Skip to content

Copyright Fees Clarified



There has been a great deal of confusion regarding some horse show photographers starting to charge copyright fees to customers for pictures run in the publications. We want to clarify our understanding of the current state of these fees.

We were contacted at the first of this year by six different photographers, Howard Schatzberg, Doug Shiflet, Sandra Hall, Linda Wollaber, Casey McBride and Avis Girdler, who sent us new agreements, which were essentially identical. These agreements contained several provisions which we considered unfair to our customers including but not limited to a charge to the customer of $10 every time a photograph was placed in any of the publications including the first time use of the photograph. This $10 fee is in addition to the cost of the photograph purchased for advertising.

Since that time, Avis Girdler has notified us in writing that she will not be charging these fees and that she will continue to do business with her customers and the publications as she always has. Howard Schatzberg has indicated verbally that he will also return to his original agreement. While we have not received this in writing, Schatzberg is not charging these fees at the Florida circuit shows he is currently shooting.

We have talked to Doug Shiflet, Sandra Hall and Linda Wollaber. Doug Shiflet and Sandra Hall are going to charge the copyright fees to customers for any and all uses of their photographs in the publications. Linda Wollaber also has indicated that she plans to charge these copyright fees, however her attorney has contacted our office and is considering some changes and their final decisions are not clear at this point.

Therefore, at this time Dabora, Inc., will require a copyright release to the owner of the horse or to the horse show before accepting photographs by Doug Shiflet, Sandra Hall, or Linda Wollaber in any of our publications.

We have not heard from Casey McBride clarifying his final decision.

In 1997, certain photographers sent the publications agreements that allowed their customers to use their photographs without owners paying copyright fees. There were certain other fees and stipulations including Internet usage fees and requests to require customers to buy multiple photographs when advertising in multiple publications. Subsequent agreements have increased these fees and/or added other stipulations. These latest agreements, including a $10 fee to the customer for each and every use of the photograph, caused us to make the decision to no longer accept photographs from any photographer charging these fees without a copyright release to the owner/advertiser or to the horse show.

Shiflet and Hall’s new agreements were to be effective March 1, 2004. Sandra Hall has since extended this deadline to March 15 and Doug Shiflet has extended his deadline to April 1, 2004. Linda Wollaber’s new agreement was to be effective March 1, 2004.

After these dates, customers must obtain copyright releases from these three photographers to use their photographs in the publications. A full copyright release allows the customer to use his or her photograph in any way they choose including advertising in horse publications without additional fees being due to the photographer.

As an alternative, certain horse shows require photographers to sign an agreement giving the horse show ownership of the copyrights of the photographs. Under such a work-for-hire agreement, photographers may not limit the use of the photographs now or in the future because they belong to the horse show.

Currently at least one world championship horse show has such an agreement in place, such that they own the copyright to all photographs taken at their show by their photographer.

Copyright protection is afforded by law and is a complicated process. We have always and will continue to abide by the law. We encourage horse show managers, committee members, and owners to examine their rights in regards to copyright fees and photographers.

We will continue to update the status of these agreements and charges as the situation continues to develop.

Christy Howard Parsons

Publisher

More Stories

  • Joint Leadership Council Issues Request Letter to Monarch Show Series

    The Joint Leadership Council has issued the letter below to the organizers of the newly developed Monarch Show Series and championship to address the qualification requirements for the Kentucky State Fair World's Championship Horse Show and the Grand National & World Championship Morgan Horse Show and how those qualification requirements may impact exhibitors at MSS shows... Read More
  • From the Desk of Marty Schaffel: The Need to Reinvent Ourselves

    When I started my company, I was the first employee. I had to wake up every day selling products and services to customers. And do everything else as well. That was my self imposed job description... Read More
  • Judging Panel Selected for Rock Creek

    The 83rd Rock Creek Horse Show will be held June 2-6, 2020 at the historic Rock Creek Riding Club in Louisville, Ky. The show will start each night at 6:30 with dinner, catered by Silver Spoon, served at 5:00 in the Rock Creek Club House. Read More
  • Morgan Stallion Sweeps Draws Winners

    The New England Morgan Horse Association and New England Regional Morgan Horse Show, in conjunction with the United Breeders Committee, have announced the winners of the 2019-2020 Morgan Stallion Sweeps... Read More
  • New York Morgan Stallion Service Auction 2020

    A lively group of people gathered on February 1, 2020 to partake in 32nd annual NY Stallion Service Auction. The auction was held at The Saratoga Hilton, Saratoga Springs NY. The atmosphere was fun and energetic with great acoustics to provide a most enjoyable evening... Read More
  • UPHA Chapter 5 To Host Mid-Winter Horse Preview and Equine Seminar Weekend

    Members of UPHA Chapter 5 will host a Horse Preview at Bob and Tonya Brison’s Fairview Farm, New Bloomfield, Missouri, on Friday, February 28 from 6:30 to 9:00 p.m. Several trainers will exhibit young horses as well as horses offered for sale. You are invited to come out and get in a show horse state of mind while enjoying friends, cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. Read More
  • Latest Issue 2 17 20

    Read More
  • Latest Issue HW 2 20

    Read More
  • ASHA Spirit of the Medallion: Olivia Turner

    Today’s recipient has been passionate for, and dedicated to, Hackney Ponies all her life. While her love for ponies is immense, it’s her love for those around her; friends and barn mates alike, that truly sets her apart. And if you were to ask her she would tell you that they are all part of her extended family and that she would give anything to ensure the best for each of them... Read More
  • AHHS Elsa Mikkelsen Distinguished Service Award: Steve Kildow

    The AHHS Else Mikkelsen Distinguished Service Award is awarded to a member of the American Hackney Horse Society who has contributed his or her energies to the promotion of the Hackney Horse or Pony... Read More