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Photographer's Survival Manual: A Legal Guide for Artists in the Digital Age (Lark Photography Book) 1st Edition

4.8 out of 5 stars 44 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1600594205
ISBN-10: 1600594204
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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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Product Details

  • Series: Lark Photography Book
  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Pixiq; 1 edition (June 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1600594204
  • ISBN-13: 978-1600594205
  • Product Dimensions: 9.9 x 7.9 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #696,001 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Conrad J. Obregon VINE VOICE on July 8, 2010
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.
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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.
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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?
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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".
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