copyright and licensing
Some clients find the concept of copyright and licensing quite confusing. This page is aimed at helping clients who may be struggling with this area of commissioning a photographer.
Very Basically –
Copyright is about who owns the images. It is covered by the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.
Licensing is about who has the right to allow images to be be published. This is dealt with by an agreement or License worked out between the copyright holder (in the UK that is the Photographer) and the client.
A licence can be designed to fit a clients needs. It will set out what type of publications the photographs can be used in, under what circumstances, where in the world they can be used and the length of time this agreement between photographer and client lasts.
If the client finds they need to use the photographs in a way that is not covered by the licence or that they need to use them after the period of the license has run out, all they need to do is contact the photographer to negotiate further use at an extra cost. As an example my photography comes with a basic license, which allows my clients to use the images I photograph for them:-
Editorially, in UK Local and National Newspapers, Magazines, Trade Press, In House Magazines and News Letters, for a period of 12 months from, a specific date.
If a client needs more than this we can quite easily negotiate where they feel they need extended use and how it will affect the final fee, or the client can go with the default licence and negotiate any extensions they may need at a later date. For further information please check out these very good resources for more in depth explanations
The Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 can be found here Thanks to Jenkins one of the largest and most successful intellectual property practices in the United Kingdom.