Women painting next to heading copyright vs commercial use

Photograph copyright versus licensing

Can I share or edit professional photos?

Did you know your photography usually retains copyright to your images?  

Copyright grants the owner exclusive rights to use, adapt, publish, display or otherwise communicate their work and copyright under Australian Law is automatic.

You’ll most likely have personal use licensing for family portraits or commercial use licensing for your branding photos.  Be sure to read the conditions of each as you may have to keep the watermark intact or even credit the photographer (which makes ZERO sense for biz photos).  There could be quite specific conditions on how long you can use a photo, what medium(s) you can use it on (ie magazine versus billboard versus online) and even if you’re allowed to crop, filter or modify the image!

You’ll usually pay more for commercial use versus personal use as you’re expected to make a profit from said use (so event photography for your birthday party at home will be cheaper than event photography at your business workshop).  And getting the full rights will cost you more again because you are then permitted to do whatever you want with it. (And note you’ll need that transfer of copyright in writing).

So always check the contract and don’t assume you can use that lovely family portrait on your socials without crediting the photographer (especially on your business page!) or that you can crop it for your profile pic, in case it’s a breach of contract!

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