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The Holmes Page THE SOAP BOX 1997/10/22



1997/10/22: Copyright of Retouched Photos   I recently had one of my old family photographs "enhanced" by Blacks and now they claim copyright ownership of the enhanced version! 
The old black and white picture was yellowing a bit, so I wanted to clean it up and enlarge it. They scanned it in, altered the contrast, brightness, and color tone, and sharpened it up a little. 
It was a while after I paid for it that I noticed the fine print on the invoice that indicated that they claim ownership of the new image. 
I was blown away. 
I'd have thought that it was a work done for hire. I hire them to perform a service, and they do it. I retain the copyright of everything - source material and resulting material. 
If I had noticed the fine print before paying, I definitely would have refused to pay and I would have insisted that they delete any copies of my picture from their system (and provide me proof that they had done so). 
Is there some kind of conspiracy going on here? Are they assembling a huge collection of images from thousands of unsuspecting people? Am I going to see my photograph somewhere in some advertisement or image library? Oh, sorry, their photograph... 
Perhaps it is possible to ask them to delete the photo from their library. I think not! If so, they would probably want me to pay a large sum to buy back the rights for the image. What is something like that worth? Five hundred dollars? 
They should pay me for the right to use my photograph in their collection.

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