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  1. Member
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    Heys guys!

    I recently did the photography at a friends wedding (my 1st wedding shoot) and I have now finished editing and processing all of the images. What I would now like to do is to put all of the images onto a couple of CDs/DVDs so that I can give them to the families of the bride and groom to look at, the idea is that I will also organise all the printing etc of the images, so I would like to burn the images to a disk but be able to stop any copying of images from the disk ie disable right-click/ctrl-c etc. I thought about watermarking all of the photos but sometimes the marks can obscure parts of the images.

    Could you please tell me how I could achieve this, if it's posible?
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    The best, and most fool-proof method of copy protecting things like this is to take a sharp object and scratch a line from the inside ring to the outside edge of the disks you intend on producing (on the non-label side) .

    After that, no one will be able to copy the disks!

    I can't believe that you have been around here for 7 years and don't know this trick.

    Now, what you SHOULD do, is product a CD/DVD with the photos with greatly reduced resolution. Distribute the photos at a resolution that cannot be enlarged well (say 200x360 pixels) and note under the photo (This photo available at 2000 by 4000 pixels). Or place a watermark over the faces that will still show everything, but will make printing a photo worthless.

    Or, you could simply priced your photos reasonably and trust honesty to get paid for your efforts.
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  3. Greetings Supreme2k's Avatar
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    This is a joke, right?

    Seven years, and you haven't seen this topic brought up yet?

    You haven't searched on the web for basic photography distribution methods? Proof sheets?

    Not to mention the negative comments that are going to come your way regarding "home made" copy protection. Most people will think you are a jackass.
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  4. Mod Neophyte Super Moderator redwudz's Avatar
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    Another method I liked was to take orders for the discs before shipping any out. Then when you have sufficient profit to cover the costs of the project, send them out and don't worry about anyone making copies.

    As has been stated many, many times in these forums, if Hollywood can't protect their discs from being copied, what makes you think you can?
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  5. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Squid_uk View Post
    I thought about watermarking all of the photos but sometimes the marks can obscure parts of the images.
    Use translucent watermarks -- this is what I do. You can batch it in Photoshop.
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    Create an AUTORUN.INF which will install a rootkit on the victim's computer,
    so that the files on that specific CD/DVD cannot be copied.

    Evidently, the trick will not work if the AutoRun is disabled for all types of drives,
    or if the ex-future-victim happens to use a non-Microsoftic OS.
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    Thanks for the quick replies!

    Lordsmurf I think I might bite the bullet and go for the watermark, if you don't mind me asking how did you create your watermarks?
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  8. My "PhotoStamp" does watermarking. It is totally free (no strings). There are a number of options for how the watermark will appear. It's a lossless JPEG process, but that's not important to you, because you'll be encoding them anyway. I hope it can help you. Watermarking does have its place... like in your case.

    www.phototools.co.nr

    Michael
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    Nice program Michael33 look like I may use this!

    EDIT: Is there anyway to get the Batch stamp with custom options?
    Last edited by Squid_uk; 14th Mar 2010 at 16:43.
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    UPDATE: Hey Guys

    I have managed to watermark all the photos successfully without ruining any of them.

    I was wondering if you guys could recommend any software that I could use to put the photos in a kind of slideshow type DVD instead of just burning them onto a DVD
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  11. Now you are on to something with a DVD slideshow, it's not as easy to extract images from DVD-Video and the quality is worse.
    I would remove the watermark and use Windows DVD Maker or DVDSlideshowGUI, both are free.
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    Originally Posted by Squid_uk View Post
    UPDATE: Hey Guys

    I have managed to watermark all the photos successfully without ruining any of them.

