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Thread: Registered or NOT?

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    Member DacrimL's Avatar
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    Question Registered or NOT?

    I know I will probably be asking a lot of questions, but I am here to learn, so please be patient and bear with me. As soon as I get up to speed on a few things you all may even get to view the odd image or 3

    I am currently a 55 year old truck driver who is trying to get into the field of photography for my retirement. Having recently had an image posted in the local paper of a well known celebrity as a portrait with some young kids, I am now wishing to know more about some legalities of the trade. Oh and the paper credited me for the image.

    Now my latest question is :-

    To maintain the copyright of an image does one have to a registered business name? Or does the copyright always remain with the photographer?

    I ask this as I have been stung before by now past friends who used high end lawyers on me for images created by myself and stolen and used on their websites.

    The next things is it advisable to watermark every image, that is to be used, published or printed?

    thank you for your time.


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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Copyright is not related to business. Copyright on photography is ART related. In Australia, the person who pushes the shutter button (no necessarily the owner of the camera) is assigned copyright automatically at that precise moment that the shutter is pressed. There are some cases where this is not the case. Domestic portraiture (weddings, family portraits etc) where a photographer is contracted to take photos, under the copyright act these photos are owned by the client. Also photos taken as part of a persons work. Say a staff member taking photos of teeth for an orthodontist. The orthodontic practice owns those photos, not the staff member.

    watermarking really does not do anything, copyright wise. but it does protect you somewhat online. However watermarks can be removed by anyone with good photo editing skills.

    Your friends who took the photos from you, are stealing..unless you took those photos under contract with them as portraiture, or as part of your employment in a different field (you took them cause your boss wanted them taken as part of your workplace). The other time is when someone asks for copyright in a contract, and you sign copyright over to them.

    But basically, under the law, you own copyright the moment you press the shutter button and only you can give that away.
    "It is one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it is another thing to make a portrait of who they are" - Paul Caponigro

    Constructive Critique of my photographs is always appreciated
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    Quote Originally Posted by ricktas View Post

    Your friends who took the photos from you, are stealing..unless you took those photos under contract with them as portraiture, or as part of your employment in a different field (you took them cause your boss wanted them taken as part of your workplace). The other time is when someone asks for copyright in a contract, and you sign copyright over to them.

    But basically, under the law, you own copyright the moment you press the shutter button and only you can give that away.
    Thanks Rick wasn't sure but am now. As for those EX-FRIENDS, it was a verbal agreement to do some shots for her dog breeding business and she never paid. When questioned over the use of the images she got defensive and set her lawyers onto me. At the time I had neither $$$ for a lawyer nor the experience, so I guess live and learn.

    So basically I press the shutter I own the copyrights and that must also be stipulated in any contract.

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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    Well, you've sorted that CHAFF from the oats, D..L.
    Good luck with future ventures.
    Am.
    CC, Image editing OK.

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DacrimL View Post
    Thanks Rick wasn't sure but am now. As for those EX-FRIENDS, it was a verbal agreement to do some shots for her dog breeding business and she never paid. When questioned over the use of the images she got defensive and set her lawyers onto me. At the time I had neither $$$ for a lawyer nor the experience, so I guess live and learn.

    So basically I press the shutter I own the copyrights and that must also be stipulated in any contract.
    NEVER do verbal contracts..especially for 'friends'. Sit down, hash out the deal and then put it in writing..before taking any photos.

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    Where a photograph was commissioned before 30 July 1998, the client is the owner of copyrightunless there was an agreement to the contrary. For photographs commissioned after 30 July
    1998, the photographer is the owner of copyright except if the photograph was commissioned for a
    private or domestic purpose. If the photograph was commissioned for a private or domestic
    purpose, for example, a family portrait, the client owns copyright, unless there is an agreement to
    the contrary. Where an artist is commissioned to create a photograph, portrait or engraving for a
    particular purpose, and the client owns copyright in the commissioned work, the artist may stop the
    work being used for any other purpose.
    A small extract from the law. It seems unless otherwise stated in a contract then the client owns the copyright unless I am interpreting this wrong.

    And as I said Rick.....I was young, inexperienced and naive......it won't happen again.

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DacrimL View Post
    A small extract from the law. It seems unless otherwise stated in a contract then the client owns the copyright unless I am interpreting this wrong.

    And as I said Rick.....I was young, inexperienced and naive......it won't happen again.
    Private and domestic..refers to weddings, family portraits etc. It does NOT apply to businesses..even dog breeding businesses. Other than domestic portraiture, or where a written contract is agreed that copyright is handed to someone other than the photographer, then the photographer owns copyright. You can also contract in copyright back to the photographer, for weddings, portraits etc if you want. But you are legally obliged to explain to the client that they have copyright by default and that you are seeking to get it back under the contract.
    Last edited by ricktas; 05-11-2014 at 7:21pm.

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    Ausphotography Addict geoffsta's Avatar
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    This is interesting, and I have never thought of this until reading this thread...

    Should the law change now that digital camera are the norm.
    Back in the days of film it would have been simple... Whoever took the photos for a business or a wedding would simply hand over the film to the client. The photographer then does not have the negatives, and could take no further role with the images.


    Today we have digital.. Were as the photos are taken by the photographer. Then the photographer then loads the images onto his/her computer, and processes them. After which he/her loads the end result onto a CD or DVD before passing on the image to the client.


    Now.. Many of us on here constantly remark on the terabytes of hard disc drives getting full of images, with backups of backups of backups. How many pro togs still have the images from weddings or work on their hard drives. I know I have many work related images on mine because the company won't supply the software for me to process the images at work...

    Having these images on the computer under current copyright law, would be a breach of that law....

    Am I in the ball park.... Or somewhere in the outback?
    Geoff
    Honesty is best policy.
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