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Need a contract for album liner photography - help please :D

Discussion in 'Studio Lounge' started by chimp, Jun 6, 2010.

  1. chimp

    chimp Guest

    Ok - Im releasing a cd (independently) and I want to use a contract that will allow the photographer exclusive ownership rights. So in the future if the photos are going to be used for any other purpose the photographer would negotiate with the other party involved and photographer would be reimbursed that way. As it stands i am going to be paying cash up front to the photographer for the use of the photos in my independent release.

    I just want to make sure this is all legally worked out and kosher before putting my disc out there. Me and the photographer are really good friends so theres no tension involved here. I just want to make sure the photographer is protected legally here and hopefully will stand to make some money in the future from these, if a publication were to want to use the photos, etc.

    Clearly I have never really dealt witha situation like this before, but this seemed like a good place to ask for some help with this. I appreciate the advice- thanks much.
     
  2. MadMax

    MadMax Well-Known Member

    I would contact two places... a local copyright attorney and legalzoom.com.

    I don't think there's enough of a general contract at Office Repot to do ya's much good... anything else is prolly gonna be worth what you pay for it.
     
  3. BradHardy

    BradHardy Guest

    Hey Chimp,
    As a professional photographer it's SO nice to see somebody expressing such concern in protecting the photographer, something my industry is becoming increasingly void of. Anyway, I've been shooting professionaly for 6 years, the first 4 of which was spent shooting commercial and promotional material for bands. I've shot everybody from small local bands to Gym Class Heroes. These days, I don't do a lot of band work, mostly because it doesn't pay the same way other fields do. Although interestingly enough, I just had a few photos published in AP (Alternative Press) and a few other music magazines magazines. So, on to your question...
    Contracts are one of those things that vary so much that it can be hard to determine which one is best suited for any particular job. By the way you're describing your project I'd think it best to instruct the photographer to obtain a copyright for this image and also have you sign a model release contract (something I do for every shoot). Beyond that, you'll play the biggest role in ensuring the photographer is paid or credited should the image be used in any context beyond what you yourself do with it (with the consent of the photographer of course). I spent the past 5 years touring the world and one of my duties in the band before we were signed was to handle all of the PR and photo/video material. I can tell you from experience that should you be asked for photographs to be used for publishing, it will be you who is asked, not the photographer. I will tell you that some magazines/websites (AP is notorious for this) will not pay to use the photos, but will gladly credit the photographer. Goodness knows I wish this weren't the case, but that's simply the way things are working right now. Also, if you'd like to further promote your friend, I highly suggest having him create a web graphic that you can post on your myspace page ect. My band had a laundry list of endorsments from various music companies, clothing companies, energy drink companies, media groups and photographers, you name it. I always saw to it that anybody that anybody we hired that produced great results was well promoted. I'd suggest refraining from writing a myspace bulletin instructing your fans to check his or her work out. I know that sounds a little brash, but it takes very little to transform the mentality of fans from "hey I like this guys music" to "this guy is spamming me". Obviously, you know whats best for you, so if you feel that doing something like that would be in the best interest of the photographer, by all means go for it.

    Really hope this helps. And PLEASE be sure to respond with a link to where I can see the photos!!!! I'd love to see how they come out. If you've got any further questions about contracts and the red tape that intertwines the photo and music industry please feel free to get in touch with me any time. Honestly, the fastest way to get a hold of me is through my website BRAD HARDY PHOTO - Gallery (I know, I know I just spent a moment ranting and raving about the fine line between "hey I'm a fan" and "this guy is trying to spam me", but being that my photo work is my full time job, I spend most of my day with it open in a tab in my browser at the very least).

    Take care and the best of luck man.

    Best,
    Brad Hardy
     

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