Photography – What is a Photographer’s Copyright and Why Do They Need It?
It is a known fact that when it comes to originality, copyright is often imperative in order to protect the original creator of the work and stop others from freely reusing their image. Copyright is used in order to protect the advances which are made within science and art, whether this is to protect song lyrics, music, poetry, art, images and so forth. It can often be confused as a means to help others make a profit from outsiders using their work, but in actual fact is a way in which to protect various types of creative work which are of an expressive nature. Due to the protection law, this means that in order for the work to be protected by copyright, it will need to be recorded in some form, whether this is on paper or on a disc format for example. However, it is important to be aware that copyright protection does not protect ideas or facts of any kind. These are deemed as freedom of expression which anyone can use, even if they have a similar take on someone else’s work or ideas. In order for a piece of work to be granted copyright protection, it will need to be creative in some way.
There are various forms of creativity around us such as logos from well known brand names, slogans and imagery. When it comes to photography copyright, many may become confused as to how the photographer can gain copyright of their images. In the instance that you hire a photographer to capture images of a special event, for example your wedding day; many may feel that as they have paid for the services of the photographer and they are the subject of the images that they then own the images. This is simply not the case. As it is a form of creative expression, a photographer will own the copyright of any images they capture, as well as the layout, style, etc. Copyright allows the photographer to use the images in which he captures as a means to help advertise their work to other potential clients and help build up their portfolio. This means that they are allowed to republish them on to websites and publications, sell them to clients and also amend them in anyway they wish in order to better the image for these reasons.
However, it is important to be aware that in the event that you hire a photographer, just because you are not the sole owner of these images that it means you will not have some rights. A photographer will automatically have copyright ownership over the images, but different photographers will have their own copyright policies which will provide the client with different advantages. You will more often that not be provided with copies of your images, but many photographers may also provide you with a license which will grant you use of the images for your own, non-profitable use. This may cost you extra in terms of your overall price, but it means you are able to make copies of the images to send to friends and families, as well as being able to share these on social networking sites which allow you to upload photographs. In order to be aware of what rights you will have with your license though, it is imperative that you read through your contract before signing so you are well aware of your rights and the terms of the agreement.
For many, photographs are worth a great deal more than the money they cost. However, by being aware of the copyright ownership of your images, you can be safe in the knowledge that you are sharing your images happily and legally.