Copyright is protected in the United States Constitution and the Copyright Act of 1790. It is a cornerstone of scientific and artistic free expression.
The 21st century saw the invention of the "do What The Fuck you want to Public License", which was cool, but seldom used. One year later, in 2001, Creative Commons set out to solve the problem of the Tragedy of the Anti-Commons.
My Social Sharing Copyright (CC4 BY-NC-ND)
Images published by Daniel Clough Photography on Social Media are shared under conditions of the Creative Commons 4.0 License.
Sharing my photography requires a link to to me: this webpage, or my account on whatever platform you are sharing on.
You may not use my work for any commercial purpose without my explicit written permission.
You may not edit my work without my explicit written permission.
Do not crop off the watermark.
My Commercial Photography
This article, by lawyer turned photographer Jeff Guyer, explains the three basic types of professional photography:
COMMERCIAL photography is used to sell or promote a product, service, or idea. Advertising, marketing, and promotional activities all fall into this category.
EDITORIAL photography is used primarily for journalistic or educational purposes. Images featuring people and things not licensed for commercial use can be used in newspapers, magazines (print and online), as well as text books and educational blogs.
RETAIL photography is generally commissioned or purchased for the client’s own personal use (e.g., wedding photography, senior portraits, pet photography, fine art, etc.). Licensing issues do not arise as often in this category. While the photographer retains the copyright, the client’s fee may include a grant of reproduction rights.
This fantastic article has more useful detail about commercial copyright:
Federal law states that the photographer owns the original copyrights to all of their photos as soon as they take them, especially for commercial purposes. Most buyers would only buy the copyrights to images when they want to resell the photo exclusively, if the image includes their proprietary personal brand symbols or trademarks, or if they have personal reasons why they don't want the images licensed to anyone else.
If you do not specify that you want to buy the copyrights to your images, then a photographer is free to license them to other companies for marketing purposes and feature them in their portfolio.
A copyright purchase always comes at an additional charge to the price of hiring the photographer for the original photo shoot. Keep in mind that a photographer must grant copyright privileges in writing because copyrights don't automatically transfer to the buyer with their purchase.
The other important concept to understand is "work made for hire".
Definition in Law: Section 101 of the Copyright Act defines a “work made for hire” in two parts:
a. a work prepared by an employee within the scope of his or her employment, or
b. a work specially ordered or commissioned for use
- as a contribution to a collective work,
- as a part of a motion picture or other audiovisual work,
- as a translation,
- as a supplementary work,
- as a compilation,
- as an instructional text,
- as a test,
- as answer material for a test, or
- as an atlas,
if the parties expressly agree in a written instrument signed by them that the work shall be considered a work made for hire.
In summary, if you want to give me a 1099 and own my work, you should understand that the law probably requires you to pay for that in addition to the cost of content creation. If you want to do "work for hire" you need to first communicate that to me with proof that it is a legal option.
I offer a highly permissive licence for small businesses and non-profits.
Daniel's Commercial Photography - DCP 1.0
Outline of licence for images sold to Small Businesses and Non-Profits, exact terms will be noted in the Bill of Sale.
For Work Transfered
All obligation is complete upon payment - unless otherwise noted in the Bill of Sale.
Digital Transformations may be made by the licencee - as noted in the Bill of Sale.
This licence is designed for maximum freedom to use my photography in a wide range of commercial applications without fear of hidden fees. In the future, I may automate a cost sheet for estimates of work and licencing.