Author Topic: Copyright Ownership - during a course!  (Read 1526 times)

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Offline Frank [aka Wires]

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Copyright Ownership - during a course!
« on: May 21, 2013, 08:08:53 PM »
My son is doing a two year bTEC photography course at a local college... at the moment on the last 'project' of the term. He's had a couple of 'Merits' and three distinctions for the different sections so far.

He has very recently been told that the College "own" the copyright of the images the students have done - which I find strange for the tutor to say and difficult to accept. This came about after he said he would put his name/copyright on his image/s and was told not to. I was always under the impression that the photographer "owned" the copyright of the images they had taken.

I'd be interested to hear opinions from other members on this. If you haven't been on a course, as a full time student, would this put you off doing the course? If you have been on, or are on, a photography course what have you have been told in respect of copyright of the images you have taken during your course time and put in for course work. In fact, what have you been told about copyright - - - if it has been covered at all even. So far this hasn't been covered on the course he is attending.

Frank (aka Wires)
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Offline vaughaag

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Re: Copyright Ownership - during a course!
« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2013, 08:36:28 PM »
Frank,

This is quite common in work places. My contract clearly states that any and all materials created, conceived, proposed and/or any concepts created or that are a result works/projects carried out during working hours, on a company site or using company equipment are the sole property of the employer.

I have heard of similar things being the case in some American universities (known as the Facebook clause).

I would look very carefully at any contracts and or terms and conditions of the course and see if anything in mentioned ref copyright ownership. If there is nothing listed, I would speak to the education center's administrator to clear the matter up.

Rgds,
Dave
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Offline Frank [aka Wires]

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Re: Copyright Ownership - during a course!
« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2013, 08:56:04 PM »
Hi Dave

I have the same at my place of work also and I also signed to accept this as part of my contract. However, this was made clear at the time before signing. I do have a copy of "my" contract and Terms & Conditions to be able to refer to should I need to.

I don't think this was pointed out to the students though when they were signing a number of documents during the 'induction' process... and they didn't receive copies of what they had signed either! I know the lad would have remembered such as he has had a couple of his shots "borrowed!" from his Flickr account and used on Facebook. He has also tried to bring the subject of copyright up on the course but been 'side-stepped' shall we say ;)
Frank (aka Wires)
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Offline Faldrax

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Re: Copyright Ownership - during a course!
« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2013, 11:05:59 PM »
I also have a similar clause in my contract regarding work done for my employer, but it sounds a bit odd that a college would try and make the same claim, but it's possible.

However, the fact that the students were not given copies of the documents they signed may have a bearing on the legality of the 'contract' - but I don't know.

Does the college have a students union, and if so, if there any legal guidance available through it? If so, might be worth having a quick chat to try and get a handle on the legal position.
 
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Offline Frank [aka Wires]

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Re: Copyright Ownership - during a course!
« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2013, 08:04:40 PM »
Cheers for that Faldrax.

I'm just a bit, well more than a bit, 'miffed' that the college/tutor haven't covered about Copyright with the students - and I would have expected it to have been covered early in the course! Maybe that's just because of my age ;)

And also the... shall I say... 'vague' answer my son seems to have got when he said he would put a copyright sign and his name on the print/s being used for a display. You'd think that the college/tutor would encourage them to do this so that 'they', the students, would get the recognition for their shot/s - and possibly some work from that! Could that be because they don't want the students being 'competitive' with each other in college?

I'll ask him to 'gently' ask about what they signed and how it was worded before seeing about any student union etc. I don't want to be getting him kicked off the course :)
Frank (aka Wires)
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