Reflect upon these 3 scenarios:

1. As a working professional photographer you have noticed that someone has used one of your images in their blog. They have not credited you for being the original photographer but they have not said you are not the photographer either. It’s just a personal blog showing interesting photographs from around the world.

As a working professional photographer if someone has used one of my images in their blog they need to make references and attribution. The blog is obviously published and communicated on the net – therefore it is my moral rights to be credited for supplying that image. Irrespective of whether the blog is used for commercial or personal purpose the blogger has moral obligation to state who the image belongs to, the owner of that photograph. If the court accepts that there is an infringement of moral rights they can grant the photographer financial compensation or a list of other remedies.

2. As a wedding photographer you notice that one of your images is being used in the display window of a local shopping centre. After talking to the shop owner, he tells you that a couple came in and got some enlargements done and agreed to let the shop owner display one of the images in the shop window.

In this scenario I have been commissioned for a private/ domestic shoot, the copyright of the images belong to the couple. The couple can reproduce copy and communicate these images to the public eg: through website, facebook, emails etc. However as a photographer I have the right to restrain the use of the images – this is a curly situation. Depending on the contract and agreement set between myself and the client it is difficult to ascertain where the moral rights lie. If I wanted to be attributed for the images, it can be requested however in regards to seeking financial compensation we will need to look into the agreement and contract that was in place.

3. As a working advertising photographer you take an image of a building and a cityscape for a regular client. You agree on usage and price. It is agreed that the image can only be used for 12 months and printed up to A3 for brochure, internal marketing and on their website and not to be used overseas. Six months later you notice that your image is being used on the side of the tram, covering the entire tram. Once you started to investigate the matter you also realized that your image is being used for advertising in international magazine.

In this situation the client has breached the agreement on 2 accounts; the printing size exceeds the A3 agreement and the purpose by advertising overseas. As these images are used for commercial purpose the copyright belongs to me, unless specified otherwise. With the restrictions that have been applied to the images more likely I have not released copyright to the client. Copyright has been infringed; I can take this case further and seek remedies from the court. The court can grant financial compensation; injunction to stop advertising overseas/ removing the image from the tram, order that the defendant make a public apology or whatever it is that has been requested.

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One Response to Copyright

  1. Pingback: Visual Communication – Moral Rights & Copyright _ ( B09 ) | visualcommunicationKristy

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