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Question about rights to pictures

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
I recently left the bakery I was working for to go out on my own in a kitchen I am renting space from. During the time I was there I allowed my pictures that I did before working with them to be used in their portfolio. I have now asked them to be taken out, which they have agreed to do. Now however they are telling me that I cannot use the pictures of the cakes I did while I worked there in my business portfolio. I understand that they can use them (even though they do not have anyone on the skill level as myself to do the same work) since the cakes were done while I was employed there. But can they stop me from using them in my portfolio since they are 100% my work.
Everything inside is eatable, I mean edible, I mean you can eat everything!!!
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Everything inside is eatable, I mean edible, I mean you can eat everything!!!
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post #2 of 26
I would say the pictures are property of the bakery - they were paying you to do work for them, and the cakes went out the door as "Bakery's Cakes", not "Sarah's Cakes", kwim?
post #3 of 26
According to US copyright law, if someone hires you to make something, the person who hired you owns the copyright to what you made (unless your contract specifically states otherwise).

http://copyright.gov/title17/92chap2.html
post #4 of 26
Thread Starter 
Okay...I should say I had an ownership interest in the bakery (and still technically do and am just working out the buyout). Does that make a difference?
Everything inside is eatable, I mean edible, I mean you can eat everything!!!
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Everything inside is eatable, I mean edible, I mean you can eat everything!!!
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post #5 of 26
I, too, agree that the bakery has the rights to those photos--as long as you made them as part of your employment using their materials and were paid for you time.

If the photos are of work that you did using your own materials, on your own time, and the bakery didn't commission/pay/reimburse you for the time and materials, then you own the photos and have every right to ask the bakery to take them out of their portfolio.

Rae
I love you, but your emergency is not my crisis!

They say that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, but it is not one half so bad as a lot of ignorance.--Terry Pratchett (b.194
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I love you, but your emergency is not my crisis!

They say that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, but it is not one half so bad as a lot of ignorance.--Terry Pratchett (b.194
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post #6 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by sarahnichole975

Okay...I should say I had an ownership interest in the bakery (and still technically do and am just working out the buyout). Does that make a difference?


That's an interesting question. The copyright owner would still be the bakery business entity, but since you had part ownership in the business you may have a legal non-exclusive right to the pictures.

The question is how far do you want to go with this (hiring an IP lawyer could be expensive), and how important your existing relationship with the bakery is.
post #7 of 26
If it were me and I felt strongly about being able to use the photos of MY work, I'd make it a condition of the buyout.

Rae
I love you, but your emergency is not my crisis!

They say that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, but it is not one half so bad as a lot of ignorance.--Terry Pratchett (b.194
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I love you, but your emergency is not my crisis!

They say that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, but it is not one half so bad as a lot of ignorance.--Terry Pratchett (b.194
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post #8 of 26
Thread Starter 
Ah...very good advice, I will definitely do that! As far as the continued relationship...I have no desire for one.
Everything inside is eatable, I mean edible, I mean you can eat everything!!!
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Everything inside is eatable, I mean edible, I mean you can eat everything!!!
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post #9 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by sarahnichole975

As far as the continued relationship...I have no desire for one.


If that's the case then I would politely decline their request to refrain from using the pictures in your business portfolio, or just don't mention it at all and use the pictures anyway.

But if there is something in your contract like a noncompete or a waiver of ownership rights then that would need to be negotiated as part of the buyout deal.
post #10 of 26
Thread Starter 
There is nothing about noncompete or waiver of ownership rights...as a matter of fact...the only contract I have is the one that shows my obtaining ownership. There is no contingency on any continued employment. It just states that there were a transfers of ownership interests and the dates that they occur.

These were easily the most horrific people ever to work for. I have seen them back stab and screw every employee in my time there.

Who opens a bakery with very little knowledge about it? Especially with the focus on cakes knowing they can't even properly ice a cake!

Since accepting the head position and "partnership" (which essentially meant "here now we'll work you to death for a salary of $560 a week and constantly hold this "partnership" over your head) I have rarely worked less than 45 hours in a week...and more often times in excess of 50 or 60 hours...with no compensation for overtime...even had my salary deducted for Thanksgiving day...only just hoping the whole time that it would eventually get better. This was a full service bakery and we did between $2500-$4500 a week of just cake orders, not including pastries...and I was the work horse for them for it all. For the majority of the time I have been the only skilled decorator. I was constantly yelled at when I did temporarily have an assistant and she got overtime (because she was hourly). The owners daughter worked in the kitchen as well about 30 hours a week (with constant smoke breaks and nice lunch breaks). And on top of it, I kept side work just to make ends meet because of my crappy salary. I basically never had any time for my children and have lived in a constant state of exhaustion. Then the opportunity was presented for me to get out on my own and rent space in a catering company's kitchen...so I took it. Some of my best work and favorite cakes have been done there and I want to be able to show my skill level as I promote my business.

