photo copyright

  yabadabado 23:19 07 Aug 2006

Who owns or has the right for copyright on digital photos taken at public and private events?

Would it be the photographer or the hosts of the event?

Im in the UK if it makes any difference.


  yabadabado 23:24 07 Aug 2006

Just to make it clear, say i took photos off my own back at a friends wedding, no payment involved and no contract to take them...

  cycoze 23:36 07 Aug 2006

short answer is you took the pictures, you retain copyright, however it does not necessarily mean you have the right to publish them if taken at private event or without a model release form.

  yabadabado 23:39 07 Aug 2006

haha cheers, so i got copy right, if the ppl involved say i can use it... and they can only use it if i say they can! nice catch 22 situ!

  Forum Editor 00:04 08 Aug 2006

belongs to the photographer - whether or not the images were taken at a private or public event, and whether or not the subject(s) consented to the photograph being taken.

There's a lot of myth and legend surrounding this subject, and despite what some people might believe a photgrapher does not have carte blanche to snap away regardless these days - the law often says otherwise.

In general terms a photographer may take photographs of private property (or events)without the owner's/organiser's consent if at the time the photographer was on public property. If a photographer is on private property, and is asked by the owner not to take photographs, he/she becomes a trespasser immediately he/she takes one, and the owner has the right to ask the photographer to leave the property. This applies, even if the property is generally open to the public. If you were in a theatre for instance, where there was a notice saying "no photography" and you started taking pictures, the owner would be perfectly within his/her rights to ask you to leave, regardless of whether you had paid for a ticket.

Certain public places have a legal ban on professional photography, although amateur, tourist photography is OK. Examples of such places are Trafalgar Square and Parliament Square in London. Set up a professional camera in such places and you'll soon find yourself chatting to a police officer. You can pbtain a proessional photographer's permit, but it's expensive. The same ban applies in all royal parks as well, but again you can get a permit if you pay a sizeable fee.

You can't take photos in most government establishments, or in any UK law court.

You can't photograph UK banknotes.

You can't photograph works which are subject to someone else's copyright, so it's illegal to photograph another photograph for instance, or to photograph a painting unless you have the copyright owner's consent. This doesn't apply if the object in question is in the background of another photograph, as long as it isn't the main subject of your photograph.

You mustn't invade someone's privacy in order to photograph them, although this is a very tricky one to define - newspapers sail incredibly close to (if not over) this line almost every day, and get away with it.

Otherwise you're pretty well free to do what you like, and you may publish your images without the consent of your subject(s), even if the publication is for financial gain - you could photograph me taking a massive brown envelope full of cash from a rival magazine at dead of night, and publish it whether I liked it or not, and there would be nothing I could do about it.

  Jak_1 00:39 08 Aug 2006

FE is totally correct, copyright belongs to the person taking the picture. Whether at a private function or not copyright remains the property of the photographer.

Dispute only arises if pictures at a private function are published without permision and paperazzi style of photography. The law is straightforward on who owns copyright but becomes complex for publication and right to take pictures in certain places and events etc.

There is no difference between digital images and images on filmstock.

click here

  Jak_1 00:53 08 Aug 2006


haha cheers, so i got copy right, if the ppl involved say i can use it... and they can only use it if i say they can! nice catch 22 situ!

Not a good response! They may not be able to use them without your permision, nor make copies!!! But, neither can you use them for publication nor profit without their permission.

As a part time freelance photographer, and member of the BFP, I always seek permision to take pics at private events. If what I take are intended for publication then model release forms are used for each and every person in the picture.

If the pics are intended for private use ie family/friends weddings then I usually make prints of the best ones for the hosts for free.

For pics not intended for publication/monetory gain either by me or the person wanting them then I give permision for them to be coppied or I do it for them.

Also be aware that if someone does not wish to be photographed in a certain situation then respect their wishes.

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