Contracts: The Law and Your Rights
when you're reading a contract, when they talk about the work, that's you. That's what you're producing for them. Um, what is a copyright and what is a shared copyright? A copyright is the fact that you own the image, and it's really that simple. And a shared copyright means you and someone else owned that image. That's a really important understanding. Usage is if you own your image, which you should, you will offer a client usage. And that usage means they have the right to use it in a certain way for certain amount of time for a certain amount of money. And that is usage. And that's important to understand when you are building pricing for a client because you are not to do work for hire, and if they want you to do work for hire, they need to pay you more, which means you're working for me, and I own the copyright on anything you shoot. I encourage everybody to do more and more research on this research. What work for hire really means, because really, what it is is that you are no ...
longer in control, and it's a really bad way to work and so many of you are being asked to do it. And unless there's a massive pushback by the industry at large and say to people, we will not do that work for hire, we want a shared copyright on the imagery. And if you want those images to keep it cost X amount of dollars and at X amount of dollars starts at $10, an image. And if that sounds absolutely outrageous to you, just think about it. If you If somebody owns your image and they point to put it on the side of a bus, they can put it on the side of a bus. They want to put it on. They want to resell it to someone else. They can resell to someone else. And you do not want that if you're having trouble reading legalese, which most of us do, um, or you don't understand the language in a contract. Don't sign it. Don't sign it cause you want the work. Get somebody who knows how to read that contract. It doesn't have to be a lawyer. It just has to be another photographer who has no more experience than you do. The law about copyright is this other thing is that if you enter into a contract where you are not doing a work for hire and they want your imagery toe own and you want to sell it to them, you can and you can write that in a contract. And essentially, you're saying I'm not going to use the imagery anymore, which, technically not signing away your copyright you're offering them an indefinite usage package in perpetuity is the terminology you will hear in those kind of contracts. So you're technically not signing away your rights to the image, which means you could use them on your website. You could promote them, use them to promote yourself in order for you to completely give up the copyright to something that is, that is a legal document that you sign over your rights to something. So it's very rare that this ever happens because it's very rare that these ends up. These things end up in court. But understand what that means is that if you're offering somebody an indefinite usage package or in perpetuity, usage packages still doesn't mean that you don't own any rights to the photo. You could still use them to promote yourself on your website in your social media accounts. What you can't do is sell them to someone else.