In the past I have written and talked to a lot of people on the facts of copyright for photographer’s and why this is so important to us. The simple fact is that in this digital age copyright is even more important than it was pre-digital. For any kind of commercial photographer the fact is that the large portion of our income comes from selling people the right to use our images. After expenses the actual photo-shoot is not that profitable. There is a massive amount of information out there about a photographer’s copyright and what both photographers should know and what potential clients and costumers should know and understand.
All of this is being talked about because of a new app that I read about on www.fstoppers.com, “Photos At My Door.” Basically what this app offers is for you to be able to go on your friend’s Facebook pages and buy products with their photographs on them. This is not surprising to me in the least, over the last few years businesses have been trying to find a way to legally steal our images and make a profit off of them. Below are some simple facts that you need to know when hiring a photographer or being a photographer. This app is horrible though, and it really dangerous.
– The person that push the shutter release button by law automatically owns and has copyright over a photograph, and there is not any “if”, “ands”, or “buts” about it.
– If you are in public, on public property, or in view of the public it is completely legal to take your photograph without your permission.
– If you hire a photographer to talk portraits of your family, that does not mean that you can sell those photographs without the photographer’s permission. This does depend on how the photographer writes up his/her paperwork.
– A model release is required for a photographer to use a photograph of you for commercial sell; otherwise, a model release is not required. This is not required by law however, this is an industry standard and there is not a company in the US that will buy that image without a model release.
– Photographer’s own the images and can post-process the image in any way that they see fit, you have no say over this.
HERE ARE A COUPLE OF SOURCES FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Copyright Law PDFs http://www.copyright.gov/title17/