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Canadian law finally gives photographers copyright to all their photos

By dpreview staff on Nov 8, 2012 at 23:06 GMT

A major copyright reform bill came into effect today in Canada, granting photographers copyright of all of their photographs - regardless of whether they have been commissioned. Previously, copyright on photographs belonged to the commissioner of the images, not to the photographer, transferrable only by a written contract. One of the stated goals of the law is to 'give photographers the same rights as other creators'. 

Canadian photographers now own the copyright to all of their images, including those taken for commissions. [picture: 'Canada wins hockey gold' by Chris Bizzy - via PetaPixel]

According to CAPIC - The Canadian Association of Professional Image Creators, the passing of the new law is 'a great victory' which ensures that 'Canadian photographers, albeit the last in the industrialized world, now have all legal rights to their images'. 'Finally' said André Cornellier, Copyright Chair of CAPIC in a statement on the organization's website, 'we have won a right due to us as artists'.   

via Petapixel 

Comments

Total comments: 137
zabatman
By zabatman (7 months ago)

So clearly South Africa is not yet considered part of the industrialised world, as here the copyright transfers to the entity that commissioned the photograph :)

0 upvotes
raztec
By raztec (Nov 13, 2012)

The analogy with cinematographers is not valid because theirs is only one part of a bigger story and creative enterprise. That includes the director and screen writer and actors etc.

A photographer's work, however, can stand on its own in most respects. It is more akin to the work of a painter or musician.

A

0 upvotes
Stephen_H
By Stephen_H (Nov 13, 2012)

It's perfectly valid.

I proposed the example of me, a graphic designer / art director commissioning a photographer. I take care of all the creative stuff and the photographer delivers the final image as per my "vision" under my instructions. (no different to director instructing a cameraman on set)

General opinion seems that the photographer would still own the copyright, unless I've held a gun to his head and negotiated the full rights beforehand.

1 upvote
raztec
By raztec (Nov 13, 2012)

It is a matter of degrees.

You might commission a painter or musician to do the same, but their creative input in the final product is much greater than yours. It's similar to a photographer.

Whereas a cinematographers input is equal, or even less than that of a director or screenwriter or actor to the final outcome.

0 upvotes
Stephen_H
By Stephen_H (Nov 13, 2012)

So it's not "who created the image" now, but rather "who made the greatest creative contribution" in creating the image?

Hmm, that's sticky...

"Your Honour, I present exhibit B which clearly shows my client made a 53% creative contribution to the image in question and not the 37,5% as claimed by the prosecution"

"Ooooh," went the whole jury.

The gallery craned their necks to get a better view while the press frantically posted this latest development on Twitter as breaking news.

The prosecutor shifted uncomfortably in his seat searching for a reason to object bt his motion to exclude this evidence had already been denied.

We all held our breaths recognizing a landmark moment in copyright law.

And now we cut to a quick word from our sponsor (who actually created this whole mess in the first place by commissioning the photographer without having his $1500 per hour lawyer write up a contract to protect himself from litigation.)

0 upvotes
raztec
By raztec (Nov 13, 2012)

I'm not arguing for or against this particular law, but just giving you an idea that your argument is superficial and flawed. I'm not sure of copyright laws when it comes to music or paintings, but I would say those are more akin to photography be they commissioned works or not.

0 upvotes
TotallyFred
By TotallyFred (Nov 12, 2012)

Can we have authors and copyright owners pay us, citizens, a forced-attendence fee each time their "art" hurt our eyes, ears or intellect ?

0 upvotes
Stephen_H
By Stephen_H (Nov 12, 2012)

no.

0 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Nov 12, 2012)

These greedy photographers have finally managed to shoot themselves in the foot. Who is going to be idiotic enough to commission a pro photographer, pay them a fee for taking some pix -- and then have to beg the person who took the photo to sell them a provisional right to use the photo taken?

Photographers must be from a different mold than some other visual artists. For instance, I never yet heard of a cinematographer hired to shoot a $100,000,000 budget movie claim that they actually own the copyright to the finished picture just because they were paid a hefty sum to shoot the film.
What's next, I wonder? The sound guy who recorded the dialog on "The Hobbit" will also be having full copyright for the finished movie? And if not, why not?

1 upvote
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Nov 12, 2012)

This new law will have its effects -- most everyone in Canada will now take their own photographs. No copyright hustles and prolonged negotiations that way. These so-called "pro photographers" want to get paid first for actually shooting the photos, and then make more money by selling their copyright to the person or entity who commissioned and paid them in the first place. Brilliant thinking, guys!

1 upvote
Stephen_H
By Stephen_H (Nov 12, 2012)

Ironically, one of the comments made to me further down [by danmar] was exactly that... "take the picture yourself".

Most photographers want more work. Who advises against using themselves as a solution to sticky bit of law?

But you're right. It might be in my own interests to just buy better gear and stop outsourcing to photographers if they're going to hang onto 'my/their/the' commissioned work as their own, but this scenario hurts photographers and waters down their perceived value.

0 upvotes
Klipsen
By Klipsen (Dec 2, 2012)

In some countries, when a TV series is re-run, the actors get paid a certain percentage of the salary they could have earned if it was a new series being made. It's probably to compensate for their potential loss of income, and the same could be said for the photographers.

0 upvotes
Stephen_H
By Stephen_H (Nov 11, 2012)

Maybe I'm just confused and need this cleared up...

What is the difference between copyright and usage rights?

I think I'm tripping over the idea of selling unlimited usage rights to my client, yet still retaining the copyrights.

0 upvotes
KodaChrome25
By KodaChrome25 (Nov 11, 2012)

Good point, but I figured that scenario was understood. The majority of the complaints/comments below are concerning commissioned work, including weddings. Those are the folk I was posting to.

I already live under the scenario you describe, here in the US. All creative works are automatically (C) the author unless mutually agreed upon otherwise, in writing.

PS- I hit reply to Vitruvius' comments.. don't know why it came up separate

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
KodaChrome25
By KodaChrome25 (Nov 10, 2012)

Before the law changed... three possibilities...
1) client hires photog, contract says client owns (C), photog paid, photog turns over photos to client
2) client hires photog, contract says photog owns (C), photog paid, photog licenses photos to client
3) client hires photog, no contract, client owns (C), photog paid, photog turns over photos to client

After the law changed.... three possibilities...
1) same
2) same
3) client hires photog, no contract, photog owns (C), photog paid, photog licenses photos to client

What's the problem?

