Industrial. Institutional. Abandoned.

How not to write a photography waiver

Added on by Sean Galbraith.

I was just presented with a photography waiver for an event I was hoping to attend on Sunday. And event promoted for professional photographers, and photographers in general, or just to the general public who is interested in the unique venue. Permission was given to a space that in the past was only available to those would risk getting arrested to get inside.

The restoration corporation that controls access wants to restrict the use of photographs taken in the building, which is reasonable. But to say that the terms of the waiver were overly draconian is an understatement. It is, frankly, offensive and a slap in the face of attendees. Specifically:

1. All photos taken pursuant to this agreement shall become the exclusive property of (the Corporation). (The Corporation) shall be deemed the author of such photos for all purposes, including the registration of copyrights.

2. (The Corporation) hereby grants to Photographer a royalty free license to use the photographs taken by Photographer pursuant to this agreement: (1) on the photographer’s personal or professional websites or social media sites; and (2) to display the Photographer’s work to the public. Any use of the photographs in a manner not permitted by this License is expressly prohibited. 

It was said that they consulted other historic sites and that this was language that they found elsewhere. I have literally photographed in dozens of these kinds of places and signed many waivers over the years, and never ONCE have I been presented with a waiver as overreaching as this one. It is absolutely ridiculous to the point that I'm not sure if I will attend at all.