Don't Blame One Wal-Mart Employee For Dumb Copyright Comments

from the wrong-target dept

A bunch of folks have submitted this BoingBoing story about a Wal-Mart employee making some dumb (and incorrect) comments concerning copyright to a guy who was trying to scan some century-old photos of his family. Wal-Mart and some other convenience stores have had policies in place for years that they won't reprint or scan images that might still be under copyright. Yes, it's a silly policy, but the convenience stores feel they need to do this to avoid ridiculous lawsuits from copyright holders, which we all know are far too common these days. The problem here is copyright law, not necessarily the Wal-Mart policy, no matter how ridiculous the end results are. In fact, Wal-Mart has supported important changes to copyright law, such as an orphan works bill, that would enable it to avoid such liabilities.

So the fact that one slightly ignorant Wal-Mart employee took that policy to an extreme in stopping this guy from scanning century-old photos of his family shouldn't be seen as Wal-Mart's problem. It's a problem of the way copyright works these days, the nature of copyright-related lawsuits these days, and the general culture of "content ownership" that's being promoted by vested interests that make folks, like the ignorant Wal-Mart employee, think that copyright lasts forever, and scanning 100-year-old photos of your grandparents is copyright infringement. When the entertainment industry is allowed to go into schools with its own "educational" programs on copyright, that pretty much ignore fair use, it should come as no surprise that Wal-Mart workers don't know what's going on. So, don't blame this one Wal-Mart employee -- blame the copyright system and the worldview (and legal environment) that its strongest supporters have created.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 14th, 2008 @ 10:13am

    I disagree that this isn't a Wal-Mart issue. Yes, the employee may be ignorant and taking the policy to an extreme but it's Wal-Mart's fault that they have put someone into a position to enforce that policy and haven't made sure that he understands the policy he's expected to enforce.

    I don't think that Wal-Mart should be raked over the coals over this but I do believe that they should be proactive in making sure that their employees, not just this one individual, understand the policies they are expected to enforce. I would bet that Wal-Mart has more than one employee who believes the same as this guy but perhaps those employees just aren't as concerned about enforcing it.

     

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    Dkp, Aug 14th, 2008 @ 10:25am

    even if I took the photo yesterday I would have the right to reproduce it. copyright law in this case only applies to professional photographs. If they think it is professional they normally ask if you have the right to reproduce whereupon I say yes and go on my way. but this guy obviusly does not know about copyright law.

     

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    some old guy, Aug 14th, 2008 @ 10:30am

    I have a completely different beef

    Actually, I just get pissed at the photography studios who think they get to retain the copyrights on the pictures that I pay them to take. They either turn over copyright to me, or I walk out on them.

    Why should I commission them and not become the owner of said production?

     

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  4.  
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    celticchrys, Aug 14th, 2008 @ 10:37am

    this happens

    I've had this happen with century-old photos more than once. I've also had Wal-Mart refuse to believe that photographs that are my own original work were actually mine. Apparently anything that looks like a portrait is automatically a copyright violation at Wal-Mart.

     

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  5.  
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    wifezilla, Aug 14th, 2008 @ 10:37am

    I own a copy & print shop. I put up a big red sign that says...

    CUSTOMERS PROVIDING MATERIALS FOR CPOYING OR PRINTING ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR ENSURING THEY HAVE THE RIGHT TO REPRODUCE THOSE MATERIALS. THE CUSTOMER IS ENTIRELY RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY POSSIBLE INFRINGEMENT OF ANY COPYRIGHT LAW.

    I am not a freaking cop. It isn't my job to interigate people to make sure they are legitimately copying a picture of their great-grandma.

    Of course, that statement wont protect me from a lawsuit. Logic and reason wont either apparently.

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 14th, 2008 @ 10:38am

    Walmart Sucks

    If you go to walmart do you really expect anything better than crappy products or service? You do sometimes get what you pay for.

    I have not been in a walmart in almost a decade and have no plans to ever go back.

     

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  7.  
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    JB, Aug 14th, 2008 @ 10:42am

    Don't Get Mad

    When they accuse you of copyright violation for trying to copy a photo you took yourself you should take it as a compliment.

