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who owns the copyright of digital photos?

hi guys,

this is a question that is bugging me at the moment:

who owns the copyright for a digital photo? the person in the pic or the person who took it? and what entitlements does that give the copyright owner?

anyone with a solid link that could back up their view would be appreciated...

The person who took the picture has the copyright thing to the picture. I heard about it on the maury show today some guy was taking video's and pictures of nude women without them knowning and he sold it to some porn company and they have the rights now because he had the rights and sold it to them. I dont know why but that what I heard on the Maury show.
xorcist wrote:
The person who took the picture has the copyright thing to the picture. I heard about it on the maury show today some guy was taking video's and pictures of nude women without them knowning and he sold it to some porn company and they have the rights now because he had the rights and sold it to them. I dont know why but that what I heard on the Maury show.

yeh ive read that b4 2
hi xorcist,

so that person is legally entitled to do what they please with the image?, like, say, post it on a blog or so?
I agree that the person who took the picture should have the copyright. My guess of the reason is that it is the photographer who designs and creates the structure of the photo.

Thinking the issue in another way, if the copyright were the one who is in the photo, the celebrity photos appearing in the magazines and newspapers wouldn't exist.
good point charliehk,

hadn't thought of it that way actually.

be good to have a legal opinon on the matter? anyone out there in frihost land a lawyer?

the reason i am asking is because my housemate (who incidentally, just threw me out!) has requested that i remove a pic of her dressed in halloween gear from my personal site. (navigate to 'um housemates show their true colours')

i obviously took the pic and she gave full consent, but now she is claiming copyright of it because she appears in it and has requested i take it down.
I did a tiny bit of research and found out from the rules on copyright of digital images. I would say that is a quite reliable source!


1. You do not have to do anything to establish copyright in a photograph - all photos (except possibly some copy work) are automatically copyright.

2. Optionally you can register copyright with some national bodies. Doing so may make it easier to claim breach of copyright and increase the amount you can claim in that country.

3. For the USA, go to the Library of Congress web site and download the forms listed there - they are in Adobe Acrobat format.

4. The fee of $30 can cover any suitable collection of photographs. Read all the instructions and follow them or your form will be returned.

5. Whenever you publish a photograph, particularly on web sites, it is a good idea to use a copyright statement, such as ' John Brown 1999' on or near the work as a reminder.

6. You can also add a 'digital watermark' which creates an invisible marker in the picture identifying it as yours, but this may nor be very effective.

7. Fine artists may like to find out more about moral rights which control the usage and attribution of your work in some countries.

Apparently, copyrights automatically exist on work. However, to more clearly establish it, a little more effort is required. I also found out that copyrights on photographs exist until fifty years after the death of the photographer. I found that rather interesting. If you want to read more, here is the link to the page where I found this information:[/quote]
hi hayley,

cheers for the heads up, the link you gave was very helpful. so as i own the copyright to the particular haloween pic, i am free to do with it what i want?

i don't want to cause a fuss, so i am going to leave it off the site (at least until i get my bond back!)

nice site you got there by the way...

two things i could think to make it better:

1. on roll over links (on text) the roll over colour is a little to dark (in my opinion) could be pretty easy to fix it if you use style sheets...

2. make the images in your gallery thumbnails that open to the full pic.

otherwise, great looking site (and i like that you use frames!)
So does that mean that we can link to our own copyrighted photos and videos hosted on some image hoster to our Frihost webpage.

Anticipating a prompt response in this matter.

Warm Regards,
hi toughtrio,

while this isn't the issue we are actually discussing here, yes, you can link form your frihost site to a image hosting site.

i do this for my videos on my site (otherwise my 250mb space here on frihost would be chewed up pretty damn fast!)

now, let's get back on topic!
noone, untill a copyrightis layed out by law. Untill then it is under the honour system that noone will steal that image and call it their own.
hi Dustin,

you got anything solid to back this up mate?
Personally I think they should both have rights
The Right of the picture should be owned by the Phatographer by the right whether or not to be in the photo should be however is in the photo, though I'm not sure on the laws, plus laws are different depending on where you are (U.K U.S N.Z Aus etc)
Yes the person in the picture has no rights to the picture only the photographer. But Personally if someone had a problem with a picture of them I would do the courteous thing and not show it.
i think the person photographed has rights over sueing the photographer. because about 2 years ago i was doing a project for school, interviewing people about current events on videotape. nothing major, but we must've asked 20+ people and as soon as they saw the camera they refused. we happened to be near a library and asked a librarian and she said something about, that the people that were going to be video taped had to sign a paper (i assume a waiver) so we could film them. personally i believe copyrights and sueing have gotten out of control. corporations of copyrighting so much stuff, things they may never even market; and things like phrases and ideas go too far often times. moreover if you trip on someones sidewalk you can sue them, which is ridiculous. i dont know too much about how these laws play out in court rooms but they sure seem screwy to me.
Generally companies specify it on their contract with photographers as who own the copy right.....if nothing specified then the photographer owns it.....
The laws differ per country, but where I live, in the Netherlands the rule is basically as followed.

You are allowed to picture everything, the problem comes though when it comes to publishing. You are basically not allowed to publish an identifiable picture of a person, so if it shows someone sideways from a distance or so it's ok. But if it's an upfront picture the person would have the right to sue you in order to let the picture be taken down.

The thing now is, this rule here only applies to publishing within THIS country. I don't know where the frihost servers are located, but if that would in example be the US I could freely post what I like yet again.

The i'net makes things a lot more complex. And well yeh, as far as I'm aware the laws of each country apply to that country only, although the american goverment tends to forget this a lot Razz. But that would basically mean if the server is located in america for example and you don't live there that girl would have to sue you in america or through the american authorities in your country, then america would have to ask your country for your 'delivery', not truly the right word, but whatever, to america in which following you would get a penalty for your actions, most likely a fine Razz.

No way that something like that would ever happen, hehe Razz.

But well yeh, there is also just such a thing called respect, if a person would not like to have his/her picture on your site it's just so decent to take it off. Saves a whole lot of additional argueing.
thanks DX-Blog for that helpful post, and i agree, if the subject of a pic asks you to remove it from the web for whatever reason, it is easier for all concerned to simply take it down.

the only time this gets tricky is when there are more than one person in the pic! (like for example, me!) my housemate (now ex) wanted me to remove another pic that featured both her, my other housemate and me. i have refused, as i:

a: took the pic
b: am in the pic
c: own the pic

fair call i think!
Maybe Holland is different but I think you will find, in most countries, that the photographer owns the copyright.

A person who is in a photo that is published could possibly sue, but would have to establish some claim to damages.

Take for example Paparazzi. they take photos without permission of the subject and publish them all over the world.

I think that generaly the photos of the people would be hard to sue over. It would more likely be easier to make a case over comments made in any statements accompanying the photos, if there were any.

People are on news shows, police shows, photographed by acident at tourist spots and they certainly can't demand that the film or photos not be published.
The photographer owns the rights to the photo yes, but there are privacy laws that protect the suject of the picture. If someone owns the right to something ie, I think either Fuji or Kodak owns the right to reproduce pictures of the Sistine Chaple, then it is illegal also. Also I'm pretty sure you have to seek constent of the person your photographing or their legal guardian if they're under 18. I was in a magazine this summer and the magazine had me sign a waiver saying I consented to this photoshoot and was entitled payment. I'm not sure how that works though, but I am pretty sure voyuerism is illegal in the US. I would say ask a lawyer, but I'm afriad of what it would cost you, heh. Rolling Eyes
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