xpfg
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No Photo Sales Of Alaska Airlines Aircraft?

Fri Mar 09, 2007 6:13 am

Well, I just got this e-mail, and find it somewhat twisted. I know Johan tried, but is it really within Alaska's right to say who can and can't sell their own photos?

Here is the email:

"I am sorry to say that Airliners.net has been contacted by Alaska Airlines
and Horizon Air requesting that we remove all photos of their aircraft from
our photo print sales section. I initially refused but they then contacted
Photobox, the UK based company that handles the printing and shipping for
us and they were not as willing to fight this as I am.

Therefore, all photos showing an Alaska Airlines or Horizon Air aircraft
have been removed from the print sales section. They are still in our
photo database but the ability to buy a print of them has been removed.

You are receiving this email because one or more of your photos were
effected by this change. I am very sorry for the inconvenience.

Best Regards,
Johan Lundgren
Airliners.net
http://www.airliners.net"
 
domokun
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RE: No Photo Sales Of Alaska Airlines Aircraft?

Fri Mar 09, 2007 6:15 am

I just got this email as well.

I am going to ask Alaska to provide a legal basis for their request. The best I can figure, they were in a public place when the photos were taken. I cannot see how any privacy laws would protect their claim.
 
EK20
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RE: No Photo Sales Of Alaska Airlines Aircraft?

Fri Mar 09, 2007 6:22 am

Quoting Xpfg (Thread starter):
is it really within Alaska's right to say who can and can't sell their own photos?

It seems like a harsh reaction but I guess so. It's no different to say, taking the photo of a pilot. Without that pilot's permission then you don't really have the right to sell a photo of them. The difficulty here is that you are taking pictures from a public place. However, it's still their property. But I guess we would never see a photo of Britney Spears in the news if this was ever enforced by the law.

Difficult subject. Personally, I feel they are over-reacting but what can you do? Are you prepared to test the law?
 Confused
 
domokun
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RE: No Photo Sales Of Alaska Airlines Aircraft?

Fri Mar 09, 2007 6:22 am

I wish I could get some contact information for Alaska. I really don't want to call them and I would love to know who specifically would be best to contact...
 
domokun
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RE: No Photo Sales Of Alaska Airlines Aircraft?

Fri Mar 09, 2007 6:24 am

Quoting EK20 (Reply 2):
However, it's still their property.

... Their property which they actively put into a public place. Also, it is not like a 739 is a celebrity which can be the target of harassment or undue media attention.
 
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clickhappy
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RE: No Photo Sales Of Alaska Airlines Aircraft?

Fri Mar 09, 2007 6:31 am

I believe they can make a legitimate case by saying that you are profiting from their copyrights, IE logo, and that would be in their right. There has been talk of this for a while, look for more airlines to follow suit.

And don't confuse a photo being run in the press as being the same thing as selling prints of a photo.

Royal
 
domokun
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RE: No Photo Sales Of Alaska Airlines Aircraft?

Fri Mar 09, 2007 6:35 am

Quoting Clickhappy (Reply 5):
profiting from their copyrights

I think that would hedge on intent. The photos are not designed to rip-off their trademark; rather, the photograph has artistic merit.
 
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clickhappy
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RE: No Photo Sales Of Alaska Airlines Aircraft?

Fri Mar 09, 2007 6:38 am

such an argument could probably be made for a 'one-off,' but not if you are mass producing...
 
D L X
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RE: No Photo Sales Of Alaska Airlines Aircraft?

Fri Mar 09, 2007 6:38 am

Quoting EK20 (Reply 2):
Without that pilot's permission then you don't really have the right to sell a photo of them.

This isn't the law. At least, it is not the law in the US.

Quoting EK20 (Reply 2):
However, it's still their property.

The plane is their property. The photograph of the plane is certainly not their property. The copyright belongs solely to the photographer that took the photo, unless he assigns ownership in whole or in part to a third party.


I just sold a print of an Alaska Airlines jet to an Alaska Airlines pilot, btw.
 
domokun
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RE: No Photo Sales Of Alaska Airlines Aircraft?

Fri Mar 09, 2007 6:44 am

Quoting Clickhappy (Reply 7):
such an argument could probably be made for a 'one-off,' but not if you are mass producing...

That is the thing, it is a per-print sale. It is not like anyone has gone down to Costco and printed out 10,000 photographs to sell on the street.  Smile
 
D L X
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RE: No Photo Sales Of Alaska Airlines Aircraft?

Fri Mar 09, 2007 6:46 am

There are cases in copyright textbooks that discuss this. When I get home from work, I'll look them up. I'm pretty sure this is slam dunk.

People have tried to argue copyright infringement against photographers who have taken photographs of people, buildings, and other objects in public. These arguments have been shot down.
 
domokun
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RE: No Photo Sales Of Alaska Airlines Aircraft?

Fri Mar 09, 2007 6:50 am

Quoting D L X (Reply 10):
People have tried to argue copyright infringement against photographers who have taken photographs of people, buildings, and other objects in public. These arguments have been shot down.

For what it's worth, I wrote a very polite email to the Seattle PI earlier.
 
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clickhappy
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RE: No Photo Sales Of Alaska Airlines Aircraft?

Fri Mar 09, 2007 6:52 am

http://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap13.html

Here is the part that gives you the right to take a picture of (as an example) an Alaska Airlines jet

(e) Infringing Article Defined. - As used in this section, an "infringing article" is any article the design of which has been copied from a design protected under this chapter, without the consent of the owner of the protected design. An infringing article is not an illustration or picture of a protected design in an advertisement, book, periodical, newspaper, photograph, broadcast, motion picture, or similar medium. A design shall not be deemed to have been copied from a protected design if it is original and not substantially similar in appearance to a protected design.

