davidbeckphoto

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US copyright law says the photographer retains the copyright to the images, but what makes someone "the photographer" of a given photo?

I didn't press the shutter button for my profile pic for this forum, one of the models did. But I was directing the shoot.

In the photography world, people seem to think the image belongs to the person that pressed the shutter button, especially since there wasn't much to the lighting, and they are the one that pointed and clicked.

But in the film world, the director gets the credit for the creation of the shot (authorship, or whatever you want to call it), while the camera operator is only considered a technician operating a piece of equipment.

So who does it belong to?
 

Bill The Lurker

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absent a work for hire contract its the model's

you could argue that there was an implicit, verbal, contract in place, but if your model got pushy i suspect you'd lose. there probbaly was such a "contract" in place but implicit contracts are not particularly strong legally
 
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davidbeckphoto

davidbeckphoto

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absent a work for hire contract its the model's

you could argue that there was an implicit, verbal, contract in place, but if your model got pushy i suspect you'd lose. there probbaly was such a "contract" in place but implicit contracts are not particularly strong legally

Word! Interesting take on the issue
 

snowbear

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Ask him

IMG_0143.JPG
 

Designer

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There's one wealthy monkey! Not just for the images he has sold, but the potential windfall from suing all the people who stole his photograph without paying him and receiving a publishing release.

This monkey can afford to live in luxury for the rest of his life. I don't know about his progeny, and whether his lawyers have set up a trust for them.
 

vintagesnaps

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The person who took the photograph owns the copyright, unless you contracted with that photographer who then turned over rights to the photo to you.

If it was 'work for hire', and the photographer is your employee, then you as the employer would own the copyright to the photo.

The reason that '... people seem to think the image belongs to the person...' who '...pressed the shutter button...' is because it does.

See page 2 or look further on the US Copyright website.
http://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ01.pdf
 

SquarePeg

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The person who took the photograph owns the copyright, unless you contracted with that photographer who then turned over rights to the photo to you.

If it was 'work for hire', and the photographer is your employee, then you as the employer would own the copyright to the photo.

The reason that '... people seem to think the image belongs to the person...' who '...pressed the shutter button...' is because it does.

So... I'm the photographer, I set up the lighting and camera, I pay for the studio and the models, it's my camera, my sd card, my "concept" and right as I'm getting ready to take the shot, my phone rings and I turn aside. There is a friend on site and they reach over and push the shutter release and they now own the photo?
 

limr

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The person who took the photograph owns the copyright, unless you contracted with that photographer who then turned over rights to the photo to you.

If it was 'work for hire', and the photographer is your employee, then you as the employer would own the copyright to the photo.

The reason that '... people seem to think the image belongs to the person...' who '...pressed the shutter button...' is because it does.

So... I'm the photographer, I set up the lighting and camera, I pay for the studio and the models, it's my camera, my sd card, my "concept" and right as I'm getting ready to take the shot, my phone rings and I turn aside. There is a friend on site and they reach over and push the shutter release and they now own the photo?

Technically, ayup. You may have set everything up but you did not create the image. Not literally.
 

Designer

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they reach over and push the shutter release and they now own the photo?
The Golden Finger.

The privileged finger.

The finger that writ the image.

Nacho finger.
 

Peeb

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The internet teaches that a PERSON doesn't take the photo, a CAMERA does.

For instance: "That's a fantastic picture- you must have a really nice camera". :D

Props to @snowbear for reminding me of the insane monkey/photographer debate!
 

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