You'd be surprised: In many countries, you may own some rights to the photo, but you cannot do anything with it (not even show it) without the explicit consent/licence of the person shown, because it would violate their rights.If I take a picture of you in public, does the right of the image belong to you?
I provide photography services. Do I own the copyright to the photos that I take for my clients? If I don't, is there any way that I can own the copyright? I want to showcase the best photos in my website and brochures.
In general, clients who pay for your services own the copyright to the photos taken. ...See, this is a very different situation from "whenever someone takes a photo, the copyright belongs to him/her". Of course the ownership of the rights can be affected by the terms of the contract. But, by default, the rights are not yours.If I get hired by someone to do a job, I make sure that they are aware of my terms and conditions which state that unless agreed upon beforehand in writing, I own the copyright to my work and I'm authorized to use it for my portfolio.
Without a contract, nothing goes, really. Ethics are admittedly subjective, but to be frank S'porean society in general and businesses in particular are not exactly known for ethics.It's not unethical to use the photos for your own portfolio or otherwise if the client is fully aware of what you plan on doing with the photos. That is why giving a contract with your terms and conditions on it is very important. Without it, anything goes really.
I'm saying this because photographers demand/claim special treatment that is the opposite of what you'd get in just about any other profession. About the "unless otherwise agreed", you couldn't be more wrong.And why do you say that pro photographers think the world owes them everything? I take it you're not a pro with a statement like that. The issue here is simply about protecting your own work with a copyright which is belongs to the photographer unless otherwise agreed upon in a contract
little wolf, did you or the plumber buy your pipes? are you going around to pull another profession into the mix?
Why not just stick to photography? Or are you an plumber who knows those stuff better?
Just to add value to this discussion, do come up with a contact whenever you are commission to do a work. I think it helps to both protect both parties and its deem more professional in the long run. Anything that you feel you are in the losing end, you could opt out to do so. Losing some business will be better than losing the passion in the long run.
This is Singapore, want cheap want fresh want big......everything must have.
Copyright an issue, all images return also another issue.
Eat breath LIVERPOOL!!!
Addon: I realised I read LittleWolf's comment on plumbers the wrong way. However, shadowupphotography has already recognised the correct position since my post and I think it is not necessary to further poke at him.
Vine123123, buddy while you are not wrong legeally there does not seem to be any mention of model releases in Singapore law statues.
The concept of ownership of a likeness ie and its use in commercial setting means that this (model release) is needed to forstall any down the road legal claims for unauthorised use of that person's likeness. The IP area in terms of Singapore is well in its early stages so case law is not build up yet. There are US cases regarding model releases - which supports the position that you need this in a commercial setting. No one wants to be frigging sued for big bucks when the images is used nationwide and it's the photographer that has the bear with the cost of such claims.
Sure, you can have it if you want to be comprehensively and 100% safe.
In the United States, it is not so much case law, but specific statutes enacted which protects the concept of "likeness" as you put it.
It will be very prohibitive for anyone to do a test case in Singapore unless the quantum of damages is astounding.
In addition, the concept of model releases doesn't quite fall under IP.
It is all a matter of risk. To me, the risk is negligible, and I won't go about my affairs with that small risk in mind, I will not pay more for a model to sign a model release, I won't refrain from joining competitions or publishing my work just because I don't have a model release etc.
To give an analogy, the chances of an volcanic eruption in Singapore are remote (no one can say 100% it won't happen), but do we start incurring costs constructing volcanic shelters etc for that remote possibility? The same applies for model releases.
Hmm guess I should have qualified my posting. From a commercial photography point of view - you need a model release. If you are shooting for otherwise you can do without it. Contest ?? sheesh if they expect to be back end covered then they (the contest organizer need to look at what they are putting on the table first).
With a model that you are on goo terms with it may be possible to get a model release at reasonable non commercial terms. If you are using commercial rate models then they should be prepared to sign a standard release without qualms.
Grin it is advice like that keeps lawyers well fed when it all hits the fan. Be proactive (commercial ) and let's strave the lawyers by not letting them have work to do. 8-) Kidding everyone has to earn a living somehow.
This has been a very informative and interesting read to say the least. Thanks Vince for your posts and keen knowledge on the subject. In all the years I have been a photographer, around 15 or so, I have only run into the problem of copyright issues about two times. And one of those was just recently right here in Singapore. I have only been shooting professionally here for the past one year so I won't pretend I know the laws inside and out. But what I can say is of all the events that I have shot, more than 60, in addition to magazine and editorial work, there has only been one instant of a complaint regarding copyrights. This was explained in one of my earlier posts in the forum. My contract and terms and conditions clearly states that I own the copyright unless otherwise agreed upon. In my opinion I don't think it's unfair or unethical and since I'm not challenged by it, I continue on the way I have been.
It certainly will make me think twice regarding the copyright the next time I do a shoot. Thanks again for the info.
You're welcome, its my pleasure to be able to help fellow photographers in this forum. If your contract already says you retain copyright, then S30(5) will not apply
If you have any other legal related questions, do post here and I'll try my best to give my 2 cents
Hmm, well as my previous view states, I don't think that model releases are required whether for commercial or non-commercial use. To start a new cause of action would be an uphill task indeed, but I suppose there is nothing to stop anyone from trying. My own view is that the risk is very small, almost negligible.
The only situation where I would say model releases are required, is if you're shooting stock photography and intend to sell your works to a US-based agent. In such a case, your need for a model release is driven not as much by legal necessity, but more of business necessity, because the US based agencies will require it before they accept your works, whether or not it is legally required.
so vince u are saying that if the couples paid a photographer to shoot the wedding, and the photographer do not own the copyright?
but that does not mean the photographer shd returns all images am i right? cos the couples paid for professionals services to help them capture the images that day, meaning the couples have the rights on the images but still dun own them?
Eat breath LIVERPOOL!!!
Yup, in the absence of any agreement, the photographer does not own the copyright.
As for returning all images, I suppose its an unusual thing - does your contract say that you only need to return some? If not, better put it in first
I will also explain that I have to safeguard my interests should there be instances where some companies want them for commercial purposes, and only need to pay a much lower fee meant for personal consumption, yet profits from the images created, in which case the value of each image is a lot higher in terms of usage. Thus I would need to retain rights to that as a business. All my clients understand and appreciate the meaning behind that.
If, for some reasons unknown, the brides want exclusive rights, then I will charge a basic service fee which is higher than my usual going rate. No digital negatives will be promised or returned. I will charge between $150 - $500 per image negative with exclusive rights according to the nature of the shoot. Prints can be purchased at a different price, but no rights to duplication will be issued.
Hello All ... Read The Followings ...
Hmm, so this is interesting. I wonder if Singapore, being one of the signatories of the Berne convention means that S30(5) is over ridden by the nation's adherence to the Berne convention which states/implies that copyright is automatically assigned to the photographer?
To the OP, another aspect you could consider is the fact that it is possible to offer your clients a privacy clause without any amendments to the price or copyright. Just because they want to keep their wedding private doesn't necessarily mean they want the commercial rights to the images. You will find that a lot of high profile weddings will require a privacy clause which to me is seems to be separate issue from copyright.