IE you can take a photo.

But, you can't manufacturer it...

(a) Acts of Infringement. - Except as provided in subsection (b), it shall be infringement of the exclusive rights in a design protected under this chapter for any person, without the consent of the owner of the design, within the United States and during the term of such protection, to -

(1) make, have made, or import, for sale or for use in trade, any infringing article as defined in subsection (e); or

(2) sell or distribute for sale or for use in trade any such infringing article.
 
locsta
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RE: No Photo Sales Of Alaska Airlines Aircraft?

Fri Mar 09, 2007 6:52 am

I was told that airline shots can't be used as stock photography because of copyright infringements due to logo's.
Missed 4 chasing 1
 
xpfg
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RE: No Photo Sales Of Alaska Airlines Aircraft?

Fri Mar 09, 2007 6:52 am

Quoting Clickhappy (Reply 5):
I believe they can make a legitimate case by saying that you are profiting from their copyrights, IE logo, and that would be in their right. There has been talk of this for a while, look for more airlines to follow suit.

Firstly, it's not like sales on here are worth making a living off of. Sales produce more cash through magazine sales on here than they do in an overall sell amount for any one photo. I've been here for 3 years now, and am barely about to make the $50 mark for a.net photo sales. Magazine sales on the other hand...that's a different story.

We are technically a form of media...artistic or not, and hobby or not. How we utilize it (sales or not) may vary. I guess I just really don't see where AS is coming from, or any airline for that matter. There's no grounds here, and as said, many cases that have gone to court or been argued have pretty much always gone in favor of the photographer.

I'm not a genius, but I'm pretty sure I understand the law in this matter. I've read up on this stuff a lot mainly due to the 9/11 aftermath of thoughts regarding legal vs. not for taking airline photos, etc.

[Edited 2007-03-08 22:57:09]
 
xpfg
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RE: No Photo Sales Of Alaska Airlines Aircraft?

Fri Mar 09, 2007 6:56 am

Quoting Clickhappy (Reply 12):
http://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap13.html

Here is the part that gives you the right to take a picture of (as an example) an Alaska Airlines jet

(e) Infringing Article Defined. - As used in this section, an "infringing article" is any article the design of which has been copied from a design protected under this chapter, without the consent of the owner of the protected design. An infringing article is not an illustration or picture of a protected design in an advertisement, book, periodical, newspaper, photograph, broadcast, motion picture, or similar medium. A design shall not be deemed to have been copied from a protected design if it is original and not substantially similar in appearance to a protected design.

IE you can take a photo.

But, you can't manufacturer it...

(a) Acts of Infringement. - Except as provided in subsection (b), it shall be infringement of the exclusive rights in a design protected under this chapter for any person, without the consent of the owner of the design, within the United States and during the term of such protection, to -

(1) make, have made, or import, for sale or for use in trade, any infringing article as defined in subsection (e); or

(2) sell or distribute for sale or for use in trade any such infringing article.

So are you saying that pretty much every sale we ever make to a magazine is deemed an infringement? Something seems fishy, and too simple there. If that was the case, I think the magazine publishers would be a bit more hesitant.
 
EK20
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RE: No Photo Sales Of Alaska Airlines Aircraft?

Fri Mar 09, 2007 7:01 am

Quoting Clickhappy (Reply 5):
don't confuse a photo being run in the press as being the same thing as selling prints of a photo.

It's exactly the same as far as I'm concerned since I have had photo's from this site sold to the press.
I can't really see how airlines can do this. The more worrying concern I see is people not declaring their earnings from any photo sales and therefore not paying tax on them but that all depends on how many you sell. But for most of us this is just a hobby not a career. The amount of photo's we sell hardly covers a cup of tea at the airport!
 
Kukkudrill
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RE: No Photo Sales Of Alaska Airlines Aircraft?

Fri Mar 09, 2007 7:02 am

Quoting Clickhappy (Reply 12):
But, you can't manufacturer it...

(a) Acts of Infringement. - Except as provided in subsection (b), it shall be infringement of the exclusive rights in a design protected under this chapter for any person, without the consent of the owner of the design, within the United States and during the term of such protection, to -

(1) make, have made, or import, for sale or for use in trade, any infringing article as defined in subsection (e); or

(2) sell or distribute for sale or for use in trade any such infringing article.

Not sure I get your drift. If you're saying you can take photos but not reproduce them, that's not my interpretation. If a photo does not count as an infringing article, then this passage simply does not apply to photos.
Make the most of the available light ... a lesson of photography that applies to life
 
domokun
Posts: 196
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RE: No Photo Sales Of Alaska Airlines Aircraft?

Fri Mar 09, 2007 7:03 am

Quoting Clickhappy (Reply 12):
But, you can't manufacturer it...

(a) Acts of Infringement. - Except as provided in subsection (b), it shall be infringement of the exclusive rights in a design protected under this chapter for any person, without the consent of the owner of the design, within the United States and during the term of such protection, to -

(1) make, have made, or import, for sale or for use in trade, any infringing article as defined in subsection (e); or

(2) sell or distribute for sale or for use in trade any such infringing article.

I really don't see how that applies. None of us manufactured an article in its original form or in whole. We did not get a plane and slap an AS logo on it.

By the way, photographs ARE protected:

Quote:

e) Infringing Article Defined. - As used in this section, an "infringing article" is any article the design of which has been copied from a design protected under this chapter, without the consent of the owner of the protected design. An infringing article is not an illustration or picture of a protected design in an advertisement, book, periodical, newspaper, photograph, broadcast, motion picture, or similar medium. A design shall not be deemed to have been copied from a protected design if it is original and not substantially similar in appearance to a protected design.
 
domokun
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RE: No Photo Sales Of Alaska Airlines Aircraft?

