Re: Bradfield Yearbook

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  • N.F

    The copyright and patent lawyers would have to unravel all of this, but I doubt seriously that a “volunteer” can “copyright” material that does not belong to her, especially images of children for which she does not have parental releases specifically giving her permission to publish or otherwise use the images.

    Even as a volunteer, she’s still an agent for others.

  • Kmom

    Wow, I feel so very sorry for her kids. She’s done a great disservice to all the kids and families of Bradfield, especially her own. Nobody cares about the “integrity of the whole design” or snazzy plaid or broncos. She should have spent 100 hours making sure she had a candid of each kid – it’s not the “slim possibility of offending someone”, it’s the reality of excluding 5 to 9 year old kids that outweighs her egomaniacal design sensibility.

  • No Drama Mamma

    There’s surely more to this than meets the eye. And so far, the principal has gotten in the last word.

    Reading Volunteer Mom’s and the principal’s emails together, it sounds like this mom worked hard on the yearbook and at the last minute, the principal ordered her to majorly revamp it. Whether the mom had other options at that point remains unclear — but she did have pride of ownership — and handing it over to the principal’s PTA groupies to “fix” it was probably not an appealing one, if it was indeed offered.

    I don’t know her, but from what I’ve heard, she sounds rational and normal. It would be nice to hear her side of the story.

    In any event, this is an example of why I, and a lot of other moms I know, keep our heads down and try to fly under the radar. In my volunteering experience at the school we attend, good deeds rarely go unpunished.

  • TG

    It’s clear that one reason the Volunteer is so emotionally invested is the amount of time invested… which could have been avoided by allowing someone with the most rudimentary knowledge of graphic design and the most basic software handle the project. There is no legitimate reason for the horse characters and plaid backgrounds to have taken 100+ hours.

  • patentlawya

    Well, actually, the volunteer is correct. She is not an employee, and absent any written agreement, her work on the yearbook is not a “work for hire” under the Copyright Statute. Bottom line: if no written agreement, then the photographer / editor owns the copyrights. The volunteer is also not required to register any copyrights. Copyrights exist from the moment that she creates the photographs or arrangements (i.e., fixes them in a tangible medium). As far as ownership of pictures of the children, those copyrights are owned by the photographer, not the children or their parents. Same deal with wedding photographers – they own the copyrights and the negatives. A release would arguably only be needed if the likeness was used for some sort of commercial gain (e.g., a right of publicity). Inclusion in a not-for-profit-yearbook sure doesn’t seem to pass that test. So as far as the law is concerned, the yearbook voluneteer was correct. She is entitled to copyrights. The Bradfield PTA was correct to back off on this issue.

    I’ll let the rest of the commenters sort out the remainder of this tangled web.

  • Jeezum Pete! I guess it’s about time Bradfield had a scandal. I’m just glad it has nothing to do with boobs, brawling or jazz hands.

  • Matt

    Now, now, patentlawya. “Volunteer” has been clear that she didn’t personally take all the candids, and I doubt she took any of the school portraits. So while she certainly has a copyright in her compilation and original works, the PDF she’s now distributing is almost certainly infringing someone else’s copyrights. If she wants to make it ugly, it could be very ugly for her.

  • justwondering

    Right on, Matt! The volunteer doesn’t have an outright copyright and very well could be infringing on other people’s copyrights, unless she took all the photos. And I wonder if the school could assert an implied-in-conduct exclusive license to the yearbook based on the volunteer conduct and the manner in which it was “commissioned.” As a practical matter, I understand why the school just backed off though. Copyright cases are notoriously fuzzy.

  • Sharpay

    Maybe the copyright is legal, but why would you do that in this situation, especially when there was never any remuneration involved? At some point, she should have swallowed her pride and either: (a) added some candids or (b) allowed others to add the candids to the design.

  • Special K

    I, for one, would not try to copyright anything that I had used Comic Sans on. IJS.

