Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1998/01/27

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Subject: Re: [Leica] work problems
From: David Guidry <>
Date: Tue, 27 Jan 1998 11:08:35 -0600

> <We all have to deal with challenges at work. You could change proffessions.
> Lets talk about Leica.
> Dave>

> Thomas Kachadurian wrote:

> Dave:
> I hope you are kidding. There is not lens or body that will have more
> impact on photographers than the abuse of copyrights.
> Tom

Hey Tom,

As a camera store/ full-service lab owner my income is impacted every day by the current 
copyright laws. My business follows all copyright laws to the letter. Not a day goes by 
that someone doesn't leave my store angry about being turned away because the material 
was copyrighted. Their frustration is almost always directed at us. I accept this 
situation as part of the climate in which I must do business. 

We do try to assist the customer in obtaining a release in an effort to facilitate 
solving a customer's problem and to get the job. If the material in question is not 
watermarked or stickered but looks like it was professionally done, I am supposed to 
turn the work away. Have you seen what an amatuer can do armed with decent film, a 
little knowledge, a Canon Rebel, auto fill-flash, good finishing, etc.? The burden of 
proof of copyright should fall squarely on the shoulders of those who want/need the 
protection, not my counter help. Simply put, many professionals fail to take the time to 
do the simple things to protect themselves.

When the work is clearly marked as copyrighted material, most of the time the copyright 
holder is not noted. Who should the customer contact? God forbid including a phone 
number or other means of contact. If I were a professional photographer who wanted to be 
compensated for the ongoing use of my images, I would do a couple of things. First, I 
would make it easy for people to contact me. Second, I would make a release easy to 
obtain. Easy - but very worth my while!

Several times we have contacted professionals on behalf of a customer only find the 
professional unwilling to co-operate. If anyone wants to refuse use, its fine with me - 
I can stop wasting my time. We have been told " I'll agree verbally but I don't have 
time to get you something on my letterhead". WOW! Yes Your Honor, but he said....

One photographer felt inconvienenced by my policy and proceeded to direct her students 
at the local fine art school to do business elsewhere.

It is important for me to stress that we never do more than is authorized by the 

While I cannot tell you how much money I have lost protecting you guys, suffice to say 
its a lot. My company will continue to respect copyrights. I don't feel we are 
unqualified to handle anyone's work. Hey professionals, how about a little help?

No Tom, I'm not kidding. I am in this group to talk about Leica equipment. If we want to 
continue talking about the various hardships concerning our jobs, we ought to do it on 
the Wrongs and Injustices at Work Users Group, not the LUG.