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Work for Hire
Richard McEnery, Photographer
Sammamish | WA | USA | Posted: 3:38 PM on 10.10.08
->> I know this has been discussed before, but when I search the Message Board using the phrase, I get work for free messages.

What is the general policy regarding shooting for a university? If someone is a freelance photographer and gets paid per event by the university, should the photographer expect to have to sign a work for hire agreement and give up the copyright to their images?

I would appreciate any and all opinions.
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Brian Cripe, Photographer, Assistant
Seattle | WA | | Posted: 4:28 PM on 10.10.08
->> I used to shoot for a university paid per event, and I never signed a work-for-hire agreement or gave up any copyright. You are limited in some ways with what you can do with the images depending on your agreement with the university, and the NCAA has strict rules on sales of images of current student-athletes, but you are not obligated to sign an agreement giving up your copyright.
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Walt Middleton, Photographer, Photo Editor
Columbus | OH | USA | Posted: 4:54 PM on 10.10.08
->> I am assuming that you are speaking of the Washington...
If you are not, please disregard.

I did a job for them last year when one of thier teams visited Columbus.
A few days after I agreed to the job their SID asked me to sign this agreement. Telling me that it was standard agreement that they require all of thier photographers to sign. I DID NOT.
After I read the agreement and asked some questions about it. I found out that they didn't even write the agreement. It was provided to them by a company in Florida that sells images, both prints and licenses to use the images. They have an agreement with the University to use all the images that they get from the school.
So, essentially, if I had signed this agreement I would have signed away any rights I might have retained and given them to this company. According to the Rep I spoke to from the company, they don't even give credit to photographers for any of the images they receive from schools much less any royalty.
I had already make the agreement to shoot the event, prior to them asking me to sign any additional agreement. So, I ignored the request to sign the later "work for hire" agreement finished the job, delivered the images with the license that we had agreed to prior spelled out in very fine detail. Specifically that fact that the images were for University Use Only and not for resale. I did get paid without any hassle and to date I have not seen any of my images on that Florida company. I'm still watching though.

So, If you have any questions please ask... And again, if it is not Washington... Then this is just my experience with Work for Hire Agreements...
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Stanley Leary, Photographer
Roswell | GA | USA | Posted: 4:55 PM on 10.10.08
->> Welcome to professional photography. Each contract is unique. You can sign a work-for-hire or offer something else. Unlimited usage is a step down and then all the way to one time usage and anything in between.

For many schools they have numerous publications, so signing an unlimited usage for a time period is pretty normal.

What is also expected a sliding scale on payment for whatever level of usage you sell.

Be sure you are paid more for the more usages you give to them. That is the bottom line. More usage--more money.
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Mark Loundy, Photo Editor
San Jose | CA | USA | Posted: 10:07 PM on 10.10.08
->> Signing WFH agreements is a business decision. YOUR business decision. It is rarely in your best interest. I wrote a column mentioning the company Collegiate Images and in whose best interest the average SID is acting.

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Thread Title: Work for Hire
Thread Started By: Richard McEnery
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