0 upvotes
Vitruvius
By Vitruvius (Nov 10, 2012)

You only mention commisioned images. THAT is the problem. The vast majority of images were NOT "client hires photog". It is more like "I am having fun taking pictures and posting them online". Then someone really likes one of my pictures, right-click copies it, and uses it commercially for their business and makes money off it without paying me.
The new law now is very clear that I own the copyright to that image BECAUSE I made it. The whole 'posting to public domain for all' is now clearly less valid an argument.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
CZFox
By CZFox (Nov 9, 2012)

So, if a Canadian citizen take a picture of let's say CN Tower and publish it publicly on web or sell few copies, the citizen can be sued by Canadian photographer who first shot CN Tower. Am I right?

0 upvotes
Frenske
By Frenske (Nov 10, 2012)

Perhaps when the photographer owns the building too. If not well then I wonder you have been smoking.

0 upvotes
CZFox
By CZFox (Nov 10, 2012)

Ok, I thought it's one of those ridiculous laws when similarity is copyright protected and technical attributes does not matter (I'm pointing to the UK's double decker story).

0 upvotes
swhs
By swhs (Nov 9, 2012)

PART 2: Nothing is built from the air, everything is built from the shoulders of others. Now we have companies who have bought old pictures and sell the right to them which is essentially a tax. Good for them (the people working in them), good for the people selling them to those companies (such as children, who have done no work to earn that money). But these companies serve no real purpose. They produce nothing of value. Their tax goes to pay people doing administrative work that serves no further purpose, or even worse, pays people who have done zilch.

Copyright law hogs memories, so we can't just download a song from our youth, we need to buy it (again!). Ditto for TV and everything else that we like(d) and already paid for by watching advertising or paying a licence fee. The only interesting change for copyright laws is when the duration is reduced to say 10 years.

0 upvotes
swhs
By swhs (Nov 9, 2012)

PART 1: The biggest problem with all copyright laws is the duration for which these rights are granted. This means administrative nonsense and not always being able to rerelease stuff due to not being able to find all copyright owners. It also means a hogging of our memories. Whatever we really like, the thing in question has something related to the times (fashion type qualities) or it has innate qualities of how we think and perceive things that we like. So it's not a creative work, it's a creative work that is appreciated by people because of how they are. It's partly like a discovery, not a invention.

0 upvotes
Reg Natarajan
By Reg Natarajan (Nov 9, 2012)

What's next? How about emails? In my company, many people who work for me write emails. Some of them are really quite creative and well written. Barring a contract, can these employees now republish their work emails without my consent? I suppose it's no sillier than Apple winning a billion dollars from Samsung for having copied Ericsson first.
People can say it's an unfair comparison all they want. It won't make it true. The fact is that art was BETTER before copyright law. All copyright law has gotten us is huge media companies peddling trash. Now those companies protect their turf by suing our kids for downloading music. This is not in the public interest.

We are over-regulating and over-legislating EVERYTHING. It is not leading to more innovation. It is not leading to better art. It's not leading to anything except more lawsuits and more lawyers. We need a serious rethink of all intellectual property law, the sooner the better.

1 upvote
Rorie Shade
By Rorie Shade (Nov 9, 2012)

Really? So when i am commissioned to do photography for a client, and the contract stipulates how the client is going to use that work, and then they go ahead and use it 10 more times for 10 different purposes, and i dont get paid for my work that is okay??? you want to compare your employees email to my photography, of that is so lame and illogical.

2 upvotes
57even
By 57even (Nov 10, 2012)

No, but many employees do creative work for their companies (design, engineering, programming, etc.) and never own patents or copyright because it stipulates in their contract of employment that all such rights go to their employer. This could also be true if you were employed as a photographer.

If you have a contract, then it is binding, employment contracts included.

The issue here is the default position if no such contract exists.

Copyright applies to any written or artistic material. Why would a photographer be any different to the writer of an article? Please don't tell me one is more important than the other.

0 upvotes
Deleted pending purge
By Deleted pending purge (Nov 11, 2012)

@Rorie Shade... If you did a job on a contract stating that your material can be only used three times, and then you see it being used ten times, then the other side owns you seven uses, and in every court you'll win with a technical K.O.
More times than not they're expecting you not to sue, that's what they're counting on... but in cases like that one, everyone should sue.
I know it from personal experience. Me and my friend did a contract once, it contained the "... one to three usages", and then someone clever used it for another several years, finally removing all of the original background music, authors, title etcetera, and we sued.
I enjoyed that VW Rabbit for years afterwards. ;)

0 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Nov 12, 2012)

"So when i am commissioned to do photography for a client, and the contract stipulates how the client is going to use that work, and then they go ahead and use it 10 more times for 10 different purposes, and i don't get paid for my work that is okay?"

MY TAKE: Well, if you got paid something up front just before or just after you took the photos, then you got paid. Period.

I hope this "greedy photographers syndrome" will not make its way into films as such. Imagine, you are the producer who hires the cameraman, cameraman shoots the movie and gets paid a sizable salary during the production. Afterwards the movie gets released -- and every times it gets to be shown anywhere in perpetuity, producer has to pay and pay to the cameraman fort the "right to the copyright" or usage right.

Sounds pretty stupid, doesn't it? Why isn't it so with still photographs and photographers, can anyone gives us a clue?

3 upvotes
Kerry Swartz
By Kerry Swartz (Nov 14, 2012)

You are a moron, frankly, and have no understanding - let alone respect - for the work, talent and financial burden commercial photographers in Canada carry.

The situation above is work-for-hire were it a still image situation. For video and film it is another matter than shooting for an ad that has a commercial, consumer purpose.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
Doug Frost
By Doug Frost (Nov 9, 2012)

Congratulations to all Canadian photographers. This is long overdue.

2 upvotes
Eleson
By Eleson (Nov 9, 2012)

Does this cover pictures taken in Canada by anyone, or by canadians anywhere, or only canadians in Canada?

0 upvotes
Reg Natarajan
By Reg Natarajan (Nov 9, 2012)

Canadian law covers anyone in Canada, citizen or not. When outside Canada, Canadians are subject to the laws of the jurisdiction they are in.

3 upvotes
benross
By benross (Nov 9, 2012)

Copyright of what? Technically, the photo on top of this thread can not be published in Canada (Quebec for sure) without the consent of the person in the middle of the picture. So I don't think this law gives a lot of confidence to photographers anyway!