    I was wondering if you guys could recommend any software that I could use to put the photos in a kind of slideshow type DVD instead of just burning them onto a DVD

    I'm just giving you my opinion on this...
    If I paid you anything for these photos and saw any kind of watermark on them at all I would consider them to be damaged goods. And I can promise you that I would NEVER hire you again or recommend you to anyone. Somebody paid you to take photos FOR THEM. You were paid for your skill at taking photos, not because someone hoped that you would watermark the photos and do everything in your power to prevent anyone from ever seeing them. The damn CD/DVD is just gravy on what you were already paid, not an eternal source of income for you. Hell, why not just charge the people who hired you a million dollars for the photos? After all, you seem to think that they are YOUR photos to do with as you wish.

    Your idea of "not ruined" and mine might be completely different. When I pay you for a job, guess whose opinion counts? Hint - it ain't yours. Of course you could end up where nobody you sell it to cares what you did. I'm just warning you that some people DO care.
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  13. I agree with jman98 and to add what I wrote above:
    A professional photographer doesn't hand out CD/DVD's for sale, you bring it to your customers and have them pick out what photos they like. You then have those photos printed. Most people prefer to see actual prints in a photo album or in a frame. If they don't want prints then charge them on a photo to photo basis(a la carte).
    The pricing should of been discussed ahead of time, if you start to change your prices after the fact then you won't be recommended to others.
    Last edited by MOVIEGEEK; 17th Mar 2010 at 13:13.
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  14. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by MOVIEGEEK View Post
    I agree with jman98 and to add what I wrote above:
    A professional photographer doesn't hand out CD/DVD's for sale, you bring it to your customers and have them pick out what photos they like. You then have those photos printed. Most people prefer to see actual prints in a photo album or in a frame. If they don't want prints then charge them on a photo to photo basis(a la carte).
    The pricing should of been discussed ahead of time, if you start to change your prices after the fact then you won't be recommended to others.
    It doesn't work this way anymore.

    It costs a load of money to print up photos that you'll just throw away. Nobody does that anymore. Everything is digitally driven now, either with password-protected web folders for clients, or passing around discs to prospectives.

    At most -- MOST! -- you may see some printed thumbnails from an inkjet or laser. But even that isn't done much.
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  15. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by jman98 View Post
    I'm just giving you my opinion on this...
    If I paid you anything for these photos and saw any kind of watermark on them at all I would consider them to be damaged goods. And I can promise you that I would NEVER hire you again or recommend you to anyone. Somebody paid you to take photos FOR THEM. You were paid for your skill at taking photos, not because someone hoped that you would watermark the photos and do everything in your power to prevent anyone from ever seeing them. The damn CD/DVD is just gravy on what you were already paid, not an eternal source of income for you. Hell, why not just charge the people who hired you a million dollars for the photos? After all, you seem to think that they are YOUR photos to do with as you wish.
    Your idea of "not ruined" and mine might be completely different. When I pay you for a job, guess whose opinion counts? Hint - it ain't yours. Of course you could end up where nobody you sell it to cares what you did. I'm just warning you that some people DO care.
    I think you're missing the point of why a photog does watermarks.
    These are for proofs.
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    Wow seems like i've started a heated disscussion.

    The reason for me wanting to protect the images is because I havent actually been paid for anything yet and I have spent well over 40hrs on the project from sorting equipment for the day to processing the images. Also I am not actually selling the CD/DVD I just want to give the familes a copy so they can see what I have done and the main reason for wanting to protect the images is because, as I said before I have not been paid yet and was asked for a few photos without watermaks so that they could send the images to a local paper, next thing I know the images are on facebook which I was not happy about as the images were not the 'final' product as they were asking for these pics the day after the wedding and I had not had time to process them properly.

    As lordsmurf has said now-a-days everything is done digitally because it works out cheaper then printing off 200 photos but only wanting to keep 50.
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  17. Greetings Supreme2k's Avatar
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    I agree that you should watermark them for proof sheets, digital or printed. It doesn't matter how F'ed up it makes the picture, since they are still in the choosing phase.

