What is copyright?

Under the general law of the UK, copyright regulation is in place to protect original literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works.

In relation to photography, copyright essentially means ownership and exclusive rights to ‘property’ however in todays digital age, it has become harder and harder for photographers to enforce.

When faced with a copyright issue, the right type of insurance can be indispensible in ensuring you are covered from expensive legal fees and hefty compensation pay-outs.

Using the work of others

Professional indemnity insurance can cover you against claims that you have infringed someone’s copyright or confidence.

In this media saturated, digital age it is increasingly common for photographers to unknowingly use somebody else’s work. At best the owner of the property will send you a strongly worded letter to ask you first to stop using their content. At worst they’re entitled to take legal action against you and you could be facing a day in court.

People can license their work for others to use under Creative Commons, which makes it free for you to use, however you’re taking a risk if you use material that doesn’t have a Creative Commons licence and this will most likely be considered a copyright infringement.

Protecting your work

It’s also useful to know how you can protect your 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 and have

Professional indemnity insurance is particularly useful if you have concerns that someone may claim you have 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.