The Professional Photographers of America has created a useful guide to help photography clients understand copyright. Please feel free to read their entire article on the subject.
Some key points to bear in mind regarding your photographs are:
- The federal government has determined that the entity (person, or company) who takes the photograph is the copyright holder at the moment the image is captured in camera.
- Photographers, such as Scott Hussey Photography, are among the smallest of small, local businesses.
- Print sales and commercial licensing fees are an important component of a photographer's income — without print sales and commercial licensing, we'd have to charge approximately 30-50% more for our shooting fees.
- Unless you have permission from the photographer, you can’t copy, distribute (no scanning and sending them to others), publicly display (no putting them online), or create derivative works from photographs. HOWEVER, Scott Hussey Photography grants you permission to download, share and display our copyrighted photographs downloaded from our client gallery site and/or facebook account for personal/non-commercial use in your home, on your personal electronic devices and social media websites. In exchange for this free access to these images, we require that the images not be edited in any way (including cropping). The reason for this is because our professional reputation is at stake. When somebody takes one of our photos, applies a horrendous instagram filter to it—degrading the image quality, and then shares it online, our professional reputation is damaged.
- We offer extended and commercial licensing options. If you would like to use any of our photographs for purposes not listed above, or in a manner inconsistent with these terms and conditions, please contact us to discuss proper licensing.
Scott Hussey Photography maintains a policy of allowing the free sharing of our copyrighted photographs provided that the above-mentioned conditions are not violated. Any violation of our terms shall result in the immediate termination of acces privileges to electronic photographic files and possible legal action.
Additional information about US Copyright Law can be found at copyright.gov.