    I suggest getting a retainer or deposit before working. That way, your customers don't have you by the balls and you don't have to worry about them "stealing" your pics. You've already provided a service, so there should have been a payment already for that.
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  18. I don't get this. They are your friends. You work out a deal beforehand. What is the problem? You don't trust them? - if they get the CD/DVD, they will not pay you? They don't trust you? - because it was your fist wedding shoot?
    How about this, make an appointment to see those photo - let it to be on your computer/laptop, let it be on a dvd (play at their living room). After they see it, you can print for them; they will never touch a copy of your original work.
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  19. Greetings Supreme2k's Avatar
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    I take back what I said, and echo genki500. I missed the "friend" part originally.
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    I was actually given 1 weeks notice before the wedding about taking the photos and because it was something I had never done before I did quite a bit of research about taking the photos. I dont know if you saw my last post but I trusted them with some unfinished photos which ended up on facebook so I suppose yes a little bit of trust has been lost. I do however trust them to pay me.
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  21. If they're your friends give them untouched originals. If you're willing to do more let them know.

    For strangers, give them thumbnails and a small crop or two of each showing half of someones face (or whatever is of interest) at the original size. That way they can judge the overall image by the thumbnail and see that it's sharp and clean via the crop.

    Name:  thumb.jpg
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    I think photographers need to give up on the idea that they are artists, they own the copyright to the images, and they have to be paid for every copy. They are technicians, they should get paid for their time and materials (commercial usage excepted).
    Last edited by jagabo; 18th Mar 2010 at 07:49.
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    Originally Posted by jman98 View Post
    I'm just giving you my opinion on this...
    If I paid you anything for these photos and saw any kind of watermark on them at all I would consider them to be damaged goods. And I can promise you that I would NEVER hire you again or recommend you to anyone. Somebody paid you to take photos FOR THEM.
    this is completely untrue.

    Photography is usually done two ways and both ways are common and recognized. If you are working as an employee or contract worker and get paid in FULL for not just your time, but your profit, costs and additional fees and for your level of expertise, and if there is a written signed work for hire agreement, it is typcial that the contracting parties own the photographs.

    BUT if you are paid a nominal fee and are shooting on spec you completely own the photos, and anyone who says a watermark is "damaged goods" has no idea of how professional photography works and WHO cares if they want to hire you again because they are not an educated buyer and not aware of how the profession works and unlikely to have any need to hire you again (unless they get divorces).

    Jman you are coming from the perspective an EMPLOYEE. Any of use who are consultants could tell you that there are two major categories fall into and you are missing the other half.

    OP: If these were shot on spec NEVER distribute a good resolution digital copy to anyone, and watermark everything until they buy rights at your full price. Don't pay any mind to anyone who says it is isn't professional because it is very professional, and very common with top photographers.
    Originally Posted by jagabo View Post
    I think photographers need to give up on the idea that they are artists, they own the copyright to the images, and they have to be paid for every copy. They are technicians, they should get paid for their time and materials (commercial usage excepted).
    What? Of course they own the images. It is basic copyright law. The copyright ownership presumption is totally on the side of the OP!

    Any of us who are consultants or have had them work for us could explain this in more detail, but suffice it to say you are wrong.

    When I have a photographer photograph a corporate event it is up to me to fulfill a number of stipulations (and even paying them for their time isnt one of them!) in order for me or the company I am consulting too to have the rights, which always normally go to the photographer if not a statutory employee. One legal test for example is who owns the camera, did the people whose wedding it was own the camera it accrues to work for hire (rights owned by the employer ie the people getting married) or was it owned by the photographer (accruing to copyrights owned by the photographer)?

    Do you realize that most photographers who are 100% statutory employees of firms often have to sign complicated copyright transfer agreements to double insure that the natural presumption that copyright goes to the photographer doesn't kick in -- that is how strong the presumption on the side of the photographer is.

