What are the differences between copyright and print releases?
I often get asked to have the "copyright" to the digital files. Most of the time, people mean "print release" and do not know there is a difference. Let's discover what those differences are.
Did you know that when you take a photo of anything, you are legally creating an original work? Whether you are using the latest and greatest DSLR or an iphone, pushing the shutter button is all that is necessary. YOU own that work of art. YOU are the creator of it, thus, it is yours. Copyright means- "the exclusive legal right, given to an originator or an assignee to print, publish, perform, film, or record literary, artistic, or musical material, and to authorize others to do the same."
So, you have the legal "right" to use the image however you want. Put it up on your website. Sell the image as a fine art piece. (as long as it is a landscape) Publish it in a magazine, etc. The only thing that you, as the copyright owner, can not do is sell images of people for use in ads-commercial instances. I cannot take images of my clients and let a magazine use them to sell something. That is infringing on the people's likeness and reputation. If i were to sell an image to a magazine for use in an ad that sells insurance, for example, people that view the ad might think my clients are endorsing the insurance, when in reality, they are not.
Do people in the image own it, too?
No. They did not push the shutter button and create the work. If people in the image wanted to use the photo that someone else has taken, they can certainly buy that image. But, buying it will never give them the copyright to the image to use it as they wish. A person that has a digital image from a portrait photographer will probably use it for social media and printing prints from an online store, but that does not mean they can use that image and sell it to a magazine for profit.
Do people think they are entitled to their images for any use?
Sometimes, yes. There is an entitlement attitude that believes if they are in the images, then the images belong to them and they can use them however they want. Often, people will screenshot their images off photographers websites and use them instead of purchasing anything. There has been cases of large companies stealing images from photographers for use in ads and for other purposes, or using them on instagram and facebook and calling them their own.
Print release-"giving permission to another to reproduce their images in any format" (canvases, paper prints, etc. ) WIth a print release, when I release the images to you after a purchase, you have the right to use them for personal use only and for personal printing. Which is what most clients will do! With a print release, you can share them on social media, print them for yourself, and you can also share them with family members.
What you cannot do-Edit them in any way, use them for commercial gain, or claim them as your own.
Is that it?
There is more to copyright, but for this blog post, we will just keep in simple. When you purchase your images from me, I keep the ownership and you receive the right to print. Most online stores do not ask for a print release, but many local businesses will, which I think is awesome.
Most clients like the idea of doing the printing themselves. They can save money by using an online store for printing purposes. But, sometimes saving money upfront costs you more in the long run. It costs you time, value, and longevity of your product. We are a full service studio that offers many options for decorating your home with art and love. The art we offer will be more expensive than what you can find online, but it is not the same quality or type of product. It is not comparing apples to apples.
If you want to spend time with your family rather than using that time figuring out what to order from your digital files and if you want a quality product that will last a very long time, just give us a call and we can talk.