  • MIS Mom

    I will say one thing. Had a “volunteer” put a copyright on my child’s picture and published it on the internet, all you know what would break loose. She has no right to publish any pictures of any child that is not her own. She can wah wah all she wants that she did not know the scope of the project, but coming from someone who has done this before, guidelines are strongly given and she was given ample opportunity to change things and was offered help. Don’t believe everything you read!!!

  • Special K

    All I had to do was Google Bradfield Elementary Yearbook and I found where Ms. Reeves had published the yearbook online, which includes names, grades and pictures of each Bradfield kid. Moronic move if you ask me.

  • Remove the yearbook from the internet. Now!

    The year book needs to be removed from the internet. Or at least password protected. My kids are in that book and I don’t appreciate the fact that some fruit cake can look up my kids in the year book, find our address online and then approach my kids with specific details about their teachers or classmates. Use your brain people. Seriously. I am sad that this happened to this volunteer and I am sorry for the countless hours of work she put into this project. I received tons of emails asking for pictures. She must have not received many. I never gave permission to publish pictures of my children or permission for her to copyright any picture I submitted. I would not care but she is putting it out there for everyone to see. I am certain that she is hurt and angry, but that does not give her the right to put it online. Period. I wish some last minute tweaking could have happened to satisfy all the parties involved. It is a super cute book and I am sure the kids that were included would have loved it.

  • Cynic

    Wow. Such venom. Well I’ve got a free yearbook, anyway.

    Gheesh. Glad I’m not roving around these posters’ target ranges. It’s “shoot first, ask questions later” around here.

  • Everyone needs a candid….really?

    I remember a few years where there was not a picture of me in my yearbook except for my school portrait plus any ‘club’ pictures. I am doing o.k. after many years of counseling. 🙂 Seriously….do we really need to be worried that some kids won’t have a candid picture? How are these children going to survive in the real world?

  • matt

    Every kid gets a candid? What kind of terrible lesson is that? That’s like those soccer leagues that don’t keep score. Listen kids, lower-case matt is here for you. One of the major accolades one can have in high school is to have their name appear in the index with 5+ page numbers next to it. You don’t want to be that kid with just “192” (the portrait) next to his/her name. That kid might be the next Bill Gates, but you can be damn sure he’ll need two hands to negotiate a brassiere hook should that occasion arise before he’s 32.

    This could have been a valuable lesson, not everyone is a 5+ page kind of kid. Better to learn early as it only gets worse from here. For the losers that is.

  • Remove the yearbook from the internet. Now!

    If you want your child in the yearbook…submit pictures. It is that simple. I am just annoyed that it is on the internet without any type of password protection or name deletions.

  • BroncoParent

    Frankly, this doesn’t surprise me at all. The Bradfield PTA prez (TKoz) should have been providing some diplomatic leadership on this problem. My experience with her is she never returns a phone call or email, avoids conflict at all costs, and doesn’t have the confidence to have avoided this entire mess. Thus, it gets dumped into McNutt’s lap at the last minute. SEvans would have been managing this issue months ago. No wonder I’m considering Hockaday…………..

  • Gagree

    BroncoParent, you’re considering Hockaday b/c you have issues with the PTA? Good God.

  • bc

    @lowercase matt-

    What about the 5+’ers that are all dork clubs – that doesn’t count, right? If Football is a 5 and Math League is a 1, then I figure you’d have to score at least a 12 when you multiply the number of pages outside the default class pic by the quality of each posting to be considered “at or above average coolness.” I’d have to see each club offered at the school and the quality of the members to effectively rank the clubs, but I think the formula will work… I mean, you don’t have to be the VP of Mu Alpha Theta to know that quantity AND quality will establish your place in yearbook hierarchy.

    Oh, and kids, Glee Club is still a 1 unless there’s some make-believe one out there full of jocks and cheerleaders. False hope, FOX, false hope.

  • expat

    @Special K – thanks for a much needed laugh this morning. I wholeheartedly agree – Comic Sans????

