24 Feb Giz A Lend, Mate…
This is not about the C.E. Rental Department. They are a fully professional division of our organisation and can hold their own in the commercial world. If you need to rent something , go see them or contact them via computer. Do not expect a lend, mate. Expect a formal contract, deposit, identification, and proper rental charges. Do not expect to get away with keeping things over time, treating the goods roughly, or losing items. It is a professional contract.
But the giz-a-lend? You’ll still encounter it all over the photographic world – from camera club members wanting to borrow your gear to economical end users wanting to burrow into your stash of images. They want them for their own purposes but generally do not want to stop at the cashier on the way in or out.
No names, no pack drill…but you can still encounter councils, firms, and organisations who will put up image-harvesting contests to get material for their own advertising. The rules of their contests can be complex or simple, but in some cases they think that anything that crosses their desk becomes their intellectual property – whether you agree or not. The remedy for this is not to get caught. Read the contest rules and then decide for yourself whose hand you’d like in your back pocket – yours or theirs.
We also encounter the exposure merchants who promise that our images will be seen by someone for nothing and we’ll harvest our share of that nothing in the future. So we might…but it’s interesting to note that somewhere along the line money enters into the system – entry fees, tickets, sponsorships, etc. and if we’ve waived all this in favour of exposure we can feel that we’ve been milked.
Well, charge for milk. The dairy does. Write your own contract that says you still own the copyright and that it is exhibited by someone else as a licensed item – not a freebie. Set out what the fee is and get it in hand before the image goes away. Do not send the image away with EXIF data or other evidentiary material attached – your editing program can trim things back to a bare package. Then police the use of the image. You’ll have the original file – a RAW one if you’re smart – and can specify what happens to the output copy.
Mean? No. Business-like and reassuring in the end to both parties.