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Looks like it's associated with Tattoo Life magazine so they probably are posting photos that appeared in the magazine which would mean they have the publishing rights. I think.

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I hate websites like that. People who are new to tattooing seem to think it's a fucking tattoo catalogue where they can choose someone else's tattoo for their own.

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Wellllllllllllll, I actually took out a months subscription a few months back. I was planning a full sleeve ( once the laser is finished) and was searching for ideas.

You send an image to tattoo life, then you want it to be seen. You want to keep your images private, do not send them to a tattoo publication !

Not saying I would copy anything, but we all use the images we see as reference in some way.

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Looks like it's associated with Tattoo Life magazine so they probably are posting photos that appeared in the magazine which would mean they have the publishing rights. I think.

maybe, but maybe not. depends on the agreement which was signed.

my primary job at the museum is rights and reproductions, and while i don't usually work with tattoo artists, we do work with artists on a fairly regular basis (and own the collections to a few who have passed on). while sure, for a publication such as Tattoo Life, you're welcome to send in your image, unless you sign a contract giving them full publishing disclosure, if they are posting your image anywhere outside of the designated issue/web publication that you have agreed it, it IS illegal and against copyright law (unless the image was published pre 1978 here in the states, as copyright laws do not apply to any sort of work that was not registered as being copyrighted beforehand, and international rules are slightly different.) Also, usually magazines approach artists (again, not consumer contributors) to ask to use their work (or an estate/gallery that is in charge of their works and any legal ties to them). Once it has been confirmed with an artist that a given work may be used for a specific article, technically the magazine would need to re-apply for permission again for web use, unless the negotiated contract specified otherwise (and a broader range of distribution). if you ar sending in your work, the publication knows who the creator or contributor is, and therefore can't technically claim ignorance or "due dilligence", which can be claimed for a lot of found, anonymous works (think fliers and snapshots).

So what does this mean for tattoo artists? GET EVERYTHING IN WRITING. number one thing i can't stress enough. if you get asked to have your work published in a book, magazine, website, whatever, don't agree on a verbal contract, and rather negotiate terms through email. at least then it's dated, time stamped, and in text. never, again NEVER, sign a contract without completely reading it. you may agree that someone can use your image to make millions of dollars (as with Ed Hardy), and not even realize it, and there is very little retribution to be gained once a contract has been signed (it is a legal binding document). if you want only one image to be used, at a small size, in one blog post, or one article, then tell the magazine that; the same can be said for 20 images. this is your right as an artist. just make sure you and the publication are on the same page.

while i'm not a copyright lawyer (THANK GOD), this has been my job for the last 3.5 years. here's a great quick reference to copyright laws in case you are interested as well. Also, the safer bet is anything created before 1923 is public domain, anything after that is questionable.

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MsRad, I don't think it's feasible for tattooers to sign a contract when we submit work to magazines. Yeah if we are working with corporate clients (and that's part of the main problem at the moment in my opinion - but that's another story) then some legal paperwork is a must. But the cost of legal paperwork just to send photos to a magazine is going to mean it never happens.

Actually, what happens is more like the terms of service when you sign up to a website, email provider etc. By submitting unsolicited work, we agree to have that work used by that publication, however they see fit. That's the deal - it's based on trust, as are most things in tattooing.

So tattooers who care about quality and respect and trust and all of that old fashioned stuff are selective about which magazines they send work to. We only send photos to magazines who we trust will work in our best interests while still trying to sell copies.

Tattoo Life was one of those magazines.

I feel that the last thing tattooing needs is more lawyers involved. That only works out good for the lawyers in the long run. The best thing to do is for conscientious tattooers to opt-out and not be involved in things we feel are not in out best interests.

This ties in to the TLC thing too. I don't feel the need to say more because Nick Colella has said it all perfectly on his twitter account.

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Actually, since we're talking about that, the magazine I work for will ask tattooers if it's okay to use their work outside of the magazine (for instance, on a social networking site, with full credit of course), so maybe Tattoo Life have at least done that anyway. Like Stewart said, it's all about trust, really- if they're publishing work in a bad way, it'll come back to them badly anyway, and no one would want that.

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MsRad, I don't think it's feasible for tattooers to sign a contract when we submit work to magazines. Yeah if we are working with corporate clients (and that's part of the main problem at the moment in my opinion - but that's another story) then some legal paperwork is a must. But the cost of legal paperwork just to send photos to a magazine is going to mean it never happens.

Actually, what happens is more like the terms of service when you sign up to a website, email provider etc. By submitting unsolicited work, we agree to have that work used by that publication, however they see fit. That's the deal - it's based on trust, as are most things in tattooing.

So tattooers who care about quality and respect and trust and all of that old fashioned stuff are selective about which magazines they send work to. We only send photos to magazines who we trust will work in our best interests while still trying to sell copies.

Tattoo Life was one of those magazines.

I feel that the last thing tattooing needs is more lawyers involved. That only works out good for the lawyers in the long run. The best thing to do is for conscientious tattooers to opt-out and not be involved in things we feel are not in out best interests.