I'm sure some people will say that they were nice enough to give me part of the company...but it's because I'm the 3rd head since they opened (2 years ago) and they wanted a way to know they were going to keep someone there. Unfortunately for them, they didn't make me sign a contract. (Thank GOD!) I was told that I was added to the LLC, but recently found out that I could search and see the members...and when I did...only the original owner is on it...so I was lied to. I was told I would be given bonuses if I worked excess overtime. I was even recently told in a meeting that there was no way I could have been working much more than 30 hours the last few weeks....(try 45, 57, and another 45 my last 3 weeks.) And again...all for a HUGE Salary of $560/week....
Everything inside is eatable, I mean edible, I mean you can eat everything!!!
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Everything inside is eatable, I mean edible, I mean you can eat everything!!!
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post #11 of 26
If all that is true (and you have documentation) I would talk to a labor attorney ASAP, those are some serious violations and they could end up owing you quite a bit of money.

Then after they pay you, contact the dept of health, state dept of revenue, and IRS for good measure.
post #12 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft

If all that is true (and you have documentation) I would talk to a labor attorney ASAP, those are some serious violations and they could end up owing you quite a bit of money.

Then after they pay you, contact the dept of health, state dept of revenue, and IRS for good measure.



In CA those are violations. Other states, not so much. Even in a 60 hour work week, the OP was still being paid more than minimum wage.
post #13 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas_Rose

Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft

If all that is true (and you have documentation) I would talk to a labor attorney ASAP, those are some serious violations and they could end up owing you quite a bit of money.

Then after they pay you, contact the dept of health, state dept of revenue, and IRS for good measure.



In CA those are violations. Other states, not so much. Even in a 60 hour work week, the OP was still being paid more than minimum wage.


Federal law still applies. From the Fair Labor Standards Act:

An employer must pay a non-exempt employee a minimum of 1-1/2 times their base wage rate
for all hours worked over 40 in a workweek.

http://www.employmentlawhandbook.com/FLSA.html
post #14 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft

Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas_Rose

Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft

If all that is true (and you have documentation) I would talk to a labor attorney ASAP, those are some serious violations and they could end up owing you quite a bit of money.

Then after they pay you, contact the dept of health, state dept of revenue, and IRS for good measure.



In CA those are violations. Other states, not so much. Even in a 60 hour work week, the OP was still being paid more than minimum wage.


Federal law still applies. From the Fair Labor Standards Act:

An employer must pay a non-exempt employee a minimum of 1-1/2 times their base wage rate
for all hours worked over 40 in a workweek.

http://www.employmentlawhandbook.com/FLSA.html



Doesn't apply for salaried employees. I know from experience. I worked 70-80 hours a week on salary and I called the state labor board (in TX) and asked if that was legal for my employer to require it. They said that it was legal, and that I always had the option to quit if I didn't want to work that many hours, or to ask for a raise if I didn't feel I was making enough.

And even places that pay hourly can get around paying time and a half for overtime...my husband works 52 hours most weeks and doesn't get time and a half for his extra hours. It's completely legal the way his company does it. They pay their drivers/messengers time and a half for OT hours in California because they have to but they don't have to in other states.

The fact that her employer made her a part-owner would further complicate things too, as far as any legal action and trying to get back pay for the extra hours worked.
post #15 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft

Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas_Rose

Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft

If all that is true (and you have documentation) I would talk to a labor attorney ASAP, those are some serious violations and they could end up owing you quite a bit of money.

Then after they pay you, contact the dept of health, state dept of revenue, and IRS for good measure.



In CA those are violations. Other states, not so much. Even in a 60 hour work week, the OP was still being paid more than minimum wage.


Federal law still applies. From the Fair Labor Standards Act:

An employer must pay a non-exempt employee a minimum of 1-1/2 times their base wage rate
for all hours worked over 40 in a workweek.

http://www.employmentlawhandbook.com/FLSA.html



Did you not read the part where the OP stated she received a weekly salary of $560 a week? She therefore was not a non-exempt employee, per the link you posted. And as Texas posted a salary of $560 per week is still more than hourly plus time and a half for a 60 hour week. While I am not saying that is sufficient compensation for the work, it is more than what would be required even if the OP was a non-exempt employee. There is no violation and your advice to seek a labor lawyer is frankly useless.
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