What is a copyright?


In the world of photography, copyrights and some of the essential licensing terms have been used as a legal binding agreement between both client and photographer. Copyright laws were put in place and licenses created to protect the rights of both parties.

What is a copyright?

A Copyright is the exclusive right of a photographer to control the use and reproduction of the photographs they create. Violators of this law are subject to both civil and criminal penalties. Copyright does not give photographer the right to freely use their images as they wish. State laws determine the need for a model release from the subjects of the images for certain uses. Copyright does, however, prevent others from using professionally-created images without the photographer’s express permission.

Royalty Free Personal License

Your Royalty Free License is for personal use only, meaning that you have freedom to use the image however you’d like, including printing, copying, emailing and web publishing.  It does not include use that results in financial gain, including but not limited to stock photography, print sale profits, or resale of any nature. You may not under any circumstances alter, edit, or change images which includes, but is not limited to, photo editing apps and filters, such as Instagram. If you require different circumstances please reach out to learn about the different licenses I offer.

Rights-Managed License

In this particular type of licensing, the photo is used for a specific purpose such as editorial, magazine, advertising and so on. The client who chooses the photo will have to ask for permission from the photographer before using it and pay a licensing fee. The client cannot use it elsewhere other than the specified agreement, unless a new agreement is arranged and agreed upon.

Flat Fee License

In a flat fee, only one photograph is being licensed at a time.  It is intended for only one user aka the “end user”.  The image will not be licensed to another person, not even the photographer. This is also considered a copyright transfer. I very rarely use Flat Fee Licenses.

Reference: 1. Professional Photographers of America (2016, March). Copyright Kit. 2. Chong, Paul. (2012). Photo Licensing. Retrieved from URL.