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 14th, 2008 @ 10:43am

    Re: I have a completely different beef

    Hmmmm, I bet you are the guy who takes the wedding proofs to the local photo store and yells at the employee when they refuse to make 20 copies of them. Any reputable studio will usually stamp "Do not copy" and the studio name on the proof itself.

    Most photographers retain ownership of the images and sell you copies, it is their business model. If you contract them to photograph an event and dont read the release that you signed before they were taken, well your just not too bright.

     

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  9.  
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    Anthony Cooper, Aug 14th, 2008 @ 10:45am

    The heart of the matter

    I agree with the first post and I also don't understand why you folks at Techdirt don't also see it this way. It absolutely IS Wal-Mart's responsibility to train its employees to perform their jobs correctly and within the bounds of the laws of the soverign nation(s) within who's borders they operate.
    So, yes, don't blame one Wal-Mart employee for dumb copyright comments, but DO blame the company leadership for failing to properly train/educate their employees. DO hold that company leadership liable for any legal issues that arise from failing to properly train their employees.

     

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  10.  
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    Haywood, Aug 14th, 2008 @ 10:45am

    Maybe I'm just a techie

    But, why are people copying their stuff at Walmart anyhow? Surely everyone knows someone with a scanner and a printer.
    The one I've done look better than the originals.

     

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  11.  
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    some old guy, Aug 14th, 2008 @ 10:49am

    Re: Re: I have a completely different beef

    Hmmmm, I bet you are the guy who takes the wedding proofs to the local photo store and yells at the employee when they refuse to make 20 copies of them.

    No, I'm the guy that always has the negatives to any photo he wants reproduced. But thanks for asking.

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 14th, 2008 @ 10:54am

    Mike - Maybe you have addressed this, but what have you done to your font? It's much harder to read.

     

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  13.  
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    JB, Aug 14th, 2008 @ 10:55am

    Re: Re: I have a completely different beef

    Isn't Photoshop wonderful for cloning this out. Every year when the kids bring back the sample photos I scan them in on a professional high end scitex flatbed and print out my own sets for the entire family on an epson 9800 with crop marks and much nicer border effects, courtesy TPB.

    I work in printing, this is just a fringe benefit.

    Copyright means nothing to most in the print biz. It just pisses off the customer and they go to someone who will copy or print whatever comes through the door. The word is rarely mentioned.

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 14th, 2008 @ 10:57am

    Re: Re: Re: I have a completely different beef

    I bet you havent had a negative from a real pro in 5-10 years.

    lol... I dont know many photographers that still produce "negatives". Film based photography in the professional world has been dead and buried for a long time, it just isnt cost effective. Are you saying that you attempt to browbeat them until you get all your digital files in RAW format?

    I would offer you the same deal I do to anyone else requesting those files, pay the extra money for the extra product or kindly find another phtographer you can attempt to take advantage of.

    I still contend you are not too bright though.

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 14th, 2008 @ 10:59am

    Re: The heart of the matter

    He's just saying Walmart shouldn't have to but our copyright laws are so effed up they have to. Chill

     

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  16.  
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    mike davis, Aug 14th, 2008 @ 11:03am

    walmart copyright issues

    Kiosk is a self serve station, which they have, wal-mart should not be liable for any material used by there service...customer controlled even if the man behind the counter puts them in the bag, he should not have to see what photos are taken, all customer controlled at kiosk....yes, leaving the infringement issues to the user....ok let smart technologies smart scan a copyrighted photo, that has owen mills of some other watermark on it, an make it reject that way, who's to be the actual judge of who who photos...if i was to take a picture with my digi cam of a copyrighted picture then went to get it printed there (cheaper than BS ink market for at home prints)is that liable too?

     

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  17.  
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    some old guy, Aug 14th, 2008 @ 11:04am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: I have a completely different beef

    Film based photography in the professional world has been dead and buried for a long time, it just isnt cost effective. Are you saying that you attempt to browbeat them until you get all your digital files in RAW format?

    Nope, haven't been to a studio since I got my first digital camera and tripod. It just isnt (sic) cost effective to go to a studio.

