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Topic: Photography/Watermark question  (Read 958 times)
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« on: July 27, 2010 02:17:51 PM »

Okay, I really hope you guys don't mind me asking this, but I noticed a lot of professional photographers on here and was hoping for some advice.

My mum's wedding photos of her second marriage are all watermarked.  She had a terrible time - the photographer she ordered the prints from took some pretty shoddy quality photos but promised they could touch them up to improve them with the final purchased images, which my mum agreed to.  It was taking ages, and when she tried to chase them up it turned out they had gone out of business.  As a result she only has a booklet of the original, unedited proofs with watermarks.

What are her legal rights, here?  Their 10th wedding anniversary is coming up and I woud really love to surprise them with a book of their wedding photos as they SHOULD have been when they originally purchased them.  Do they have a legal right to try and get the watermarks removed, or is it still a copyright issue?  Is there any process for this, do you know?  I want to make sure I only do this if it is above board and legal, and if I won't be infringing on any rights of the photographer.

If it is legally okay, do you know if there are any photographers or photo editing-types that can offer a service to fix these sorts of issues?  I imagine it'd be a tricky line to tread, as anyone offering that service would have to be sure they weren't being given dodgy stolen pics to work on, but I imagine it would be the only option for me.

I finally have a wist!

« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2010 09:37:36 AM »

Yes, it is a tricky topic, and I'm no copyright attorney, but I've sold my digital art and photos online and off (and had my copyrights stolen).  Here are my thoughts on your question:

First of all, you're not intending to make money from the images.  You're restoring them for the people who own them for personal use.  That's a biggie, whether or not you intend to profit from someone else's work or to claim it as your own work

Secondly, if the photographer has gone out of business, I'm doubting he or she will send the copyright police to your door.

If I owned them, I'd scan them to my computer and PhotoShop the watermarks away, then reprint them and use as you suggested, but if you are not capable of doing it yourself, you may not find a digital artist willing to alter someone else's photos, (I wouldn't) so that might be your problem, finding someone willing to do it for you.  Hopefully you have family members who are proficient at PhotoShop. As for whether the photographer himself is responsible for removing the watermarks, that's probably an issue for small claims court.

That's my 2 cents worth. Hope it helps.

Check out my blog! Smiley Thursday's Child
And some of my art.... PBase
« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2010 09:57:32 AM »

Thank you so much for the response.  I think I might take a look and see if I can remove the watermarks in at least some of the photos myself.  I can totally understand other photographers etc not wanting to get involved - how could you prove you were being honest in your intentions?  I've not done MUCH with photoshop before but I guess I lose nothing by giving it a go!

I finally have a wist!

« Reply #3 on: August 04, 2010 04:50:32 PM »

Check online for tutorials on restoring photos; also, it helps to work in layers and save your work often in TIFF format; you can change back to JPEG later if you need to.  It's not rocket science, but it does take patience.  Good luck. Projects like this mean a lot to everyone involved.

Check out my blog! Smiley Thursday's Child
And some of my art.... PBase
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