Fri Mar 09, 2007 7:06 am

Quoting EK20 (Reply 16):
It's exactly the same as far as I'm concerned since I have had photo's from this site sold to the press.
I can't really see how airlines can do this. The more worrying concern I see is people not declaring their earnings from any photo sales and therefore not paying tax on them but that all depends on how many you sell. But for most of us this is just a hobby not a career. The amount of photo's we sell hardly covers a cup of tea at the airport!

As I quoted above, see § 1309(e).

By the way, "§ 1321. Remedy for infringement" empowers everyone with an AS photo for past sale with courses of remedy.
 
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clickhappy
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RE: No Photo Sales Of Alaska Airlines Aircraft?

Fri Mar 09, 2007 7:07 am

Well. first of all, I am not saying anything...the government is. And Alaska, or any other copyright holder, is simply asking that we follow the law(s). A photo, be it on a website or a magazine, isn't going to catch the wrath of a company, after all, it is advertising. But, when you take a photo, and mass produce it, some companies, Alaska in this case, feels that crosses the line.

There have been plane owners that have contacted this website and had photos of their stuff pulled off, due to copyright laws.
 
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clickhappy
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RE: No Photo Sales Of Alaska Airlines Aircraft?

Fri Mar 09, 2007 7:14 am

the use of the word "article" means something tangible, not a press story  Smile

A photograph is protected. That is why Alaska hasn't said "Remove photos of all Alaska Airlines from your website" but when a copy of said photo is made, you are selling a "copy" not a "photo" therefore it is not protected.
 
domokun
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RE: No Photo Sales Of Alaska Airlines Aircraft?

Fri Mar 09, 2007 7:19 am

Quoting Clickhappy (Reply 20):
But, when you take a photo, and mass produce it, some companies, Alaska in this case, feels that crosses the line.



Quoting Clickhappy (Reply 20):
There have been plane owners that have contacted this website and had photos of their stuff pulled off, due to copyright laws.

One's interpretations of the law is a far cry from how the law can actually be applied.

If you re-read section (e) though, I am still very confidant that a photo, even for sale, is not an "infringing article" which means the aforementioned sections would not apply.
 
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clickhappy
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RE: No Photo Sales Of Alaska Airlines Aircraft?

Fri Mar 09, 2007 7:28 am

Well, read the first chapter, it will set you straight:

http://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap1.html

Can't really see what the big deal is, but if it is important to you why not hire a copyright lawyer?
 
xpfg
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RE: No Photo Sales Of Alaska Airlines Aircraft?

Fri Mar 09, 2007 7:50 am

Quoting Clickhappy (Reply 23):

Can't really see what the big deal is, but if it is important to you why not hire a copyright lawyer?

It's not necessary, that's why. However, if this continues to persist from other airlines, as you yourself has stated, I want to know who is in the right and who is in the wrong. Let's not have a piss fest....just mutual understanding and see if we can't all come to a decent conclusion.

I understand it one way, but then, Clickhappy, your post counteracts what I initially thought was the law. Other people on here may be able to interpret what applies to us and what doesn't in these situations better than myself or others and just straight forwardly dashing for some lawyer.

Knowledge, after all, isn't a bad thing to have you know.

[Edited 2007-03-08 23:52:41]
 
D L X
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RE: No Photo Sales Of Alaska Airlines Aircraft?

Fri Mar 09, 2007 8:02 am

Quoting Clickhappy (Reply 21):
you are selling a "copy" not a "photo" therefore it is not protected.

A copy of aphoto is a photo. You own the copyright on the photo you authored (took). The word copyright actually comes from "having the right to copy." So if it's your photo, and the photo doesn't infringe (which it doesn't), then the copy doesn't infringe either.

Now a copy of the decal that goes on the plane is another story. The decal is protected, and so is a copy of it. Fortunately, that's not what is being sold here.
 
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Ryan h
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RE: No Photo Sales Of Alaska Airlines Aircraft?

Fri Mar 09, 2007 8:02 am

Quoting EK20 (Reply 2):
Difficult subject. Personally, I feel they are over-reacting but what can you do? Are you prepared to test the law?

An easier thing to do is everyone on anet vows to boycott airlines that over react in this way.

What is the difference of having the photos in the database and not allowing a print to be made? If you want a print of the pic you can still contact the photographer and ask if it is alright to get the shot printed.
South Australian Spotter www.ryanhothersall.net
 
D L X
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RE: No Photo Sales Of Alaska Airlines Aircraft?

Fri Mar 09, 2007 8:12 am

Quoting Ryan h (Reply 26):
An easier thing to do is everyone on anet vows to boycott airlines that over react in this way.

I'm not sure that's easier...

Bottom line is that the US courts would not allow companies to assert copyright protection against photographers taking scenes of public activity. Doing so would virtually shut down all photography because someone could complain that their logo appeared on the shirt of a dude posing in an ad that was displayed on a city bus driving through the city in the background of someone's photograph. Sounds absurd because it IS absurd. Copyright is the most malleable form of intellectual property law because of the avoidance of such absurdity.


Another couple resources:
http://www.photosecrets.com/tips.law.html
http://photography.about.com/od/lega...Legal_Issues_for_Photographers.htm

[Edited 2007-03-09 00:19:14]
 
xpfg
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RE: No Photo Sales Of Alaska Airlines Aircraft?

