Copyright

We have recently become aware of some images that are copyrighted to us have been displayed on websites without our permission.

We would like to remind all and everyone that has had images taken by us and produced as either digital files or printed photographic copy that the copyright of all those images remains with us, O’Brien Cooper Photography. Even if the images have been taken of you, you do not own the copyright or the rights to publish those images. All our images are protected under the Copyright, designs and Patents Act 1988.

We do have the means to check the internet to determine whether our images are being used illegally.

It is the same as copying, illegally, any works of art such as books, poetry, music or research. It is illegal, it is theft and we are prosecuting.

For us the images are our work and our product and our livelihood and we do not take lightly to the images being published in places or on websites that we do not approve of. Our work will not be used for financial, political or religious gain.

If you wish to own the copyright of your images please contact us and we will start the process of transferring ownership and use of those images. If you do not possess a certificate with all the relevant authorities to own the copyright then you are breaking the law.

Even if our business closes we will still own the copyright of all images until the proper certification has been approved.

Stay safe, do not steal.

Courses Update

I just wanted to clarify our position on the One-Day Photography courses that we run at the Angel Hotel in Hampshire.

We sell our courses on various platforms which are offered by way of vouchers. The main outlet for our courses was the education website called Hot Courses and its associated businesses such as Floodlight Courses and Love My Course. We also sell promotional deal courses via Groupon and Living Social on a slightly different basis.

The courses offered on Hot Courses were the basic One-Day courses and we had an agreement with Hot Courses to book these training days via their website and also via their support on our own on-line booking system as a part our own website. This system worked very well for many years to the benefit of both parties, us and Hot Courses. The only issue that we ever had with Hot Courses was the length of validity of these vouchers which was three times the length of the validity of the vouchers offered on Groupon and Living Social hence the extra cost via the Hot Courses Group. Hot Courses, we learn, have been taken over by a new owner and have decided to end their association with us and other small training and consultation companies without our approval. They have offered to continue advertising our courses but the thousands of pounds that they now require to continue this advertising is far beyond the resources of O’Brien Cooper Photography. They have now ditched us and no longer advertise our products or offer their support on our website.

We will continue to honour the vouchers that we have sold via Hot Courses but as the Hot Courses Group now no longer support us and our business we have no alternative but to revert to our own terms of trading. We can’t work to the terms of trading of a company that no longer has any association with our business which basically means that vouchers that were valid for 12 months with Hot Courses are now valid for 4 months or until the next available course if the 4 months period has now passed. We have contacted all the voucher holders to explain this situation.

With the change in promotions from Hot Courses to our deals with Groupon and Living Social there has to be a complete change in our way of operating.

Hot Courses and their associated companies together with their support on our website provided a large percentage of our income whereas Groupon and Living Social deals are profit neutral. This has meant that we can no longer provide discounted deals from the Groupon or Living Social platforms and they will cease from the end of July this year. Again we will honour the vouchers that have been purchased and are still valid. Those vouchers that have expired cannot be redeemed.

The One-Day beginner courses will, unfortunately, finish this summer and we will be reviewing our training program over the summer months with a view to starting a new training season, perhaps, starting next spring/summer, 2018. In the meantime we will continue to operate as a full-time commercial photography business. We will also be reviewing our website, which will reflect the new direction of the business. Various personnel will leave the business and we may recruit new trainers and photographers but we will have to wait to see what transpires over the summer.

We hope that we have not upset too many of our fantastic customers but these circumstances are far beyond any control that we may have and, through greed and a climate of change, we are forced to rethink all our operations.

We do, though, look forward to seeing many of our customers in future on some new courses.

We will send another blog a bit later.

Updates

 

 

 

As mentioned earlier we are upgrading our system and website. The website has now been updated to WordPress version 4.7.4 which is more mobile device friendly and we are now in the process of updating the information on the pages.

We are gathering new information from camera and equipment manufacturers and suppliers and will be updating our courses and course information in due course.

Also, we are in the final stages of forming the new archive. We can no longer provide customers with bulk images but we can provide individual and small number images if required. We have been building the new archive for many years and have re-united many past customers with their images from weddings, portraits and portfolio shoots. The new format of the archive does not allow bulk images to be stored and retrieved and so the images can only be downloaded in very small quantities. We would like to thank all those that contacted us to get their images back and for those that have missed out we are very sorry but we have been offering this service for almost 14 years and we think that is sufficient.

As we finish the update and upgrade on the website please continue to visit us for new courses and hopefully some great workshop days.

Next One-Day Course

Just to remind you that the next one-day training course for new photographers will be held on Saturday the 22nd April at the Angel Inn.

We take bookings up to and including Thursday afternoon.

To book simply go to the “Courses” page on the website and click “Book Now” for payment and then give us a call on 07971 295166 to let us know that you will be attending.

Hope to see you all there.

Site Upgrade

Over the next couple of weeks we will be upgrading and updating our website.

If, at any time, you can’t access the site please contact us by phone on 07971 295166 and we will be able to assist.

The site should be available at all times but just incase we have published this note to let you know.

Last Call

Just a very quick post to remind all our past customers that have not yet contacted us about claiming their images that we have just 14 days left before we close our archive for good.

As we have said before the archived images are available until the last day of April 2017 and after that we can no longer provide past customers with bulk downloaded images.

Please, if you have had a studio shoot, wedding or portrait session with us since 2003 then contact us to claim your images and the full copyright that goes with them. There is a small charge for the transfer of copyright and the certificate of authorship.

After April 30th 2017 we can no longer offer this to the general public.

Images in the archive created between 1993 and 2002 are no longer available and have not been available since 2006.

Just give the office a call on: 07971 295166 or contact us via our website and we can let you know what to do to get your images.

Changes to Terms and Conditions

Over the past five years or so we have advertised on the Hot Courses website and they have dealt with our on-line payments and bookings. This has worked very well for us and we were happy with the service that they provided.

Hot Courses also run various other companies that advertise adult courses and training such as Flood Light Courses, Love my Course and Trainingandcourses.com which all take payments and bookings via our own website at: http://www.obriencooper.co.uk.

From April 1st this year, 2017, we will no longer have any association with Hot Courses or their affiliated companies and will therefore revert to our own booking systems and subsequently our own terms of trading and conditions of working.

An e-mail to all those holding vouchers from the Hot Course syndicate will be sent and they will still be able to attend our courses and we will honour all of those. We may have to change some of the conditions of purchase. The vouchers will only be available via Hot Courses until the weekend of the 1st of April 2017. We do, however recommend that no one purchases a voucher from today onwards. Rest assured no one will be asked for more money.

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We, as a business, understand the need for seeking profits within all aspects of running a successful company but at the same time there is a fine line between seeking reasonable and fair profit and greed.

Hot Courses, I believe, have changed hands recently and that is why they are looking at ditching small training companies such as ours in favour of large companies that can afford the thousands of pounds in advertising costs per month that they now require to be paid in order to remain on their site.

Training, for whatever purpose is the start of careers for many and the change in direction that is sought by others to realise potential and allow those with untapped talent to make their mark in a new career. We and other small training businesses, like us, try to help with creating enjoyment and purpose in our field and to do that we need to advertise. That is never cheap or free and we understand that but to profit unfairly from our hard work is not the way forward. To pay huge advertising fees we would need to increase the costs of our training days and that puts the availability beyond the grasp of the majority of those that would have chosen to book us. Teaching people photography and creative imaging is what we do and in that process we make very little profit, just enough.

I wish Hot Courses well in the future but I fear that in pursuit of excessive profit they will find the path ahead a difficult one to travel.

The Image Makers