Happy Friday everyone! We’ve made it through our second week of January! Who is already not keeping their new years resolutions? In this installment of ask me anything Friday, I wanted to address a common question about copyright vs print release. Many brides ask if they get their pictures on a disc or thumb drive with copyright. The terminology tends to become interchanged when people don’t fully understand the difference. I hope these tips help you understand a little bit more about them.
Copyright are the rights to the person who created the work of art, in this case, photographs. Copyright can be given by the person who created the work, which basically releases them from any claim to the work.
Print releases are a limited use permission that allows the recipient to reproduce the work of art, again, in this case photographs, in any way they’d like or specified within the print release, but the rights to the work and ownership of the work is still help by the creator.
Most photographers will not give up their copyright. That would be like a painter creating a beautiful painting and giving up their rights to call it their own and authorize how it is used, reproduced, displayed, etc. Giving up copyright allows anyone to use it in any capacity and in some cases, even stake claim to it as under their ownership.
I can’t speak for any other photography companies, but for mine, I do not give up the copyright to my work. I’ve created the work with my artistic abilities and want the ability to continue to call it my work and use it or allow it to be used in the capacities I choose. With that said, I do give my clients print releases, allowing them to print the images wherever they’d like. This includes printing in personal photo books, canvases, mugs, anything that is for personal use. This does not allow someone to sell my images, give my images to magazines or news outlets, etc. My images can only be used for personal reproduction purposes. They are not to be distributed without my consent.
I hope this helps to clarify copyright vs print release. The creator owns the work and has the right to determine how it is to be use. The print release gives you permission to use it in ways outlined in the release. Happy Friday!