Fri Mar 09, 2007 8:37 am

The way that I read the statements from Clickhappy, is that it applies to original content. IE, a logo. So, a photo that I took is an original that I TAKE, and adds value to something, as the photo never existed prior to me taking the actual photo. If someone were to take my photo, or I took someone's photo and made it my own, that would be infringement.
 
domokun
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RE: No Photo Sales Of Alaska Airlines Aircraft?

Fri Mar 09, 2007 8:50 am

Quoting Xpfg (Reply 28):
The way that I read the statements from Clickhappy, is that it applies to original content. IE, a logo. So, a photo that I took is an original that I TAKE, and adds value to something, as the photo never existed prior to me taking the actual photo. If someone were to take my photo, or I took someone's photo and made it my own, that would be infringement.

That is how I interpreted it as well.

Quoting Clickhappy (Reply 23):
Can't really see what the big deal is, but if it is important to you why not hire a copyright lawyer?

I would advocate that nobody let someone walk all over them just because something seems permissible.

Quote:

§ 106. Exclusive rights in copyrighted works

Subject to sections 107 through 122, the owner of copyright under this title has the exclusive rights to do and to authorize any of the following:

(1) to reproduce the copyrighted work in copies or phonorecords;

(2) to prepare derivative works based upon the copyrighted work;

(3) to distribute copies or phonorecords of the copyrighted work to the public by sale or other transfer of ownership, or by rental, lease, or lending;
 
JeffM
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RE: No Photo Sales Of Alaska Airlines Aircraft?

Fri Mar 09, 2007 9:12 am

Put it into perspective this way....

Take a photograph of a can of Coke, try and sell it, or use the image on some t-shirts, etc. Coke won't like it, and will be in touch. It is the same for a company's logo, and in this example, it happens to be Alaska Airlines.
 
CalgaryBill
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RE: No Photo Sales Of Alaska Airlines Aircraft?

Fri Mar 09, 2007 9:14 am

There seems to be a lot of confusion about copyright law here, but Royal has pretty much nailed it. I've been involved in protecting copyright both as a photographer and as the corporate "protector" of a logo. Canada and the US are pretty similar in their copyright law, so any nuances in my description are based on my Canadian experiences.

The right of use of photo's by a photographer is based on editorial use. Editorial, newsworthy use is allowed because it's generally deemed that public interest in a newsworthy event overcomes a corporation's concerns about its privacy.

Selling photo's is a completely different story, but it's not as arbitrary as some airlines would like us to think. The whole point of copyright is to protect the copyright owner from two things: misuse of their image, and from someone else profiting from an image they built. So generally speaking, you can sell a photograph of an airplane if you believe that picture would look just as good no matter whose logo is on the tail. But if the specific plane is what makes the image appealing, the airline probably has a claim. Courts will look at the logo in an image and try to determine whether it's a predominant part of the image. If it is, you could lose.

Quoting EK20 (Reply 2):
However, it's still their property. But I guess we would never see a photo of Britney Spears in the news if this was ever enforced by the law.

Again, newsworthy, editorial use of an image is allowed. Printing posters and selling them is infringing on Britney's image and taking away money she could make selling pictures of herself. If you get a silhouette shot of her walking along the beach and she's unidentifiable, sell to your heart's content. Similarly, a shot of a plane for a news article has editorial priviledge, but selling the same photo for use in an advertisement in that same magazine could constitute infringement.

Quoting Ryan h (Reply 26):
What is the difference of having the photos in the database and not allowing a print to be made? If you want a print of the pic you can still contact the photographer and ask if it is alright to get the shot printed.

Having the print in the database doesn't take money out of Alaska Airlines' pocket, selling the print does. Theoretically, if you don't sell a picture to someone and they really want it, they'll call Alaska and buy one from them. Not likely in real life, but if Alaska finds out and takes you to court, they would probably get damages (usually your profit plus punitive damages).

Quoting D L X (Reply 27):
Bottom line is that the US courts would not allow companies to assert copyright protection against photographers taking scenes of public activity.

Not so true anymore. A recent photo contest got a photographer in trouble (and in fines). He shot a street scene with a girl sitting on the front steps of a row house. He only entered it in a contest, didn't even try to sell it. But the contest winners were published in a magazine, her friends pointed it out and she pressed charges. The photographer lost on the grounds that publishing the image infringed on her right to anonimity. In recent years companies have also won judgements against photographers for selling pictures of recognizable buildings or buildings with logo's on them.

Quoting D L X (Reply 25):
Now a copy of the decal that goes on the plane is another story. The decal is protected, and so is a copy of it. Fortunately, that's not what is being sold here.

If that logo (or decal or whatever you want to call it) is visible in the photo, then that logo has been reproduced (if you don't think that's infringement, then you won't mind if I take a picture of one of your pictures and sell it myself?). If it's sold, the airline could press charges for infringement, or go to civil court seeking damages. As I mentioned above, if the image would look just as good with a different plane, you might win. But if their very expensive legal team can convince a judge or jury that the logo is what makes that picture so sellable, it's gonna hurt. Since they have lawyers on staff full time, it doesn't hurt them a bit to sit in court for days or weeks beating up a little guy. If a subpeona arrives at your door stating that you owe an airline $500,000 in damages you're not going to haggle your way out of it - you'll need just as good of legal team as they have and, I don't know about you, but I couldn't afford it.

In the legal sense this is just my opinion, but it's based on real world experiences including both personal photo sales, and logo infringement against my company.

B
 
TransIsland
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RE: No Photo Sales Of Alaska Airlines Aircraft?

