Copyright Laws as A Lawful Device Discussion

Question Description


You are required to provide a thread in response to the provided prompt for each forum. Each thread must be at least 300 words and demonstrate course-related knowledge with at least 3 references properly cited in current Bluebook format. Primary sources must be used whenever possible and appropriately supplemented with high quality secondary sources.


Steve is an amateur photographer in Lynchburg, Virginia. Steve’s friend, Diane, owns Incredible Parties, Inc. (“Incredible”), which is a local party planning business. Incredible plans, hosts, and organizes a whole range of parties including weddings, birthdays, graduation, and anniversaries—if it’s a celebration, Incredible can handle it. One of the common critiques that Diane hears from her clients is that they wish Incredible’s party package came with photographs of the party so that everyone can remember the fun they had. Diane is a big believer that the customer is always right, so she wants to hire a photographer.

Diane calls her friend, Steve, and asks him if he would be willing to come photograph Incredible’s parties for a flat hourly fee. Steve could use the extra money and agrees. Diane, Steve, and Incredible do not enter into any type of contract, and the bargain is simply for Steve to take pictures for $50 per hour. Steve takes the pictures at the party and then hands the subject a business card that has a link where they can purchase the pictures online. Diane also wants to use the pictures for promotional and advertising purposes.

Everything works well for a while, but then things start falling apart. Steve and Diane’s relationship breaks down, and now they aren’t talking anymore. To make things worse, Steve is refusing to hand over any pictures of the parties to Diane. Diane is outraged that Steve isn’t turning over the pictures of the parties, even though she has paid his hourly fee.

In response, Steve says he holds the copyright to the pictures and will do with them as he pleases. For her part, Diane says she employed Steve and therefore she owns the copyright to the pictures and they thus belong to her.

Who is right? Why? What are the issues and laws involved? If this went to court, which way would the judge rule? Explain fully.

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