Every business has a set of terms and conditions under which it operates. Photography is no different. Whether it’s a commissioned commercial shoot, a private portrait session or a ‘Pro Bono’ [Free] agreement, all are subject to certain conditions and laws of the land. To ensure that both myself and the client is clear about what is required for a photography shoot, we will have a signed contract or agreement in place. This is standard practice and gives both parties a framework for a fuss-free business relationship. The contract, or agreement, will state the what, where, why and who of any photographic commission, and will refer to the photographer’s terms and conditions, licensing rights and copyright agreement.
This policy will explain areas of this website that may affect your privacy and personal details, how I process, collect, manage and store those details and how your rights under the GDPR, DPA & PECR are adhered to [there are links to more information on these regulations at the end of the page].
Copyright gives a photographer the right to control the ways in which their photographs may be used. Under the UK Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, copyright in any photograph automatically belongs to the photographer. Similar laws also apply in other countries. blah blah
Copyright has always been important because it acknowledges the right of a photographer to be recognised as the author of their work. Recent advances in technology make it more difficult for photographers to prevent copyright violation. In the days when most photographs were taken either as black and white negatives or as colour slides, it was easier to control the limits of usage. With the advent of the web, colour copiers and desktop scanners, illegal copying and reproduction of copyright-protected material are on the increase. Copyright law, combined with effective licensing, allows photographers to retain their rights, whilst licensing allows their clients to reduce costs by only paying for the usage they need.
Rights Managed licensing
Licensing allows photographers to keep the copyright in their work whilst giving their clients the freedom they need to use their photography in a range of contexts. A licence specifies the precise circumstances under which photographs may be used, which can include: type(s) of media, geographical area, time limits. Licensing means that photographs are effectively ‘hired’ for use under terms which can be as broad or as specific as necessary. For example, a licence could cover once-only use in the UK press, or allow unlimited use in the media, for advertising and PR in several countries over a period of a year or more. Specific terms may also be included – a client may request exclusivity, for example. In all cases, however, the copyright in the photographs remains the photographers. If a client uses photographs outside the terms of the license, they are breaking copyright law.
Royalty Free Image licensing
“Royalty-free” means that the buyer pays once for an image that can be used by the buyer, or licensee, (but not passed on to anyone else) for multiple purposes over, an unlimited period of time. Other buyers may acquire similar rights, which means that the same image can be sold many times over. If it is important to a buyer that the particular image is only associated with them, then it would be wise to purchase an alternative type of license, such as ‘Rights Managed’, or ‘Reserved Rights’. Royalty Free, by its very nature, is the most cost-effective way to purchase the right of use for images.