Copyright Info

January 11, 2014

All Images on this site are for viewing only. All images appearing in the site are the exclusive property of Peter Davies and protected under United Kingdom and International copyright laws.

The images may not be downloaded, reproduced, copied, stored, manipulated, projected, used or altered in anyway including without limitation any digitisation or synthesizing of the images, alone or with any other material, by use of computer or other electronic means or any other method or means now or hereafter known, without the written permission of Peter Davies and payment of a fee or arrangement thereof.

What is copyright? 

Copyright is an automatic legal right which protect s original literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works. This includes among other things, sound recordings, broadcasts, photography, film and computer programs. It does not protect inventions or the names you give to your product or service. It also does not protect an idea, but rather the tangible expression of the idea in some physical form – a photograph is one example of that expression in physical form. 

Why is copyright important? 

Copyright enables those who have created a work, such as a photograph or an image, to be paid for their creativity and to be acknowledged as the creator (see section on Moral Rights). Others can only use copyrighted work with the permission of the copyright owner. The owner will often charge for this permission. Copyright owners can also control how their work is used i.e. how it is copied, distributed, altered, transmitted, broadcast or performed. Anyone who uses a copyright work without permission can be guilty of infringement and action could be taken against them.

Do I apply for copyright? 

No. Copyright is an automatic right which exists as soon as the work to which it is related exists - providing it is recorded or “fixed” in some way (this may be in the form of a photograph, a film, video or DVD recording). For example as soon as you take a photo graph you have copyright in that photograph. 

Is copyright protection enforced by law? 

The Copyright Designs & Patent Act 1988 forms the basis for copyright protection in the UK. Copyright law is an attempt t o balance the interests of those who create the particular work o r composition and those who want to use it or enjoy it. Other laws can affect what can be done with a particular work as will be described in later sections.

Who owns copyright in a photograph?

Initially, copyright belongs to the person who creates the work. In the case of photography it is normally the person who takes the photograph (unless there's a written contract saying otherwise and signed by the photographer). 

How long does copyright last? 

In the UK, copyright for literary works generally lasts for 70 years after the death of the person who created the copyright work. In the case of films, it lasts for 70 years after the death of the principal director, the writers of the screenplay, the writers of the dialogue or the composer of the film's music (whichever of these happened last) . In each case this term is calculated from the end of the calendar year. Copyright on sound recordings and broadcasts lasts for 50 years from the end of the calendar year of publication or broadcast. Calculating whether a particular work is currently protected by copyright can become quite complex as over the years different rules have applied at different times and often it is determined by the law in force at the time that the work was created. The term for photographs is currently 70 years after the death of the creator. 

How is copyright infringed? 

 Copyright comprises a collection of rights – basically copying, issuing to the public (including renting), performing, broadcasting, storing by electronic means, posting on the internet or adapting the work. Copyright is infringed if any of these acts are carried out without the copyright owner's permission. When this happens, the copyright owner can take legal action against the person or organisation who is infringing. Such infringement requires that a “substantial” part of the work is copied or used without permission by someone else. Anyone who gains permission to use an item which is in copyright needs to be clear what it's going to be used for. If it's ambiguous and it's used for something not explicitly agreed, this could be infringement. Where multiple copyrights exist, each one needs to be cleared before it can be used.

What if the photographer is being paid by someone else to take the photographs? 

In most situations this will not affect ownership o f the copyright – it is the person creating the work and not the person paying for the work who owns copyright. The 1988 Act brought this in, so for photographs taken before 1st August 1989 copyright belonged to the person commissioning the photograph or the owner of the photographic film.

If a client pays a photographer for a DVD of photographs does the client then own the copyright? 

No. In the same way that owning a music CD does not give you the right to copy the music on it, a DVD of photographs does not give you copyright in the photographs on the DVD. 

If a client wants to sell or make their own copies of photographs they have received from a photographer do they need permission? 

Yes. Copyright belongs to the photographer. This will only change if there are terms in the contract to allow this. 

If a photographer is commissioned to take photographs of a wedding is he free to use the photographs however he/she likes? 

The Copyright Designs and Patent Act 1988 gives the client the right not to have photographs taken for private or domestic purposes issued to the public, exhibited or broadcast without their permission. Therefore, although the photographer owns the copyright in this situation, the client can control how they are used. It obviously makes sense for photographer and client to agree from the outset how the images are to be used to avoid difficulties later on. 

If a photograph is retouched or digitally altered can this avoid infringement? 

No. Doing so without permission of the original copyright owner will not avoid infringement. 

If I take photographs of people without their permission am I infringing copyright? 

No. There is no copyright on people. However once a gain other factors need to be considered. Taking photographs of someone in their own home without their permission is likely to be seen as an invasion of privacy and possibly harassment. While there is no law against taking a photograph of someone in a public place, care needs to be taken. Strictly speaking such a photograph can be used for commercial purposes but this is not always straightforward. A crowd scene may not be a problem but where individuals are clearly identified this might be regarded as personal data and therefore come under the Data Protection Act if used for commercial purposes. Clearly how the photograph is used can also be an issue; anything which could affect the reputation of the subject of the photograph is likely to cause problems. Gaining permission, and wherever possible the use of a model release for any commercial use, can reduce the risk of potential difficulties.

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