Registering copyrights

CanonFanBoy

EOS 5D MK IV
Jan 28, 2015
3,302
916
Irving, Texas
I have a situation. One of the models I have been shooting has suddenly caught the eye of the commercial world and has been in a national commercial for a large energy company (released last week) and is also on the third audition for a television series with a network. I have lots of photos of this person and I am being asked to shoot more. I do have model releases for each shoot and own the copyrights (stated in the releases and embedded in exif), but in this case should I register the photos with the U.S. copyright office? I just don't know when doing such a thing would be appropriate, but it seems this might be. Thanks!
 

LDS

EOR R
Sep 14, 2012
1,515
121
In this case should I register the photos with the U.S. copyright office? I just don't know when doing such a thing would be appropriate, but it seems this might be. Thanks!
It will give you an additional layer of protection - and the images value can increase, why not?

AFAIK in the US the images have to be registered before or within 5 years from publication - but check actual rules.
 

unfocused

EOS 5D SR
Congrats to your dad on his new modeling career. :)

Seriously, it would probably be a good idea. But, if I were you, I would be more interested in maintaining my relationship with the model. I'm not suggesting you try to horn in on her success, but that you be supportive and not do anything that might impair her success. She may be in a position in the future to recommend you for shoots, to get you on as an assistant or to recommend you to other models and you want to make sure you don't jeopardize those opportunities by being too concerned about capitalizing on your past relationship. Better to forgo a little now, in order to position yourself for a lot later.

Also, you said.

...I am being asked to shoot more...
Keep in mind that if you are getting paid for those shoots, the entity that is paying you likely owns the rights to those photos. You may want to make an arrangement with that company to allow you to use the photos for your portfolio. But, it's unlikely you will be able to use them for any commercial purpose without their permission.
 

jd7

EOS 7D MK II
Feb 3, 2013
711
85
It will give you an additional layer of protection - and the images value can increase, why not?

AFAIK in the US the images have to be registered before or within 5 years from publication - but check actual rules.
I'm pretty confident it is not strictly necessary in the US to register within 5 years, it is just that registering within 5 years provides certain legal advantages.

See https://www.copyright.gov/help/faq/faq-general.html#automatic
 
Last edited:

jd7

EOS 7D MK II
Feb 3, 2013
711
85
Congrats to your dad on his new modeling career. :)

Seriously, it would probably be a good idea. But, if I were you, I would be more interested in maintaining my relationship with the model. I'm not suggesting you try to horn in on her success, but that you be supportive and not do anything that might impair her success. She may be in a position in the future to recommend you for shoots, to get you on as an assistant or to recommend you to other models and you want to make sure you don't jeopardize those opportunities by being too concerned about capitalizing on your past relationship. Better to forgo a little now, in order to position yourself for a lot later.

Also, you said.



Keep in mind that if you are getting paid for those shoots, the entity that is paying you likely owns the rights to those photos. You may want to make an arrangement with that company to allow you to use the photos for your portfolio. But, it's unlikely you will be able to use them for any commercial purpose without their permission.
FWIW, at least in Australia, in general terms you would expect the photographer would own the copyright unless the photographer took the photos in the course of his or her employment, or the photographer was charging money (or otherwise receiving some benefit) to take photos for private/domestic purposes ... or there is a contract which provides otherwise. In other words, if you take photos for commercial purposes and you weren't doing it in the course of employment, you should be the owner of the copyright even if you got paid to take the photos ... unless there is a contract which says otherwise (eg says that the person paying you gets the copyright). See http://classic.austlii.edu.au//au/legis/cth/consol_act/ca1968133/s35.html (and for those interested, a photograph is an "artistic work").

I do not know if the situation is the same in the US though, I'm afraid.
 

CanonFanBoy

EOS 5D MK IV
Jan 28, 2015
3,302
916
Irving, Texas
Congrats to your dad on his new modeling career. :)

Seriously, it would probably be a good idea. But, if I were you, I would be more interested in maintaining my relationship with the model. I'm not suggesting you try to horn in on her success, but that you be supportive and not do anything that might impair her success. She may be in a position in the future to recommend you for shoots, to get you on as an assistant or to recommend you to other models and you want to make sure you don't jeopardize those opportunities by being too concerned about capitalizing on your past relationship. Better to forgo a little now, in order to position yourself for a lot later.

Also, you said.



Keep in mind that if you are getting paid for those shoots, the entity that is paying you likely owns the rights to those photos. You may want to make an arrangement with that company to allow you to use the photos for your portfolio. But, it's unlikely you will be able to use them for any commercial purpose without their permission.
Paid, but I am the entity. :)
 

AlanF

5DSR
Aug 16, 2012
5,146
2,072
We have had a thread about this in the past few days. To summarise:
  1. The copyright is automatically yours as soon as you press the shutter (if you are not under contract).
  2. Registering the photos allows you to claim extra damages if someone publishes your work without your permission.
 
Reactions: CanonFanBoy

CanonFanBoy

EOS 5D MK IV
Jan 28, 2015
3,302
916
Irving, Texas
We have had a thread about this in the past few days. To summarise:
  1. The copyright is automatically yours as soon as you press the shutter (if you are not under contract).
  2. Registering the photos allows you to claim extra damages if someone publishes your work without your permission.
Thank you Alan.
 

jvillain

EOS T7i
Sep 29, 2018
57
45
It is cheap and easy and would make a lot of sense. FStoppers have a video on youtube with Monty talking about why he registers his stuff. You might want to search for it as it shows both how he does it and why.