    Originally Posted by jman98 View Post
    When I pay you for a job, guess whose opinion counts? Hint - it ain't yours.
    That is a bad hint and one that is 100% wrong. Unless you paid him as a statutory employee, or have a signed contract where he explicitly assigned rights to those specif photographs (not even a Work for hire agreement works, but the transfer of copyright has to be explicitly enumerated and signed by all parties), his ( the photographers) opinion on ownership "counts", not yours.

    If you hire me to write a a song for your wedding, and I am not a statutory employee, and even we both sign a work for hire (or not), and you pay me $10,000 to write a song -- I OWN IT. For you to own it and not have a prayer of not being laughed out of court, you would need to have a signed "transfer of copyright."

    this issue of wedding photography comes up so often that the US copyright office uses it as a specific example:
    Even if a person hires a photographer to take pictures of a wedding, for example, the photographer will own the copyright in the photographs unless the copyright in the photographs is transferred, in writing and signed by the copyright owner, to another person.
    Last edited by RdM642; 18th Mar 2010 at 09:55.
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  23. Originally Posted by RdM642 View Post
    What? Of course they own the images. It is basic copyright law. The copyright ownership presumption is totally on the side of the OP!
    Like you said, not when it's a "work for hire". What I'm saying is wedding photographers have to give up on the notion that they own the copyright and cave in to the work-for-hire paradigm.

    I've been an independent contractor for many years. I almost always work on a pure time and materials basis. I do the work, you pay me for my time and materials. What I create under that contract is yours. If you don't like what I'm producing you can fire me but you still have to pay me for what I've already done. I've never had anyone fire me or refuse to pay. I may have not gotten a few jobs because of my stance but that's their loss, really.
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    Originally Posted by Supreme2k View Post
    I take back what I said, and echo genki500. I missed the "friend" part originally.
    Sorry, but being a friend still doesn't mean I do stuff for free.

    I think photographers need to give up on the idea that they are artists, they own the copyright to the images, and they have to be paid for every copy. They are technicians, they should get paid for their time and materials (commercial usage excepted).
    No. If somebody wants unlimited use, then work out a contract and payment that grants/transfers those rights.

    Do you realize that most photographers who are 100% statutory employees of firms often have to sign complicated copyright transfer agreements to double insure that the natural presumption that copyright goes to the photographer doesn't kick in -- that is how strong the presumption on the side of the photographer is.
    Work-for-hire clauses. I only sign these if the money is good.

    What I'm saying is wedding photographers have to give up on the notion that they own the copyright and cave in to the work-for-hire paradigm.
    No, not correct. There is no inherent work-for-hire clause, rights are inherently those of the photographer, unless overridden by contract. But I will add that charging for reprints is cowardly. Charge a full amount upfront, and then give them everything they want, including "negatives" (digital master files) to reprint on their own, email to family/friends, etc. Do you really want to warehouse photos for somebody else? I don't. Unless they're getting re-married, I just assume never hear from them again.
    Last edited by lordsmurf; 18th Mar 2010 at 09:59.
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  25. Greetings Supreme2k's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
    Originally Posted by Supreme2k View Post
    I take back what I said, and echo genki500. I missed the "friend" part originally.
    Sorry, but being a friend still doesn't mean I do stuff for free.
    I didn't mean free. I just meant that you get to play a little more loosely with the "contract". For pure clients, I draw up a contract to which they are bound. For friends, I get to add "Don't be a dick and flake on me. I'll beat your ass. You know I will."
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    Originally Posted by jagabo View Post
    Originally Posted by RdM642 View Post
    What? Of course they own the images. It is basic copyright law. The copyright ownership presumption is totally on the side of the OP!
    Like you said, not when it's a "work for hire". What I'm saying is wedding photographers have to give up on the notion that they own the copyright and cave in to the work-for-hire paradigm.

