Ignorance of the law is NO defense. So it is important that photographers, especially photographers who are in business or who want to sell their photographs know about the legal considerations that are unique and specific to their profession.
Photographers should have a good grasp of the following:
- privacy rights
- property rights
- intellectual rights
- freedom of information
- work for hire
- licensing images
- fair use
- use of images on the internet
One of the best places to get guidance and information is the National Press Photographers Association (NPPA). NAPPA is committed to providing information so that their members can make sound decisions on business and photo practices. The NPPA has over 11,000 members worldwide. Their members work for newspapers, television, and magazines and include journalists, photojournalists and editors.
NAPPA’s website offers a variety of valuable business information including Frequently Asked Questions about photographers rights, copyright, etc. The information is available to both members and non-members.
The National Writers Union has some great easy-to-read information on copyright.
My bookcases are filled with books on writing and photography. This is the one that I find most useful:
Business and Legal Forms for Photographers (with CD-ROM)
by Tad Crawford
If photography is your profession, be sure that you ARE professional … don’t leave money on the table by not understanding your rights, and don’t get on the wrong side of the law by NOT understanding other people’s rights.
(c) 2009 Proof Positive Productions
All Rights Reserved