Thanks EiRik for the post and commenting. What you said is exactly what I was going to say but you did it in a much nicer way than I would have replied. I just choose to ignore the ignorance...
Is it any different in a studio context?
Similarly for photographs, the owner of the copyright naturally belongs to the photographer in most cases, save for the example of the photographer who merely pulls the shutter on a set designed by someone else. The customer who goes to the studio and asks for his picture to be taken has merely consented to the photographer taking his picture and in return he pays the photographer for that copy of his picture.
As far as copyright laws are concerned, the customer does not own the copyright but has merely contracted or paid for a copy of that photograph. He gets that single copy which he paid for but he has no right to make copies of the same unless of course, the photographer allows him to do so. Similarly, a person who buys computer software merely has a right to use that copy and in limited circumstances provided for by the law, he may have the right to make back up as well as transient copies. He has no right to make copies of that software which he owns and sell it to another.
Vince, below is extracted from the Berne Convention website. It seems as if the Berne convention states that rights of photos go straight to the photographer. They make no mention of commissioned or non commisioned work, so in the absence of a contract (which i think one would be crazy to take on jobs without a contract clearly stating ownership of copyright) does the commissioner own the works because of section s30(5) or does Singapore's ratification of the Berne convention override this? If the Berne convention does not over ride Singaporean law, then how does Singapore provide protection to authors of works whose copyright is being violated within the national boundaries? I am quite curious about this.
For posters who are wondering why a couple does not own the copyright of their wedding photos even though it is of their event, in most other countries (i am not going to comment about Singapore because I feel that the IP situation is in a state of flux right now and this is an issue that is still waiting to be resolved), in the absence of a clear contract pertaining to copyright ownership, in order for a person other than an artist to acquire ownership of the copyright of a piece of original work, they are required to, besides providing the event, also provide the material support to the artist including but not limited to salary, equipment (computers, cameras, etc), state mandated insurance, liability insurance, retirement accounts, training etc, etc. This is normally known as a work for hire agreement. Most companies find this increasingly tedious and expensive and that's why you see a tremendous number of companies dissolving their in house photography staff. National Geographic being a very famous example in the late 1990s.
Anyway, Berne convention below.
The Berne Convention requires member nations to offer the same protection to authors from other member countries that it provides to its own nationals. It also sets out a common framework of protection, and specifies minimum protection levels that are required.
The Berne Convention states that all works shall be protected for at least 50 years after the author's death with the following exceptions
1. For photography the minimum term is 25 years from the year the photograph was created
2. For cinematography the minimum term is 50 years after first showing, or, if the work has never been shown, 50 years from the creation date.
Note: These are the minimum terms of protection. Countries are free to provide longer terms of protection under national law. In the UK for example the standard period of protection is 70 years from the death of the author.
At first glance, the article on PPAS appears contradictory to S30(5). His analogy to software is also questionable given that there is a shrink wrap license with software and usually no terms in a photography studio situation.
However, since it is apparently written by a lawyer in a law firm, let me do some investigations before giving a conclusion Do note that however lawyers and judges alike have been wrong before
ckuang, you are correct, there is no mention of commissioned or non-commissioned work, so Section 30(5) is not contradictory to the Convention.
As for copyright going straight to the photographer, that is also locally given effect to under Section 7.
The part you quoted doesn't realyl talk about photographs, but about the duration of copyright.
so vince conclusions abt this topic?
1. regardings the images copyrights belongs to who when a couple engaged a photographer to shoot a wedding?
2. images return all policy can i say it's up to individual photographers?
3. even when all image return, the copyrights belongs to the photographers under not for commercial use?
why i ask cos the english too deep for me to read.
Eat breath LIVERPOOL!!!
Your opinion on model release is I take it your personal one - ie would you offer this same advice to a paying client on such a matter ? Yeah I heard the jokes about proffessional advice vs pro bono advice for doctors and lawyers.
Last edited by ellery; 3rd June 2008 at 10:55 PM.
Do let me add that copyright infringement cases has happened here in SIngapore...
Case One: $60k ... settlement 'out of court' for commercial job
Case Two: $15k ... settlement 'out of court' for wedding job
Details not convenient to mentioned ...
But then again, one may only get 'Paper Justice' and money spent hiring lawyers non recoverable. So unless you are absolutely sure you have a solid case, go fior it but must hire the right lawyers as well.
As I said before, you can have security if you want it
Your example is in Shanghai, I have no idea what the laws are there. Suffice it to say that in Singapore, that "staff" will have an uphill time trying to prove a claim based on "no model release". I'm not even sure what cause of action he can bring.
If you wish to have security, by all means, go ahead and get a model release. Its how much insurance you want for how much risk you are willing to take. In my opinion, the risk is negligible, but no one can 100% guarantee you anything.
On the other hand, if you want security in a legal opinion, guess you gotta pay for it too bro hehe.
I know this is an old topic... but what if I own the camera.. and my friend borrowed and took one picture... lets say this is not even a creative photoshoot, just anyhow take.. like.. clouds or maybe because she is taller and is nearer to a branch with engravings so I ask her to take... who owns the copyright? Can my friend sue me if I somehow use this picture?
Well I don't know about being selfish, if he took the photo, why do you want to claim it for your own?
1. Friend borrowed camera to take a picture (this seem obvious - copyright belongs to friend)
2. dawgbyte asked friend to take a picture (because, for example, friend is taller) - more questionable. Did dawgbyte visualize a scene but, because of physical limitation, asked someone else to perform the mechanical part of the capture? Is that important?
Does it make any difference?
Not that I think this is going to be of anything other than academic interest.
Anyway, let me try to decipher the abt scenario to see what whether I fully understood wat transpired in this thread.
1) answered by inquirer ( quite obvious I think =) )
2)dawgbyte asked his friend to take the photograph by did NOT commission him to do him. Sounds like there's neither monetary involement nor agreement that dawgbyte will own the copyrights to the photograph, therefore his friend would own the copyrighs to the photograph. Am I correct?
Would the creative part when dawgbyte told his friend how to photograph be involved as well? If so, how does it impact? since his dawgbyte did not patent the idea in the short span of time.
My question: Can I assimilate this case to a context where a friend asked another friend to take photographs for the wedding but do it free of charge and the photographer agrees upon the request, again neither monetary nor copyrights were discussed. Would it be right to say that the FOC photograpgher owns the rights to the photograpghs, since he's not being paid nor did he renounce the copyrights literally?
I am sorry if I slicing the cakes again ...
Ah....okay my apologies for failing to see it.
1. Yup belongs to friend.
2. This is a bit more of a gray area - can it be said that Dawgbyte is a "commissioner"? However, the commissioner exception requires that valuable consideration be given, so it probably will not be the case.
It does appear that one needs to be self reliant the way the Copyright Act is worded.
There was once a question of a photographer setting up the entire thing and getting his assistant to just push the shutter. This is another gray area that a strict reading would suggest the assistant gains copyright - but whether a purposive reading would be adopted by the courts is yet to be seen as there is no case law in this area to date, to my knowledge.
haha... i dun know about other countries...but in SG, i think it is better to cover all holes with "black n white" (i.e. contract)....
but then again, clauses can be disqualified by the court for being too unfair especially if contract is for consumer and the clauses are deemed unfair to consumer....