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Thread: Copyright of photos for Wedding

  1. #1
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    Default Copyright of photos for Wedding

    Hi Guys,

    I read in today's Digital Life feature on copyrights that the clients holds the copyright to all the photos taken by their wedding photographers. Is that really the case? So do we have to seek approval from the clients to display their images on our websites/blogs and other media?
    Should we include this in our contract too?

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Copyright of photos for Wedding

    In my contract, they can do whatever they want but not for commercial usage or participate photography competition without crediting the photographer.

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    Moderator ortega's Avatar
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    Default Re: Copyright of photos for Wedding

    Quote Originally Posted by m3lv1nh0 View Post
    Hi Guys,

    I read in today's Digital Life feature on copyrights that the clients holds the copyright to all the photos taken by their wedding photographers. Is that really the case? So do we have to seek approval from the clients to display their images on our websites/blogs and other media?
    Should we include this in our contract too?

    Thanks
    it is up to you, just make sure that the client knows, what they can and cannot do
    and also tell them what you can and cannot do.

    put it in black and white, in your contract and make sure they understand and sign

  4. #4

    Default Re: Copyright of photos for Wedding

    Quote Originally Posted by m3lv1nh0 View Post
    clients holds the copyright to all the photos taken by their wedding photographers. do we have to seek approval from the clients to display their images on our websites/blogs and other media?
    Should we include this in our contract too?

    Thanks
    Quote Originally Posted by blurrblurr View Post
    In my contract, they can do whatever they want but not for commercial usage or participate photography competition without crediting the photographer.
    I believe TS was asking about putting the photos in the photographer's webby/blogs, not the clients.
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  5. #5
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    Default Re: Copyright of photos for Wedding

    Aiya forget to type the last sentence.
    They can do whatever they want except for the term and condition so do the photographer. But is still depends on contract,.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Copyright of photos for Wedding

    Quote Originally Posted by m3lv1nh0 View Post
    Hi Guys,

    I read in today's Digital Life feature on copyrights that the clients holds the copyright to all the photos taken by their wedding photographers. Is that really the case? So do we have to seek approval from the clients to display their images on our websites/blogs and other media?
    Should we include this in our contract too?

    Thanks
    Yes, if nothing is put down in writing, the client by default owns the copyright to the images.

    What I have in my contract are
    1) photographer is the SOLE copyright owner
    2) in avoidance of doubt, photographer has every right to use the images for promotional and other purposes such as website, blog, and any other future media that may be invented in the Universe.
    3) Images are LICENSED to the Clients for personal comsumption (on their blog for example) but they shall not sell , give to 3rd parties (such as wedding coordinator's who wants pictures for their website, florist, hotels)


    blurrblurr: I wouldn't even let them submit the images for competitions, there are many implications to that, e.g in event the image does win something, who should claim the prize? And don't forget, most of these competition organisers would have a clause stating that they own the copyright to the images, and there is a chance that the image submitted might land itself in some brochures/flyers w/o your permission....and there's very little you can do since the client owned the copyright to begin with and has given it to the organisers for some peanut prize

    If you're really serious about getting into this biz, then it's worthwhile getting a lawyer to draft a wedding contract for you, you'll never know how much your images are worth until much later.

  7. #7
    vince123123
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    Default Re: Copyright of photos for Wedding

    Unless otherwise agreed, the client holds copyright to the photographs.

    For those pros who insists on putting these terms in, then it is a commericial decision. If I was a customer, with A who has these, and B who does not; all thigns being equal, I'll go for B

    Quote Originally Posted by m3lv1nh0 View Post
    Hi Guys,

    I read in today's Digital Life feature on copyrights that the clients holds the copyright to all the photos taken by their wedding photographers. Is that really the case? So do we have to seek approval from the clients to display their images on our websites/blogs and other media?
    Should we include this in our contract too?

    Thanks

  8. #8
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Copyright of photos for Wedding

    Quote Originally Posted by vince123123 View Post
    Unless otherwise agreed, the client holds copyright to the photographs.

    For those pros who insists on putting these terms in, then it is a commericial decision. If I was a customer, with A who has these, and B who does not; all thigns being equal, I'll go for B
    $500 wedding photographers said I give you everything.