1 upvote
amazme1
By amazme1 (Nov 9, 2012)

Wrong! As long as you can't see the person's face, it does not need any permission.

1 upvote
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Nov 12, 2012)

Yeah, knowing that someone takes my picture, I can now go right after the deep pockets -- i.e. the photographers -- if I as much as suspect that he/she did not secure my written prior permission to have a picture of my likeness taken. Brilliant way to make money -- and you don't even need to own a camera, everyone!

0 upvotes
Stephen_H
By Stephen_H (Nov 12, 2012)

Interesting. Does this mean photographers now have to take the brunt of "non permission" photos.

Newspapers no longer need the subject's permission to print the pic. As long as they have the photographer's say-so, they get plausible deniability, after all, it's not the newspaper's photo, it's the photographers (even if he's on a salary and doing what he's told).

Enjoy your new found responsibility...

;-)

0 upvotes
Tape5
By Tape5 (Nov 9, 2012)

As the world rapidly turns into a substantially more complex playing field, all types of desperate attempts are made by the players and the law makers to try and persist with the liberal reforms that started five centuries ago in Europe.

It is all banana and no custard. More twisted and contradictory as it goes forward. And the false assumption is that it is always going to create a more sustainable environment for humans to prosper.

ownership schmownership is what I am saying.

2 upvotes
Deleted pending purge
By Deleted pending purge (Nov 9, 2012)

All other rights can always be sold or otherwise transferred but one: the authoring right. Nobody was ever able to buy or sell the fact of being an author to someone else's photo. So, whatever lawyers managed to write about it, this decision is nothing revolutionary. But seeing what people are able to do with words, it will always be the author's responsibility to defend that right.

1 upvote
Cy Cheze
By Cy Cheze (Nov 9, 2012)

You are mistaken. An author can indeed agree to surrender the right you suppose. Ghost writing is a long standing profession. Plenty of autobiographies are written by people politely referred to as editors or typists, or perhaps not acknowledged at all. Photography and music present similar situations. You can assign, deliver, or commit almost anything by contract. An author cannot agree to something and then reneg. A buyer who fails to get an author to agree to such conditions would be very foolish. An author who must sell to people who want full rights over the product, but refuses to do so, will have very few clients. Millions of people are on the payroll of companies to, by contract, have full rights to the fruits of the employees labor.

1 upvote
Deleted pending purge
By Deleted pending purge (Nov 10, 2012)

I guess you missed my point. The keyword is the fact. Even if an author wants to sell the fact that someone else made his/her image, it will remain that author's work. All other rights, including the ultimate right to delete one's work can be sold or bought, but if Tom took the picture, Dick and Harry did not - whatever rights they bought, in the same sense as only I can walk on my legs, but I can sell that walk's purpose.
Anyway, it's beside any logical point, especially today, since reality is always one thing and legal or "legal" lingo something else.
That's why they say that "lawyers can perhaps tell legal from illegal, but they can't tell right from wrong".

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Nov 12, 2012)

It's a good racket to be in, maybe.

1. Take some pictures, but make sure the folks who asked yo to do so pay you for this first.

2. Start negotiating with them for the rights to use the pictures they paid you to take. Yeah, they paid you to take them -- but hey, they are your pictures, the lawman says so.

Brilliant!

0 upvotes
Canadianguy
By Canadianguy (Nov 9, 2012)

Nothing changes for clients and photographers who had/have agreements in place.

Whatever is in the agreement still stands!

0 upvotes
Cy Cheze
By Cy Cheze (Nov 9, 2012)

It will require more than a hand-shake or nod, though.

1 upvote
Canadianguy
By Canadianguy (Nov 9, 2012)

As usual, the news release is missing the details.

This is the famous section 13(2) of the old CANADIAN copyright act:
"13 (2) Where, in the case of an engraving, photograph or portrait, the plate or other original was ordered by some other person and was made for valuable consideration, and the consideration was paid, in pursuance of that order, in the absence of any agreement to the contrary, the person by whom the plate or other original was ordered shall be the first owner of the copyright."

The changes made included the elimination of section 13(2) from the act.

The key statement from the old act was this: "in the absence of any agreement to the contrary" - Canadian photographers could always retain their copyright if they had an agreement to the contrary.

Now the status quo is Canadian photographers retain copyrights unless THERE IS AN AGREEMENT TO THE CONTRARY - so the situation can always be changed if there is an agreement in place.

2 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (Nov 9, 2012)

But the picture on your gravestone now belongs to the engraver, so you will be sued, posthumously.

1 upvote
Cy Cheze
By Cy Cheze (Nov 9, 2012)

Even the vainest of professional photographers will agree that almost anyone, if only by accident, can take a good or even great picture, at least occasionally. To record or perform good or great music is quite another matter. Yet, musicians have a hard time protecting their work.

To enforce copyrights of ditigal images will be more difficult than for digital music. There are probably 10,000,000 photos snapped for every song, ditty, rap, or symphony ever performed, sung, recorded, or scored. As a matter of principle, sharing or "social sharing" sites often require participants to waive rights or give them to the site sponsors.

This will protect, at most, a few people who succeed with an iconic or heavily stylized photo that, after appearing in public, inspires lots of immitators. On the other hand, it will ruin the auction value of some "famous name" photos if the creator retains the right to make and sell additional copies.

2 upvotes
Cy Cheze
By Cy Cheze (Nov 9, 2012)

The typical wedding or event photographer who gives clients the digital files will become very unpopular if he bothers the clients about making, shring, or printing copies.

2 upvotes
jm67
By jm67 (Nov 9, 2012)

Usually a wedding couple expects more than one or two good or great photos of the day. As far as handing over digital files and assuming the photographer has charged a fair fee to do so, why would he/she bother the client about printing some photos for their grandmother?

0 upvotes
Gionni Dorelli
By Gionni Dorelli (Nov 9, 2012)

The clients who commissioned and paid the photographer to take the photo, will always have the right of framing it, hanging it on the bedroom wall and looking at it anytime they wish. Or they can put in an album and keep it on the coffee table, so they can show it to granny when she comes around.
No law will ever takes those basic rights away. Do not worry!
For all other uses, they have to pay royalties.
End of the story.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
Cy Cheze
By Cy Cheze (Nov 9, 2012)

Will the clients who obtain digital files have the right to print or alter the photos? Will a buyer be able to restrict a photographer from selling or distributing additional copies? These complications will inspire people to avoid "professionals" altogether and take their own photos, unless the contract gives the client just about every conceivable right and control.

