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Thread: Copyright & ownership issue...

  1. #1

    Default Copyright & ownership issue...

    Say, if u shoot for a media company, magazine agency, a school or any other companies...

    1. Then these particular photos belongs to the company or yourself?

    2. If it belongs to the company, do you have the right to post it elsewhere without the consent of your company? Since u can claim that u took it...

    3. Does it make a difference whether your an employee of the company or a freelancer?

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by henavs
    Say, if u shoot for a media company, magazine agency, a school or any other companies...

    1. Then these particular photos belongs to the company or yourself?

    2. If it belongs to the company, do you have the right to post it elsewhere without the consent of your company? Since u can claim that u took it...

    3. Does it make a difference whether your an employee of the company or a freelancer?
    1. Are you employed by the company to shoot?

    2. See 1. but if it belongs to the company, the copyright belongs to them.

    3. Yes.

  3. #3
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    in the initial contract stage, any specification made to protect your own copyrights?

    If you are employed by the company to shoot the photos, then the copyright should be shared jointly between you and the company unless otherwise stated.

    For most parts, the copyright is yours, the photographer.
    But for posting or using for portfolio, it's best to write in to the company or agency for their written permission to use their pics stating purpose and duration and which pics.

    hope it helps

  4. #4
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    Read the Copyright Act, sections 30(4), (5) & (6):

    (4) Where a literary, dramatic or artistic work is made by the author in pursuance of the terms of his employment by the proprietor of a newspaper, magazine or similar periodical under a contract of service or apprenticeship and is so made for the purpose of publication in a newspaper, magazine or similar periodical, the proprietor shall be entitled to any copyright subsisting in the work by virtue of this Part insofar as the copyright relates to

    (a) publication of the work in any newspaper, magazine or similar periodical; or

    (b) reproduction of the work for the purpose of its being so published,

    but not otherwise.

    (5) Subject to subsection (4), where

    (a) a person makes, for valuable consideration, an agreement with another person for the taking of a photograph, the painting or drawing of a portrait or the making of an engraving by the other person; and

    (b) the work is made in pursuance of the agreement,

    the first-mentioned person shall be entitled to any copyright subsisting in the work by virtue of this Part, except that if the work is required for any particular purpose, that purpose shall be communicated to that other person and that other person shall be entitled to restrain the doing, otherwise than for that particular purpose, of any act comprised in the copyright in the work.

    (6) Where a literary, dramatic or artistic work to which subsections (4) and (5) do not apply, or a musical work, is made by the author in pursuance of the terms of his employment by another person under a contract of service or apprenticeship, that other person shall be entitled to any copyright subsisting in the work by virtue of this Part.

    What all that really means : is that, under section 30(4), if you're given valuable consideration, ie. being paid, either through regular employment or on a per-contract basis, to take photographs for any person or agency for publication, the rights to the photograph belong to THEM, not to you, unless you're using the photographs outside of the contracted parameters. In all other instances of shooting under employment, you have NO copyright, unless you've specifically contracted for it. It doesn't make any difference whether you're employed or a free-lancer.

    Practical advice: if you're shooting for an agency or a magazine, don't use the photos for any other commerical purpose, for frankly, the only way to use photographs is to publish it somewhere, isn't it? In any case, inform the employer, get a release or consent. Or specify your terms of use in your contract.

    Hope this clears it all up for those of you pros, there's certainly been lots of queries on the topic. Feel free to chip in with more opinions, y'all.

  5. #5
    vince123123
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    just as i was abt to post, saw ting's post. he's on the spot on most points, also u may want to do a search on this topic on the forums, i wrote something addressing this point as well in the past.

    cheers!

    Quote Originally Posted by tingchiyen
    Practical advice: if you're shooting for an agency or a magazine, don't use the photos for any other commerical purpose, for frankly, the only way to use photographs is to publish it somewhere, isn't it? In any case, inform the employer, get a release or consent. Or specify your terms of use in your contract.

    Hope this clears it all up for those of you pros, there's certainly been lots of queries on the topic. Feel free to chip in with more opinions, y'all.

  6. #6
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    hehe...takes a laywer to put things straight thanks Chi Yen

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    Would like to ask about another point.

    Let's say a good friend asks you to shoot at his or her wedding as a backup photographer. This is not a paid assignment, but would give you a red packet. Of course, this is done as a favor and in that instance, who owns the copyright. The photographer or the wedding couple.

    Appreciate understanding of this topic by both Vince123123 and tingchiyen.

  8. #8

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    Thx, guys..those are very informative replys above, particularly the one by ting.

    This is indeed one area tat still kinda blurry to me. But its getting clearer now.

    So I supposed posting those photos on forums such as CS and others also not advisable?

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    Although I know nuts about copyright laws, I normally take this approach.

    If I have been paid to do photography, I generally do not post things like that online unless I have permission to do so.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by agape01
    Although I know nuts about copyright laws, I normally take this approach.

    If I have been paid to do photography, I generally do not post things like that online unless I have permission to do so.
    Yup, that's the correct approach.

    Quote Originally Posted by agape01
    Let's say a good friend asks you to shoot at his or her wedding as a backup photographer. This is not a paid assignment, but would give you a red packet. Of course, this is done as a favor and in that instance, who owns the copyright. The photographer or the wedding couple.
    Technically, you've received something for doing something, but there's no strict intention to form a legal relationship. Just ask them whether you can use it for whatever purpose you plan on using it for... after all, they're friends, it's only polite after all, wouldn't be nice seeing your wedding shots staring at you from a cigarette advertisement etc. If they refuse, they can always technically still claim they own the copyright, and you really don't want to go to all the trouble, and ruin a friendship.

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