I am a photographer and have donated my time and images to a large non profit for several years now. We signed a rights of use agreement. Since I have not been paid for the use of my photographs for a set period of time, can I just cancel our agreement, stopping their future use of my photographs?
Country relating to Question: United States
State (if USA): Oregon
Hello. Thanks for contacting me.The real question is what the rights agreement says. If the copyright was assigned (essentially transferred) to the nonprofit org., then they own the copyright.But if the agreement was a license to use the resulting work, then the copyright remains with the photographer (unless its been assigned to someone else), and he or she can sell the images elsewhere. However, its important to be sure that if the image was licensed, there is not an "exclusive" license for certain purposes. For instance, someone might grant an exclusive license for use in a nonprofit's annual report. That would mean no other group can use it in an annual report. But other uses would not violate the license.I wish you all the best in your work!
This was a non-exclusive rights of use, for specific publication use. There was no time limit put on the rights of use. Can I end the use, say, from today, so that the images they currently have on file can no longer be used in future publications.
Hello again.That really depends on how the agreement is worded. Because we are not equipped to review individual personal documents, I can only give information based on what you describe.Think of the agreement as a contract. If you donated the image for use in a particular publication, then, as with any contract, as long as there is no breach of the agreement, it stands -- but can only be used for that specific publication.If the agreement allows its use without stating restrictions as to publication, context, etc, then the terms of the contract will remain in force (unless there has been some breach of contract)It may be that the organization is willing to remove the image. And often, in this type of situation, it may be possible to arrange something like that -- after all, a charity could be expected to show some gratitude.In sum, only the agreement itself can say whether the photographer can revoke the license and under what conditions. If it is silent, without some breach of contract by the org to which the work was donated, the agreement stands. So read the doc carefully for any outs -- and then, perhaps, approach the org in a friendly way to see if they might be willing to do without it.
Our chat has ended, but you can still continue to ask me questions here until you are satisfied with your answer. Come back to this page to view our conversation and any other new information. What happens now? If you haven’t already done so, please rate your answer above. Or, you can reply to me using the box below.
I see you posted a complaint that you expected more. Just wondering what that might be? Its usually best to ask a follow-up, as we can't know why you are not satisfied unless you tell us. So please let me know what more you want to know, and I'll be happy to assist.Many thanks!
Hi Rick.Just wondering how things worked out with the photos? Were you able to reclaim them without resistance from the nonprofit?Warm Regards,
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).