If you have not ready What is copyright and how does it affect you (the client)? Part 1, click here.
If you have not ready What is copyright and how does it affect you (the client)? Part 2, click here.
Test your knowledge
Sally Sue and her family just got done taking photographs with a local photographer. She was sent the sneak peeks of her photographs through the photographer’s blog and could not be more excited and overjoyed on how well they turned out. She screenshots them all and posts them on social media. What has just happened?
Everything is perfectly fine. She did nothing wrong.
She did not give credit to the photographer. Since this is a reproduction of the work, this would be considered copyright infringement.
Since she didn’t actually print these, she is fair game.
John Deer just got some branding photos done for his tractor supply company. His photographer knows that these photos are going to be used in promotions and will be all over John’s websites. They had discussed and put in the contract that the photographer will give John the printing rights, as long as any digital works have credited the photographer with links back to the photographer’s social media and website. John uses these on billboards, print ads, as well as website advertising. He even uses them as social media marketing pieces. Every time, there is no name written, but tags and link are embedded in the photographs. What has John done?
John did everything that was specified in the contract. He has not done anything wrong.
He forgot to have everything link back to the photographer. He broke the contract which can be held up in court.
He used his own labs to print the billboards. This would be copyright infringement.
Olivia Benson’s son Noah, just had a birthday. She hired a photographer so no one would be left out of the photographs. It was very last minute and Olivia didn’t have time to read over the contract (her job has her work LONG hours), and signed it without looking it over. A week later, she received the digitals in an online gallery and she picks her favorite one to post on social media. Since it was a vertical photo, Instagram cut off part of the photo, so it made her crop the photo. What has just happened?
Since she didn’t have time to read through the contract, how would she have known if she ever did do anything wrong? As far as she knows, she is doing everything right.
Because Olivia signed the contract, she is legally bound to it. She didn’t notice there was a printing rights clause as well as a digital media clause. In the digital media clause, it says she must tag the photographer as well as not alter the image in any way, including cropping. Since she signed it, she has violated copyright law.
Olivia violated copyright law. With or without a contract, she altered the photographer’s work. Sure it was unintentional, but it still happened.
Copyright law infringement is a serious offense.
Photographers try their very best to make sure that you are educated and know what to do and what not to do (like talking them through their contract, writing blog posts like this one, and reinforcing it through out the experience). This is also why there are contracts in place, to make the unaware, aware. It’s not to be difficult or to add more steps to your life, but to protect you and the photographer both.
In my business, before I even first meet with you, I send you a copy of the contract that will be just like you would sign. I want you to have a chance to look it over and feel confident in what you are signing. I want to be completely transparent and be able to give you the chance to question anything that is written.
So take my advice and ask all photographers for their contract ahead of time so that way you can be confident in your purchase with them.
If you have any other questions, feel free to reach out to me.