     

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  18.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 14th, 2008 @ 11:06am

    Re: Re: Re: I have a completely different beef

    And people wonder why photographers chrge 750-1000 dollars for a sitting fee for portraits.

    Maybe there needs to be a PIAA to sue people like you for blatantly stealing others property then distributing it.

    Maybe they could find a way to actually get the money into the original photographers hands though

     

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  19.  
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    hegemon13, Aug 14th, 2008 @ 11:07am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: I have a completely different beef

    Um, I think that is exactly what he said he would do. If the photographer won't give him the copyright, he walks out and finds a different photographer. He's not "taking advantage" of anyone who agrees up front to the conditions. If anyone is "taking advantage," it is a photographer who charge $90.00 for print that costs $5.00.

    So, he is a demanding customer that drives a hard bargain. If you aren't willing to work with that, don't. I am sure some are. Our wedding photographer charged us a flat rate, and then provided us with all the negatives, both the 35mm ones and the 2x2 ones, whatever those are called. But, he also offered REASONABLY priced prints. Guess what? Most of my family bought prints from him, and they bought way more than they would have at the normally outrageous prices.

     

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  20.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 14th, 2008 @ 11:11am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: I have a completely different beef

    I agree if you strike the deal before hand.

    However "retain" and "turn over" indicate to me that the we are talking past tense.

     

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  21.  
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    Jake Buck, Aug 14th, 2008 @ 11:25am

    Copyright doesn't apply

    to century old photos. having worked in a photo lab, photos older than 60 or 70 years ( i forget which ) are not protected, and can be copied.

     

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  22.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 14th, 2008 @ 11:27am

    Re:

    "I disagree that this isn't a Wal-Mart issue. Yes, the employee may be ignorant and taking the policy to an extreme but it's Wal-Mart's fault that they have put someone into a position to enforce that policy and haven't made sure that he understands the policy he's expected to enforce."


    I think the point is that copywright law is so complex that WalMart would need to send this guy to law school and then a seven year internship on capital hill before he would have a firm enough grasp on the information necessary to enforce it. I am not the OP but I think that was more his point.

     

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  23.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 14th, 2008 @ 11:28am

    Techdirt writers sure are a bunch of apologist mohter fuckers. And yet again, here they are.

    The employee works for Walmart. Walmart policies drive them to be concerned about copyright. Walmart either needs to tell all employees to leave customers the hell alone OR they need to thoroughly educate them on copyright law so they won't lose business because of wage-monkey idiots who don't know what they're talking about.

     

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  24.  
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    Gracie, Aug 14th, 2008 @ 11:28am

    Wal-Mart Photo

    I've been a photographer and professional image retoucher for about 15 years now. Occationally, I take my photos to Wal-Mart to print because it's close to my house and it's cheap. I've had a couple of incidents with Wal-Mart employees when having my photos printed. Several years ago I took a picture of a friend in her house. She has a very well decorated home, so her living room looks like a set off a fashion shoot. I sat her next to a large picture window with beautiful afternoon light coming in. I took this picture to Wal-Mart to print. When I went to pick up the print, the clerk behind the counter told me she couldn't give me the picture until she got a photographer's release from me. I told her that I was the one that took the picture. She said that there was no way that I could have shot that picture because it required having a "special" camera. I nearly fell to the floor laughing. The ironic thing is that I shot it with a cheap digital point and shoot. I tried to assure her it doesn't take special equipment to shoot a picture of a girl sitting on her living room couch next to a window. She gave me a glare and said that I would have to show her the original print before she could give me the picture. I told her that there was no original print, this was the first time i was making a print, it was shot on a digital camera. Eventually, I talked to a manager and he let me have my picture. Another incident is when I went to a cousin's wedding. I brought my camera along and shot some pictures of the ceremony and reception for myself. I added borders on my pictures in photoshop because I didn't want to pay the extra fee wal-mart charges to do it. There were about 150 images total. When I went to pick up the prints they, once again, asked me for a photographer's release. I told them I took the pictures. Once again, I got the glare. The clerk took my prints from the package, dug through the entire stack of 150 prints in front of me, found the 2 pictures that my husband took of me said there was no way I took the pictures because I was in them. I said to her, "So, no customer can ever have a picture of themselves printed unless it's a self portrait, even it was their camera and they gave it to someone to take a picture of them?" She said, "well, no, but these are by a professional". I would have taken it as a compliment if she wasn't so rude about it. Once again, I had to get a manager. I eventually got my pictures. I understand they are just trying to protect themselves, but they don't have to be so rude about it. Well, i don't really expect much, they are only skilled enough to work at wal-mart after all.

