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Need to know about my photos...

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What is the name of your state? Florida:)

I have a question about copyright laws and major photography companies.

I had my childrens pictures done by a huge national chain and basically payed out the nose for MANY photos. Now, they gave me a disk with all of the photos on it and I have the software available to manipulate the photos and customize them any way I want - convert to jpeg and internet files and also to make artistic changes as I want.

My question is, is this legal? As long as I am not making a profit on any of the photos, am I doing anything wrong with manipulating or printing any of these photos for my own private viewing? I would think that if they gave me a disk they are basically acknowleging that I can do this - but I am not sure.

I feel like I never signed anything to give these people rights to my children's pictures. Is this something that is considered automatic from a photographic standpoint? Could these people use my children's photos for advertising without my consent - thereby meaning they have "rights" that I do not know about?

I used to work in one of these studios a long time ago and I know we never could make copies of photos we thought we professionally done because the rights needed to be released by the original photographer - but in that case the studio was making money and could be liable. If I do the work myself and this is not for profit - does that matter?

Thanks for looking. I hope someone has some info on this. I am afraid to ask the company directly because I do not want to cause an issue with them if I can help it.



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