This ties in to the TLC thing too. I don't feel the need to say more because Nick Colella has said it all perfectly on his twitter account.

i couldn't agree with you more Stewart, and i don't mean you need to get a lawyer to have a contract. seriously, you'd be surprised as to how much just a letter or an email can hold up legally. also, we make contracts at times on the spot here when we are requesting images/videos (and the museum does not have an onsite lawyer) from independent artists/sources who don't have legal representation, and they work just fine. my point really is just to make sure, whatever documents are used, that you keep copies of them and you have a paper/email trail. anything verbal can get obscured really easily, should you have to actually fight someone over the use of your work, in or outside of the legal system.

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I do not no how easily this transfers over to the world of tattooing/art but in the computer industry we commonly display code/programs that have very explicit terms of use around its distribution/use. I am not talking about massive Fortune 1000 companies but people like me who do it as a hobby after work. There are a TON of pre-made templates for terms of use out there that were written by lawyers but released for the every day guy to use. I have one that I attach and it is just a game of fill in the blanks. These Terms of Use are strong enough to hold up in court 90% of the time.

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thanks for posting that info MsRad, I had no idea about the legalities of sending in photos to a mag and what that means they can do with it.. i always thought once you gave someone a photo they could use it for whatever..

I'm kind of surprised that tattoo life charges for online viewing. I always thought it was one of the better magazines these days. Maybe they are charging for online viewing so that it doesn't hurt hard copy magazine sales? I can't remember if they are one of the free mags or if it's a paid subscription. I could see how if it was all online for free less people would but the magazine.

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also, this is going to sound like dumb, naive question, but Stewart, you brought up a point that i think is worth discussing. is it worth including your work in a magazine, now that there are all of these risks of mis-use? i don't just mean plagairism either, but publications using images in databases like the one this thread was based on. i'm just curious to see what the opinions are.

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thanks for posting that info MsRad, I had no idea about the legalities of sending in photos to a mag and what that means they can do with it.. i always thought once you gave someone a photo they could use it for whatever..

I'm kind of surprised that tattoo life charges for online viewing. I always thought it was one of the better magazines these days. Maybe they are charging for online viewing so that it doesn't hurt hard copy magazine sales? I can't remember if they are one of the free mags or if it's a paid subscription. I could see how if it was all online for free less people would but the magazine.

From my perspective the reason they might be charging is due to the cost of online hosting and collaboration of images. Against popular belief image hosting cost TONS of money if there are enough people connecting to it. Hosting + programmers = a lot of money. Maintaining a dynamic database of images requires constant upkeep and as stated previously bandwidth is getting expensive. Depending on how the site is setup, it if has enough traffic hosting itself can start at 250-500 a month alone, never mind the cost of the web engineer that has to support it. Then again, it might be "supply and demand". If there are people are willing to pay there are people trying to cash in on the idea.

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also, this is going to sound like dumb, naive question, but Stewart, you brought up a point that i think is worth discussing. is it worth including your work in a magazine, now that there are all of these risks of mis-use? i don't just mean plagairism either, but publications using images in databases like the one this thread was based on. i'm just curious to see what the opinions are.

I still do not see where there is misuse ?

For a lot of people, their introduction to tattoos comes through magazines, and without the various tattoo magazines that, through the years, have supported tattooing when it was not so cool, most of the worlds great artists would be left without a great form of inspiration.

I would guess that Tattoo Life, who are based in Italy, and who's magazine I buy regularly, has suffered greatly in recent years because of the internet, and if artists still want to get their work out there, and if magazines are to employ people to make this happen, then subscription is the only way.

I seem to remember though, that the images were available for download without watermark, which is the only thing that I would be concerned about... what is there to stop some dodgy artist using the images in their own online portfolio, and that is there to stop someone else duplicating tattoo life's own site?

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I occasionally host events and my model releases for them cover every eventuality- print, digital, online, edited, multi-use, manipulated, etc without further notice.

I was paid quite well for some images licensed to a magazine in the UK and in the contract I made them sign when they licensed them it was for single use; they 'accidentally' used them in a book, breached my contract and I ended up getting a decent coin for violation.

So. Yeah. It's all about knowing your rights as the copyright holder and not letting people take advantage of you.

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If you look in the front of the magazine they reserve the rights on all photos submitted to them. The site is designed to not allow downloading of images. If you don't want an image reproduced you probably should not send it in to a magazine, or post it on Facebook, or your website or anywhere besides your portfolio. That seems like kind of a no brainer. Tattoo life's new site is a great resource and they credit the artists and list their shop and city they tattoo out of. Tattoo Life hosts two of the best run largest attended tattoo conventions in the world (Milan, London) Milan has been going for 16 years. These guys have been around a long time they aren't some hacks and they are one of the publications that deserve to be supported by the industry they have always represented well. JMHO :)

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I didn't know they put on the Milano convention! I've been wanting to attend that one for years! Hopefully over the next couple years I'll be able to find some people who want to share a booth! I'd love to go to London as well but I've heard it's reallllly expensive there for lodging and food.

The thing I like about Tattoo Life is they make regional issues of the magazine. Here in Canada the content is different then in the USA and I'm assuming the euro version has different stuff then the other versions as well. It's nice to be able to pick up a tattoo magazine in Canada and see tattooers that are actually close to home. I mean it's really awesome to see work from people around the world but it's also nice for a customer to see your work and then realize they can get tattooed by you without traveling too far.

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