     

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  25.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 14th, 2008 @ 11:28am

    Re:

    "even if I took the photo yesterday I would have the right to reproduce it. copyright law in this case only applies to professional photographs. If they think it is professional they normally ask if you have the right to reproduce whereupon I say yes and go on my way. but this guy obviusly does not know about copyright law."

    I thought the issue was about a Coca Cola billboard in the background or something?

     

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  26.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 14th, 2008 @ 11:31am

    So I just have to put my 2 cents in here. I have never understood the reason a photographer or studio gets to retain the rights to photographs they are hired to take. That's like saying the company that built my house retains rights to it. If I create something on company time using company resources, whether its company directed or not, it is the property of the company. In this situation, the photographer, or studio, is hired by the client to "create" the images, the images, and their copyrights, should therefore be the property of the client, not the photographer.

     

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  27.  
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    mobiGeek, Aug 14th, 2008 @ 11:40am

    Re:

    If the photo was taken 100 years ago, there's a very likely chance it was taken by a professional. ;-)

     

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  28.  
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    K, Aug 14th, 2008 @ 11:45am

    DKP - Absolutely wrong about copyright only applying to professionals. It applies to anyone who creates something. In case of photos, copyright takes effect as soon as the photo is taken.

     

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  29.  
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    mobiGeek, Aug 14th, 2008 @ 11:46am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: I have a completely different beef

    it is a photographer who charge $90.00 for print that costs $5.00

    You greatly underestimate the cost of the:

    • materials needed to print
    • photographer's/printer's time
    • studio rental
    • studio utilities
    • advertising required to get you to the studio
    • etc.
    • profit margin (if any after "etc.")

     

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  30.  
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    Ben, Aug 14th, 2008 @ 11:50am

    OMFG

    This is ridiculous. Everyone needs to stfu and get on with their lives. No one gives a flying f_ck about some guy and his stupid photo ablums. Walmart hires stupid people because they don't require intelligent people to stock shelves. Get OVER it. It's like at McDonalds when I order a big mac without the center bun - I never ever ever ever ever get it - they can't ring it up on the machine, so there is no way they can possibly communicate by other means - if it's not in their computer, it doesn't exist. It's WAL-MART. Just turn around and go somewhere else. Sheesh. This is news worthy?

     

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  31.  
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    Damien, Aug 14th, 2008 @ 11:58am

    Re: OMFG

    If you're so pissed off about Techdirt's choices in news stories here's an idea: make your own competing site and stock it with what you want to read or STFU.

     

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  32.  
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    Josh, Aug 14th, 2008 @ 12:00pm

    I think it will be far more telling when (if) Walmart actually responds in an official capacity. No, Walmart shouldn't be held completely responsible for a minimum wage worker who has a power trip on such a nebulous idea of copyright. Yes, they should provide better training to workers.

     

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  33.  
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    Eric the Green, Aug 14th, 2008 @ 12:02pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: I have a completely different beef

    "Extra product?" What extra product? You've just proven why so many people I've met have such low opinions of "professional" photographers. Let's see, someone hires you to take photos of their wedding, but you get to keep the originals and retain a copyright on them? Where's the quid pro quo? You're using someone else's images, and were paid for your services. The resulting work product, including the RAW images in digital format, or the negatives, should belong to the person or entity who hired you.

    Seems like YOU should have to pay your victims, er, customers, for the privilege of using their likenesses and their photos to promote your business.

     

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  34.  
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    Damien, Aug 14th, 2008 @ 12:02pm

    Re: Wal-Mart Photo

    One of my coworkers has had that happen to him at both Walgreens and Wal-Mart. Seems his wife has managed to self-teach herself photoshop pretty well, lol.

