View Full Version : COPYRIGHT
Feb 16/06, 09:14 PM
I am currently working on a community project, which I have initiated. The project involves portraits and would eventually be donated, archived and displayed at the municipal and band offices of our village. The portraits are for display only and will never evolve to commercial or resale. Ultimately they will have possession of these photographs and maybe the negs.
My question is one of copyright, legally, I believe, as the photographer I own the copyright, (it was not commissioned or paid for although I hope to receive grant money toward the work).
What happens to that copyright when I donate the photographs to a municipality, who maintains the copyright?
Thank you for any assistance you can offer
Feb 17/06, 07:20 AM
Since you initiated the project, you hold the copyright. Mark all the images with your name, date and a copyright line (you can do this on the back margin of the print). Keep the negatives. If you donate prints to the municipality they don't get the copyright automatically. Make sure they understand this. You can give them copyright if you wish but this is usually not done.
If possible have the subjects sign model releases. Usually this is not necessary but there was a successful lawsuit in Quebec against a photographer and a fine arts magazine (Aubry v. Editions vice versa) a few years ago.
Feb 17/06, 09:53 AM
Quote[/b] (Gooderham @ Feb. 16 2006,23:14)]I believe, as the photographer I own the copyright, (it was not commissioned or paid for although I hope to receive grant money toward the work).
Hi Gerry and welcome to the forums. It sounds like you already know this, but I just wanted to clarify for any other readers or new members that photographers in Canada do not automatically own the copyright to commissioned photography. If a client hires you to produce a photograph, and they pay you for the work, they own the copyright unless you have a signed contract clearly stating otherwise.
Feb 17/06, 10:13 AM
Hi and thankyou for your reply. Yes I am aware of this, my issue is whether or not the copyright is or can be transfered to a "charity cause" or " donation" and what the legal issues might be.
You are aware that this copyright issue will change soon?
see this link
Feb 17/06, 10:45 AM
Quote[/b] (Gooderham @ Feb. 17 2006,12:13)]You are aware that this copyright issue will change soon?
see this link
Now that the Conservatives are in power I honestly don't know what the current status of copyright reform is. However, I'm pretty sure Bill C-60 died with the Liberal government, so I don't think the information referred to in the links above is relevant any longer.
If anybody knows what's happening, if anything, and what position the Harper government has on this issue, please update us in the forum below:
Copyright reform updates (http://www.canphoto.net/cgi-bin/ib3/ikonboard.cgi?act=ST&f=2&t=524&st=)
Well JL Photog just informed me that as of the PC getting in all bills that were tabled in commons are defunct and will have to be resubmitted. So we are back at square one. 1st thing - have a signed contract outlining the legal ownership of the images. In canada you can own them but not establish copy right without a very expensive ordeal involving lawyers and government officials. Also in many cases people and property included in images will have to be research to see if you had permission to photograph them before you qualify for copy right. Also ownership doesn't mean you can reproduce or publish without models releases and permission sheets. Welcome to my era of photography. And yet every image I have that was produced in the US in the last 25 years I own the copy right completely!! I could be wrong but I do believe that Canada is the only "G" country that doesn't have a copy right in place to protect photographers images. I do know of the professionals I spent the last 25 years working with could not believe the hassel with images in canada and the number of photographers that do not understand the process.
So to answer your questions with what I understand with Canadian law is: no you do not have copy right unless you apply for a copy right number for each image. The last image I had copy right applied to in Canada in 1983 cost me with lawyer fees $250.00 of course this was an image that was in high demand and I knew it was. What I tell all photographer I have trained is to have a contract and models release signed and witnessed by a third party. This will give you ownership of the image and anyone wanting to use the image for reproduction or resale will have to have your permission first, this is your only legal avenue till we can actually establish a copy right in Canada for photographers. Writers have it, Artists have it but photographers have never been view as creators of the images our title to my knowledge refers to us as capturing images not creating them. Little they know! As for donations and giving up the original images as in negatives. The negative or original files are all you have to prove ownership, this included with the contract and models releases will give the group, company or individual ownership of the images - In Canada.
Without proof of ownership even as simple as a models release legally you cannot give an image away especially without the written permission of the subject in the image.
That is what I know of the old method used in our studio with clients over the last 25 years. I know I wrote tons of letters and lobbied every politicians I knew to side with us on Bill 60. And we are to start over agian!!
Apr 17/06, 09:11 PM
Just after the vote came down to defeat the Liberal Government late last year, CTV's Mike Duffy said (this is not an exact quote, rather my recollection of what he said) anything that did not already have Royal Assent (is that the right word?) was now dead and would have to be tabled again with the new government.
Bill C-60 was included in that.
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