Defence – Using the work of others

Professional indemnity insurance can protect you against claims that you have infringed someone else’s Intellectual Property Rights and that includes Privacy, Plagiarism and Trademark as well as Copyright.

In this media saturated, digital age it is not common for photographers to unknowingly use or plagiarise somebody else’s work. At best the owner of the property will send you a strongly worded letter to ask you to stop using their content. At worst they’re entitled to seek compensation from you and you could be facing legal defence and prosecution bills and a day in court.

Photographers are generally very sensitive to their artistic work being used without permission, however it is easy to accidentally fall foul of other peoples Intellectual Property Rights.

Professional indemnity insurance is particularly useful if you have concerns that someone may claim you have misused, altered or stolen their images. While this may seem unlikely, it is a surprisingly common mistake for photographers to make. You should note that to be covered by your insurance, you must prove that any breach of copyright was unintentional. For more information on professional indemnity insurance or any other types of cover that we offer, get in touch with Infocus today.

It is essential that you do not attempt to defend yourself before advising your insurers. They will provide instruction on how to proceed and legal advice where necessary. Failing to follow this protocol can invalidate your insurance.


Pursuit – Protecting your work

It’s also useful to know how you can protect your own work in case someone uses it without your permission. Bringing a claim to court can be inconvenient and expensive, so it’s useful to know how you can protect your property. 

You may want to consider:

  • Design rights – Registering a design will give you exclusive rights to it for 25 years.
  • Trademark – A trademark could be your logo, tagline or your trading name. Registering your trademark will also give you exclusive rights to the property.
  • Copyright – Copyright is automatic, unlike registering your design or trademark. If you have created something you automatically own the rights to it

Legal Expenses insurance providing cover to pursue Intellectual Property Rights claims is hard to find and expensive. The best advice we can give is to join a Photographers Trade Association who will provide informal expertise help and advice. They will also help you to find a Lawyer suitably expert in this area of law should you need one. For more advice and help please get in touch with Infocus today.