Protecting your intellectual property plays a key role in whether you can make money as a photographer. But why are contracts so important? If you’re the one clicking the shutter, you have the copyright automatically, right? Be that as it may, most people don’t understand copyright law regarding photography, and that can lead to misuse of your IP, even if it is accidental. Here are a few ways to protect yourself.
Always Have a Professionally Drafted Contract
You probably have some agreement with people you work for or with, but perhaps you wrote it yourself or got the document online from a photography blog. Are you really protected? Here are a few things that are often missed when a contract is not prepared professionally:
- Defining use – Let’s say you sell the rights for a company to use your image on their website. Before long it appears on a blog post, across several social media accounts, and even in a product brochure. Be certain that your contract defines how your client can use the photos so there are no misunderstandings.
- Understand the terms – Contracts that define the content as “work-for-hire” usually automatically transfer ownership of the images to the company you take them for. If you want to retain ownership, you need a royalty free or rights managed contract.
- Obtain the right releases – If you intend to sell your photos for commercial use, you also need to be sure you have the proper model and property releases. Legally executed releases can help you get the signature you need to make the photos legal for use.
Business Contracts and Intellectual Property Protection in San Diego
If you operate a small business in Southern California, Pokala Law APC can help you to protect your intellectual property by means of top quality business contracts and agreements. For more information, call us today at 1-844-695-1487.