Work for hire.
Also work made for hire. A work produced by an artist as part of the terms of his or her employment or under similar contractual terms, such as a commission. Copyright and all other rights of such work are held by the employer and not the artist. Right of authorshop is transferred to the employer or commissioning entity.
In other words, usually if a photographer takes a picture then the copyright for the image is automatically owned by the photographer. However if a salaried photographer takes a picture as part of a job then the copyright holder is their employer - the photographer has no rights to it whatsoever.
While entirely reasonable under most circumstances this legal assignment of copyright ownership is one of which freelance photographers, particularly inexperienced novices, should be very aware. If you take, say, wedding photographs for someone you should scrutinize the contract very carefully to determine the terms of the job.
It can also have surprising consequences in other ways. For instance, lets say you happen to take a snapshot using a camera owned by your employer in the middle of a workday. The copyright on that image doesnt belong to you. Some employers impose even more onerous contractual restrictions on their employees use of time - covering non-work time, for example.
cf. copyright, freelance, professional, rights protected licence, royalty-free, similar, stock agency, stringer.
Entry last updated 2002-04-24. Term 1316 of 1487.
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