* My Profile My Galleries My Networks

Copyright Defense


Professional Photographers of America Inc.
Copyright Defense
229 Peachtree St. NE, #2200
Atlanta, GA 30303

PPA Service Center
800 786-6277
between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. EST, Monday-Friday.

or 404 522-8600
Fax: 404 614-6400


800 786-6277

Registering your work

Here you can find info on registering your work as well as finding a Intellectual Property/ Copyright Attorney if ever needed as well as info on Copyright law.


by [a former member] at 2005-06-18 01:38:03 UTC (ed. Mar 12 2008 ) New York , United States | Bookmark | | Report spam→

People should check their domestic law on copyright…registration applies to the US, but not the UK…although if you’re a non-US national with work syndicated or used in the US either you or your syndiacting agent should be registering the work with the Copyright office.

In the UK (1988 Copyright Designs and Patents Act) and most European countries, the photographer owns the Copyright on their work the moment they press the camera button, there is no further registration required.

You shot it? You own it (in the UK)…UNLESS you’ve specifically signed away that right, which of course as a freelance is a VERY BAD idea for yourself and your peers.

It’s not quite that simple though, which is where people get confused (including myself)…and this does apply pretty much across the board wherever Copyright is recognised.

Copyright is an ownership right, but you don’t transfer that ownership when you ‘sell’ a photograph – because (this is where folks get confused) you don’t sell pictures – you LICENSE them.

You own the pic (Copyright), but issue a usage license which is an agreement between you and your client as to how the pic is going to be used.

There are quite a few ’pre-packaged licenses to cover most eventualities, for example:

1/ First British Serial Right – A licence to publish for the first time in any British serial publication.

2/ Electronic Archive Right (as part of original publication) – A licence to store material electronically for publishers reference and archival purposes only, not including copyright or further publication without the authors permission.

3/ Internet Publication Right – A licence to publish electronically on the Internet or World-Wide Web; this is always a world right.

4/ Intranet Publication Right – A licence to publish on an electronic computer-linked system analogous to the Internet but confined to a single company or other defined group.

A ‘Confirmnation of Commission’ form for photographers in the UK which contains most typical licenses can be downloaded as a PDF at the site below (The London Freelance Branch of the National Union of Journalists), but most professional photo associations like the NPPA and ASMP will have information on these licenses as well.


The license helps in policing misuse of your images because it codifies in writing a mutual agreement how the pics will be used. That way, you don’t send a pic to a client to use in their paper to then find later it’s been used in an ad for their parent company without further payment.

It’s standard practice for virtually all Rights Managed picture libraries in their delivery conditions so we really should all begin to use the same system too.

A lot of rights grabs contracts and some photo-competitions sneakily try to work around the copyright issue by saying you can keep the copyright (ownership), but they want a huge all-encompassing licence, and sometimes leaving you still legally liable for any problems.

This is the same as saying you own your car – but we get to drive it anytime we like, to any location we like, and use it as a taxi to make money with – and you take the rap if we get pulled over for speeding.

This is where the associated right of ‘Moral Rights’ comes in. If you look in most books you’ll see in the blurb in the opening page the author has usually asserted their Moral Right.

This is a right covered under most countries Copyright law which means your right to be recognised as the author of the work in question (like a photo credit), and to prevent anyone from amending or changing your work so it no longer is seen as yours or has it’s original intent changed, and should be ‘asserted’ to have any force.

So…how the hell do you cover all this when transmitting pics? Simple.

You start by inserting something like the lines below in the File Info/IPTC field of your pictures caption…as well as clarifying a license or license terms with your client beforehand.

© Sion Touhig, Photographer.
E-Mail: mail@sionphoto.com
Web: www.sionphoto.com

NUJ recommended terms & conditions apply. Moral rights asserted under UK Copyright Designs & Patents Act 1988. Credit is required. No part of this photo to be stored, reproduced, manipulated or transmitted by any means without permission.

by [former member] | 20 Jun 2005 05:06 | London, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
Very good. Thanks Sheryl and Sion.

by Graham Harrison | 20 Jun 2005 08:06 | Oxford, United Kingdom | | Report spam→

Get notified when someone replies to this thread:
Feed-icon-10x10 via RSS
Icon_email via email
You can unsubscribe later.

More about sponsorship→


Graham Harrison, Photographer Graham Harrison
(Creator of Photo Histories)
Oxford , United Kingdom


Top↑ | RSS/XML | Privacy Statement | Terms of Use | support@lightstalkers.org / ©2004-2015 November Eleven