Copyright and image rights are a complex topic.
With this brief explanation, I’m not attempting to explain copyright in general but to expand on how it applies to my photography and the work I produce.
In the photographic environment, copyright constitutes the intellectual and artistic rights of the individual that created the images.
Unless otherwise informed in writing, I retain copyright for my images and shoots, this of course does not affect the person or group who have commissioned me from being assigned image usage rights.
In general, if you have commissioned me for a shoot you will be assigned image rights to use the images for your own purposes to promote your firm without having to check or approve usage.
The restriction is that the client cannot sell or loan these images to a third party to promote a separate company without my permission.
Whilst I am not assigning copyright to a client, I am assigning them a licence to use the work for their own purposes.
An example of this is where an architect commissions me to shoot a property, the architect can use the images to promote the architectural firm that commissioned them, if a third party contractor who contributed to the building of the property wishes to use the images to promote their firm or project, they need to pay a fee to obtain the licence to use the images.
The licence purchased by the contractor does not entitle them to “pass on” or sell the images to a third party to promote a seperate business or individual.
In common sense terms, in general if you didn’t contribute to a shoot financially or in some other way, it is unlikely that you will be able to promote your company with our work.
If in doubt, find out who owns the copyright and get their explicit permission in a way that can be recorded before using the work in any way.
For advertising purposes, fees and contracts will be in place prior to shoots where fees charged would reflect the scope and usage of the campaign etc.
It is our moral and legal right to be credited for our work wherever possible.
Link to the intellectual property office website here