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Copyright - photos on client's private land

harvestman 14 12 United Kingdom
2 Dec 2007 9:49PM
I have been invited to take photos on private property (natural history content), in the hope that some will be selected for use in the owner's publicity material, website, archive etc. in return for payment, yet to be defined.

I understand from reading through previous discussions of this topic that copyright on the photos is mine, but does the fact that the photos in this case are taken on the client's private land influence their rights in any way, and affect mine? I am not an employee of the client.

I'm new to such matters, so any helpful insights would be appreciated. Thanks.
Fujiconvert 16 1.3k England
3 Dec 2007 6:19AM
Copyright stays with the photographer unless signed away.
Krakman 14 3.6k Scotland
3 Dec 2007 11:05AM
The fact it's on private land makes no difference - unless whoever owns/leases the land tells you you're not allowed to take pics there...
JohnHorne 16 1.0k
3 Dec 2007 1:15PM
My understanding is that if the photos are taken on private land then the owner can set the conditions that apply. For example, he may say that he is allowing you onto his land in order to take photos on the condition that you do not sell the photos elsewhere. However the fact that the photos were taken on private land does not mean that such a restriction automatically applies.

To avoid any misunderstanding in future it might be worth seeking agreement in advance that you can do what you like with the photos.

Regardless of any restrictions that may apply, the copyright remains with you (unless otherwise agreed).
loweskid 19 2.0k 1 United Kingdom
3 Dec 2007 1:24PM
You retain copyright but if you want to use them elsewhere, such as submitting to an agency, you should get a Property Release form signed. Or get a good lawyer!
cambirder 17 7.2k England
3 Dec 2007 3:23PM

Quote:you should get a Property Release form signed

But he is not photographing property.
loweskid 19 2.0k 1 United Kingdom
3 Dec 2007 4:53PM

Quote:But he is not photographing property.

Chris doesn't actually specify what he is photographing - it could imply that it's 'natural history content' in a museum. And under certain circumstances animals would require property releases (zoo, farm or rare animals). Perhaps Chris could clarify.

I agree though - if it's wildlife then a release isn't necessary
Krakman 14 3.6k Scotland
3 Dec 2007 5:50PM
You only need the property release in the UK if you'll be using pictures of private property for advertisements.
loweskid 19 2.0k 1 United Kingdom
3 Dec 2007 7:15PM

Quote:You only need the property release in the UK if you'll be using pictures of private property for advertisements

It's not quite as simple as that. Alamy say if you haven't got a release then it can be used for 'editorial use' only. That excludes: advertising/promotion, consumer goods, direct mail/brochures, display, multimedia and internal business usage. You should also have a property release if you intend to sell as 'Royalty Free' as you will have no knowledge or control of how an image is to be used.

alamy guidelines
Krakman 14 3.6k Scotland
3 Dec 2007 8:15PM
Alamy are trying to simplify it a bit, and getting a bit mixed in the process... They're trying to give a very cautious view to encourgae people to get property releases. They are mixing up the two separate issues of (1) whether the photo is taken on public or private property and in the latter case whether the owner has imposed restrictions on photography, and (2) whether there is private property appearing in the image itself.

The first of these two issues is not really about property releases. It's just a case of whether you're trespassing - did the owner say 'you can come on my land so long as you don't take photos (/use photos commercially)'.

Property releases are concerned with the second issue - can you use images that SHOW private property. On fact legally speaking, you don't actually need a property release at all in the UK to use the pictures of private property how you want (unless you were told when you took the photos by the owner of the land that you couldn't use them commercially etc.). But there are non-legally binding guidelines in the advertising industry that say you ought to get permission if you're using private property for advertising. This means that it will be hard to sell the image for advertising use without a property release even though legally you don't need one.

There are other potential restrictions, for example if you're photographing a trademark, but that's another matter.
loweskid 19 2.0k 1 United Kingdom
3 Dec 2007 8:54PM
I take your point. I suppose alamy are also trying to cover their backs as they sell worldwide and have to take into account other jurisdictions.

But we are probably getting way off topic now!
harvestman 14 12 United Kingdom
3 Dec 2007 10:00PM
Thanks everyone for taking the trouble to comment. Yes, it is wildlife photography, so that simplifies things in this case - though I'll keep an eye on the small print...


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