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DPChallenge Forums >> Photography Discussion >> Album Cover - request for an image (advice please)
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10/10/2005 07:38:48 AM · #1
I have been e-mailed regarding usage of one of my images - what do you think? Take the risk or not?

"I have a request to make of you. An acquaintance of mine in the U.S. (Plano, Texas) has shown interest in using your photo "Winter Web" as an album cover. He is an 18-year old indie pianist named Scott and is planning on recording his album in January. It won't be a big release; he will most likely sell less than 100 copies, but nevertheless he was curious about earning the copyright to print the picture on the cover. Please write me back and let me know what you think.

Would I need to draw up some sort of contract of usage, I don't want to 'Sign Over' my copyright totaly. Maybe agree a deal if he sells more than 100 copies I get a small royalty (you never know it might sell a million?). Anyone else offer advice / had experience in such a thing?

I must say it's appealing (and flattering) to have an image on an album cover.....
Cheers,
Nordic
10/10/2005 08:25:03 AM · #2
as long as youget the credit on the cover for taking the shot and a free copy of the CD i say GO FOR IT... help the lad out.

congrats too BTW
10/10/2005 09:10:45 AM · #3
last year i used a picture of a Moonshot from a guy over @ DPreview for a CD run of 500 - charged me $75 for it and wanted acnoledgement on the cover

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10/10/2005 12:13:45 PM · #4
Bob,

Was there a contract or just a verbal agreement that you would only use the image for this purpose?

"last year i used a picture of a Moonshot from a guy over @ DPreview for a CD run of 500 - charged me $75 for it and wanted acnoledgement on the cover"

Or am I just being over cautious about having some sort of limited contract?
Nordic
10/10/2005 01:29:43 PM · #5
A written contract is always a good idea. Probably an exchange of emails would be sufficient.

Yes, you are licensing the image for a specific use -- make that clear in the text -- you maintain the copyright.

Some handy resources on copyright law:
US Copyright Office (Downloadable forms, manuals, etc.)
Nolo Press (Publisher of self-help legal books)
10/10/2005 01:37:17 PM · #6
Originally posted by GeneralE:

A written contract is always a good idea. Probably an exchange of emails would be sufficient.

Yes, you are licensing the image for a specific use -- make that clear in the text -- you maintain the copyright.

Some handy resources on copyright law:
US Copyright Office (Downloadable forms, manuals, etc.)
Nolo Press (Publisher of self-help legal books)


I think you mean "retain" the copyright?

Robt.
10/10/2005 01:41:28 PM · #7
Maybe you should get a royalty for every album he sells. That way you wouldn't feel ripped off if he sells one or two thousand alums. [Always get a contract]
10/10/2005 01:45:54 PM · #8
Originally posted by bear_music:

I think you mean "retain" the copyright?

Robt.

I suppose so ... : )

I think I was thinking "maintain ownership of ..." but quit typing too soon.

Message edited by author 2005-10-10 13:46:12.
10/10/2005 02:00:25 PM · #9
You might want to work in some language regarding potential promotional posters, advertisements and T-Shirt print runs.

You could just license your image for use in promoting this artist's work limited just to CD and Album covers, but that might limit your exposure if the artist moves onto other promotional goods and then changes the album cover, eliminating you entirely, if a broader audience is found.

If it was me, I would be more open, providing the image for use on Albums, Posters and other adverts, as long as you are attributed on the finished product.

On a CD Cover, that would be in the liner notes or copyright section of the album. On posters, that is usually on the bottom, on the side, in a high contrast text, with a small font size that is human eye readable, when up close to the poster.

Anyway, if this artist goes anywhere, someone will look at who took the image and that could turn out to be very beneficial for you.
10/10/2005 06:29:28 PM · #10
Thanks for all the sound advice.
I've got a few questions to ask of the artist. At the moment I feel I can't turn this one down, to have an image on someone's album cover is something I would never have imagined (however small). I must admit I had never considered the other promo stuff, thanks Nelzie.
Thanks again,
Nordic
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