Trying To Copyright The Wrong

| ON, Canada | Crazy Requests, Criminal & Illegal

(A customer comes to me a wallet sized photo of a baby that was clearly taken in a studio.)

Customer: “Can you enlarge this for me?”

Me: “Oh, was this taken by a professional?”

Customer: “Yes, of cour— No. No, it wasn’t.”

Me: “I’m sorry. Unfortunately, without written permission from the photographer, I can’t copy it.”

Customer: “I don’t care about copyright.”

Me: “I do. Company policy says that we can’t copy any professional photos.”

Customer: “No, it wasn’t professional. The mother took it. Can you just show me how to do it in self-serve?”

Me: “I’m sorry, but it looks professional, so I can’t assist you with it.”

Customer: “It’s not professional!”

Me: “It looks professional to me, so unfortunately, I can’t copy it.”

Customer: “Are you serious?”

Me: “Yes. I’m serious.”

Customer: *rudely* “Fine. Are you working tomorrow?”

Me: “Yes.”

Customer: “UGH! Fine, I’ll just buy this then.”

(I meet her at the register to ring up her item.)

Customer: *in a snotty, ‘I’m better than you’ tone* “Life is too short to follow the rules.”

Me: “It’s also too short to get fired.”

A Professional Approach To Professional Photography

| ON, Canada | Crazy Requests, Criminal & Illegal

Customer: “I want to get these photos copied.”

Me: “Okay, I can copy these, but these ones here I can’t unfortunately, due to company copyright policy.”

Customer: “What does that mean?”

Me: “This is a professional photo, so I can’t copy it without permission from the photographer.”

Customer: “Oh, no, you can copy it.”

Me: “I’m sorry; I can’t.”

Customer: “But one of the people in that picture is dead now!”

Me: “I’m really sorry about that, but our company’s copyright policy is actually pretty strict; it goes until 50 years after the death of the photographer. I honestly don’t feel comfortable copying professional photos until they are at least 65 years old.”

Customer: “Well, this photo is 65 years old.”

Me: “I’m sorry, but this picture isn’t that old. I can do these photos for you, though.”

(I go through the stack of pictures and find some school pictures, which I put aside.)

Me: “I can’t do these ones, though.”

Customer: “WHY NOT!”

Me: “Because these are also professional.”

Customer: “No! They’re school pictures!”

Me: “Yes, that would be professional.”

Customer: “But these people died in 1992!”

Me: “Um, I’m sorry about that, but that doesn’t mean I can copy the picture.”

Customer: “YES, IT DOES!”

Me: “Maybe you didn’t understand me earlier when I said—”

Customer: “YES, I DID UNDERSTAND YOU!”

Me: “Then why are you telling me this person died in 1992? That doesn’t change the fact that the photographer has to be dead for 50 years before I can copy it.”

Customer: “THE PHOTOGRAPHER IS DEAD!”

Me: “I’m sorry, I can’t copy it.”

Customer: “Then why are you copying this one?” *points to a photo that looks like it was taken with a point and shoot*

Me: “Because it’s not professional.”

Customer: “Yes, it is! A photographer took that!”

Me: “Well, it didn’t look professional to me, but since you’ve told me that it is, I can’t copy it now.”

Customer: “WHAT?!”

Me: “I’m sorry.”

Customer: “NO! YOU CAN COPY IT!”

Me: “You JUST told me it was professional, after I JUST told you that I couldn’t copy professional photos.”

Customer: “I want to see a manager, then!”

Me: “Okay.”

(My manager proceeded to tell the customer EVERYTHING I had already said, and the customer yelled back at him everything he had yelled at me. He left in a huff.)

A Seedy CD

| CT, USA | Crazy Requests, Rude & Risque, Technology

(Part of the territory of working in a copy and print shop is you are going to see some ‘private’ photos sometimes. While you are allowed to refuse to print something you are uncomfortable with, most of us don’t care and just turn the print upside-down once done to avoid offending other customers. On this particular day, a regular customer comes in, who we all know manages a ‘gentleman’s club’ in town.)

Customer: “Okay, the image is on this CD, it should be the only one there.”

Me: “Okay. Let me just look at it on the computer before you go, so I know it’s the right one and it copied to the disk properly.”

Customer: “Okay.”

Me: *realizing immediately that I can’t describe this image in front of other customers* “Er… sir, do you want to come around the counter and look to make sure the image is correct?”

Customer: *very loudly* “IS IT A MIDGET STRIPPING?”

Me: “…  Yes. Yes, in fact, it is…”