Who owns my work, and who's responsible for it?
February 21, 2013 8:35 AM Subscribe
I'm not a professional photographer, but I did some photography work (unpaid) for my company... is that work for hire or is it something else?
posted by anonymous to grab bag (6 answers total)
YANAL; YANML, etc. (FWIW I'm trying to find an IP lawyer that will give me advice on this for not much money).
I work for a medium-sized company as a mid-level manager. On the side, earning enough to pay some of the bills, I work as a photographer, with portraiture being one of my specialities.
I travel a lot for work and decided to do a portrait project based around the colleagues I was always travelling with. This go me noticed by people in the marketing department of the company, who asked me to come to the head office and shoot some headshots of top-level managers for use on a new company blog that they were putting together. I did so, happily, for expenses only, since it got me more portraits for my portfolio.
A couple of weeks ago the company launched a new range of products, and I was pleased to see that the portraits I'd made months ago were being used as part of the advertisements (in small, but obvious ways). However, the more I think about this, the more I wonder what kind of legal grey area I'm in at the moment. My questions to you NAL-ers out there are:
* My employment contract with the company is not as a photographer, but as a manager. Can this be considered "work for hire" (thus making the copyright of the images the company's) or is this a freebie that I happened to do for the company for which I work?
* Assuming that it isn't work for hire, am I right to assume that I'm therefore liable if any of the people whose likenesses are shown in the marketing images claim that their image was used without permission (unlikely, but possible).
This is within the realms of UK law, so if you have UK-specific knowledge it'd be a help.