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Advice needed

If I were to be approached by the likes of an arts magazine wishing to feature my work how does that apply to photos of costumes I have created for customers? Do I have to seek permission from my customer to have a photo I took of the costume I created featured in the article? Or do I hold the right to feature photos I have taken of their costume?

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( 20 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 29th, 2014 09:52 pm (UTC)
I think legally, you're within your rights to. But I'd ask people before hand. or when they apply for a commission add a yes/no box saying something like 'Are you okay with photographs of your suit being published on the web/in print?'

I know some people wouldn't mind, but others may not be too happy.
Sep. 29th, 2014 09:57 pm (UTC)
Anyone who objects had better never wear it to a con or out in public then, just on a common sense level. Everyone has cameras and top-notch costumes get a lot of attention, much of it posted. It's not like either fact is a new thing.
Sep. 29th, 2014 10:00 pm (UTC)
My thoughts as well. Usually commissioners have to buy out extra rights for artists to not show their work, and I don't see how the work being featured in a magazine is any different than it being posted to the internet.
Sep. 29th, 2014 10:53 pm (UTC)
Taking photos is one thing, publishing in a mag is another. I have it in my TOS that I retain all rights including that I can publish the work. People can pay for it to be private.

Yes, they can do it even without saying it, but it's best to have it in the TOS if you're going to. I doubt I'd ever print commission work, but I still have it to save my ass if I decide to and someone doesn't like it.
Sep. 29th, 2014 11:11 pm (UTC)
Legally, it's not different.

Just as legally, unless they buy the copyright or it is otherwise in writing in the contract, the commissioner has no say in what the artist does to the work -- publish on the web, make prints, even sell the original to someone else if it wasn't part of the commission deal. The commissioner can make all the fuss and hate they care to, but it doesn't make them legally in the right. The law covers your ass. Your TOS just covers you socially, since all it is doing is pointing out the law to anyone clueless about it.
Sep. 30th, 2014 12:19 am (UTC)
I never said it wasnt, I said the fans would react different. If OP doesnt care about people flipping their shit, they can go ahead and do it, no warnings in their TOS.
Adding it in the TOS can get people who start stuff to keep their mouth shut as they agreed to the terms.
Sep. 30th, 2014 02:31 am (UTC)
I don't see it as unreasonable to consider the feelings of your client before granting permission for photographs and that sort of thing.
Yes, OP has the rights to them legally, and they can use them regardless of how the client feels, but there's nothing wrong with making sure your clients either A) Know you'll be using the photos as part of the business agreement or B) Individually feel comfortable using the photos. It's good sense, and in my opinion, good manners for a businessperson to have.
Knowing one's rights as an artist is important, considering the feelings and reactions of your clients/fanbase is too.
Sep. 29th, 2014 09:53 pm (UTC)
Last I checked, if you took the photo, it's yours.
That's true even if the work depicted wasn't.

I'm sure it would be nice to tell the customers that their costumes are going to be in X, but it's hardly a requirement on you.
Sep. 29th, 2014 09:57 pm (UTC)
If the photos are yours then I say that counts as your portfolio so yes, you should be able to without asking permission. You may need model releases if the costumes are being worn in the photos and someone would be able to prove that it's them.
Sep. 29th, 2014 09:59 pm (UTC)
The costume is your work that is part of your portfolio. You have every right to publish it how you see fit. Just as an artist reserves the right to publish their art and make prints, even if the commissioner is in the pic, so too can fursuit artists distribute their work. Now if this photo was a personal photo the commissioner took thats another story.
Sep. 29th, 2014 10:58 pm (UTC)
As long as you have taken the photos, or gotten permission from the photographer, then you legally have the right to do so. Personally, I think it would be polite of you to ask your clients if they were alright with it. Chances are, most of them will be anyway! It would be very cool to have a costume you own featured in a magazine!
Sep. 30th, 2014 12:05 am (UTC)
This is a very grey area. The best way to avoid a dramastorm is to get permission from each person who commissioned the costumes involved, even if you may not be legally obligated to do so. You created the costume and the photograph, but who has the right to say what can be done with the character's likeness? Pro photographers have to get signed releases from everyone who appears in a photo intended for commercial use. Different rules apply for journalism, but this type of magazine may not fall into that category.

Just ask. I think most people would be flattered and thrilled. Anyone who's not, just say thanks and move on to ask someone else.
(Deleted comment)
Sep. 30th, 2014 12:07 pm (UTC)
That may be true copyright-wise, but there are tort laws to consider. There's a reason photographers give those model releases out.

For some laws, it might depend on who was in the costume at the time. Many jurisdictions have laws regarding the commercial use of likenesses, and just because you're (mostly) covered by a costume, it's still you.

Conversely, they might argue that because it was recognizable as that person's character, their reputation was impugned, even though they weren't in it at the time. Imagine if that magazine put a large photo of your fursuit next to a description of fursuit sex practices. It would certainly decrease the resale value of the suit. That's a tort right there.

I don't think it's a big risk, and in this particular case it seems unlikely that a commissioner would be upset, unless it spoilt a surprise for someone. (Presumably they'd have it by publication.) But it's dangerous to say that just because you have photos, you can do anything with them - or let others do so.
Sep. 30th, 2014 03:08 am (UTC)
your work, your photos, go ahead
Sep. 30th, 2014 10:27 am (UTC)
Your photos, your work, so go right on ahead. Congrats on getting into a magazine!!
Sep. 30th, 2014 11:37 am (UTC)
While you are the copyright holder on the photos and they depict your work, it would still be sensible to ask the suit owners to avoid any potential issues. It's better to send a quick email as a courtesy check than to have to deal with an upset customer!
Sep. 30th, 2014 03:33 pm (UTC)
Just to ask, are the costumes depicted while being worn (ie you photographed the commissioner wearing them), or did you take pics of the clothes on their own/on a mannequin/on you?

It's good ettiquette to notify commissioners either way, but if the commissioner is depicted in the picture you should have them sign a model release form before giving the pictures to a magazine.
Oct. 1st, 2014 09:49 am (UTC)
If you took the photo it's yours.
If you took the photo of someone else you might want a model release.
Oct. 2nd, 2014 02:52 am (UTC)
You did make the suits and take the pictures, but I think it would be nice and more professional to ask people for permission.

Some people may not be comfortable with their character being put in the spotlight in such a way. I am sure plenty of people will tell you to go right ahead, so I wouldn't worry about not having enough people agreeing.

Plus it notifies the people and they won't just suddenly find themselves in a magazine out of the blue. Which could be a bit unnerving for some.
Oct. 2nd, 2014 08:23 am (UTC)
First stop; change your contracts/FAQs/etc to cover this so that your average furry joe doesn't go 'I'mma sue you' for imaginary damages and/or get 'surprised' when they find their character suits used in advertising media. They hire you to build their suit, any progress photography, presentation and portfolio photography can and will be used at builder's discretion for advertising and miscellany media purposes (such as a magazine).

Secondly; You took the photos? The photos are yours, as is the work. You don't need to seek permission UNLESS the model is not you/a mannequin or the photos are not yours (ie: A happy client sending you 'in action' shots.)

In that case then yes you need model releases.
( 20 comments — Leave a comment )


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