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  1. #1

    Client accepts free service, but quality is not expected?

    Hi there,

    I have some questions regarding the following.

    Assuming a client has accepted your offer of free service, but to the client's opinion, the quality of the shots are not up to their expectations, will they be able to sue you? Assuming that the shots are meant for high profile events such as weddings, seminars... etc.

    Assuming that you have rendered free service, are the rights to the photos still considered yours?

    If the client has agreed verbally to let you use their photos for your portfolio or perhaps commercial use, but turns tail on you, claiming that you have violated their privacy, are there any ways you could defend yourself?

    Thanks in advance for answering my questions!

  2. #2
    wah piang give free still so demanding? ai pi ai qi ai dua liap ni!!

  3. #3
    I think if free they shouldn't have rights to anything right?

  4. #4
    Thanks for the question; there are in fact quite a lot of issues in that single post!

    It is quite common for services to be provided free of charge. It is also equally common that sometimes, services are provided free of monetary amounts, but may sometimes be done in exchange of other services or benefits or perks. Such examples could be exclusive acess to certain areas, included food/beverages, perhaps sometimes exchange in kind for other products or services.

    Assuming that there the photographer did not derive any benefits or the client has not suffered any detriment, the contract made may not be enforceable for lack of consideration.

    If that is the case, and where the quality of the photos are not up to expectations, the client may have some difficulty in suing the photographer as the contract made may not be enforceable against the photographer!

    In the case of copyright in the works, under Section 30(5) of the Copyright Act, the default position is that copyright will belong to the client. But a key issue in the Copyright Act for such operation to occur is the

    This may possibly go beyond the normal type of consideration as the inclusion of term "valuable" may suggest. However, it should be quite clear that since the work was done for free, and assuming again as before that there are no other benefits/detriments, then Section 30(5) may not be operable. In such a case, copyright will remain with the photographer as provided for under Section 7(1).

    As for the issue of verbal authorisation of usage, such verbal authorisation (apart from the usual difficultes in proving existence, in contrast to written authorisations) can be construed as a grant of a license for you to use the work. In the absence of any other conditions, the license granted may be revoked and hence, the client may at any time, decide to withdraw such permission to use.

    In order to protect yourself, it is suggested that you obtain a written permission from the client, clearly stating that the client grants a license to use the photographs for stated purposes, on stated media/platforms and that such license is non-revocable.

    Hope the above helps in your questions!

  5. #5
    no free lunch in this world!

  6. #6
    written permission, does that need to be signed? by whom?

  7. #7
    Written permission should be issued by the copyright holder, which in that case, is the client.

    Having it signed is of course better, but not having a signature does not mean that it is invalid.

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