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Who Owns the Photograph

there are different instances to which this question may arise and here we will try and answer a few with what we believe is correct at date of publication.

My Camera My Photograph

This situation can become complicated and there is no defintive law on who owns the copyright when one person takes the picture using someone else camera.

Here is our view which is only our view and not law.

Basic Photography - the author has automatic copyright to the image. but in the real work there are different instance and variables that make this not as simple as it may seem, here are a few examples:

I took the photograph whilst working for an employer using the employers equipment
In this instance it is unlikely that the photographer owns the copyright to this photograph and the ownership is with the employer unless there is a specific legal agreement in place stating any other.

Someone stopped me on the street to take a photograph for them do i own the copyright?
This is a situation where there is no set right or wrong  and would have to be argued in court if it got that far, what we would say is that in our opinion if the cameraman pushed the button after set up by the camera owner then the ownership would be the camera owner.

A friend borrowed my camera to take photographs with do i own the photographs?

In this instance it is more likely that the photographer would be the owner of the images and not the camera owner and the camera owner would not get far claiming copyright to the images as the photographer is the one who thought of, composed, arranged and taken the image.

In law these things are never simple and generally both parties will have valid arguments to the situation, the only way to be sure is to set up an agreement prior to any lending or borrowing of equipment for a photograph session.


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