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Thread: Copyright wedding photos

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    Copyright wedding photos

    if you guys do wedding photo's who do you give copyright to the person that paid for it?

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    Moderately Underexposed I @ M's Avatar
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    Investigate the Australian copyright act. There are specific examples given for weddings in particular.
    Andrew
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    Copyright over photos for weddings is based on who the contract is with, thus with weddings, it is generally with the couple getting married. Whether the mother of the bride, or rich Aunt Fanny pay for it, it is about who the contract is with.
    "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

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    Yeah there's a copyright info sheet floating around somewhere... basically outlines that for shoots for domestic/personal purposes like family portraits or weddings etc the copyright generally defaults to the client unless otherwise agreed between photographer and client. So it really depends on what your contract states...
    Living the dream...

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    Weddings and No contract... then the client owns the ©.
    Make sure you have a contract!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kym View Post
    Weddings and No contract... then the client owns the ©.
    Make sure you have a contract!
    absolutely spot on.

    Thats the "default" setting for copyright in that situation. Suppliers are free to choose how they do business though, and many photographers will prefer to have terms and conditions in their contract that reverses that position back to the photographer.

    Well worth reading up on the information available from the Australian Copyright Council.

    Links are always being posted to them on AP - there is probably a link somewhere - I'm sure someone else can produce that previously posted topic for you.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Longshots View Post
    Links are always being posted to them on AP - there is probably a link somewhere - I'm sure someone else can produce that previously posted topic for you.
    This one http://www.ausphotography.net.au/for...ad.php?t=20673

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    I give the couple the copyright but reserve the right to use images for promotion etc - my contract states they can't sell the images (like to a magazine) without me getting a cut (but honestly you would be lucky to find out if they did...)
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffde View Post
    I give the couple the copyright but reserve the right to use images for promotion etc - my contract states they can't sell the images (like to a magazine) without me getting a cut (but honestly you would be lucky to find out if they did...)
    If you get a cut, not that this would happen often, this is the same as you getting a royalty so its like you still own copyright. If it was me i would negotiate that out of the contract or you would loose the job.

    The answers im happy to hear is the case.


    Two more questions: do you give the digital files to the couple in case they later think they would like to make a few more prints for whatever reason and do they get all the pics you take?

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    *edit for above.

    The OTHER answers im happy to hear is the case

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mile View Post
    If you get a cut, not that this would happen often, this is the same as you getting a royalty so its like you still own copyright. If it was me i would negotiate that out of the contract or you would loose the job.

    The answers im happy to hear is the case.


    Two more questions: do you give the digital files to the couple in case they later think they would like to make a few more prints for whatever reason and do they get all the pics you take?
    You have to be careful about what you 'negotiate out' of a contract. A contract cannot break the law, so your contract has to be worded correctly, cause by trying to sign full copyright back to yourself, you could be seen to be in breach of the law related to copyright. So if you are gong to have a contract it is worthwhile considering approaching a lawyer with experience in copyright to have your contract worded correctly

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    Well my little sis in law is getting married next year, the photographer she chose had in the standard terms that the photographer retains copyright, and the images are licensed to the client. I made a number of suggested changes to the contract, she put those to the photographer, and the photographer was not willing to assign copyright to the client. My suggestions in no way disadvantaged the photographer, and their original terms were all for them and nothing for the client.

    Needless to say, an alternative photographer has been chosen.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne View Post
    Well my little sis in law is getting married next year, the photographer she chose had in the standard terms that the photographer retains copyright, and the images are licensed to the client. I made a number of suggested changes to the contract, she put those to the photographer, and the photographer was not willing to assign copyright to the client. My suggestions in no way disadvantaged the photographer, and their original terms were all for them and nothing for the client.

    Needless to say, an alternative photographer has been chosen.
    If your sis in law was not happy with those terms then she certainly went about it the right way by suggesting changes to the photographer... Although I will say that the photographers proposed terms regarding him/her retaining copyright is really quite common... Certainly not dodgy IMO

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    Quote Originally Posted by jasevk View Post
    If your sis in law was not happy with those terms then she certainly went about it the right way by suggesting changes to the photographer... Although I will say that the photographers proposed terms regarding him/her retaining copyright is really quite common... Certainly not dodgy IMO
    Photographers cannot RETAIN copyright over wedding photos. Copyright, by law, is assigned to the couple. Therefore photographers are not RETAINING copyright, they are getting couples to sign it over to them. I am sure a copyright lawyer would love to get one of these contracts into a courtroom, if it contained the word retain in it. I have seen a contract where it stated that 'copyright remained with the photographer at all times', this contract went to lawyers and it was settled out of court (in the couples favour).

    I know that in most cases the contract will never see the inside of a court-room, but I re-iterate, contracts should be checked by a lawyer with experience in copyright law, otherwise a world of pain could await a photographer using one that is incorrectly worded.
    Last edited by ricktas; 14-09-2010 at 8:43pm.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ricktas View Post
    Photographers cannot RETAIN copyright over wedding photos. Copyright, by law, is assigned to the couple. Therefore photographers are not RETAINING copyright, they are getting couples to sign it over to them. I am sure a copyright lawyer would love to get one of these contracts into a courtroom, if it contained the word retain in it.
    Correct - poor choice of word on my part... Thanks for picking it up.

    My contract states that the client agrees the copyright in all photographs is owned by me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jasevk View Post
    If your sis in law was not happy with those terms then she certainly went about it the right way by suggesting changes to the photographer... Although I will say that the photographers proposed terms regarding him/her retaining copyright is really quite common... Certainly not dodgy IMO
    I certainly wasn't suggesting there is anything dodgy about the standard terms assigning © to the photographer, most will try to retain it so they can use images etc, however my SIL is not famous, is never likely to be and I fail to see what benefit there would be to the photographer in wanting to retain © of images they were paid the going rate to take when the client requested © be assigned to them.

