Copyrights of lenses on professional photo shoot

  • Fellow creator here so not an official answer, just my perspective. Hopefully someone from the Lens Studio team chimes in as well.

    I think this is sort of a grey area. According to the Lens Studio terms, Snap is under no obligation to compensate us for any use of our lenses, nor will they help mediate that between us and third parties. Software terms and conditions are not worded in the most understandable way, so it is not super clear to me if lens creators can assert any rights over the content created with our lenses or if we waive that right as well. Obviously we can't hold Snap to anything, but not sure about holding third parties to anything.

    I will say from a creator perspective, I'd very much like to be paid if someone is profiting off my work, but as a solo creator who does this as a hobby, I don't really have the means to enforce that.

    I have seen instances of lenses being used on national television without even crediting the lens creator, and then I've also seen huge brands reaching out to creators to work out some sort of deal to use their lenses.

    I will say though that Spotlight has set a precedent for this not being the case. Again, Snap is under no obligation to compensate us, but video creators can use our lenses and receive payouts without a single cent going to the lens creators whose lenses are used. If lens creators could assert rights over our work being used commercially, I would think that Snap would have built something out to cover their backs. But since Snap themselves aren't concerned, I'd say we don't have much of an argument unfortunately. Granted I will say most Spotlight videos aren't using lenses, but I know some of my lenses have been used in videos which get millions of views. I'm sure those video creators are getting at least something, but I am not and I don't really have a means to do anything about it.

    So my answer is it would be great if people profiting off of lens use compensated the creators, but I don't think there's a strong legal argument for it. But again, some clarification from the Lens Studio team would be much appreciated.

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  • YouTube has a good system for it. If a video or music is used on another video, it automatically shares monetization with the original creator. While it's impossible to monitor any use outside the app, YouTube is doing the most to credit the original creators within their control, inside the app. Maybe Snapchat is working on something like this? I'll encourage and reward people for making meme-able lenses. Hopefully with lenses being connected with spotlight revenue. As for outside the app, I think that'll be harder to control and oversee.

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  • CyreneQ Agreed! snap creators deserve to be rewarded with at least some credit if not something else.

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