Copyright and Photographers.
Photographs are protected by copyright just like any other piece of creative work, and is protected in UK law by the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 and some EU directives that came into force in 1989, and under these acts they come under the classification ‘Artistic Work’. The overall policy of this legislation is ‘to prevent the unauthorised copying of material forms of expression resulting from intellectual exertions of the human mind’ … To put this simply it prevents the copying of an actual piece of work ( photograph ), but not the use of the information, thoughts or emotions expressed within it. Copyright protects the photographer against unauthorised reproduction of their photos, but also entitles the photographer to seek economic benefit and seek a fair balance between the photographer and the end user.
Copyright is established from the moment the image is created – the only qualification is that it has to be original. It is a right granted to the photographer under the law and it comes into force immediately. These rights are then held by the photographer through their lifetime and for 70 years beyond their death, when it is transferred to your heirs. Beyond 70 years it becomes public domain. This is a little over-simplified as with all laws there are exceptions and because of some EU directives, which came into force in 1996, extending the period from 50 years to 70 years and therefore bought some items back into copyright, known as ‘revived copyright’, and also special protection for non-European artists where their protection extends to the length of time it is protected in their country of origin.
As with any law there are always exceptions. If, as a photographer, you are an employee and the photos are taken for the employer or on behalf of the employer then the copyright of these photos belong to the employer, unless you have signed an agreement to the contrary, or if your employment is as a journalist for a newspaper, magazine or similar publication where the copyright is split. In this case the employer retains the copyright as it relates to press publication, while for all other uses the photographer holds the copyright. Another exception is where as photographer you have signed an agreement which assigns the copyright to another party, for example if you have been commissioned to take photographs for someone or a business, and as a part of the assignment you have assigned the photos to the commissioner then they hold the copyright on those images. In all other cases you retain the copyright, if you have been paid for your work the payment is usually for your time and typically an allocated number of images, so the copyright of the images remains with you, the photographer.
The copyright owner has the exclusive right to authorise the reproduction of their work in any medium by any other party. Any reproduction can only take place with the copyright owners consent, permission usually being granted with the payment of a fee.
AMM-Photography makes you aware that some areas of restriction apply to all photographic images on this web site and advise that we have restrictions that apply to the right to copy, duplicate or reproduce, selling, hiring, distribution, commercial or personal use, rights to be identified as the photographer, and image licences.
- All rights reserved.
- Permission is not granted to reproduce any images on this web site for personal and / or educational use. Commercial copying, hiring, lending is prohibited.
If you have any questions relating to the copyright and the law with respect to any photographic images on this web site, please contact AMM-Photography for clarification. Please use the web mail form on our Contact Us page.
© AMM-PHOTOGRAPHY 2017, 2081 and 2019
Data Protection (GDPR).
We are :- AMM- Photography Our website address is: http://www.amm-photography.com and http://amm-photography.co.uk
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