Who Owns Your Photos?
You make photos, be it portraits, wedding, landscapes... You sell them, now who owns these photos? Simple, you took them and are not an employee of the company, you own them, right?
Lets change the subject from photos to software. We all bought software and you had to, you are using the computer to read this article. If you didn't pirate the software, then you bought it. Then you must have seen on the screen or on the software itself that you didn't buy the software but you only bought a license to use the software, you are not allowed to make copies... and you are not allowed to resell that software.
MediaPost reports that US District Court Judge Richard Jones ruled that: if you bought it, you have the right to resell it!
Basically, a guy bought AutoCAD, a very expensive software for engineering, architecture… and resold it. AutoDesk, the company that makes AutoCAD, sued in court that the guy doesn't own the software, only licensed it, therefore can't resell their software. They lost.
The judge wrote in his ruling:
The transfer of AutoCAD copies via the license is a transfer of ownership.
The end user owns what s/he buys!
This is a US District Court ruling. I live in Canada, what's that got to do with me?
- 124 countries, including the US, Canada, the EU… belong to GATT, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade. A set of common rules for trade. all countries must follow them. This means that many US ruling affect other countries, especially over Intellectual Property.
- Customers who bought prints always had the right to resell them. Now if you provide your customer with a CD or the electronic image, they will have the right to make prints and resell them, or resell the CD or the electronic file.
There are differences between software and photos:
- Software uses the “shrink wrap” acknowledgement of the software license.
- Photo contracts are usually agreed and signed by both parties.
- I'm no lawyer, but I can see the business changes coming…