  • James Tucker

    Maybe it is time to stop treating our elementary kids like they are in high school. Didn’t Bradfield also have some kind of dance or prom this year? My kids loved their yearbooks, but maybe the old fashioned class picture which would come with their individual school pics should be enough.

  • Sue Ann Reeves

    I AM the “volunteer”. This is a project that I initially turned down due to a new baby, building a house and numerous other commitments that were already on my plate. I have always done a HUGE amount of volunteer work at Bradfield, especially anything graphic oriented. Thus, I was begged to take on this project. The last week of March, Dr. McNutt threw me this curve ball, and those of you that have volunteered at Bradfield have experienced many of them. She runs that office like a communist state basically. You are constantly being put through the ringer trying to raise money and make the school a better place. I am now at Hyer, too…and it’s an unbelievable difference. DO WE WANT OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS RUN LIKE THIS!!! This was really the straw that broke the camels back for a lot of parents that are hearing about this. Her e-mail was complete bull, and she is trying to simply do damage control. E-mail and blogs like this are her worst nightmare.

    As for my claim to copyrights, it is on the intricate design that I put together. If you are not a designer or a creative type, it’s not a concept that you can fully understand. To have someone else go in and tinker with my project would be like cutting a big square out of a piece of art and asking them to still sign it. She wanted to delete the candids, which would have destroyed the integrity of the whole book. I am a designer, not a photographer. It was on the parents to submit photos and I used almost every photo submitted. It’s too much to ask the yearbook chair to be photographer as well as layout and taking orders!

    The majority of the parents are outraged. I have had 60+ e-mails from people supporting the original yearbook. In addition, there is an online petition with 50+ DIFFERENT signatures. Not to mention, my phone has rang off the wall. The parents all want my design and want to know how they can get it.

    The real thing to understand, though, is this nonsense from the office never ends. She claims that the no alcohol written in any school materials is a “district” policy. Well, guess what—Hyer sends their Auction Program out in the kid’s backpacks. It advertises the Wine Pull and many other items containing alcoholic beverages. Dr. McNutt took a big marker to a sign I made at Bradfield because one of the Raffle Items was a “cocktail” ring. Good grief! Auction chairs, PTA President and their freaking husbands spent a whole weekend before this year’s auction delivering programs to doorsteps, because they weren’t “approved” to go out in the folders. Last year, the chair was handing them out of the back of her SUV “across the street” from the school. And mind you, all of this is to raise money for them.

    The most offensive thing that I’ve heard lately: A Bradfield grandmother, formerly a PTA President at McCullough years ago, was told that she could not sub for cafeteria duty until she had a criminal background check. She was asked to take the place of a new mother with a sick infant at home and was turned away when she tried to sign in at the office.

    We all SO value our community and how special it is for US and especially for our kids. Do we want our mother volunteers treated like this. I say no…but it looks like the Queen has spoken.

  • Matt

    Dearest Sue Ann, your mistake is thinking that it’s your project. You’re a volunteer for a school publication. Yeah, I do some non-profit creative work, and I work with many other volunteers, and they all understand that if they volunteer to produce something, what they produce may be altered or edited to further the goals of the organization. They all understand that, because they’re supporting the organization, not on a private ego trip.

  • Callie

    I saw the yearbook and thought it was adorable! I know there are reasons behind certain things (like background checks), but I don’t see any reason to eliminate candids just because they don’t include everyone. That’s what makes them “candids”. Every child’s picture is in the yearbook (the portrait), and that is appropriate. If you didn’t send in candids including your own child, then I don’t think there is any room for complaint.

    Do other elementaries have the same policy? All students must be represented in candids in the yearbook?

  • Bradfield CONGRESS

    That office is ridiculous alright!!! Nothing goes through their hands without being completely mutilated! Freakin’ Amy pulls out her pencil, then sends you off to run around like a chicken with their head cut off. They fight you every step of the way—meanwhile you are trying to MAKE MONEY FOR THEM!!! This is why the Bradfield Auction raised $100,000 (which they were proud of) and Hyer raised $250,000. Go figure.

