The Oldest Profession

Sex Laws Info



Who owns the copyright on photographs?
Under law, it is the photographer who will own copyright on any photos he/she has taken, with the following exceptions:

If the photographer is an employee of the company the photos are taken for, or is an employee of a company instructed to take the photos, the photographer will be acting on behalf of his/her employer, and the company the photographer works for will own the copyright.

If there is an agreement that assigns copyright to another party. (IMPORTANT TO GET THIS RIGHT.)

In all other cases, the photographer will retain the copyright, if the photographer has been paid for his work, the payment will be for the photographer’s time and typically an allocated number of prints. The copyright to the photos will remain with the photographer, and therefore any reproduction without permission would be an infringement of copyright.

The copyright and Related Rights Regulations 2003 incorporate a series of regulations often known as the EU Copyright Directive, into United Kingdom law. As such, its main effects are to modify the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 c. 48. The regulations modify the concept of broadcast and broadcasting to take account of development in the internet; restrict the acts which are permitted without infringing copyright (in particular acts which could be performed commercially); and provide new measures for the protection and enforcement of copyright and performers' rights. It would seem much of this relates more to music downloads and internet live broadcasts than it does to transmission of text, images and photographs.

Dealing with Copyright Infringement

Contact the infringer

The first step is to make the infringer aware of your objection and put forward a reasonable settlement and time scale to reach the settlement.

In your letter you should include:

  • The words ‘Without Prejudice’ at the start of the letter.
  • The name of the work(s) you are objecting to.
  • The reason why this is an infringement, i.e. an unauthorised copy, adaptation etc.
  • State that you believe this act constitutes an infringement. That your work is protected under law and that this constitutes a breach of your legal rights.
  • State that this is unacceptable and must stop.
  • State what action is required to resolve the dispute, usually you would request the withdrawal of all copies of the work, (and any other encroaching materials).
  • Specify a deadline for your conditions to be met (28 days is a typical period).
  • State that you are seeking legal advice and that the case will be pursued if they do not comply with your request within the time period.

It is normal to simply request the withdrawal of all infringing work as the first course of action, if however you believe that you are entitled to financial remuneration, such as damages or royalties, then contact a solicitor immediately.