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Copyright issues

Imagine23 11 241 United Kingdom
2 Jul 2009 5:58PM

I just have a quick question about copyright. I've looked on the through the other forums but still not 100% sure of the answer. Recently I did the photography for a conference and sent the client a low and high res disc of the images. They have put the images on their website, which of course is fine, but they have also put a statement saying 'Please be aware that *company name* owns strict copyright on these images, and that prior permission must be sought from *company name* for these images to be used elsewhere.' I believe that this is incorrect as far as the copyright issue goes (I didn't sign it over-is this correct?), but if other people wanted to use the images would it be in my right to sell them, even though I was hired to produce them for this particular client? This is where I'm not sure what the situation is.



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2 Jul 2009 6:07PM
If you did not make any prior arrangements with the client, by default, the copyright is yours, not theirs.

As for selling them to a third party, I would clear it with your client first. I recently did some headshots for a law firm, one of the subjects I did called me a month or two later and told me that she had left the firm and wanted a copy of the shot. I decided to contact the client to see if they had any objections. They said I was not to let her have any copies and thanked me for letting them know. If you did go behind the clients back, you might not get any more business from them.
John_Frid 12 514 57 United Kingdom
2 Jul 2009 6:14PM
Unless you signed over the copyright to the company then it remains with you.

Although in law you retain the copyright, not all clients understand this. Therefore, it is always best to have written terms and conditions that set out specifically what the client can (and can't) do with the images you provide. This will hopefully stop them trying to take ownership of your copyright, and may give you bargaining power to charge more if they want to extend the permited use.

EDIT - your T&C's should also be clear about what rights you retain - this avoids ambiguity on both sides.
Imagine23 11 241 United Kingdom
3 Jul 2009 11:10AM
Thanks Smile

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