Copyright questions

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by marinaw, Aug 27, 2007.

  1. marinaw

    marinaw TPF Noob!

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    Hi, everyone.

    I have some questions about copyright ownership under various situations.

    If I work for a company and take photos on behalf of the company during regular work hours, do they own the copyright or do I?

    If I work for a company and take photos on their behalf on my own time, do they own the copyright or do I?

    If I take photos on my own time for my own purposes, but decide to use them for company projects, do they own the copyright or do I?

    Thanks very much for your help.
     
  2. skieur

    skieur TPF Noob!

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    They own the copyright if your hired position involves taking photos. On the other hand if you were a business exec. who was asked to take photos at some company event, then you would own the copyright.

    If the photos were taken on your time with your camera, resources etc., then you own the copyright.

    This kind of confusion would not go over well in court and would act to the disadvantage of the photographer unless your photos were clearly labelled with your copyright and that you had communicated to someone in authority at the company that those were your personal shots and your copyright.

    Thanks very much for your help.[/quote]

    Hope this helps.

    skieur
     
  3. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    If you make photographs under the direction (or "on behalf") of someone else, they own the rights.... during scheduled hours or not.

    What you do on your own is yours. If you decide to surrender some of your rights to your employer, it's up to you to decide what you're giving and express it clearly. If you want compensation, let it be know up front. You can't easily change the deal after the fact.

    -Pete
     
  4. neea

    neea TPF Noob!

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    I'm confused here and correct me if I'm wrong.
    The first part sounds as though if you worked for a newspaper say... then all pictures you take on the clock AND off are their pictures. Is that what is meant by 'during scheduled hours or not'?

    But then you go on to say that what you do on your own time you would then own the rights.

    :er:
     
  5. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Time of day is not what matters. The operative phrase is: "under the direction (or "on behalf") of someone else".

    I suspect anyone on staff at a newspaper would have this all spelled out in contract. In my situation... if someone is working for me, making images of/for my clients, at my direction (whether I'm with him/her or not), I own all rights. If that person goes to lunch and makes a photo of some spectacular news event, then it's all his/hers. I'm just the employer. I have expectations when someone is working for me. I have no right to intrude on someones personal life.

    Does that make sense?

    -Pete
     
  6. skieur

    skieur TPF Noob!

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    No, the first owner of copyright is the photographer. Unless he is paid to take the particular photos as a photographer, then he retains his copyright. As to unscheduled hours, it also is a matter of whether he is paid for those unscheduled hours as a photographer. If he is then the employer owns the copyright. If not the photographer retains the copyright.

    skieur
     
  7. skieur

    skieur TPF Noob!

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    No, the operational phrase that matters is whether the photographer is getting paid to take the photos under the direction of someone.

    skieur
     
  8. skieur

    skieur TPF Noob!

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    Journalism is different. Freelance journalists work under a contract where they own the rights to their work and are paid for their individual columns, stories, or assignments. On staff journalists on a regular salary however do not own the copyright to their work. It belongs to their employer.

    skieur
     
  9. skieur

    skieur TPF Noob!

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    I should also point out that it is not generally known but if you are not hired as a photographer by a company then you retain copyright to any photo that you have taken, whether on company time or not.

    The only exception is..IF the company pays you specifically for a photo or to take a photo, beyond your regular salary.

    skieur
     
  10. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Wow... four posts in a row reiterating what I said.

    Uhh... thanks?
     
  11. marinaw

    marinaw TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for your comments, everyone.
     
  12. pandinus

    pandinus TPF Noob!

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    After seeing this, I'm glad I live in a country where the law states:
    "Any photograph, text, painting, drawing etc. the person who created it owns the rights to the artistic work."

    The same law allso states:
    "If such product is made for business use, the creator owns the rights to the work but the company/person who ordered it owns the right to use it."

    All very clear and forward. But the common practise is that if I shoot a photo for the company I work for, I give the rights to this photo over to the company. (this is the most common practise. event though I have a legal clame to have my name labeled on the the work.)
     

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