    $5000 wedding photographers said you wait long long.

    who will you choose?
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  9. #9
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    Default Re: Copyright of photos for Wedding

    Quote Originally Posted by vince123123 View Post
    Unless otherwise agreed, the client holds copyright to the photographs.

    For those pros who insists on putting these terms in, then it is a commericial decision. If I was a customer, with A who has these, and B who does not; all thigns being equal, I'll go for B
    That's how the pros show how much they value their work and protecting it from being exploited.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Copyright of photos for Wedding

    Quote Originally Posted by catchlights View Post
    $500 wedding photographers said I give you everything.

    $5000 wedding photographers said you wait long long.

    who will you choose?
    Interestingly, I find it easier to explain to the $5000 paying client about these copyright thingy, and anyone respects that.

    The $600 paying client doesn't give a crap about these coz all they want is a shoot-and-burn cd photographer. It's the $1200 paying client that I had in the past that wants everything (all rights, privacy, etc, etc) as they probably think they're paying a lot compared to the $600 folks

  11. #11
    vince123123
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    Default Re: Copyright of photos for Wedding

    Well, I said all things being equal.

    Quote Originally Posted by catchlights View Post
    $500 wedding photographers said I give you everything.

    $5000 wedding photographers said you wait long long.

    who will you choose?

  12. #12
    vince123123
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    Default Re: Copyright of photos for Wedding

    Perhaps. I guess its a matter of viewpoint. I'm not saying that works should be exploited or not valued; I'm merely saying that it is a factor for consideration.

    Quote Originally Posted by canturn View Post
    That's how the pros show how much they value their work and protecting it from being exploited.
    The scope of the license granted also affects the decision process; hence it is not a black and white (copyright vs no copyright) position.

    Most clients are also not really aware of the legal implications of a license or copyright and hence, for the end user, so long as they can do what they want (ie show photos to friends etc), they are happy enough. For those things which they want to try to do (and not covered by the license); say scannign and posting on blogs and the like; they'll jsut go ahead anyway in ignorance. That's the reason why many do not raise such objections because they don't know what to object to.

    I think it is difficult for me to explain fully my position without going into it at tremendous length and lecture on copyright, scope of licensing and the like - perhaps if there's a chance to meetup with you guys in the future (maybe one of those WPAS things?), I will better explain what I mean. Sometimes knowing too much can be a hinderance when it comes to decision making :P

    Cheers
    Last edited by vince123123; 3rd June 2009 at 05:31 PM.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Copyright of photos for Wedding

    I state that copyrights are solely the photographer's as well in my contract. Just don't want to get into a situation where the couple decides to let someone use the images that I created to pass off as their body of work, and I have absolutely no recourse.

  14. #14
    vince123123
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    Default Re: Copyright of photos for Wedding

    Actually, if you are stating so just to avoid this one point, it may be useful for you to know that you don't need to own copyright in order to prevent the situation you've mentioned (ie someone telling others that your works are in fact done by him; which is also sometimes called "false attribution").

    The following are well established avenues to combat false attribution:

    1. Common Law - Tort of Passing Off

    This is applicable in Singapore and affixing his own name on another person's work may give rise to an action of passing off. Normal passing off is affixing someone else's brand on his own goods.

    If the bad guy takes the photographer's work and then says "This is mine"; then the well established action of "reverse passing off" may be applicable.

    2. Statutory Law - Copyright Act.

    Section 188 onwards imposes a duty not to falsely affix another person's name or otherwise imply that another person is the author of the work. This duty is owed to the author and not the copyright owner.

    Where S188 has been breached, then the aggrieved person (ie the author) can then file an action in court for damages and an injunction.

    These avenues are in fact, perhaps more useful in combating the false attribution of authorship than copyright would; because copyright does not prevent someone from taking a legitimate copy of a work (say a wedding album) and then telling someone else "I did this".

    There is no breach of copyright (at least in my mind) to do this. Hence, going by the copyright route will not get the result you want (ie to stop false attribution); and is in fact, the wrong cause of action.