    Their most recent beef? Wal-Mart refused to print her photographs of their newborn baby girl because she did a little color balancing and modified the lighting to make it look crisper. Wal-Mart told her to come back with a release form; she no longer uses either service.

    Lesson learned here: With the advent of decent digital cameras, photo manipulation software and good home photo printers there this is just one more reason to avoid retail printers.

     

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  35.  
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    LostSailor, Aug 14th, 2008 @ 12:23pm

    Re:

    copyright law in this case only applies to professional photographs

    Not true. Copyright law applies to all photographs. Whether you enforce your rights is another thing entirely, and usually only professional photographers will bother.

     

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  36.  
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    The fixer..., Aug 14th, 2008 @ 12:24pm

    Okay..

    If it's really worth that much to you:

    1. buy an all in one fax/scanner/printer.

    2. Go home and print it yourself.

    Seriously, you can get them for like $50 now.

     

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  37.  
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    LostSailor, Aug 14th, 2008 @ 12:30pm

    Re:

    I have never understood the reason a photographer or studio gets to retain the rights to photographs they are hired to take.

    Depends on the contract you sign when you hire the photographer. As "some old guy" said above, he won't deal with a photographer who won't agree to transfer copyright to the photos as part of the contract. Copyright is vested in the person who creates a work (in this case a photograph).

     

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  38.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 14th, 2008 @ 12:30pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: I have a completely different beef

    What you dont seem to understand is that you are purchasing the skill of the photographer to create the images.

    If you can negotiate a different deal up front, fine. If you dont like it, have great aunt Maude pull out her Kodak disc camera and shoot your formals for you.

    What I am saying is, if you sign a contract to have a pro shoot your event you are obligated to pay for the services. You do not get to decide after the fact that you dont like the pricing scheme and that you dont want to pay for the products at the agreed price. If you duplicate those photos you are in the wrong, plain and simple.

     

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  39.  
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    Karyl, Aug 14th, 2008 @ 12:37pm

    Do a Sidestep

    I've touched up many, many old family pics from around (and before) 1900 as well as corrected color in my brother's old senior year picture. Never had a problem with Walgreen's, as I just have them snail-mail the finished prints to me (after I email my picture files to them) . . . just a thought, but does Wal-Mart offer this service? Maybe sidestepping the dopey clerk is all that is necessary?!

     

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  40.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 14th, 2008 @ 12:44pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: I have a completely different beef

    OK, all of you complaining about photographers retaining copyright - listen up. In any art, or creative field, i.e. music, movies, photography, painting, design. You are paying for the person's talent, not their services. The copyright they retain is also referred to as their creative license. It ensures many things, not just ensuring that they are reimbursed for that creative work(s). I am a graphic and web designer and I retain the copyright for my work, I just release unlimited use to the client, which is pretty standard across any design/art industry.

    Those of you who have the option to buy the copyright are most likely buying an unlimited use contract as well. Normally you pay an extra fee which reimburses the photographer for the loss of sales from prints. Picking a good photographer is the key to being happy with the end result in any situation. YES, there are photographers who take advantage with outrageous prices. They will be out of business soon.

    Whoever gave the example about the building someone a house, that it doesn't mean they can charge you to use it. Well the building isn't covered under copyright, but the blueprints are. If you copied that house and rebuilt a replica (or 100), prepare to be sued. Just because you bought the house, doesn't give you the right to steal the creative works of the architect. Same thing with photos, just because you are buying a house, doesn't mean you bought the rights to the design behind it and can reproduce it freely and just because you bought a photo doesn't mean you can reproduce it freely.

     

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  41.  
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    Stephen, Aug 14th, 2008 @ 12:56pm

    Surprised Walmart would open themselves to litigation

    After all, "Safe Harbour" only works if you don't ever police things. Once they establish that they're reviewing photocopying, don't they have to always review everything, and they're partially liable for subsequent infringement?

     

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  42.  
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    Gracey, Aug 14th, 2008 @ 12:59pm

    Walmart (at least the ones here) have a form a professional photographer can sign that they keep on file.