3 upvotes
57even
By 57even (Nov 9, 2012)

The law is about the default position in the absense of a written agreement. You can have whatever agreement you like with your client if you both sign it knowingly. No different from a model release if you want to sell your pictures.

I normally allow free copying and reuse by the client or client company for their own personal or internal use, but prohibit selling or wider distribution without my permission (eg. use by a newspaper or external publication). This is fine for most of my corporate clients.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
Stephen123
By Stephen123 (Nov 9, 2012)

This makes the situation very, very similar to the US where professional portraits, wedding photos, etc. come either with or without complete rights, often at a different price.

1 upvote
57even
By 57even (Nov 10, 2012)

In fact very similar to just about everywhere. Canada was a very unusual case.

1 upvote
Roland Karlsson
By Roland Karlsson (Nov 9, 2012)

hehe - as usual Copyright issues starts flaming discussions. And thats reasonable! What is a good choice regarding Copyright laws is not obvious. There are several possible ways of doing it. Personally I am a programmer. Normally I write programs for a company. I dont get any copyright. The company gets the copyright. If I want the copyright for the code I write I either have to do it as a hobby or have my own company.

And - I think this is fair. At least for code. How about photos?

3 upvotes
Peiasdf
By Peiasdf (Nov 9, 2012)

Exactly what I was thinking. How can someone hired for a job obtain the final product after the job is done?

6 upvotes
Gary Leland
By Gary Leland (Nov 9, 2012)

Roland,
I am a programmer as well. And everywhere I consult, I make it clear that any code I develop for them I can reuse elsewhere. (barring trade secrets non compete etc.) It is mine and indespensible as a part of my experience and expertise. I have never had a client refuse me the right to do so. Reusable code is indespensible to me so that I can compete and perform at my highest levels of skill and efficiency. It's your brain, it's your skill, the client benefits because you use good code and design concepts from another client to produce for him a better product in a shorter amount of time. You will have to negotiate a little with each client but the arguments for your ownership of the code you develope is a reasonable one. Just my 2cents.

1 upvote
Roland Karlsson
By Roland Karlsson (Nov 9, 2012)

@Gary - yes thats perfectly possible to do. And that was not my point. My point was only that it is not 100% obvious that a maker of an intellectual artefact, like a photo, should hold the Copyright.

NOTE that when making a film, everyone, including those only serving coffee, holds the Copyright. Thats why the list at the end of a film is so long.

So - there are different views.

Personally I think that Copyright shall be treated as patents. You have to apply for the Copyright, the copyrighted work has to be public and the time span shall be short, e.g. 20 years.

Automatic Copyright every time someone pushes a button is not sound.

2 upvotes
69chevy
By 69chevy (Nov 9, 2012)

If you do not feel the photographer deserves the credit for "pressing the shutter button", then buy a camera and do it yourself. If it is so easy to do, this should be no problem.

If you buy a DSLR and lens, you will never have to hire a photographer again, right?

Seems easy enough.

When that doesn't work (and it won't), then the person who has dedicated thousands of hours to learning the craft (who you want to hire for peanuts) won't look so greedy.

4 upvotes
Roland Karlsson
By Roland Karlsson (Nov 9, 2012)

Thats a straw man. Of course its difficult to be a good photographer. But so is it to be good at anything. So, it should really be stated in your car who made it and all the mechanics that has served it. Dont you think they deserve the credit? If not - please build and fix your car yourself.

NOTE that its Copyright on all photos - even those made by bad photographers - even those taken by mistake - and also those taken automatically.

2 upvotes
justinwonnacott
By justinwonnacott (Nov 9, 2012)

The photographer sells goods and services (their labour and the photographic object) and sells a license to use the image. Any uses not agreed upon or granted belong to the photographer.

4 upvotes
Roland Karlsson
By Roland Karlsson (Nov 9, 2012)

Thats how it is. But - that is not how it must be.

0 upvotes
DaveKaiPiper
By DaveKaiPiper (Nov 9, 2012)

Stephen_H -

The Photographer did create an image..... You may of created the set up but he took an IMAGE of that set up. This is pretty simple.

It is for you to understand that you should protect what you make and your fault if you let someone photograph it while no protecting that.

0 upvotes
Stephen_H
By Stephen_H (Nov 11, 2012)

I dunno. If you're going to get really technical about "creating the image", then we need to credit the equipment as well. Tell the photographer to leave his gear at home and create the image – if the photographer is really the one creating the image he'd be able to produce the goods.

I'm not saying creativity shouldn't be protected, but sometimes a photographer is just a technician – just like Roland's tiler & plumber in his bathroom makeover.

0 upvotes
DaveKaiPiper
By DaveKaiPiper (Nov 9, 2012)

@andrewparkoo Here it the UK you pay for the photographers time, no what they shoot. How can you even begin to own something that is not made yet ? It us totally right that Canada fell in to line with common sense.

1 upvote
Roland Karlsson
By Roland Karlsson (Nov 9, 2012)

This is the strangest thing I have heard in this debate. So - if I pay someone to spend some time remaking my bathroom, then I dont own the result? Because that bathroom remake is not even made before it is made?

Reread what you just wrote - and rephrase it in some understandable way, please.

2 upvotes
andrewparkoo
By andrewparkoo (Nov 9, 2012)

Absolutely barking mad - you pay a photographer for some photos and he still owns them!

5 upvotes
Cy Cheze
By Cy Cheze (Nov 9, 2012)

Answer: commission only photographers who convey the buyer all rights.

3 upvotes
Roland Karlsson
By Roland Karlsson (Nov 9, 2012)

@Cheze - good advice. But it seems like photographers are very reluctant to do such things. Its very hard for them to part with an image they have taken.

0 upvotes
Ron Elmy
By Ron Elmy (Nov 9, 2012)

There was already written in the copyright law protection based on agreement. And there will always be theft. Our government is full of lawyers and this just sounds like an open door for more work for lawyers. This is a new bill for lawyers, not photographers.

5 upvotes
Stephen_H
By Stephen_H (Nov 9, 2012)

Just another thought, if I'm art-directing the photographer, how can the photographer claim to have created the image?

