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Copyright Help

Hi - I've got a new client for an upcoming event, and the company wants to own the photos. This has only happened once before. In my contract, I have this paragraph:

Copyright and Reproductions: The Photographer shall own the copyright in all images created, and shall have the right to make reproductions. The Photographer shall only make reproductions for the Client or for the Photographer’s portfolio, samples, or self-promotional brochures or website. The Photographer will not sell the photos from the event.

(Sorry for the huge font, I couldn't change it).
They are asking me to remove this clause. I have asked that they still allow me to use a few "winners" on my website.

How do you guys and girls handle a situation like this? The last time it happened, I issued a Copyright Release Form, and was done with it. Do I not do this, and lose the client? Do I sell the Copyright? Any other thoughts?

Thanks - Dave


  • I have been looking into this a bit more, and one suggestion I saw was for me to issue a "License for Corporate Use", where the company can do anything they want with the photos, but I would still have the copyright. Is this a thing anyone else has done?
  • Yep, this is now crappy. I sent a "License" piece of paper, but it wasn't good enough, and I'm not sure why. I have a paragraph in my contract about crediting me if they publish anything, and they want that gone.
  • Neil vNNeil vN Administrator
    I often have to explain to clients that while I retain copyright, I include in the contract that they have Print Release (or similar). 

    If your potential client gets sticky about this ... is it worth the hassle vs the money you'll make?  Do you need the use of the photos afterwards?
  • Thanks, Neil. I am working with an event company from NC, who got in touch with me about an event in Boston. I tried the "License for Corporate Use", which was similar to a print-release I had to use in the past. They didn't go for it. They want the copyright of the photos to protect their client's brand and image. I re-worded my contract to give it to them, because the money is good, and the event sounds like a great experience for me. I can use any of the photos in the future for promotional purposes, but they just want to have a look at them before I put them out there. I am going to create a new meta-data file in LR that has everything about me and my business, but with the copyright turned off.
  • Neil vNNeil vN Administrator
    Still sounds like a win to me, even if they control the options. 
  • Yep, things you gotta weigh .....
  • Some clients just have a set way of doing things. Nothing you say or do will change that. You either have to agree to the terms or walk a way. In this case, it sounds like you will have a pretty good opportunity and they allow you to promote the images so I would be cool with that if the job sounds interesting. 

  • Hey, Jay - yep, I let it go. It's now written in that any story or blog or description of the event will credit me as the photographer.

    My website is set up in such a way where I have samples categorized on different pages, but the is a link to complete photo albums from each job. They may have not liked the possibility of their event posted like that.

    In any case, the job sounds great, it will be photographing chefs on stage in food-prep competition, candid event photos, and set-up food photography of the winning dishes from each part of the competition. Lots of good experience.

  • I regularly need to disclose to customers that while I hold copyright, I remember for the agreement that they have Print Release (or comparative).
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