: Can they sue you?

Stelos,
if you post this question I guess you're looking for advice, my advice - if the video already on the net take it down, if it's not posted yet don't post it,
you're not going to gain a lot from one wedding video sample, but you can loose a lot over a single pissed off client.
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