I provide photography services. Do I own the copyright to the photos that I take for my clients?
Under the Copyright Act 2021, you will by default own the copyright to the photographs taken as the photographer. However, if you are the employee of a photography studio, your employer will be the default copyright owner for all types of content created by you in the course of your employment.
However, if any of these photographs contain images of persons such that they will be considered personal data, you must observe the obligations as to the use of such personal data under the Personal Data Protection Act. In practice, however, many photographers have their own terms of engagement with clients.
The parties are free to negotiate and amend the terms and conditions in their own agreement, which may provide that the client owns the copyright in the photographs taken. The agreement must be is recorded in writing. If you agree that your client will own the copyright to the photographs, you will also have to negotiate for any use you intend to make of the photographs.
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