Fri Mar 09, 2007 9:58 am

Quoting JeffM (Reply 30):
Take a photograph of a can of Coke, try and sell it, or use the image on some t-shirts, etc. Coke won't like it, and will be in touch. It is the same for a company's logo, and in this example, it happens to be Alaska Airlines.

Doesn't it also depend on whether or not the logo is the main object of the photo (which is why Johan has outlawed close-ups of them) or whether it happens to be in the picture because it's painted on the bird you're shooting?

Furthermore, which country's (countries') copyright law(s) applies/apply? Where the photo was taken (in this case prolly US)? Where a.net is hosted (Sweden)? Where the photo sales are handled (UK)??
I'm an aviation expert. I have Sky Juice for breakfast.
 
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clickhappy
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RE: No Photo Sales Of Alaska Airlines Aircraft?

Fri Mar 09, 2007 12:03 pm

Because Photobox knows more about this than any of us, and they know Alaska is right.

This isn't criminal law, it would be a civil matter, and Alaska would kick your ass so fast in civil court you wouldn't even have time to ask for a reach around.

The first step is always a cease and desist. If you ignore that you will be in court in a matter of days.
 
graphic
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RE: No Photo Sales Of Alaska Airlines Aircraft?

Fri Mar 09, 2007 12:21 pm

Quoting JeffM (Reply 30):
Take a photograph of a can of Coke, try and sell it, or use the image on some t-shirts, etc. Coke won't like it, and will be in touch. It is the same for a company's logo, and in this example, it happens to be Alaska Airlines.

Wasn't a case involving the painting of a Coca Cola stand as part of an overall racetrack scene the case that wrote this whole set of copyright law? I believe the decision they came to was "incidental."
Demand Media fails at life
 
D L X
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RE: No Photo Sales Of Alaska Airlines Aircraft?

Fri Mar 09, 2007 1:11 pm

Quoting CalgaryBill (Reply 31):
The photographer lost on the grounds that publishing the image infringed on her right to anonimity.

1) That would be overturned on appeal, as you have no right to anonymity when photographed in a public place.
2) That is not copyright law.

Quoting CalgaryBill (Reply 31):
In recent years companies have also won judgements against photographers for selling pictures of recognizable buildings or buildings with logo's on them.

Absolutely NOT. The law is extremely clear on this: if you are a building, you are photographable. The only situations in which you are not photographable is if you manage to convince a judge that it is not architecture, but rather sculture. This is crystal clear, set in stone law.

Quoting CalgaryBill (Reply 31):
If that logo (or decal or whatever you want to call it) is visible in the photo, then that logo has been reproduced

Reproduction does not necessarily mean infringement. Read on:

Quoting CalgaryBill (Reply 31):
if you don't think that's infringement, then you won't mind if I take a picture of one of your pictures and sell it myself?).

That's a completely different story. In this example, you're actually copying my work. The analogy to my scenario (and all the photos on this site) would be you taking a picture of ME holding a print of my photograph. The fact that I'm holding a print does not mean you're making a copy of the print by photographing me in it. The operative terms the courts will use ask if the duplicator is making a "slavish copy," where the final result appears as the same form as the original.

Quoting CalgaryBill (Reply 31):
But if their very expensive legal team can convince a judge or jury that the logo is what makes that picture so sellable, it's gonna hurt.

But American law takes this into account also. Normally, American law says "you pay for your lawyers, and I'll pay for mine." But in Copyright Law, the rule is basically loser pays. So, if you're a big bad corporation with expensive lawyers working for you, you still have to actually have the better case. You can't just bully people into settling as easily.

Quoting CalgaryBill (Reply 31):
If a subpeona arrives at your door stating that you owe an airline $500,000 in damages you're not going to haggle your way out of it - you'll need just as good of legal team as they have and, I don't know about you, but I couldn't afford it.

That's just not a good characterization of copyright law, man. If an airline came to me and said I owe them $500k for a photo I took, I'd tell them to go pound sand, and remind them of the sanctions I'd seek for vexatious litigation.

Quoting TransIsland (Reply 32):
Doesn't it also depend on whether or not the logo is the main object of the photo

Yes. This is one of the factors.

Quoting TransIsland (Reply 32):
Furthermore, which country's (countries') copyright law(s) applies/apply?

American copyright law can prevent the importation of infringing articles into the United States. It cannot prevent the copying of materials done outside the country. (Hence the piracy problem in Asia.)

Quoting Clickhappy (Reply 33):
Because Photobox knows more about this than any of us, and they know Alaska is right.

Except that Photobox does not know more about this than some of us (who happen to be intellectual property attorneys), and Alaska is not right.

Quoting Clickhappy (Reply 33):
The first step is always a cease and desist. If you ignore that you will be in court in a matter of days.

Royal, this is completely and totally false. Every lawyer knows that getting into federal court (where all copyright matters are heard) takes months. You are right about the cease and desist letter. This is the way most companies get uninformed defendants to simply do as they say because they're afraid of a lawsuit.
 
domokun
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RE: No Photo Sales Of Alaska Airlines Aircraft?

Fri Mar 09, 2007 1:18 pm

Quoting CalgaryBill (Reply 31):
Again, newsworthy, editorial use of an image is allowed. Printing posters and selling them is infringing on Britney's image and taking away money she could make selling pictures of herself. If you get a silhouette shot of her walking along the beach and she's unidentifiable, sell to your heart's content. Similarly, a shot of a plane for a news article has editorial privilege, but selling the same photo for use in an advertisement in that same magazine could constitute infringement.

This is the Right of Publicity and is not really on the same legal plane, IMHO.

Quoting Clickhappy (Reply 33):
The first step is always a cease and desist. If you ignore that you will be in court in a matter of days.

