Copyright is a law that gives a person ownership over the things they create. It could be it a painting, a photograph, a poem or a novel. The person who creates such work, owns it. This ownership comes with some rights that the owner of the work have exclusively. Those rights include:
- The right to reproduce the work
- To prepare derivative works
- To distribute copies
- To perform the work
- And to display the work publicly
Real estate photographers are included in the list of artists that own the photographs they produce. Often times agents do not realize this and believe when they hire an photographer to shoot their listings, that they own the photographs to use however they wish. Unless the photographer gives you a signed agreement and transfers all rights to you, the photograph technically belongs to the photographer.
When a photographer shoots a listing, they will typically give a license to the agent to use the photos. The is agreement between the photographer and the agent, and dictates how and for how long the photos can be used. By giving the agent a license instead of transferring all rights, this allows the photographer to still use the images for their portfolio or stock images. This allows the photographer to offer the images to the agent at a much more reasonable price. Transferring all rights to the agent would limit the future potential income for the photographer, therefore the price for the images would be much higher and typically not affordable.
Want more info on copyright and how it effects you? Check out our website here for a detailed explanation. As always, feel free to contact us if you have any questions or would like to book an appointment.