I've conceived the concept
I've chosen the message it needs to convey
I've set it up
I've chosen the lighting scheme
I've hired a stylist to fine tune everything else

All the photographer is doing is making sure that all my efforts aren't wasted by being technically skilled and proficient in his art.

If I can't to claim to have "created the image", then I'm going to give Nikon more credit for making the image than the photographer who trusted his light meter, followed the manual that came with his camera and pressed the shutter.

Perhaps there needs to be a distinction between commissioned commercial work where the photographer is just doing what he's told to do, and the more creative, self-inspired artistic photographs where the photographer has genuinely created everything in the final content?

Comment edited 5 minutes after posting
5 upvotes
and all that jazz
By and all that jazz (Nov 9, 2012)

I'll think you will find that a photographers photographer does in fact create the mood of the picture, i.e lighting, movement, design in or out of a studio, but probably on most occasions has been given a brief by the client on what they want, but I would say that 9 times out of 10 the client wouldn't know how to achieve the desired result.
So I think that it's only fair for the photographer to have the copyrights, unless the opposite is agreed by both parties.

3 upvotes
Thorbard
By Thorbard (Nov 9, 2012)

In this situation, if you really are doing all those things (in many cases the photographer would be responsible!) then you need a contract that says that you get the rights to the copyright!

Simple really. All this does is change the "default state".

4 upvotes
Higuel
By Higuel (Nov 9, 2012)

Stephen, if you indeed created everything, DO THE PHOTO YOURSELF! :)

If you make a movie and tell a musician the kind of moody music you want for it, does it means you have the copyrigth of the music??? Did you really created it???

Don't get me wrong: if you had THE idea for the photo, obviously you are due credit for the concept!!!
But it was still the photographer who made it! You were the creator of the concept, but he created the photo. Unless you tell me you hired some person retarded and told him/her to press the shutter!... -_-
Clear?
Imagine this case instead: You write a book. You make the argument for a movie, you even make the storyboard! And you even direct it!
Are you going to take away the credits of the director of photography?????

I think fair is fair! :)

Have a good day! :)

5 upvotes
PicOne
By PicOne (Nov 9, 2012)

I get what you're saying.. it's like in the movies -- the Director, Producer, and movie star get more credit and acclaim for a movie's quality than the cameraman (or the blame if its a bad movie). Wouldn't that be something if the movie cameraman (is this a cinematographer?) retained copyright to the movies he shoots?

6 upvotes
and all that jazz
By and all that jazz (Nov 9, 2012)

I also forgot to mention composition, really the photographer creates the whole sense and mood of the brief by capturing what the client wants,that's the art of photography, just as a painter of landscapes, portraits, architecture, street scences and the like do.
Give us copyright? Oh yeah.

1 upvote
avbhaskar
By avbhaskar (Nov 9, 2012)

When you have all the talent you can click the shutter also. That makes it easy. Having Canvas paint and brush cannot make you an artist. Owning a Hasselblad does not produce great pictures.

1 upvote
Cy Cheze
By Cy Cheze (Nov 9, 2012)

Wedding photographers will have to apply for unemployment benefits if they try to claim any rights over anything shot at an event, other than the sum they get paid. Incidentally, wedding shots, despite being a primary bread and butter for small pros, are (at client request) highly stereotyped and seldom unique.

4 upvotes
Roland Karlsson
By Roland Karlsson (Nov 9, 2012)

@PicOne - I think he does. Thats why he is mentioned in the end text. Among with all other 352 people that holds the Copyright.

0 upvotes
EDWARD ARTISTE
By EDWARD ARTISTE (Nov 9, 2012)

With that logic, even the stylist and the guy who owns the backdrop can say" couldn't make this without my help".

So it doesn't work. The art director obviously DIDN'T TAKE THE PICTURE.

And that's all that matters. Your argument completely falls flat, though i see where u are coming from.

0 upvotes
danmar
By danmar (Nov 9, 2012)

The simplest solution? Take the picture yourself and get all the glory and any money that comes. Problem solved - no more whining.

1 upvote
Stephen_H
By Stephen_H (Nov 11, 2012)

@PicOne

I think you get I'm saying. Often a picture (or any creative product) is a team effort. How can multiple parties retain copyright? In my mind, whoever commissioned the piece owns it.

My client commissions me to commission an art director to commission a photographer to take a pack photo.

Swop this out for:

My client commissions an architect to commission a contractor to commission a bricklayer to build a house... and now the brick layer owns copyright to all the walls of the house because he "created" (or made) them.

(And please people, I'm not reducing photographers to bricklayers, it's just a metaphor, nothing else)

0 upvotes
Stephen_H
By Stephen_H (Nov 11, 2012)

@danmar

I probably would, but the I'd have to rent the gear and the rental company will probably claim a chunk of the copyrights because it was their CCD sensor that actually created the final photograph. All I did was interact with their equipment...

;-P

0 upvotes
Stephen_H
By Stephen_H (Nov 9, 2012)

Sorry, I find this back to front and probably bad for the photographic industry.

I'm not a photographer, I'm a graphic designer and as such, I commission photographers fairly often. The whole point of commissioning a photograph is for the permanent ownership rights (rather than "renting" them from a stock image company).

If I have to find the photographer in ten year's time for further permission to use my/his photo, I might as well rent a stockpic from Getty images.

Comment edited 15 minutes after posting
6 upvotes
Thorbard
By Thorbard (Nov 9, 2012)

The point of commissioning a photograph is getting a unique photograph that didn't come from a stock site.

If you want the full rights to use an image, buy the exclusive rights to use it for all purposes. This law doesn't change that.

3 upvotes
Higuel
By Higuel (Nov 9, 2012)

Stephen

It is good you explain you are a designer, as someone who studied Design for 5years, now i understand you better, still, if your client has already decided EXACTLY how he wants a poster but hires you to do it because he doesn't know crap of pagemaker and photoshop. Should it be his name on the side of the poster as the designer???

I am TRULY shocked when anyone who is a creative does not respect the other creators credits and rights!!! :(

How do you fell when people hear you are a designer and say that you just draw in a paper what other's ideas are?
Well, we photographers are NOT just a finger in a button and it is highly disrespectful to treat us that way!

5 upvotes
jm67
By jm67 (Nov 9, 2012)

Interesting. You don't want the photographer to have any rights to the photo but I bet you'll want copyrighted ownership to your graphic design. You're just demonstrating in writing why (if photographers didn't push their own contracts in the client's face as I have always done so to me this change is irrelevant), this change is needed. Photographers need to make money. They do so by selling their images, not by pimping out their button clicking ability. If they wanted to do that, they could work in the kiosk at walmart. It's not only about money, it's about respect. And the money.

