« on: June 19, 2013, 12:35:27 PM »
Here are some general guidelines about who owns copyright on photographs and illustrations in the absence of written agreements to the contrary. When photographers/illustrators create photos, portraits or engravings (in the case of illustrators, portraits only):
◦When creators produce a work for themselves, they own the copyright.
◦When creators produce a work as part of their employment, including apprenticeships, the employer owns the copyright.
◦When created on a commissioned basis, the person or company that commissions the work owns the copyright once they have paid for it in full. If the client who commissions the work fails to pay for it, the copyright remains with the creator.
This is based on canadian copyright law. The company is correct, they own the rights to what they commissioned unless you have a contract that explicitly states that the photographer retains the rights.
You should look at gettng some standard contract documents that allow you to retain your rights.
Just googled some more and apparently this was changed late last year.
General Copyright information: Photographs
At Last, Canadian Photographers Own Their Copyright.
The Professional Photographers of Canada (PPOC) and the Canadian Association of Professional Image Creators (CAPIC) would like to congratulate all photographers in Canada on this important date and pivotal achievement in the photographic industry. As of Nov 7, 2012, Canadian photographers officially own the copyright to all of their work whether the photograph is commissioned or not, thanks to the new Copyright law.