By bowing into the pressure, I would think most airlines will follow suit. Anyone can file a civil suit; it does not guarantee success.

In any case, the whole reason for protecting a trademark, in this case, would be because a brand has certain qualities associated with it. In this case, Alaska would argue that they need to defend the quality of their mark. From the court cases I have read in the past, as long as the use of a mark in a work is accurate, there is no infringement. I am sure they could make an argument that there would be confusion somehow; I am not sure this would pan out.

Quoting CalgaryBill (Reply 31):
The right of use of photo's by a photographer is based on editorial use. Editorial, newsworthy use is allowed because it's generally deemed that public interest in a newsworthy event overcomes a corporation's concerns about its privacy.

While it is a form of editorial use to some, I suppose, you also can use an approximation in satire use.
 
mikephotos
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RE: No Photo Sales Of Alaska Airlines Aircraft?

Fri Mar 09, 2007 1:23 pm

People are mixing things up here. To put it simply, AS has no problem with the actual taking of the image and the image being copyrighted by the photographer. It's when you sell that image of the AS aircraft/logo on a t-shirt, shorts, underwear (or whatever else was being offered here) comes the problem. AS is 100% correct in that case. If the image is sold/used for editorial uses (in most cases), it's allowable.

Mike
 
D L X
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RE: No Photo Sales Of Alaska Airlines Aircraft?

Fri Mar 09, 2007 1:42 pm

Quoting Mikephotos (Reply 37):
To put it simply, AS has no problem with the actual taking of the image and the image being copyrighted by the photographer.

That can't be true. If AS has no problem with photographers having the copyright, then they implicitly have no problem with those photographers selling their wares. One of the exclusive rights a copyright-holder has is the right to distribute as he pleases to the exclusion of others.

AS is 100% wrong in this case.


Here is the pertinent copyright law section: FAIR USE

Quote:

§ 107. Limitations on exclusive rights: Fair use38
Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 106 and 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright. In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include —

(1) the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;

(2) the nature of the copyrighted work;

(3) the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and

(4) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

The fact that a work is unpublished shall not itself bar a finding of fair use if such finding is made upon consideration of all the above factors.

Focus in on the third prong. Is the logo on the plane the most important part of the photo? Absolutely not. Is it the most significant part of the photo? Absolutely not. (You should also know that the typeset of the name of the airline is not copywritable. We're basically talking about the United Tulip or the Delta Widget or the US Airways flag.)

This is why you can't take a picture of just the logo. That the logo is the subject of the photo makes it infringing. If the *plane* or the *setting* is the subject of the photo, you're not infringing.

Photobox is wrong. Alaska is wrong.
 
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clickhappy
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RE: No Photo Sales Of Alaska Airlines Aircraft?

Fri Mar 09, 2007 3:37 pm

No building built after (going from memory here) after 1991 is public domain, and therefore cannot be photographed. And the name of the airline isn't protected by copyright, but the way it is designed is. Take for instance the design for the word Alaska as used by Alaska Airlines.

At any rate, who cares?
 
CalgaryBill
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RE: No Photo Sales Of Alaska Airlines Aircraft?

Fri Mar 09, 2007 4:16 pm

Quoting D L X (Reply 35):

Absolutely NOT. The law is extremely clear on this: if you are a building, you are photographable.

I'd love to see the statute on that one. If the builder can claim it's a piece of art and it's a major component of the image, good luck copying it. I didn't bother checking the US reg's, but Canada's copyright protection is specifically extended to "architectural" works: http://strategis.ic.gc.ca/sc_mrksv/cipo/cp/copy_gd_protect-e.html

Okay, I went and checked the US statutes - according to US law architectural works are protected there as well: http://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ1.html#wwp

One could argue that creating a reproduction of one type of object (ie building) in another media (ie photograph) would be okay, but copyright law specifically states that reproduction across different media is considered infringement.

Quoting D L X (Reply 35):
1) That would be overturned on appeal, as you have no right to anonymity when photographed in a public place.

Like I said, I'm not made of money. Maybe you could afford the time and money it takes to build and present a case, I can't. This photographer didn't appeal, he too probably couldn't afford it. If you're right about "loser pays" then this photographer was doubly-dinged.

Quoting D L X (Reply 35):
That's a completely different story. In this example, you're actually copying my work.

And by selling images with a company's logo on it, you're copying their work. They paid someone for that pretty logo, they paid to put it on the plane, they pay to keep it clean and they pay to use it to build their corporate image - it's their work. Here's how a court will see it - delete that logo from the picture (along with any marks identifiable with that airline) and see if the picture still sells.

Quoting D L X (Reply 35):
So, if you're a big bad corporation with expensive lawyers working for you, you still have to actually have the better case.

Wait until you've faced a corporate legal team in action. They determine how good the case is, not the situation. Just like anything else in life, the story is only as good as the storyteller.

Quoting D L X (Reply 35):
If an airline came to me and said I owe them $500k for a photo I took, I'd tell them to go pound sand, and remind them of the sanctions I'd seek for vexatious litigation.

You can talk dirty to them all you like, if you don't hire a lawyer and show up in court, they'll likely win. An appeal will cost even more, and you likely won't be granted the right to appeal if you didn't bother defending the first case. Meanwhile, you'll have to get an injuction to stop them claiming their winnings, because a decision in their favour means they can hire a sheriff to come claim the booty. $500K isn't that much to them really - if they can prove the picture could have made them a lot in t-shirt sales, or that your use of it defamed them, they'll get a substantial reward for punitive damages on top of anything they lost in sales, and any profit you made in past sales.