3 upvotes
Stephen_H
By Stephen_H (Nov 11, 2012)

jm67

It's interesting you use the word "sell" their images. If I sell something, it's no longer mine. In the same way, if I buy something it's mine.

I don't hear BMW claiming to retain ownership once I've bought one of their cars. In fact, they don't want to know anything about it after I've taken it off their hands.

I can't help feeling that if some form of ownership is retained, then it hasn't been sold, but more leased.

If I commission a photograph for my design, does it mean I'm sub-letting it to my client when I pass the design onto my client?

As for me retaining copyright to my designs, I don't. Once I've designed a logo for a company, it's no longer mine. It completely belongs to my client. I have no say over it at all. They can register a trademark on it and I have no say over the matter.

This is why I find it confusing.

0 upvotes
Loring von Palleske
By Loring von Palleske (Nov 12, 2012)

Imagine if another car company exactly copied the BMW in question and resold it - that is what wer are talking about or renting a car for a week but using it for 3 months?

Imagine being told you are shooting a simple photo for a charity organization - and it ends up being front and center for a multi national Nike or Coke campaign!

That is what rights management is all about.

0 upvotes
Stephen_H
By Stephen_H (Nov 13, 2012)

That would be theft irrespective of who own the copyrights.

If Nike is using the pic without anyone's permission, why would it matter if they needed the photographer's permission or the charity who commissioned the photo's permission.

As for copying the BMW, patent & trademark laws protect them. Again, you're talking about theft, not who owns the physical car once I've bought it.

Renting a car and keeping it outside of he agreement is breach of contract. If I've "rented" the photo for a specific purpose (ie: I've negotiated a usage contract) and use it beyond this, I'm in breach of contract as well. Copyright is not in dispute here.

I think we're back to a sense of confusion about the difference between copyrights and usage rights. Since I've had no response to my question asking for clarity between them, I assume no-one here actually knows and just makes comments that seem logical, personally favorable, or gather clarifying replies. (I know I have been)

0 upvotes
iamphil
By iamphil (Nov 9, 2012)

As I said in my other post, the Copyright Modernization Act (Bill C-11) for all intents and purposes, takes away the right of Canadians to make backup copies of their media.

Thank you American corporate lobbyists for bringing a piece of DMCA-like law north of the border!

It's one step forward and about ten steps back.

8 upvotes
Stephen_H
By Stephen_H (Nov 13, 2012)

Is this because you'd need the photographer's permission to make duplicates?

Please clarify. This is interesting.

0 upvotes
iamphil
By iamphil (Nov 28, 2012)

It's a separate issue from photographer rights. Making backup copies of software, DVDs, and virtually all commercially available media was essentially outlawed by this same Act thanks to "input" from American corporations.

0 upvotes
mehran langari
By mehran langari (Nov 9, 2012)

it is 'a great Happening...

3 upvotes
Peiasdf
By Peiasdf (Nov 9, 2012)

So let me get this right. Google's life diary thingy will have copyright of photos it automatically capture and can therefore can automatically transmitted it to Google's cloud. And the photobooth or the guy at the passport picture place would have copyright of the photo of my face?

Something is off with the way this law is written.

7 upvotes
TheEye
By TheEye (Nov 9, 2012)

In the US, the photographer owns the copyright, unless the job was expressly done as "work for hire." I never do "work for hire," because the client will own the copyright.

Even though I have the copyright to all my images, it does not mean I can use my photos commercially without required permissions (model and property releases). How I can use my images is however a seperate issue from me having the copyright.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
4 upvotes
Parry Johnson
By Parry Johnson (Nov 9, 2012)

In Canada, maybe the underlying issue for the future will be: "Has permission been granted?"

We Canadians have been extremely liberal about who takes our pictures or photographs our property, unlike many other countries, especially those in Europe. Published photos of people need to have proper contracts for permission granted, but buildings or landscapes that included identifiable property were rarely questioned.

Therefore, will we soon see "Photographers will be prosecuted" signs as even more prevalent than "No trespassing" signs -- especially now that the copyright is now 100% with the photographer, and therefore he or she is 100% liable for proceeds generated by those photos? What would be necessary for a photo to be deemed "newsworthy," and therefore exempt? Are all past photographs now included, and landowners or passers-by can now sue for unattained income?

Again, more confusion...
Parry

0 upvotes
Rod McD
By Rod McD (Nov 9, 2012)

IMO, the concept that photographers create an image all by themselves is a bit of a problem. It understates what is in reality a more complex situation. If a work is commissioned, a photographer doesn't own and didn't create the image subject. If that belongs to someone else, or is a person, then giving copyright to the photographer may hold some potential problems.

What rights do you have as an inventor or manufacturer if you've commissioned photography of a new product that is in-confidence? What rights do you have if a photographer takes pictures of you or your child, even with permission? It's a general legal principle that you can't contract your way around a legislated right. So what limits exist in the new law around how a photographer can exercise their copyright?
Even as a photographer, I can't see that this is the right outcome all of the time. Photographers should not be without rights, but neither should photographers have all the rights.

3 upvotes
TheEye
By TheEye (Nov 9, 2012)

The copyright holder holds the copyright to his creation (the image). The image content (people property, brand names) may preclude commercial (or libelous) use of the image. To use an image commercially (for profit), the photog needs a signed model release from people that are clearly recognizable. In the case of images of property it depends: shot from a public area, an image of private property may of may not require a peoperty release, depending on several circumstances and factors. For example, in order to use a photograph of the Golden Gate Bridge commercially, the photog has to get a release from from the city of SF, because the Golden Gate Bridge has been copyrighted.

2 upvotes
DarkShift
By DarkShift (Nov 9, 2012)

Don't confuse copyright of an image with possible copyrights of the objects in the image. Of course the copyrights of images should automatically belong to those who create them.

1 upvote
iamphil
By iamphil (Nov 9, 2012)

Copyright of objects in an image? Sometimes it feels like "intellectual" property will be the downfall of our civilization.

5 upvotes
PicOne
By PicOne (Nov 9, 2012)

If I look in a mirror, do I create the reflection, or does the mirror?