  • Sue Ann Reeves


  • LM

    I am not a Bradfield mom. I went to the volunteer’s petition and looked at the yearbook via the web address that she posted. (Lady, you need to take that down–you are breaching confidentiality which could get you into hotter water than you are in now.)

    Your design is very cute. But regardless of your good intentions, rules. must. be. followed. Just because someone else breaks the rules, doesn’t mean you can, too. Honestly, I think your design is better than the old collages that had unflattering tiny headshots of some of the kids. And I think the teachers would easily assist with candids. Aren’t they taking pictures all the time these days?

    My kids are in high school and middle school now. If I threw away their elementary yearbooks, they wouldn’t miss them. Yearbooks are for our generation. They’ll always have facebook or something like it to remember each other.

  • Sue Ann Reeves

    MATT, if you read the original letter you would know that I wasn’t given any guidelines in the beginning. To redo it the last week of March would have meant starting all over from scratch OR having big blank spaces on the page. I was asked to do this project, because I always do a nice job. I cannot produce something that has been mutilated. I am not the one on a power trip here!!!

  • LM

    Sue Ann, we all know that cock gets censored. NO NEED TO SCREAM ABOUT IT!

  • My kids are no longer at Bradfield so I have no first hand knowledge of this incident, but I co-chaired the auction several years ago and have nothing but praise for Amy, Jeannie and the Bradfield staff. Yes, they are strict about the materials distributed. I also did the auction book that year which was a total PITA to get that thing approved and in the style that passed Dr. McNutt’s muster. But she’s the principal and it’s her perrogative. I feel badly for the time, energy and effort that Sue Ann put into this book. I’m sure it’s awesome. But this is when I recommend paying a professional to do a project because then you have a contractual relationship to complete the propject on time and to the client’s specifications. A business relationship is a whole lot easier to manage than volunteer relationship. Especially for women. Especially for PTA. Especially for Bradfield.

  • Avid Reader

    “Wasn’t given any guidelines in the beginning”…ummmm….How hard would it have been to look at the previous 50+ books for an idea? That would just be silly.

  • Sue Ann Reeves

    As requested, the yearbook is now password protected. You can contact me for the password if you are a Bradfield family. I apologize for any concern that I caused. I only sent the link to my Bradfield friends. I didn’t know this would end up on a BLOG!

    If you are a Bradfield family, you can contact me from the directory. Of course, you won’t have my e-mail necessarily because that is the office’s worst nightmare. Now I see why they are so protective over those.

  • A.B.

    SAR–There is this thing called the internet. When you sneeze the entire world can say achoo. To not even think that an email would be forwarded is incredibly naive. Once you hit ‘send’ it is no longer in your hands.

  • Avid Reader

    The online petition seems to only have 12 signatures….…unless there is some other double secret petition, “50+ signatures” might be a little bit of a stretch, I’m no math major, I just stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night. IJS.

  • LM

    Sue Ann, you seem like a really sincere person. And I am not trying to poke fun at you, but seriously, you must know by know that internet postings, including cellphone images, can be forwarded around the world starting with just one click. Please get informed about all of this before your children get to middle school.

  • internetarchives?

    And my advisor tells me that wait 6 months, then go to the Wayback Machine…yes, it exists, type in the yearbook posted page from the first day it was put up, and guess what? you get it without any password. Remember – it never goes away…..
    I’m so sorry this happened to all parties involved. I for one agree with the district policy of no alcohol – it’s a very serious matter and you will understand when you have teenagers.
    As for the grandma at cafeteria – all she needed was her drivers license – it’s really easy to be scanned into the Raptor system.
    Remember… it never goes away….

  • A.B.

    How long do you think before the password is posted to the blog?

  • Joanna England

    We always appreciate a lively discussion of the facts, but because no one seems to be adding anything new to this thread other than personal attacks, and we’re seeing multiple names linked to the same IP address, such as Sue Ann Reeves and Bradfield CONGRESS, we’re going to close the comments.

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