    Anyone I give images on disc to can go in with the disc and get it printed at walmart if they so desire. I laser my name and phone number on the dics, along with my business logo, and a disc #. I also include a letter of authorization (on the disc, as well as a printed copy) which allows them to print "X" number (usually unlimited) of any of the images included on disc # (whatever). do NOT give them the copyright, just the right to print. They also do not get raw images, but downsized jpgs (large enough for 8 X 10)

    Frankly, walmart print quality sucks, and I recommend them to my own printer, who cost about $2 more for an 8X10 but comes up with images 100% better.

    Why photographers cost so much? Humph. Ever had to spend 12 hours with a bridezilla and her family on the wedding day? As well as provide a second photographer to spend the day with groom and his guys? Believe me, I earn every penny of it. I don't sell prints, I get paid for my time and my ability like any other worker does. When they want "those fancy" images, I charge for processing time too.

    I don't work for free, and I don't imagine too many people do. Do you think the equipment comes free? Nice if it did, but no, there are expenses.

    I do pro-bono work for charity fundraisers (ie: for free), but I gotta earn a living like anyone else.

     

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  43.  
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    Anonymous Walmart Employee, Aug 14th, 2008 @ 1:13pm

    Re:

    Well, knowing photo center, he might have just taken a "better safe than sorry" approach, however, considering the DAYS of training Wal-Mart employees get, with a rather broken Learning Center and the Wire's Cyber Scholar, most things are lost simply to the fact they made the presentation so annoying the user eventually ends up just writing down the answers, and not paying attention to what he just clicked anymore. They write the questions to trip you up half the time, and not only that, they expect you to make 100% or you have to do the training again for all things electronics, including photo center, and connection center. I think its a give and take really, WalMart needs to invest in better training, but a lack of knowlege is never a WalMart employee's fault, its the Supervisor's hiring an employee without questioning their knowledge on the subject 90% of the time.

     

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  44.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 14th, 2008 @ 1:19pm

    Re: Walmart Sucks

    XD When you work at walmart you never expect anything but dicks for customers, even when your nice as hell to them. Don't expect miracles when you treat everyone in a business like they're idiots unwarranted.

     

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  45.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 14th, 2008 @ 1:24pm

    Re: Wal-Mart Photo

    XD its sad but true most walmart employees have no skills or talents, they hire ANYONE, literally, if you get hired for electronics, they don't ask you if you know anything about it, they ask you if you can work in other departments occassionally, so they don't have to hire a complete staff, they'll just have you fill in the holes.

     

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  46.  
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    JB, Aug 14th, 2008 @ 1:29pm

    Photo Release

    If you are so good with Photoshop that you can make your photos look professional then you should be equally good with MS Word and create your own photographer release!

    Print it, sign it illegibly, take it with you when you pick up your photos!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  47.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 14th, 2008 @ 1:47pm

    Re:

    I fully understand that even photographers have to make a living, and I am certainly willing to pay for quality work, but I, like some else has laready mentioned, will not simply allow someone else to do whatever they wish with images of myself or my family. As a copyright owner, you can do pretty much whatever you want with the image, you don't need the subject's (client's?) permission to use it for advertising or anything else. Seems extremely unfair that you get these rights when someone else paid for the creation.

     

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  48.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 14th, 2008 @ 2:18pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: I have a completely different beef

    "Just because you bought the house, doesn't give you the right to steal the creative works of the architect. Same thing with photos"

    Obviously you are missing something here. If I pay for the final product, it, and all rights associated with it, should belong to me. I also do web design and graphics work, I would never consider something that someone else bought and paid for to be mine. My skills are worth something, but when I'm done on a job, it belongs to the individual who paid me. My skills, techniques, and general designs are mine to use however I see fit, but the product delivered to the customer is not. I always request permission from the client to use copies of the final product. Why? Because its the right thing to do. I get paid well, I don't need to try and force someone to pay me multiple times for the same job. When the job is done to the client's satisfaction, or exceeds their satisfaction, they tell people about it. This generates more work, which generates more referals, and so on. If you feel the need to strangle your clients for every penny, well, don't know what to say except you must have a lot of extra time.

     

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  49.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 14th, 2008 @ 2:34pm

    Re: Re: Re: I have a completely different beef

    EXCELLENT!