Quoting D L X (Reply 10):
There are cases in copyright textbooks that discuss this. When I get home from work, I'll look them up. I'm pretty sure this is slam dunk.

Any luck finding some? You don't have to like what I'm saying, but it's based on real life experience in the courtroom and in negotiations with people who violated copyright.

Quoting Mikephotos (Reply 37):
People are mixing things up here. To put it simply, AS has no problem with the actual taking of the image and the image being copyrighted by the photographer. It's when you sell that image of the AS aircraft/logo on a t-shirt, shorts, underwear (or whatever else was being offered here) comes the problem. AS is 100% correct in that case. If the image is sold/used for editorial uses (in most cases), it's allowable.

You nailed it! It just took me more words to say the same thing...

B
 
raptors
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RE: No Photo Sales Of Alaska Airlines Aircraft?

Fri Mar 09, 2007 4:31 pm

I must say that this issue brings something else to the attention.

Whether Alaska are right, or not, the money we can make from ticking the photo sales box is a small amount. I had Boeing contact me recently to use one of my shots. Whilst negociating, they advised me that someone else from there team just bought the same photo so case closed. I can only assume that they purchased the photo via the photo sales function. They were planning to use it at an event, not re-produce it.

Anyway if we remove photos from the photo sales area, anyone wishing to purchase one would have to contact us directly, thereby increasing revenue greatly.

Going back to the main debate, it is quite interesting, and obviously there is no clear answer. The only difinitive way to find out is to tell Alaska to take a hike and that you will then see them in court,a judge and jury will then decide for you! For this reason, and the one stated above, it maybe wise to comply on this occasion.

One final thought, I do not watermark my photos here on this site, I find it very off putting. This can obviously lead to people taking advantage (and they have!), but for anyone who does, are you not try to protect your image in the same way Alaska are trying to protect theirs? Just a thought, and although you can be picky, the basic principles are the same.

Regards, Stuart
SSC/111/146/AR8/AT7/AN3/AB4/6/310/319/20/21/332/3/343/6/703/722/732-9/74L/2/4/F/752/3/772/3/W/E170/190/CR7/9
 
Jan Mogren
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RE: No Photo Sales Of Alaska Airlines Aircraft?

Fri Mar 09, 2007 7:36 pm

Quoting Raptors (Reply 41):
Anyway if we remove photos from the photo sales area, anyone wishing to purchase one would have to contact us directly, thereby increasing revenue greatly.

 checkmark 

/JM
AeroPresentation - Airline DVD's filmed in High Definition
 
D L X
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RE: No Photo Sales Of Alaska Airlines Aircraft?

Sat Mar 10, 2007 1:15 am

Quoting CalgaryBill (Reply 40):
Quoting D L X (Reply 35):

Absolutely NOT. The law is extremely clear on this: if you are a building, you are photographable.

I'd love to see the statute on that one.

http://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap1.html#120
Yes, architectural works are protected, however pictorial representations of those works (photographs included) are excluded from copyright.

Quoting CalgaryBill (Reply 40):
And by selling images with a company's logo on it, you're copying their work. They paid someone for that pretty logo, they paid to put it on the plane, they pay to keep it clean and they pay to use it to build their corporate image - it's their work. Here's how a court will see it - delete that logo from the picture (along with any marks identifiable with that airline) and see if the picture still sells.

Putting money into something is not the indicia of ownership. If I put money into repairing a pothole on the street, I can't then claim ownership of the street. Yes, you're copying their work, but it's fair use. The photo isn't of the logo, it's of the plane. The airline does not have a copyright on the plane. (In fact, neither does Boeing/Airbus/Embraer, etc., because the airframe is not copyrightable.)

Quoting CalgaryBill (Reply 40):
Wait until you've faced a corporate legal team in action.

I am the corporate legal team, in fact.

Quoting CalgaryBill (Reply 40):
Any luck finding some? You don't have to like what I'm saying, but it's based on real life experience in the courtroom and in negotiations with people who violated copyright.

I quoted the statute earlier on fair use. I think that if this is based on real life, either you won a case you shouldn't have, or you lost a case you should have won.

Quoting CalgaryBill (Reply 40):
if they can prove the picture could have made them a lot in t-shirt sales, or that your use of it defamed them, they'll get a substantial reward for punitive damages on top of anything they lost in sales, and any profit you made in past sales.

Dude, you're completely making this stuff up. This is NOT the law.
Damages are not awarded based on speculation ever. They have to prove that the infringement DID cost them, or alternatively that the infringement DID make the infringer money. Damages will be based on those two values, and can be trebled.

Quite simply, I doubt that AS would even bring a suit. They're not being damaged by photo sales.

Quoting Raptors (Reply 41):
Going back to the main debate, it is quite interesting, and obviously there is no clear answer.

Well, when there are non-lawyers muddying the water, I agree! It upsets me a little honestly because there is a LOT of misinformation on this thread being passed off as gospel.

Quoting Clickhappy (Reply 39):
No building built after (going from memory here) after 1991 is public domain, and therefore cannot be photographed.

There's a photography exception. The reasoning being that you couldn't take or paint a picture anywhere in a city without this exception.

Quoting Clickhappy (Reply 39):
And the name of the airline isn't protected by copyright, but the way it is designed is. Take for instance the design for the word Alaska as used by Alaska Airlines.

This is not quite true either. The design for the word Alaska is *trademarked* but not copyrighted. That means that you can't use it on your own airline (or related industry), but it doesn't mean you can't reproduce it. Typefaces cannot be copyrighted. See http://www.copyright.gov/title37/202.html § 202.1(a) and (e)
 
D L X
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RE: No Photo Sales Of Alaska Airlines Aircraft?