1 upvote
Sdaniella
By Sdaniella (Nov 9, 2012)

usually, if one doesn't want a photographer, simply hire 'easy to train' camera operators, to shoot pictures, they do this all the time with big 'school portrait' studios who pay minimum wages, with no benefits... as well as portrait studio chains, who are in effect, dispensing images via routine non-artistic camera operations, portraiture for the 'walk-in' masses.

otherwise, i think this law at least gives photographers with greater artistic abilities protections other artists had in other media forms, which they didn't have as much.

if you don't like the law, just hire a camera operator, not a photographer (or a painter (a brush operator), not a paint artist). for some images, skills are not required, so if you want to hire a image-pusher (image cleric), you shouldn't have to worry about commission and copyrights. ask your janitor/receptionist/mailroom clerk to operate a camera for you... or some other office intern.

1 upvote
Boris
By Boris (Nov 9, 2012)

If I hire a artist to paint a portrait for me what copyright rights does this artist have?

1 upvote
Kodachrome200
By Kodachrome200 (Nov 9, 2012)

in the us 100 percent now in canada too-

2 upvotes
Sdaniella
By Sdaniella (Nov 9, 2012)

basically, if you don't like the implications and question the validity or worthiness of a photographer having copyrights to her/his work, why not object to copyrights for any/everyone else who already has it?

2 upvotes
Boris
By Boris (Nov 9, 2012)

What I`m questioning is what rights does the consumer who paid the photographer have. So if I have baby pictures taken of my child and later decide to use that picture to advertise baby clothes.. legally I cannot since the Photographer has the right to that picture?

3 upvotes
TheEye
By TheEye (Nov 9, 2012)

Search for the term "work for hire." If you do a job that is explicitely "work for hire" (<-- this exact wording), then the client owns the copyright of the photos.

I always clearly state that, while I take on assignments, I do not do "work for hire."

1 upvote
Boris
By Boris (Nov 9, 2012)

Thank you TheEye.

1 upvote
Jun2
By Jun2 (Nov 9, 2012)

Boris write that in the contract to use the pictures for future commercial use in the the future. He owns copyright, but you get the license to use it.

0 upvotes
DaveMarx
By DaveMarx (Nov 9, 2012)

Boris, you'll find that a photographer will charge very different rates for a family portrait sitting vs. an advertising/catalog shoot.

No matter who you hire, for what purpose, the nature of the work and the skills required will be a factor. If someone said to you, "I'll pay you $10 to rake," you'd undoubtedly ask, "Rake what, for how long, and how big is the rake?" "Rake my lawn, until I say the job's done, you supply the rake." "How big is your lawn? Let me see what I'm getting into. And I'm not going to re-rake an area I've finished just because the wind blows." And you'd end up negotiating the scope of the job, and a price.

When dealing with work that can be copied countless times and used in countless ways, "how many copies" and "for what purpose" are going to be key bargaining points.

1 upvote
jm67
By jm67 (Nov 9, 2012)

That's what I've been doing all these years. You hire me to shoot your wedding, you sign a contract that I have the right to commercial use, you have (if you pay extra and want digital on media) right to reprint for personal use. This will change nothing for me as I will continue to keep that clause so that they know in their mind what they can/can not do with any media. In all the years I've done it, only one (a lawyer not surprisingly) refused to sign and told me if he felt in the mood, would give me permission to use an image or two. Naturally I told him he could find another photographer.

0 upvotes
Roland Karlsson
By Roland Karlsson (Nov 9, 2012)

@jm67 - for me personally - your attitude is one of the main motivations for me to really dislike professional portrait photography, e.g. wedding photography. I want a wedding photo - and you want the rights to use it commercially? Thats insane. A wedding is a private thing. If you want to make commercial portraits, you pay the models!

So - a mutual contract where you hold the copyright to the image and the couple holds the model rights to the image, thats fair. And then you can have whatever clauses regarding costs.

1 upvote
CameraLabTester
By CameraLabTester (Nov 9, 2012)

He who presses the shutter button first: WINS.

.

4 upvotes
bertibus
By bertibus (Nov 9, 2012)

So if I pay a photographer to spend x hours over a period of x weeks to obtain a certain genre of photo(s) for me, I do not own the work that I have paid for? And he / she can use them (the photos) as they see fit, provided that I am also allowed to use them? Is that correct?

5 upvotes
KitHB
By KitHB (Nov 9, 2012)

Photographer retains copyright, assigns a license to publish the work (probably with exclusive use) to the client.

this makes sense, a photographer could license a pic for use in print, or in a gallery, but not for unlimited online publication through the picture libraries.

It's a change that's consistent with how digital rights should be managed; i.e. separating the originators copyright from the distribution and publishing licenses.

4 upvotes
Sdaniella
By Sdaniella (Nov 9, 2012)

exactly correct.
after all, you enjoyed the luxury employing (a) photographer(s) for limited hours (which means no benefits apply) over a period of limited weeks to obtain a certain genre of photos(s) thus avoiding employment of a permanent photographer... 'photo studio mills' do this all the time, every year, unemployed photographers have to wait for seasonal 'temporary' work to which they are not compensated with any form of credits, but treated like sweat-shop 'temps'. frankly, why not outsource your photographers to some other poor country where work is cheap, benefits don't apply, and you can layoff anyone, and never rehire the same photographer twice, because they have no protections, and thus come dime a dozen... who needs a permanent photography department anyway when they are vulnerable with no protections? maybe now, they have some balance in their compensation for having restricted work opportunities to put food on their table and a roof over their heads.

1 upvote
DaveMarx
By DaveMarx (Nov 9, 2012)

Not quite correct. You can certainly place restrictions on the use of those photos by others. You'll just pay more for, "You can't sell them to anyone else, for any purpose, forever," than you will for, "I only need exclusivity for garden products catalogs distributed in Canada for the next 5 years." If the photographer has other ways to earn a buck off the job, you'll likely pay less.

Don't get too hung up over control issues like, "Who gets the copyright?" Negotiations are always a matter of "who wants what, more," so don't want more than you really need.

