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Rights on property photos

By Shinta - 14 February 2014 22

Hello Rioters,

Does anyone knows about who has the rights of the photos taken by property agent. I thought we have the rights because it’s our property and we paid for the photos taken through the agent. But the agent said that the photos are belong to them and we can’t use them. Thank you.

What’s Your opinion?


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22 Responses to
Rights on property photos
1
Holden Caulfield 3:03 pm
14 Feb 14
#

I would have thought the photographer would own the rights, but if they’re in the employ of the agent, then yes, the agent probably does own the rights to the images.

Not many people understand copyright laws and I’m certainly no expert, but it’s generally there to protect the expression of an idea or concept, not the idea itself.

So while you might own the house you had nothing to do with the photo being taken and it is the image itself that copyright protects, not the content of the image.

Just the same as the photographer would own the rights to wedding photos and is in effect selling the married couple a licence to print those photos for personal use.

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2
M0les 3:33 pm
14 Feb 14
#

Holden Caulfield said :

I would have thought the photographer would own the rights, but if they’re in the employ of the agent, then yes, the agent probably does own the rights to the images.

Not many people understand copyright laws and I’m certainly no expert, but it’s generally there to protect the expression of an idea or concept, not the idea itself.

So while you might own the house you had nothing to do with the photo being taken and it is the image itself that copyright protects, not the content of the image.

Just the same as the photographer would own the rights to wedding photos and is in effect selling the married couple a licence to print those photos for personal use.

+1

You’re paying for your listing to feature photos, Not paying a photographer to take photos on your behalf and give you the rights to those photos (Typically professional photographers retain the rights over photos they take, even when on commission).

The deal through your real estate agent is probably not unusual. It’s also likely more expensive than commissioning a photographer directly yourself (but similarly less hassle to get someone who takes good property photos).

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3
Shinta 3:34 pm
14 Feb 14
#

Thanks for your reply. That helps :)

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4
Mysteryman 4:57 pm
14 Feb 14
#

Real estate photos are a bit of a racket. Many agents usually have a photog that does all their work, and are resistive to having an “outside” photographer provide photos because they make less money that way.

The others are correct, though. The photographer and/or agent will own the photos unless otherwise written in your contract with them.

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5
Mysteryman 5:00 pm
14 Feb 14
#

Holden Caulfield said :

I would have thought the photographer would own the rights, but if they’re in the employ of the agent, then yes, the agent probably does own the rights to the images.

Not many people understand copyright laws and I’m certainly no expert, but it’s generally there to protect the expression of an idea or concept, not the idea itself.

So while you might own the house you had nothing to do with the photo being taken and it is the image itself that copyright protects, not the content of the image.

Just the same as the photographer would own the rights to wedding photos and is in effect selling the married couple a licence to print those photos for personal use.

I believe Australian copyright law determines that a photographer doesn’t own photos commissioned by a client for a “private” purpose – such as weddings or birthdays – unless agreed upon otherwise. There are a LOT of “photographers” (read: people who bought an SLR and think that makes them a photographer) who don’t know this and don’t have proper contracts in place.

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6
howeph 5:29 pm
14 Feb 14
#

Mysteryman said :

I believe Australian copyright law determines that a photographer doesn’t own photos commissioned by a client for a “private” purpose – such as weddings or birthdays – unless agreed upon otherwise. There are a LOT of “photographers” (read: people who bought an SLR and think that makes them a photographer) who don’t know this and don’t have proper contracts in place.

By default copyright protects the rights of the creator of creative works.

In this case, the photograph is the creative work, and the photographer is its creator. So by default the copyright is owned by the photographer.

If the photographer is being engaged under a contract then the contract between the photographer and the client must explicitly transfer the copyright ownership from the photographer to the client, or otherwise detail the client’s license to use the photograph(s).

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7
howeph 5:32 pm
14 Feb 14
#

^^
P.S. I am not a lawyer. But as an enthusiastic amature photographer this is an issue I have looked into in some detail.

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8
Grrrr 6:11 pm
14 Feb 14
#

Mysteryman said :

I believe Australian copyright law determines that a photographer doesn’t own photos commissioned by a client for a “private” purpose – such as weddings or birthdays – unless agreed upon otherwise.

Would be interested in you pointing out which law that is.

Also, I suggest people with some technical nouse and creativity spend $1k on a cheap DSLR body, / flash / a decent wide lens, and take their own photos. You’ll spend a bit more than hiring a photographer for a couple of hours, but still have a nice camera on the shelf afterwards!

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9
Masquara 7:58 pm
14 Feb 14
#

Mysteryman said :

I believe Australian copyright law determines that a photographer doesn’t own photos commissioned by a client for a “private” purpose – such as weddings or birthdays – unless agreed upon otherwise. There are a LOT of “photographers” (read: people who bought an SLR and think that makes them a photographer) who don’t know this and don’t have proper contracts in place.

Creators’ rights continue in tandem with the copyright holder’s rights unless they have been specifically signed over.

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10
deye 1:23 am
15 Feb 14
#

11
Mysteryman 8:16 am
15 Feb 14
#

howeph said :

Mysteryman said :

I believe Australian copyright law determines that a photographer doesn’t own photos commissioned by a client for a “private” purpose – such as weddings or birthdays – unless agreed upon otherwise. There are a LOT of “photographers” (read: people who bought an SLR and think that makes them a photographer) who don’t know this and don’t have proper contracts in place.

