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Photographer's Survival Manual: A Legal Guide for Artists in the Digital Age [Paperback]

Edward C. Greenberg , Jack Reznicki
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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The Copyright Zone: A Legal Guide For Photographers and Artists In The Digital Age The Copyright Zone: A Legal Guide For Photographers and Artists In The Digital Age
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Book Description

June 1 2010 Lark Photography Book

Now more than ever, anyone who wants to make money with a digital camera needs this authoritative and approachable guide. Written by the president of the Professional Photographers of America, and a leading New York copyright attorney, it provides photographers and visual artists with the most authoritative legal advice available. Everything is covered, from contracts, subcontracts, releases, and permissions to the copyright laws and all the steps artists should take to register and protect their work. Find out how to use copyright to protect your work from infringement, insure you are properly paid for your work, and how to proceed if your rights are infringed upon.

 


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About the Author

Jack Reznicki is the current President of the Board of Directors of Professional Photographers of America (PPA). Jack has conducted workshops on copyright and legal issues and currently co-authors a Photoshop User magazine column on legal and copyright issues. Ed Greenberg is a member of the New York bar who has tried intellectual property and copyright cases. His clients have included photographers Richard Avedon and Macduff Everton; famed illustrator Anita Kunz; and entertainers Betty Buckley and Robert Vaughn. He was the legal columnist for American Photographer magazine.

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A great one place to go Dec 18 2011
By D. R. Chevalier TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
If you a) publish your photography and b) want to hold on to any of your intellectual property, order this today and read it on receipt. The authors are the past President of the Professional Photographers of America and a qualified intellectual property attorney. Qualified is critical as there are many legal professionals but IP is a very special skill set. Together, the authors take a complex and potentially sleep inducing subject and make it understandable and easily consumed. The book is written with an America orientation as is expected, but any citizen of a country that is a Berne Convention signatory will find great value in reading and owning this short and efficient book.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  38 reviews
24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Know the Law July 8 2010
By Conrad J. Obregon - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
It's easy to think that all one has to do to be a successful photographer is put together some techniques like exposure, composition and post processing. Unfortunately, in this day of internet images, even amateurs have to know something about copyright and professional photographers have to know even more about the law if they want to stay out of trouble. "Photographer's Survival Manual: a Legal Guide for Artists in the Digital Age" tries to help the photographer through the maze of law.

The book has just four chapters. The first deals with the general rules of copyright; the second explains the process of registering one's copyright with the federal government; the third deals with model releases; and the fourth covers invoices and contracts.

Throughout the book the authors have a bright, breezy and easily understandable style. The chapter on registering one's works for copyright was the most accessible and least intimidating explanation of the process I have ever read and should dispel any fears of the registration process that a photographer might have felt. The other chapters are equally readable. However I do have a few nits to pick.

(Let me stop here for my disclaimer. Although I have practiced law, I have not done any independent research to verify the accuracy of either author's statements and you may not rely on my opinion to create any liability on my part. I do note that for many years I did act as a corporate officer responsible for intellectual property.)

The authors state that one must register one's work to gain access to a court system, and that state courts will not consider a copyright claim. Even if one believed this a misstatement registration is so simple, as demonstrated by the authors, that it is foolish not to register an image unless one wants to release it into the world without a care for what happens to it.

Another nit was the implication by the authors that the terms and conditions of sale can be included only on the back of an invoice. Since an invoice is only submitted for payment, delaying the announcement of terms and conditions until invoice submission is likely to be without effect. The terms and conditions of an agreement should be submitted before any work is done. (However, the terms and conditions provided by the authors are an excellent starting point for any agreement with a client.)

My major complaint is not with what the authors provide, but rather with what they fail to provide. There are many other types of legal situations that photographers will encounter, from entering into a lease of property for a studio to signing an agreement with a gallery to selecting a form of business, that will have serious implications. While I would advise consulting a lawyer in such cases, having a book that provides the photographer with information about what to look for and ask for certainly would be useful in a legal guide.

Not withstanding this comment the issues that are covered in this book are so clearly explained in easy-to-understand terms that most photographers who care about their images will benefit from a reading.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Extremely usefull information for photographers Oct. 8 2010
By K. Mosmen - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I love photography books. They keep me busy at night. I review a lot, mostly from a favorite publisher.

This book ranks up there as being a favorite. It covers a lot of topics but I purchased it for the copyright information and how to file a copyright application. Talk about idiot proof! This book holds your hand and walks you through the process with online screen captures and such. The price alone is worth it for the protection it will provide you as a photographer in copyrighting your images. The other information it provides is a BONUS.

I actually have recommended this book to all my photographer friends. It's truly excellent.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Concise and Well Written IP Advice for Creatives Sept. 22 2010
By Robert K. Rowe - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I participate in a few discussion groups that cover the business of photography. There is so much misinformation and tribal knowledge about intellectual property rights, copyrights, releases, and contracts that professional photographers cling to, it's a wonder they survive. This book, limited in scope to those areas, will put all that nonsense to rest (I am always baffled to see a photographer ask another photographer for legal advice). The book is entertaining and fun to read, with New York humor scattered throughout, and the anecdotes and sidebars keep lively an otherwise dry subject. I actually hired a GA attorney to come up with the boiler plate for our proposals, contracts, releases and invoices, but after reading this book I will return to her with new information to fine tune these documents. Like most tribal photographers, I believed that creating a work automagically conferred full copyright protection under the law. In a way, it does, but you have to do something, REGISTER, in order to take advantage of that protection. Using the easy to follow instructions in this book, I will be making a huge deposit in the Copyright Office in the next few days.

I do have a question for the authors regarding registrations. I will register all of the images that I expose to copyright infringement via the Internet. I will also register the websites on which the images appear. My understanding is that you should not register a work that is already registered. How should one go about registering a website that contains previously registered images?
26 of 32 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "Everything" is NOT covered Nov. 25 2011
By Omega Man - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
First, I generally like this book for what it does cover. I hesitate to give it 3 stars, but I have the following two issues with it:

1) "Everything" is NOT covered in this book, despite the claim. Yes, really important stuff like copyright registration, model releases, and invoices are covered (though I'm still left with questions), but photographers have other legal issues as well. For example: When and where can the police confiscate your memory card or other equipment? What and who are you prohibited from photographing at all? Can you take photographs in a hospital if it has no locked doors preventing the public from visiting patients? -1 1/2 stars that wouldn't be lost if they didn't claim "Everything"

2) Most books including legal forms either have a CD or let you download the forms online. Considering the small size of this section, it seems like it would make sense for them to publish these on a web site and then say "for more info, buy the book!" or something. (No need to even password protect anything, etc.) -1/2 star since the reader is stuck typing by hand or using OCR

So this book is probably almost all that most studio, portrait, etc, photographers who shoot under controlled conditions will need, but someone out in public taking photos of random goings-on (like a photojournalist or wanna-be) really needs quite a bit of additional information on what's legal to even photograph in the first place, regardless of publishing or copyright. While it book is good for what it does cover, it doesn't cover "Everything".
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An easy read for non-legal photographers who need quick, at-a-glance information Sept. 12 2010
By Midwest Book Review - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
PHOTOGRAPHER'S SURVIVAL MANUAL provides a fine survey of legal issues affecting photographers in the digital era, covering everything from basic rights, copyrights and forms to releases, filling out applications, and more. No photographer should be without this: packed with color sidebars of detail, it's an easy read for non-legal photographers who need quick, at-a-glance information.
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