Who owns the image? The Creator or The Client ?

We live in a world where copying artwork, photography, images, designs and more are just a mouse click away. Accessibility is abundant. However, having access to original artwork does not give us the right to use them any way we please.

Copyright is a form of protection to the creators of “original works of authorship,” including imaginative, dramatic, creative, artistic and certain other intellectual works of which the owner of the copyright has the exclusive right to do and to authorize others to do.

Typically the person or entity originating the creative works retains the copyright unless the client wants to purchase a “buy out” of the copyrights of a protected work. Then the original creator can assign copyrights to the client. Then the copyright owner has the exclusive right to do and authorize others to do due to consideration such as its his/her art, Creativity, Skills and sometimes even gears and Equipments used.

It’s important to do our best to make sure the elements we’re using are royalty free or we have permission from the copyright holder(s). Unless the client choses to “buy out” the copyrights from the  creator for an additional cost. Sometimes we’ve seen that it’s helped both us and our client to protect our original works for many reasons, such as we can keep some quality control on our works. Then others can’t reproduce or reuse our work and damage the outcome that is not intended such as a simple photo Shoot that in future turns out to Be used as a Bill board banner. Therefore, hence We can also retain our copyrights for the future re-use and potential revenue from updating the project and we retain our copyrights so our clients can come back to us for future projects and use the images or footage we’ve already captured for them if the new project calls for it.
On the side of clients, it may been argued out that they own the copyrights since they were the main Subject and for secrecy and Confidentality Purposes.

Thus, if the client is the owner of the image, Negotiation is a key Factor to consider before using the images for Purposes and reasons such as advertisement and posting on social media.

However, others might argue out that both are owners of images especially if its for Personal use, or its a image of nature, Landscape, Architectural work, hotels and Some animals like pets and wildlife Clients can purchase our stock footage we’ve collected over the years and it makes their project most efficient if we aren’t redoing what we’ve already created before since we hold the copyrights and can determine how and when the footage or images are used.

Finally being a lukewarm debate, Unless the owner and client have the prior agreement that the client who wants to “buy out “the copyrights and not have us use the footage for any other purpose other than promotional purposes, the creator hold the copyrights and have the ability to use it.

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