Print Rights vs. Copyright // Jessica Patricia Photography // NEPA Wedding, Portrait & Boudoir Photographer

You only need Printing Rights – promise!

I write about this one almost yearly… just as a reminder to everyone out there that printing rights are all you need. So, you may have seen this from me before because it is basically copy-and-paste from prior posts. 

Why do I offer a Print Release and not a Copyright Release?

Before I answer that question, here are some {not-so-technical} definitions for you (not because I don’t think you can’t google it yourself, but because I think it will make this a smidge easier): 

Print Release – limited release of a super small portion of the copyright.  This allows you, the client, to print for personal use while preserving the rights of the Photographer (me!).

Copyright Release – releases the copyright from me, the photographer, to you, the client.  I do not do this.  Once that transfer happens, I no longer own the photograph and can not use the photos without consent.

Copyright – is a legal concept that grants the creator of an original work, like photographs, exclusive rights to its use and distribution.  As soon as I push the shutter the image is copyrighted – it doesn’t matter who designs the set or styles the session.  This gives me, the photographer, the sole right to copy, edit, distribute, etc. by sale or transfer. This is a Federal Law. Breach of copyright by editing, printing, distributing, etc. without permission is serious and is stealing.  This includes an act as seemingly small as removing a watermark (even if you just “crop it out”)  or submitting photos that you didn’t take (i.e. ones a Photographer took of you) in to contests or for publication on blogs.  There are huge fines associated with copyright infringement.  

Links to a few pages of reading, just in case you’re curious:

Copyright Law of the United States

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 (summary)

Now, to answer the almighty question:  

I offer my clients printing rights with the purchase of digital files so that they can enjoy the photographs from our time together and make unlimited prints and products from the digital files (although I now offer professional prints and would be happy to offer them to you!).  Why do I do this?  Because I believe in capturing memories that are shared with friends and family for years to come and the one solid way to make sure that happens is by producing prints.  

By maintaining the copyright to the photos I can use them in my portfolio, marketing and advertising.  I can use them on my Blog, website, Facebook Page or other social networking or even enter the photos in a competition or for print in a publication.  It also means that you do not have the rights or permissions to edit, enhance or manipulate the photo in any way.

Who can print from the Print Release?

The print release is intended for the person who purchases the digital files, you (the Client).  That means if you share a digital file with your mom or mother-in-law, they technically do not have the right to print that photo.  Only you, as the purchaser, do.  But that is an easy fix – if you contact me and request permission to share the digital files and the print release I {almost always} have no problem with that.  You just need to ask and get the consent.  All I ask in return is that you respect me, the photographer, and request consent.

I value photography and the moments captured within the frame and I want my clients to be able to enjoy those memories.  I respect my clients and know that they want the freedom to print the photographs.  In return I request that they respect me and follow the terms outlined in the print release.

Don’t forget to check out our Facebook page and Instagram feed for sneak peeks, tid-bits and personal updates!

Talk to you soon!

2018-03-15T17:14:05+00:00

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