    I've been an independent contractor for many years. I almost always work on a pure time and materials basis. I do the work, you pay me for my time and materials. What I create under that contract is yours. If you don't like what I'm producing you can fire me but you still have to pay me for what I've already done. I've never had anyone fire me or refuse to pay. I may have not gotten a few jobs because of my stance but that's their loss, really.
    It is never just work for hire with wedding photography, you must also have a singed assingment of the copyright from the photographer otherwise all US common law, case law, written law, gives the photographer the ownership (the base assumption of his ownership is actually in the US constitution!), even if you paid him $10,000.

    As fare as work for hire the current law mostly excludes photographers, I just mentioned it because on some occasions it comes intpo play with collaborative projhects.

    I hate to sound so strident, and certainly I give everyone respect for their opinions on how it should be, but since this is one subject were amateurs are the buyers - those of use who know the law and common practice have to strongly correct any mistaken statements as to the legal rights on this. they are clear: all rights are presumptively the photographers, if not a statutory employee (you know like working every day for the people gettign married, tehm and not he owning the equipment he uses, having his desk at their business, having his payroll taexes paid by them etc). A Work for Hire agreement is not enough. Paying him a fee is not enough to impact those rights at all. He either assigns rights by written permission or he owns them all.

    As far as photographers having to cave into a paradigm, why? The only people who have had to are specific fields involveing collaborative efforts and defined by law (eg a bunch of non employee consultants writing code for windows, the non employee cinematographer or subtitle translator of a movie made by 1000 people).

    Her eis the thinkg with wedding photography. Almost all people getting married have never hired a photographer. If I do events and hire one of severla photgraphers over and over, I know what their level of work is and can pay them full price aehad of time. Peoplw getting married are much more likely to pay an initial discounted price (say $500 to $1000 for the guy to shoot) , and then select from the pics they like and then buy single or multiple reproductions, or if they like all rights. So there is a whole scale of options. Most professional photographers explain this on their sites.

    Look I respect your opinion. I don't think anything is wrong with thinking out loud how technology changes practicalities and expectations, and perhaps may move a change the law in future. Nothing wrong with a give and take on what you consider ethical and or fair, as long as you also consider the other point of view (the huge investment in equipment, the professional training, and the fact that people getting married can easily research this question).

    Creative works, especially ones that are not collaborations, made by people who are not statutory employees, belong to the author: it is so basic it is in the US constitutions. Parsing what one considers "technical" or the work of a technition is not a legal concept because it is abjectly subjective
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    Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
    . But I will add that charging for reprints is cowardly. Charge a full amount upfront, and then give them everything they want, including "negatives" (digital master files) to reprint on their own, email to family/friends, etc.
    yes but many customers woudl rather just pay a lower shooting fee up front. Is there something not understood here about how it doesnt take much other than money to get a photgrapher who will assign all rights before the event? Lots offer it. It is not like DVD copying rights where you can't buy the rights anywhere. Lots of photographers work principley assigning rights to buyers, lots more offer it among other choices for a higher price,and only a minority (usually award winning published ones) don't offer it as an option up front. the buyer has the choice!

    Just doing some quick Google research at wedding planning sites I see all the good ones talk about how you will have to pay a lot more for rights, and they also note that people getting married underestimate photography costs by at least 50%.

    I think there is a lot of confusion in this area becasue everyone does photography and almost everyone thinks their photographs are good. But shooting professional is another world. You cannot screw up. These guys have to gross thousands per wedding. Good equipment and you need several spares, is not cheap. You need it all for a wedding: excellent glass, several recent digital bodies, tripods, lighting etc. You need to pay rent on an office with a studio as well.
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  28. Originally Posted by RdM642 View Post
    I give everyone respect for their opinions on how it should be
    It's not how it should be, but rather how it will be. I'm not arguing with your assessment of the current legal situation or the OP's legal standing. I fully agree with you about that. But more and more work of this nature is being performed under work-for-hire contracts. Writers and photographers hate this but it will eventually become the norm except for a few talented individuals who's work is so highly desired they can set the terms.