    :D

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  50.  
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    CanonicalKoi, Aug 14th, 2008 @ 5:26pm

    No, I prefer to blame Walmart

    I find it ironic that Walmart is posing as a bastion of copyright defense. A number of years ago, Marilyn Leavitt-Imblum, a designer of cross-stitch designs, had to contact Walmart. It seems the company had lifted an angel design of hers, had it made into huge cardboard displays and used it, without her permission, to display holiday books. It was only after she contacted them and they attempted, unsuccessfully, to play the "fair-use" card (hello?) and she threatened legal action that the displays disappeared.

     

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  51.  
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    Clue Stick, Aug 14th, 2008 @ 7:02pm

    Ummmm - what ?

    prior post -> Walmart (at least the ones here) have a form a professional photographer can sign that they keep on file.

    Professional photographers do not go to Wallmart for their photographic needs.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  52.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 14th, 2008 @ 9:32pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: I have a completely different beef

    OK, all of you complaining about photographers retaining copyright - listen up. In any art, or creative field, i.e. music, movies, photography, painting, design. You are paying for the person's talent, not their services. The copyright they retain is also referred to as their creative license.
    So recording engineers get the copyright for the music they record? And movie camera operators get the copyright for the movies they film? Gee, I never knew that. Not.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  53.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 14th, 2008 @ 9:35pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: I have a completely different beef

    Maybe there needs to be a PIAA to sue people like you for blatantly stealing others property then distributing it.
    Maybe there needs to someone to teach you to tell the truth: Copyright infringement is not theft.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  54.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 14th, 2008 @ 9:38pm

    Re: The heart of the matter

    It absolutely IS Wal-Mart's responsibility to train its employees to perform their jobs correctly and within the bounds of the laws of the soverign nation(s) within who's borders they operate.

    Agreed. That's just what I was going to say but you beat me to it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  55.  
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    Willton, Aug 15th, 2008 @ 5:58am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: I have a completely different beef

    So recording engineers get the copyright for the music they record? And movie camera operators get the copyright for the movies they film? Gee, I never knew that. Not.

    Someone apparently doesn't understand the "work-for-hire" doctrine. Yes, if the recording engineers and cameramen were working independently, they'd be getting the copyright to their respective works. However, in most cases, the work-for-hire doctrine assigns their copyright to their employer: the producer. So don't scoff at the authorship of a recording engineer or a cameraman; if they were working independently, they indeed would have rights to their works.

     

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  56.  
    identicon
    AJ, Aug 15th, 2008 @ 6:08am

    Re: Re:

    But how long does it last? I thought Copyright was good a set number of years after the holder's death.

    I had a similar experience at WallyWorld with a studio photograph taken 50+ years ago. They pulled out a document from (I believe) FUJI which said in no case should any studio photograph be reproduced **ever**.

    I could/should have lied and said I took the picture 50 years ago, but I just don't look old enough. It sure ruined my plans to do a nice picture for a memorial service.

    At what point can I legally reproduce that picture???

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  57.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 15th, 2008 @ 12:12pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: I have a completely different beef

    Someone apparently doesn't understand the "work-for-hire" doctrine.
    That would apparently be the copyright tool that started off with "OK, all of you complaining about photographers retaining copyright..."
    However, in most cases, the work-for-hire doctrine assigns their copyright to their employer: the producer.
    Which in the case of a wedding production would be those that produced the wedding and hired the photographer to photograph it. That's why wedding photographers like to get signed contracts changing that around because otherwise they wouldn't get the copyright.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  58.  
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    Evan Brown, Aug 19th, 2008 @ 7:10pm

    These photos could be under copyright

    Interesting comments here. And even more interesting is to note that in all 57 comments, no one seems to have observed that it is possible (though not probable) that these photos are copyright protected despite their century-old age.

    The Copyright Act provides the following:

    ==================

    § 303. Duration of copyright: Works created but not published or copyrighted before January 1, 1978

    (a) Copyright in a work created before January 1, 1978, but not theretofore in the public domain or copyrighted, subsists from January 1, 1978, and endures for the term provided by section 302. In no case, however, shall the term of copyright in such a work expire before December 31, 2002; and, if the work is published on or before December 31, 2002, the term of copyright shall not expire before December 31, 2047.

