© is for Copyright. Any fool knows that but there are few photographers around who would not admit to being confused about Copyright Law.
Where photographic copyright is concerned, as a rule, it’s not as complicated as most people think. Whoever took the picture owns the copyright. Not the commissioner nor the owner of the camera or the film and not the person in the frame. Copyright belongs to whoever pressed the shutter, be it digital or analogue and that applies even if the photographer was a small child.
Of course it’s not all that easy. It wasn’t always this way and there are old Copyright Acts which still muddy the waters. Employed photographers – and employed means that an employer pays PAYE and National Insurance – get short shrift. The employer owns the copyright unless the photographer has managed to persuade him otherwise. The 1988 Copyright Act got most things right but there must have been powerful lobbyists amongst the employers.
There is no reason to go into great detail here. Practically everything a novice needs to know can be found on a helpful web site www.salshuel.co.uk There is no legal jargon, everything is explained in simple terms, there’s an entertaining history of copyright and a great deal of information which doesn’t relate to copyright but does explain about pixels and bytes and all the technical jargon that can be difficult to discover – except for geeks. Privacy in photography is covered as well as Orphan Works which have quietly gone back to bed but which will wake up again as soon as government settles down after the election.
The web site is very easy to negotiate, costs nothing, has pictures, helpful links including some which are there because they are to particularly special people. The site will be regularly updated when anything happens and comments will be taken on board unless they are particularly rude.
This is a web site for everyone but mostly for the multitude of photographers who have come crying for help over the last thirty years because there was nowhere else to go. Nobody needs a specialist lawyer to teach them their AB©. They only need the specialist when they get to XYZ.