Works for Hire
So let's talk about something that's really important that will come up in the copyright registrations I wanted to make sure you understand it before we actually do the copyright registration s o this is works for hire now as a photographer as a freelancer of any kind you've probably heard of works for higher and you're probably confused about what it actually means so let's talk about it works for hire is actually a legal status of your work so it's a legal status of your creative work so a legal status of your photos okay it's not necessarily your status as the worker it's the status of the work that you've created and it determines who owns your photos it determines who owns your creative works so when you perform works for hire you actually lose your rights as the creator of the work right? We talked a little bit about this this on ly happens when you're creating as an employee or when you have a written agreement with a valid works for higher applause this is something that I thin...
k gets really confused and I want to make sure you understand your rights as a photographer so if you work with large companies or any really even small businesses you'll see this works for higher clause often in their contract so if they give you a contract to let's say shoot a certain amount of photos it might have this works for higher clause um, but it might not be valid. Okay, so they could have a work for hire a clause in the contract and it's actually not enforceable because it doesn't meet all of the works for higher requirements. Ok, so a situation where you're definitely works for hire is when you're an employee. So if your photographer that works for a larger company, you have an employment contract, whether it's, verbal or written with that company, everything that you create within the context of your job is owned by the overarching company. Okay, so that's, something important for you to understand it's a creative when you're creating at work, it most likely in all circumstances belongs to your employer. However, if you're not an employee and you're an independent contractor europe freelancer, working with different clients may be working with big companies may be working with individuals, then it has to be a valid works for higher applause in a written agreement in order for it to be considered a work for hire. This is very important because if it's a valid works for hire, you don't own the copyright. Ok? If it's a valid works for higher clause, you do not own the copyright whoever you you know contracted with owns the copyright as if they had created it themselves as if you weren't even in the picture ok that's how that works if it's a valid works for higher clause so I just want you to understand that if you've got an agreement with you know let's say a larger client there's no written agreement guess what? Not a work for hire um and you know there are some other requirements let's talk about them so a valid works for higher claws can only be created when there's a signed written agreement that states that the relationship is literally works for higher so it has to have those three words in that order works for higher okay, so it has to be in a written agreement and it has to be signed by both parties so if you're in a situation where someone tells you hey I own the copyright you created it for me it's a work for hire you can tell them actually no because we don't have a written agreement okay, so if there's no written agreement definitely not works for hire the other part of it is is that it also has to fall under one of the nine categories for valid works for hire this is a part that a lot of people skip ok a lot of people think oh no you know we had a written agreement so it's a valid works for hire well guess what if it doesn't fall under one of these nine categories it's still not a valid works for hire so this is important for you to know so that you understand who owns the creative work that you've created when you're working with a client especially with larger clients where you've signed an agreement with them. So here the nine categories contribution to a collective work that would be like if you took a photo to include in a magazine you know where magazine article um part of emotion picture we all know what motion pictures are and that's just not necessarily big movies you know, any film or video audio visual worked a translation s so you know if you're translating something into you know er do then that would be something that falls under a work for hire this is probably really applicable tio books that are edited into another language to be sold in another country doesn't apply to your work usually a supplemental work so that would be something like an index or an appendix to you know, a larger work a compilation so that would be, you know, something like you we've all seen sort of anthologies that are that have lots of different written text from from different authors a textbook a test answer material for a test or an atlas randomly enough don't ask me how they come up with these categories because I have no clue, but if it doesn't fall in one of those nine categories it's not a valid works for higher so as a photographer, most likely your contribution to a collective work or part of a motion picture would be the categories that your work would fall under. So if it's not part of an audio visual work and it's not ah contribution to a collective work like a magazine or newspaper or something along those lines, then it's not a valid works for higher, which means that you still own the copyright. So that's important for you to understand. Okay, I want you to understand when you own the work. There are a lot of times when you know people lawyers will throw in. This works for higher applause into a contract knowing it's not valid and it's not enforceable in court, but being a creative, you don't know any better. And you think ok, well, I gave away my rights. Uh, no, you did not. Okay, so that's, why that's the whole purpose of taking this course right to be empowered. So you know the law just as well as your clients do and anybody that you might work with does. And so you know how it applies to your business and to your intellectual property.
Whether you photograph weddings, capture senior portraits, or shoot high-fashion images, understanding key concepts like intellectual property, copyright, and trademarks is an essential part of succeeding a working photographer.
Join Rachel Rodgers to explore the core concepts of intellectual property that every photographer should know. You’ll learn when and why you need model releases. You’ll also learn how to create client service agreements that protect your best interests. Rachel will also guide you through common infringement issues many photographers face.
The skills you learn in this course will enable to you to be your own best advocate, and both defend and profit from your images.