    ==================

    Whether these century-old works would have been "copyrighted" is governed by the 1909 Copyright Act. That act provided that the works became subject to copyright protection when the copyright was registered. The photos could have gone into the public domain under the 1909 act if they were published without a copyright notice. And to have been "copyrighted," the photographer (or whomever else may have been able to claim ownership) would have had to register those works. So if as of January 1, 1978 the photos remained unpublished and the copyrights had not been registered, the copyright would have naturally run to 12/31/2002. But if at some time between 1/1/78 and 12/31/2002 the photos were first published, the copyright in them would extend to the life of the author (photographer) plus 70 years, or 12/31/2047, whichever is later.

    I don't mean to say that this slight probability somehow realistically legitimates Wal--Mart's irrational fear. I'm just sayin'.

     

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  59.  
    identicon
    mommyslittlgirl, Sep 8th, 2008 @ 9:02am

    Re: I have a completely different beef

    You did not create the picture, you did not create the pose. You are not the artist. You paid for someone to do the work....not to own whatever they did. If they use the same pose on another customer, does that mean you own that too? It doesn't work that way.
    With the attitude you have, I would never welcome you into my portrait studio!
    You buy a CD, does that mean you now own the songs?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  60.  
    identicon
    pr, Nov 1st, 2008 @ 2:18pm

    Re: I have a completely different beef

    The studio has the rights to the photo. You can hire an independent professional photographer that includes the rights to reproduction of all of the photos. It is often not worth it to them to do one 5x7 reprint order and would rather not deal with it. Keep in mind though that you can't blame the photographer if the lab you use, especially Wal-mart, doesn't know how to print a photo or calibrate their printers and the photo does not look the way a photographer would ensure their photos get delivered when they oversee the process.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  61.  
    identicon
    Rey Torralba, Jun 28th, 2009 @ 10:46pm

    About my 7 years old daughter got ranover by a cart.

    On Sunday,June 28,2009,We were at walmart in American Canyon,around 12:30 pm,My wife,my 9 years old daughter,my 7 years old daughter and myself. We were standing in between shoes dept.& electronics dept,talking what we gonna buy in electronic dept. Suddenly one of the employee was pushing the cart and ran over my 7 years old daughter left foot and didn't even say sorry to her.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  62.  
    identicon
    Copy 1, Apr 18th, 2010 @ 11:06pm

    Wal-Mart Copyrights and Check-Out Experience

    To educate the employee in what is or is not acceptable use under copyright law creates an environment where the employee is empowered to use his/her own judgment... For the wage Wal-Mart pays it is unlikely they can hire someone who has this level of mental capacity...

    Greetings from a Wal-Mart Supercenter cashier…

    Many customers who used the self-checkouts prior to the remodel of our store often required the most hald holding. i.e. They were inept when it came to operating the register, slowed down the lines and caused problems for other customers and employees.

    Why were the self checkouts removed from many Wal-Mart stores? – Due to a high level of theft.

    As a cashier – the following issues are worthy of mention:

    To those of you from India – please do not bring an item to the check out you have no intent of purchasing only to ask for a price check or simply to say I don’t want this.

    To the wanna be rich person – Get off your cell phone when you are in line and stop telling your friend on the phone you just left Tar-shay (Target) Are you shopping at Wal-Martay too… What a bottom feeder.

    The light above the register really has a purpose other than to look pretty. When the light is on – the lane is open to serve you. When the cashier is closing down his/her line the light will be turned off… This is not an invitation for you to stand in line behind the last person who was rightfully in line before the light was extinguished.

    Maybe this will make some sense to you… A green light gives you the right-of-way but when you are about half way through an intersection someone who does not stop for a red light slams into your car….. It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood!!! – Just imagine, most of us learned about traffic lights in Kindergarten. Oh I am sorry – you were absent that day – and have been absent for most of your life to afford others common courtesy.

    If your store isn’t like mine, perhaps you are shopping at a Wal-Mart “in the hood…”

    Thanks for your business – Employees really appreciate the contribution your tax dollars make towards public assistance programs.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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