Copyright is an interesting subject when it comes to photography

Copyright is an interesting subject when it comes to photography there are always arguments over who owns what and artistic license. And of course to confuse things even more there are rumours and speculation over copyright laws and to some extent etiquette.

The most popular view on photography copyright is that if the photograph hasn’t been paid for then there is no copyright violation taking place. This is not correct, although it is very difficult to pursue damages in this case.

Another common mistake in copyrite is that you have to label or imprint your name or copyrite symbol to actually have copyrite this is also incorrect since 1989. If you are the original photographer then the image holds your copyright and you have the rights to the image whether it is labelled or not. This also applies if you wanted to use someone elses image even if it is not watermarked.

When you take the photos the images are yours a lot of photographers

When you take the photos the images are yours a lot of photographers don’t even give away the images just the prints so they cannot be reproduced as easily, I have never done this as I am sympathetic to the client and the mark up a lot of photographers make on the prints.

Although recently I have come across a situation with a client where they have dictated the use of the images. Forbidding me to use the images online or for my portfolio. I gave the client the disc so they can print as many images as they like but the client does not own the copyright even if they have paid for the images.

In this case I took the images off the internet for now as a gesture of goodwill but I think I’m going to have to be harsher with clients in the future and not give away the images and charge for prints instead.