Law and Business Situations
You are a new attorney, and your client, Amy Watson, is looking for legal recommendations to support her in understanding her rights and responsibilities as a photographer and as a business owner.
She would like to use her photographs on her website to showcase her work, but she feels nervous about potentially violating copyright and intellectual property laws. She also wants to make sure she does not violate employee rights if there is an employee who does not want their photograph online. When Amy comes into your office, she brings a copy of her contract with Firm X that was drafted by another attorney she had been working with previously. Below is an excerpt from Amy’s contract with Firm X.
The photographs produced by AW Photography are protected by federal copyright law (all rights reserved). If the client purchased an image DVD, the DVD purchase entitles the client to use the photographs on social media and websites as long as the images remain unaltered and textual credit is explicitly given to AW Photography. AW Photography maintains the right to its photographs, the company website, and social media sites to promote its business.
The photographs taken are individual property of AW Photography. Photographs may not be reproduced in any form, or sold without prior explicit written permission from AW Photography.
Currently, Amy operates her business as a sole proprietorship. She is the owner and has no employees. However, due to the growth of her business, her vision for the future includes potentially hiring someone to help manage day-to-day operations including scheduling, website maintenance, keeping of financial information, and oversight of potential future employees. In addition, she would like to hire two or three photographers so that she can book more photography sessions. Before she moves forward with her growth strategy, she is wondering if her new manager should actually be a business partner, and if her business should operate as a partnership instead of a sole proprietorship.
Amy would like your legal support with business applications as she considers moving her company forward. She travels widely for her business and has recognized a market demand for reasonably priced portrait and event photography. She is typically booked over a year in advance. She believes that there is a good business opportunity to either partner with other photography businesses or open other studios and hire studio managers to run those.
What to Submit
For this project, you will write legal recommendations for your client that address current concerns and support her with answers to business law questions. Your legal recommendations should be 3 to 5 pages in length.
Be sure to include the following header when you submit your legal memo:
TO: Amy Watson
FROM: <Your Name>
DATE: <Date submitted>
RE: AW Photography Response