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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk 
Thread started 22 Sep 2009 (Tuesday) 01:06
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nik.hisham
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Sep 22, 2009 01:06 |  #1

Dear all,

Not sure if this comes across as a dumb question but here goes. If I take a pic of a person I don't know and don't have a model release (or even a pic of a building without permission from the building owner) can I stamp that pic with © ? Are there any implications?

This is just a thought that struck me because when I shoot weddings, I have a clause in my wedding photography contract that basically says that I own the work and the client buys the prints only. So I feel comfortable with putting a © on the wedding pics. but for just stuff I take during my leisure, I'm not so sure.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts.

Nik.


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thebishopp
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Sep 22, 2009 01:20 |  #2

Here in the U.S. a photographer owns the copyright on a photograph the moment he pushes that button. Exceptions being work for hire jobs which specifically give the hiring/contracting party the copyright.


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nik.hisham
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Sep 22, 2009 01:51 |  #3

Thanks for the feedback. I think it should be the same where I'm at.


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RDKirk
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Sep 22, 2009 08:57 as a reply to  @ nik.hisham's post |  #4

This is just a thought that struck me because when I shoot weddings, I have a clause in my wedding photography contract that basically says that I own the work and the client buys the prints only. So I feel comfortable with putting a © on the wedding pics. but for just stuff I take during my leisure, I'm not so sure.

Canada and Austraila have an odd twist in their laws, in that the client who commissions the photography owns the copyright unless the contract explicitly transfers it to the photographer.

For all other countries that are signatories of the Berne Convention, photographers own the legal copyright the instant it is created unless it is explicitly transferred to another party.

In most of the Berne Convention signatory nations, the phootgrapher owns a "moral" copyright that cannot be transferred. This means that even if the photographer transfers the legal copyright to another person, the photographer (not the copyright holder) can always claim authorship; whenever the copyright holder publishes the image, credit (if given) must be given to the actual author. In the US (and maybe a few other nations), however, the owner of the copyright can claim authorship.

Although the creator may hold legal copyright from the moment of creation--and this does not hinge on how or even whether he marks it--different nations have different laws as to how copyright is made known to the government so that it can be legally enforced. In Finland, for instance, it's necessary for the creator to publish the work in some way in his own name; when the work in his name has been made public, that's considered adequately "registered."


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nik.hisham
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Sep 23, 2009 00:17 |  #5

RDKirk,

Wow, you're very well versed with this stuff. Thanks for sharing. I read up on where my country stands with the Berne convention and found that Malaysia is a signatory ( and also a member of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) ). I think this has put my concerns to rest.

Thanks for your insight.
Nik.


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