Sat Mar 10, 2007 1:15 am

Johan, what did the Alaska letter look like?
 
mikephotos
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RE: No Photo Sales Of Alaska Airlines Aircraft?

Sat Mar 10, 2007 1:43 am

Quoting D L X (Reply 38):
That can't be true. If AS has no problem with photographers having the copyright, then they implicitly have no problem with those photographers selling their wares. One of the exclusive rights a copyright-holder has is the right to distribute as he pleases to the exclusion of others.

AS is 100% wrong in this case.

It's is TRUE, 100% true. You cannot take a picture of Alaska's (or any) logo, then sell said photo of the logo on a cup, tshirt, whatever for profit without obtaining permission/rights from AS. Sure, you are the copyright owner of the photo and could use it for a news article but not for the above. You cannot distribute the image as you please, there are restrictions on usage. It's common knowledge in this arena. I can't believe how difficult this is to understand?

Mike
 
D L X
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RE: No Photo Sales Of Alaska Airlines Aircraft?

Sat Mar 10, 2007 1:58 am

Mike, there is a difference between selling a photo of the plane and it surrounding scenery and selling a photo of the logo. I'm not talking about selling a photo of the logo. I think we may be talking past each other.
 
mikephotos
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RE: No Photo Sales Of Alaska Airlines Aircraft?

Sat Mar 10, 2007 2:01 am

Quoting D L X (Reply 43):
Well, when there are non-lawyers muddying the water, I agree! It upsets me a little honestly because there is a LOT of misinformation on this thread being passed off as gospel.

And the scary part is that you're muddying the waters more than the non-lawyers  Smile Trust me on this, I had a problem of this nature a few years back with one of the big package delivery carriers, won't name them but lets just say its the same color as muddy waters  Wink Anyway, I was in contact with the legal team and learned quite a bit about what's what. I can't speak for other aspects of the copyright/trademark laws but what I posted above is totally accurate. You simply cannot sell a product using another companies trademark without approval/rights. They had no problem whatsoever with taking the pics and posting them on Anet.

Mike
 
D L X
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RE: No Photo Sales Of Alaska Airlines Aircraft?

Sat Mar 10, 2007 3:47 am

Mike, why should I believe Brown's lawyers when they were clearly adverse? They told you what they wanted you to hear, of course, which probably isn't the whole story.
Of course, I don't know the specifics of your run-in with them, but if it was you selling a print of their aircraft, they were in the wrong.

Quoting Mikephotos (Reply 47):
You simply cannot sell a product using another companies trademark without approval/rights.

Although trademark is a different beast than copyright, this is a gross oversimplification of the law to the point where it is clearly untrue. Think about any T-shirt you've bought at a souvenir shop. Did it say "Hanes" on the tag? Do you think it infringes Hanes' copyrights and trademarks if this T-shirt gets sold? Of course not, but this is exactly what corporations owning trademarks and copyrights want you to believe. Corporations want everyone to think that their rights are INFINITE, when in fact those rights are actually quite narrow. (It would be a different story if the T-shirt said in big 6" red letters "HANES". In that case, the logo would be the subject of the shirt, and thus clearly infringing.)

I'm sure you've heard of "fair use," so now you just need to know that this is the kind of case where it comes into account. No one is denying that the Alaska eskimo logo is Alaska Airlines' property. However, they can only prevent you from using it in connection with things related to their business. In other words, you can't slap their logo on your product and "palm off" your airline related goods claiming they came from Alaska. That's trademark law. Similarly, you can't reproduce their logo as the main subject of a photographical or painted work without their permission. That's copyright law. Selling a photo of a whole plane (or a large chunk of plane showing significantly more than the logo) is neither a violation of trademark nor copyright law. I can't give you legal advice on the internet, but if you were represented by another intellectual property attorney, this is what they would tell you.

EDIT: By the way, I hope nobody takes offense at the forceful delivery in my posts here. I'm not intending to offend or single anyone out. Obviously, this is something that I really believe in, as I've sold photos myself. If you don't believe in this, then you're not believing in your right to sell photos of airliners at all.

[Edited 2007-03-09 19:58:26]
 
mikephotos
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RE: No Photo Sales Of Alaska Airlines Aircraft?

Sat Mar 10, 2007 6:52 am

Quoting D L X (Reply 48):
Mike, why should I believe Brown's lawyers when they were clearly adverse? They told you what they wanted you to hear, of course, which probably isn't the whole story.
Of course, I don't know the specifics of your run-in with them, but if it was you selling a print of their aircraft, they were in the wrong.

It was not in regards to selling a print but it was discussed. They had no reason to give false information. And what was mentioned is the same story industry wide. All of the Ad firms/stock agencies I've dealt with will remove titles/logos on aircraft when used for ads/projects. Why do you think they do it? Because you cannot use the airlines logo/trademark without licensing/approval. I even had one ad firm doing a project for a bank that had an agreement with an airline for it's credit card which couldn't use the airline logo on the photo ad.

In regards to you Hanes example. When you're selling a photo of a airline and the logo/trademark is clearly visible it's the same as if the shirt said HANES across the front. Now if the aircraft in the photo is small and logo/trademarks are not cleary visible I'm sure you'd get away with it. I had one guy who purchased rights from me to produce posters of a CO 767-400 with the WTC in the background. He had to get approval/licensing from CO before mass producing the posters. This was advised by his lawyer, doing so without would have caused him a lot of pain.

I'm not a lawyer, so I do not give legal advise. Let's just say we do not agree on the matter and that's that. I know what I do to save my butt from getting into trouble.

Mike

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