Legal pitfalls that every photographer should avoid

There has been a lot of discussions on the legality of copyrights and model release. Here is an interesting article that has explored the breath and depth of the legal implications relevant to photographers. Some of these laws may not apply in Malaysia but generally, most of the issues are discussed here.


1legally_chained.   Misunderstanding the ownership, or copyright, of a photo has tripped many photographers. You own the copyright to any photo you shoot. The major exception being if you are an employee of a studio or other company. If you’ve been given a photo assignment by your boss or the company, then that is known as “work-for-hire.” You are paid to take the photos, but your employer owns the copyright.

Occasionally, wedding photography customers will request ownership of their photos. Wedding photographers, traditionally, did not sell their customers the film negatives unless customers were willing to pay an additional fee. If you shoot weddings, then be sure there is a clause in your contract with your customers that stipulates your ownership of the digital “originals” and/or your willingness to sell the files for a specific price.

A magazine in which your photos appear may want to own the photos as well as paying you for the assignment. Make sure you read the contract carefully before accepting the assignment, if you want to retain the rights to the photos the publication prints. The publication will copyright an entire issue, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it is also copyrighting your photos in its name.

2.   Another major pitfall is shooting on, or even from, private property, without the owner’s permission. The effort to determine the owner, request permission and return to shoot the image you had in mind is minor compared to be arrested for trespassing…..for more details of this article, please visit…

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