    The OP appears to be in a situation where he offered to photograph the wedding and assumed the couple understood the usual copyright/reproduction terms applied (ie, he would own all the copyrights and reproduction rights). But apparently the couple assumed he meant he would just give them all the pictures free and clear. It doesn't matter that the OP is in firm legal standing. He's in a lose-lose situation. He can give up his rights to the photos and lose out on any financial compensation. Or he can stand his ground -- in which case his soon to be ex friends will assume this is an attempt to extort money out of their wedding.
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    Originally Posted by jagabo View Post
    Originally Posted by RdM642 View Post
    I give everyone respect for their opinions on how it should be
    It's not how it should be, but rather how it will be.
    how it will be when the constitution is amended?

    I think everything related to ip is under various new stresses from technology and from stresses due to the bigest pocket player being able to out persist the smaller pocket player in legal costs; and stresses due to the new factor of global markets where certain local authorities look the other way. Much of patent law is all about who can spend millions in discovery until the opponent is exhausted before anything gets near to a trial.

    Digital photography, and the written word perhaps more so, are indeed under specific and accute stresses due to the ease of digitalizing. (The New York Review of Books had an excellent series on google and the digitalization of booksa few months back)

    But the case law on photography is actually well over 100 years old and pretty darn consistent. That case law exists longer and with less ambiguity than lots of other types of works.

    Originally Posted by jagabo View Post
    . Writers and photographers hate this but it will eventually become the norm except for a few talented individuals who's work is so highly desired they can set the terms.
    I don't think Wedding photographers hate assigning rights as long as they are paid the proper amount.

    Originally Posted by jagabo View Post
    The OP appears to be in a situation where he offered to photograph the wedding and assumed the couple understood the usual copyright/reproduction terms applied (ie, he would own all the copyrights and reproduction rights). But apparently the couple assumed he meant he would just give them all the pictures free and clear.
    yes we don't know. I don't know how professional the photographer is. if he has a studio, if he has a nice $500 3/4 digital camera or the more typical $5000 worth of stuff, I don't know if he works shooting for AP in the day, or if he works stocking shelves at the the A&P during the day.

    But we don't know that the couple doesn't expect to pay him for the rights. We just know he is asking about the normal precautions photographers would take even if the couple fully understood and expected to pay. Those are low res pics and watermarks, which are in fact very very common.
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    RdM642, I was curious about your "Constitution" statement, so I looked up the constitution. This is what I found:

    To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;
    (In Article1 of the Main part, not the Amendments)

    This establishes the idea of "patents" and "copyrights".
    Note that Authors/Producers love to highlight the term "EXCLUSIVE", while ignoring the "LIMITED", and even "To Promot the progress". This is one area where I believe, and I would bet that most citizens would agree, the pendulum has swung WAY TOO FAR to the producer's side, and now must and WILL (IS?) swing back toward the consumer's side (or maybe just to the middle). Part of the that "progress" was to ultimately contribute to the Public Domain. For all intents and purposes, this part doesn't exist anymore. Yet it should.

    I believe that's what Jagabo and others were alluding to: the balance between producer and consumer rights. They may not be creating "legally binding documents", but their ostensibly more cavallier attitude is really one that is forward thinking; understanding the tide that is turning and not trying to fight it. And it seems to be working out well for them.

    Technology is changing so much. Alot of the costs you've quoted (the need to gross THOUSANDS per wedding) are fading. The paradigm/business model is shifting, whether you're willing to admit it or not, and even if you yourself aren't at the bleeding edge frontier of this change, it will ultimately affect you, if even to just make your competition more appealing.
    Jagabo's idea is to forego the adversarial model altogether and work things out ahead of time on a position of trust and of ultimately realizing just who is going to WANT to be the "caretaker" for those "properties" and building that in from the start.

    Scott
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