0 upvotes
and all that jazz
By and all that jazz (Nov 9, 2012)

The way I see it, this is pretty much as you have stated.
When my daughter got married she and her husband got to choose any number of photos they wanted i.e. so much $ per photocopy in other words they never received any of the negatives and only the photos they paid for.
The photographer entered some of the photos in a professional photo competion and won, needless to say he the photographer didn't ask the bride & groom for permission to do so.
The thing is they didn't realize or read the small print in the contract that, the photographer had full rights to their images.
This may have been something that this professional photographer had in his contracts as a standard clause, and or writes up in is wedding photo contracts.
I don't know what the law is in New Zealand regarding these matters

1 upvote
Roland Karlsson
By Roland Karlsson (Nov 9, 2012)

I dont think I want a wedding photographer to use photos of me and my wife without asking me first. I actually think I would get rather upset. Except maybe that he uses it in his window or in his studio to show his own work for potential customers.

0 upvotes
joe6pack
By joe6pack (Nov 9, 2012)

I must be missing something. If the photographer is being paid to take a photo, doesn't that mean he transferred the copyright to the buyer? Without the new law, can't the photographer pre-negotiate the contract before accepting the job?

1 upvote
stuntmonkey
By stuntmonkey (Nov 9, 2012)

Actually, under the old system, the copyright defaulted automatically to the commissioner of the work , and pre-1998, it didn't matter if they paid the photographer or not, because they commissioned the image, they automatically held the copyright. Presumably, what this does is swings the control back to the photographer; as the creator of the image, the photographer automatically has rights, and then can choose to assign them afterwards.

0 upvotes
Kodachrome200
By Kodachrome200 (Nov 9, 2012)

generally you had to sign a contract in canada granting copyright to the photographer before you commissioned them. this really saves people who dont know what threre doing and paperwork

0 upvotes
Sdaniella
By Sdaniella (Nov 9, 2012)

well, under the old law, any photographer dare suggest terms of pre-negotiated contract details risks NOT getting the commission at all, thus the commissioner can opt to hire those who have weak powerless contracts as the most appealing (employable).

2 upvotes
Parry Johnson
By Parry Johnson (Nov 9, 2012)

Exactly. First of all, I'm Canadian. Any serious photographer or a pro with any sense would have checked that contracts that included the photographer's copyright or limitations were in order before any photography were properly done -- I know i do.

However, I think what was the more serious concern was that the contracting party often did / does NOT know that they automatically had full copyright unless a different contract were negotiated -- that ignorance often benefited the photographer, since it was easy for him or her to claim full rights.

For instance, I've had clients complain about not being able to reproduce their own photos, even though they had permission embedded within IPTC file info. It seemed, therefore that some lab operators erroneously believed automatically that "These are professional photos, therefore the client CAN'T possibly have copyright."

For awhile, there will at least be some confusion in Canada.
Parry

1 upvote
Reg Natarajan
By Reg Natarajan (Nov 8, 2012)

Terrible change, and I type that sitting in my office in Vancouver. Copyright law and patent law are destroying innovation, exactly the opposite of what they were intended to do. Before copyright law, we had Beethoven, Bach and Mozart. Since copyright law, we have Justin Bieber, Avril Lavigne and Nelly Furtado, and it's not lost on me that the latter three are all Canadian. This is an improvement?

5 upvotes
remylebeau
By remylebeau (Nov 8, 2012)

That's a completely unfair comparison and you know it.

12 upvotes
stuntmonkey
By stuntmonkey (Nov 9, 2012)

.... so you're against photographers having protections for the work that they create...?

7 upvotes
DaveMarx
By DaveMarx (Nov 9, 2012)

A fair portion of the 19th, and all of the 20th centuries occurred under protection of patent and copyright law. What unimaginable advances, what works of artistic genius, might have been accomplished during those dark, stagnant centuries, had the "fetters" of patent law been removed? Poor George Eastman, poor Edwin Land, poor Ansel Adams... imagine the sleep they lost contemplating what they might have accomplished without the burden of patents and copyrights.

Besides, this is purely a matter of who holds the copyright, not whether copyright exists at all. Should the artist hold the copyright, or the client? Tell me why the client is the better steward of those rights. Then you might be on-topic.

Comment edited 44 seconds after posting
3 upvotes
Okotoks_Photos
By Okotoks_Photos (Nov 9, 2012)

The change is only terrible for those that like to steal the work of others... for photographers, it's a great change and long overdue.

5 upvotes
Kodachrome200
By Kodachrome200 (Nov 9, 2012)

this law has made an epic hassle to do business for photographers in canada. good riddance

1 upvote
Essai
By Essai (Nov 9, 2012)

are you joking ? You have to be ignorant to think there is no great canadian music artists.

0 upvotes
filipkrolupper
By filipkrolupper (Nov 9, 2012)

Excuse me, but are you sure that Bach, Bethoween and Mozart were Canadians? ;-) We had Queens, Beetles, U2, Michael Jackson ...

0 upvotes
Roland Karlsson
By Roland Karlsson (Nov 9, 2012)

There is no proof whatsover that Copyright creates better artists and composers and photographers.

Actually, the original reason for inventing Copyright in the first place was to prevent the situation where printing companies was blocking printing of a book. Queen Anne got fed up with books that never got printed.

So - the original reason for Copyright was to make it illegal to buy rights!!

0 upvotes
Deleted-pending
By Deleted-pending (Nov 8, 2012)

This is awesome ! THANK YOU CANADA !

3 upvotes
iamphil
By iamphil (Nov 9, 2012)

Don't thank us too fast. There are other things buried within this new copyright law which are far more undesirable.

The bill formerly known as C-11 for all intents and purposes, takes away the right of Canadians to make backup copies of their media. Thank you American corporate lobbyists for bringing a piece of DMCA-like law north of the border!

One step forward and about ten steps back.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
3 upvotes
PicOne
By PicOne (Nov 8, 2012)

Retroactive and applicable to past commissioned work?

0 upvotes
Reilly Diefenbach
By Reilly Diefenbach (Nov 8, 2012)

Canada leading the way, as usual!

1 upvote
Kodachrome200
By Kodachrome200 (Nov 9, 2012)

this is the way its always been most everywhere else. the law was changed because photographers in canada made every client sign a contract protecting anyway.

3 upvotes
StanRogers
By StanRogers (Nov 9, 2012)

Actually, many of those contracts did not have the legal effect of transferring copyright (if the commisioner ever decided to contest it). Alienation of copyright is *very* difficult in Canada, and a warrant of contract for something that is contrary to law is invalid and unenforceable. The wording really had to indicate that creative control rested with the photographer as well (or the law defaulted to the "it's just a reproduction, and you're just a camera operator" point of view). That's why we've been trying to get things changed for decades.

0 upvotes
Total comments: 137