    I thought it was very inflexible, and it was bad business sense, because that photographer stiffed themselves out of a $4K deal. I would never ever allow a photographer who was commissioned and paid by me to provide images to hold ©. In my eyes, if I paid them to go and do the job, I own it, if they aren't happy with that, I find someone who is.
    Last edited by Wayne; 14-09-2010 at 8:51pm.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ricktas View Post
    Photographers cannot RETAIN copyright over wedding photos. Copyright, by law, is assigned to the couple. Therefore photographers are not RETAINING copyright, they are getting couples to sign it over to them. I am sure a copyright lawyer would love to get one of these contracts into a courtroom, if it contained the word retain in it. I have seen a contract where it stated that 'copyright remained with the photographer at all times', this contract went to lawyers and it was settled out of court (in the couples favour).

    I know that in most cases the contract will never see the inside of a court-room, but I re-iterate, contracts should be checked by a lawyer with experience in copyright law, otherwise a world of pain could await a photographer using one that is incorrectly worded.
    While not wanting to enter a debate about the legalities of this, I will offer a direct quote from the Australian Copyright Council's information sheet on how the 1998 Amendment to the Copyright Act affects photographers - this is the section pertaining to a) wedding and domestic photographers, and b) commercial - in each situation there is room for a prearranged agreement to counter any "default" situation on copyright:
    • For photographs taken on or after 30 July 1998, the general rule on ownership depends on the purpose for
    which the photographs were taken:
    • if the photographs were taken for “private or domestic purposes” (such as family portraits, or wedding
    photographs), the first owner of copyright in them is the client, unless the photographer and client agree
    otherwise; however
    • if they were taken for any other purpose (e.g. commercial shots), the photographer will be the first owner of copyright, unless the photographer and client agree otherwise.
    If someone owns copyright in a photograph as a result of having commissioned it (without having reached any other agreement about ownership), the photographer has the right to restrain the use of the photograph for purposes other than those for which it was commissioned (provided these purposes were made known at the time of the arrangement). This rule applies to any photograph taken on or after 1 May 1969. Even though the client is the owner of copyright, the photographer can rely on his/her right of restraint to negotiate further payment for uses that were not contemplated at the outset.

    Its also worth noting that to understand the entire "picture" of copyright, the information sheet which is specifically intended to explain photography and copyright, should be read in full and all parts should be read in context.


    As you can see the agreement refereed to by Wayne is not in any way breaking the law. Its also worth noting that this is a free democracy and people can work as they choose to within the law. The agreement is within the law. Its also worth noting that the amount of photographic copyright legal specialists are relatively small in Australia. I know of just 10-12 around the entire country. Which indicates a couple of things, that a) the need for them is relatively small - down to market forces/supply and demand; and b) those who are available are expensive to employ.

    One of the benefits of joining AIPP, is that as a member you have access to sample contracts with terms and conditions that have been checked for correct legal standing.

    As a prospective consumer, if you combine that with the code of ethics that all members are requested to accept, then you as a consumer should feel relatively comfortable that you will not be faced with unethical behaviour. And if all of it does go wrong, then you have an AIPP mediation council who will take action to resolve a dispute.

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    Agree William, and I m sure that the AIPP would have had their sample contracts checked for legal issues, otherwise it could open the AIPP up to being the recipient of legal action as well. All I was saying, was don't just draft up your own contract without input from elsewhere, cause the wording of it, and in the posts above, one single word, could land you in trouble.

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    Is this OK, in terms of fairness to all concerned ??
    Attached Images Attached Images
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne View Post
    I certainly wasn't suggesting there is anything dodgy about the standard terms assigning © to the photographer, most will try to retain it so they can use images etc, however my SIL is not famous, is never likely to be and I fail to see what benefit there would be to the photographer in wanting to retain © of images they were paid the going rate to take when the client requested © be assigned to them.

    I thought it was very inflexible, and it was bad business sense, because that photographer stiffed themselves out of a $4K deal. I would never ever allow a photographer who was commissioned and paid by me to provide images to hold ©. In my eyes, if I paid them to go and do the job, I own it, if they aren't happy with that, I find someone who is.
    Yes your last sentence is fair and very reasonable. As a consumer, you certainly have that right.

    From what you've said here though, while your SIL is not famous, that isnt necessarily the reasoning behind a photographer wanting to retain the ©. Let me suggest a different way of looking at it.

    Just because you buy a piece of software, in most cases you dont ever own the ©. You'll get a licence to use it.

    If you commission an artist to paint your SIL, you wont own the ©. You'll own the paiting, and if the artist wants to they could replicate the painting, they can photograph the painting, and they can make greeting cards out of the painting. You'll own the painting, but you dont own the right to copy it. Fun this © isnt it.

    If you buy a book, you own the book, but cant copy it because you dont own the ©

    And if you go and buy some music on a cd - you may have paid the company who sell the cd the going rate, but you dont have the ©.

    Now lets turn it around one more time - lets say the client has agreed to own the © on the photos. Who can use the images then, the studio/photographer in their website to show off their past work ? No they cant, because the client owns the ©. But the client can then go on and do anything with them because they own the ©


    Now for all these examples there are some exceptions to being allowed to copy, and to keep that brief - they include educational and fair dealing purposes. The other reasons may include open source and creative commons, which is too detailed to go into here.

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