By default copyright protects the rights of the creator of creative works.

In this case, the photograph is the creative work, and the photographer is its creator. So by default the copyright is owned by the photographer.

If the photographer is being engaged under a contract then the contract between the photographer and the client must explicitly transfer the copyright ownership from the photographer to the client, or otherwise detail the client’s license to use the photograph(s).

howeph said :

^^
P.S. I am not a lawyer. But as an enthusiastic amature photographer this is an issue I have looked into in some detail.

Masquara said :

Creators’ rights continue in tandem with the copyright holder’s rights unless they have been specifically signed over.

There is a specific section relating to photography as it’s treated differently when it comes to commissioning for private purposes.

From the Australian Copyright Council:

For photos taken on or after 30 July 1998, the general rule on ownership depends on the
purpose for which the photographs were taken:
• if the photos were taken for “private or domestic purposes” (such as family portraits, or
wedding photos), the first owner of copyright in them is the client, unless the photographer
and client agree otherwise; however
• if they were taken for any other purpose (e.g. commercial shots), the photographer will be
the first owner of copyright, unless the photographer and client agree otherwise.

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12
Mysteryman 8:20 am
15 Feb 14
#

Grrrr said :

Mysteryman said :

I believe Australian copyright law determines that a photographer doesn’t own photos commissioned by a client for a “private” purpose – such as weddings or birthdays – unless agreed upon otherwise.

Would be interested in you pointing out which law that is.

Also, I suggest people with some technical nouse and creativity spend $1k on a cheap DSLR body, / flash / a decent wide lens, and take their own photos. You’ll spend a bit more than hiring a photographer for a couple of hours, but still have a nice camera on the shelf afterwards!

You won’t get a decent wide angle and camera for $1k. You also won’t get good architectural photos without a tripod. And without skill and experience you won’t get good photos.

I recommend people spend the money on a good photographer. The difference it can make to the sale price of a house far exceeds the initial cost.

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13
thatsnotme 9:45 am
15 Feb 14
#

Grrrr said :

Mysteryman said :

I believe Australian copyright law determines that a photographer doesn’t own photos commissioned by a client for a “private” purpose – such as weddings or birthdays – unless agreed upon otherwise.

Would be interested in you pointing out which law that is.

Also, I suggest people with some technical nouse and creativity spend $1k on a cheap DSLR body, / flash / a decent wide lens, and take their own photos. You’ll spend a bit more than hiring a photographer for a couple of hours, but still have a nice camera on the shelf afterwards!

Umm…the law in question is Australian Copyright Law?

http://www.ag.gov.au/RightsAndProtections/Documents/ShortGuidetoCopyright-October2012.pdf

In the case of commissioned photographs, the photographer is the copyright owner, subject to any
agreement to the contrary. Where the commissioned photographs are of a private or domestic nature, the commissioning party owns the copyright, subject to any agreement to the contrary.

Wedding photography falls into the ‘private or domestic’ nature described above, and so the commissioner of the photographs owns copyright on them by default, unless they waive this right – normally via a contract.

I’m sure there would be plenty of photographers who don’t understand this, who would be inadvertently breeching their clients copyright by continuing to use the photographs without agreement!

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14
Battlecat 11:36 am
15 Feb 14
#

I love photography questions, everyone gets in on them!
Some good advice here, I was a bit rusty on copyright, but unless you signed some agreement to the contrary either the agent or the photographer owns the copyright, depending on the agreement between those two people.
Having said that, if the question is about whether they can now use them for whatever they want, I don’t think it’s reasonable that they should, especially the interiors (even if it’s legal). I know that Allhomes will be happy to remove previous photos of your house if you ask them nicely.
Also having said that, if all you want is some photos to keep for yourself, it would be a pretty tighta$$ agent to not let you. Of course if you want them to give to another agent to sell your house instead then I wouldn’t blame them for firing up.
The only bad advice is to buy a camera and take them yourself. You can clearly see the difference on Allhomes between a specialist house photographer and the people/agents that take them themselves. Look especially at the for rent photos where they often save a few bucks – the photos are crap.

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15
astrojax 3:14 pm
15 Feb 14
#

Mysteryman said :

Grrrr said :

Mysteryman said :

I believe Australian copyright law determines that a photographer doesn’t own photos commissioned by a client for a “private” purpose – such as weddings or birthdays – unless agreed upon otherwise.

Would be interested in you pointing out which law that is.

Also, I suggest people with some technical nouse and creativity spend $1k on a cheap DSLR body, / flash / a decent wide lens, and take their own photos. You’ll spend a bit more than hiring a photographer for a couple of hours, but still have a nice camera on the shelf afterwards!

You won’t get a decent wide angle and camera for $1k. You also won’t get good architectural photos without a tripod. And without skill and experience you won’t get good photos.

I recommend people spend the money on a good photographer. The difference it can make to the sale price of a house far exceeds the initial cost.

+>1, up to ‘many’

amazed at how many people take good photography for granted, assuming they could do it themselves with ‘the right equipment’. yes, let’s see how many could lap bathurst near track record times even if given the wheel of a lowndes car; or… well, i’m sure you have your own examples.

if you want a professional job of any sort done, here’s an idea – use a professional…

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