    Of course the above is necessarily brief otherwise I may be accused of giving a lecture again, but if you have more questions,I'll be happy to discuss further

    Something for you to consider if the false attribution is a problem for you

    Hope this is useful


    Quote Originally Posted by knoxknocks View Post
    I state that copyrights are solely the photographer's as well in my contract. Just don't want to get into a situation where the couple decides to let someone use the images that I created to pass off as their body of work, and I have absolutely no recourse.
    Last edited by vince123123; 3rd June 2009 at 05:48 PM.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Copyright of photos for Wedding

    Quote Originally Posted by vince123123 View Post
    Actually, if you are stating so just to avoid this one point, it may be useful for you to know that you don't need to own copyright in order to prevent the situation you've mentioned (ie someone telling others that your works are in fact done by him; which is also sometimes called "false attribution").

    The following are well established avenues to combat false attribution:

    1. Common Law - Tort of Passing Off

    This is applicable in Singapore and affixing his own name on another person's work may give rise to an action of passing off. Normal passing off is affixing someone else's brand on his own goods.

    If the bad guy takes the photographer's work and then says "This is mine"; then the well established action of "reverse passing off" may be applicable.

    2. Statutory Law - Copyright Act.

    Section 188 onwards imposes a duty not to falsely affix another person's name or otherwise imply that another person is the author of the work. This duty is owed to the author and not the copyright owner.

    Where S188 has been breached, then the aggrieved person (ie the author) can then file an action in court for damages and an injunction.

    These avenues are in fact, perhaps more useful in combating the false attribution of authorship than copyright would; because copyright does not prevent someone from taking a legitimate copy of a work (say a wedding album) and then telling someone else "I did this".

    There is no breach of copyright (at least in my mind) to do this. Hence, going by the copyright route will not get the result you want (ie to stop false attribution); and is in fact, the wrong cause of action.

    Of course the above is necessarily brief otherwise I may be accused of giving a lecture again, but if you have more questions,I'll be happy to discuss further

    Something for you to consider if the false attribution is a problem for you

    Hope this is useful
    Thanks for that . I'd rather err on the side of caution as advised by my more conservative lawyer - not that claiming ownership of my own work work is erring LOL

  16. #16
    vince123123
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    Default Re: Copyright of photos for Wedding

    No problem. Maybe you should ask your lawyer this question instead:

    "Is it an infringement of copyright for someone to use a legitimate copy of my work, and say that it is his, or that he is the author of that work".

    You may get a better answer from the lawyer that way rather than just "get everything in your hand, sure better one".

    Yes it may be better, but sometimes at some compromise (similar to model release issues). Of course if it comes at ZERO cost, then obviously get as much as you can! I don't deride that view either!

    Of course, having copyright helps if for example, that someone makes an unauthorised copy AND says it is is. Then you have two causes of action - first for copyright infringement, and second for false attribution.

    Quote Originally Posted by knoxknocks View Post
    Thanks for that . I'd rather err on the side of caution as advised by my more conservative lawyer - not that claiming ownership of my own work work is erring LOL
    Last edited by vince123123; 3rd June 2009 at 06:30 PM.

  17. #17
    Moderator ortega's Avatar
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    Default Re: Copyright of photos for Wedding

    why so difficult one

    just say the photographer own the copyright but grants the couple full non commercial license to use the images in whatever way they like.

    both parties happy, win-win situation

  18. #18

    Default Re: Copyright of photos for Wedding

    Quote Originally Posted by catchlights View Post
    $500 wedding photographers said I give you everything.

    $5000 wedding photographers said you wait long long.

    who will you choose?

    I nv had as much problems with full-rate paying clients of mine.
    Its mostly the budget ones that give the most problems.

  19. #19
    vince123123
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    Default Re: Copyright of photos for Wedding

    Yup, that could be one way to work it as well. Other than the word "use" the word "reproduce" should also be included as I'm sure the couple will want to post it on blogs or scan in or the like.

    Quote Originally Posted by ortega View Post
    why so difficult one

    just say the photographer own the copyright but grants the couple full non commercial license to use the images in whatever way they like.

    both parties happy, win-win situation

  20. #20
    vince123123
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    Default Re: Copyright of photos for Wedding

    I guess different industries have different requirements/standards.

    In my line of work, it is the big clients that scrutinize every small legal issue in contracts and raise objections even when clauses are accidentally wrongly cross referred; and it is the small companies who tend to just say "Aiya I just need a one page contract, anything also can lah".

    Quote Originally Posted by Lumiere View Post
    I nv had as much problems with full-rate paying clients of mine.
    Its mostly the budget ones that give the most problems.

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