Copyright Explained

Now that you’ve had your photoshoot, you’ve had your viewing session (if applicable) and you’ve chosen the images you want and you’ve received your photographs, you own the copyright to those photographs, right?

Not quite, no.

There is a general misconception that once you have paid for and received your images, either in digital format, as a print or canvas, that the paying customer owns the copyright.

Whenever anybody presses the shutter button to take a photograph, whether that be on an i-phone camera, a tablet, a point and shoot or a dslr camera, that person owns the copyright to that image. But in just the same way that an author who writes a book, or an artist who paints a drawing owns the copyright to their work - when you buy a book or buy a painting, you don't assume you have also bought the copyright to that work do you?

When you receive your digital images from your photographer -  they are releasing them to you with printing rights only. This entitles you to make as many printed copies of your digital images as you like. You can design and print an album with them, you can print a huge canvas with them, you can have them printed on thank you cards. But unless you have written permission from your photographer, what you can’t do with your images is :

• Edit them with photo editing software
• Sell them in any form or use them commercially such as in advertising
• Upload them online without displaying the photographers watermark or crediting the photographer
• Enter them into competitions or gain financially from them
• Claim them as your own work
• Photocopy or scan prints

So, “printing rights only”, really does mean all you can do with your images is print them.
We hope that explains the difference between copyright and printing rights, but if you have any questions, please get in touch, either with us, or your chosen photographer.

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