Legal Question in Intellectual Property in Connecticut

Photo Resale.

My wife is a freelance photogropher. She often takes photos for the local paer. She is currently trying to get some works into national magazines. can she resell the photo withouta release? All photos taken in public places, often times public officials Police, Fire .. The hope is to get the cover shot, not to be used for advertising. Can she sell the photo to the mags?

Asked on 1/10/08, 12:00 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Nancy Delain Delain Law Office, PLLC
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Re: Photo Resale.

Your answer depends on the terms under which the local paper publishes the photos. The question is who holds the copyright? If your wife signed an agreement at any time with the paper granting copyright in published photos to them, she'll need to get their permission to republish. If she signed an agreement granting copyright in one photo to them, she'll need to get their permission to republish that photo. If the paper has a standard photographer's agreement that your wife signed, it may include a "work made for hire" clause, in which case she will definitely need to get their permission to republish.

Other factors may also enter in to determine whether your wife has the right to republish without permission from the local paper.

Get your *_copyright_ attorney* (not employment, not general; COPYRIGHT) to take a good, hard look at any agreement your wife signed with the local paper. As copyright is exclusively federal, I can handle this for you if you'd like, even though we're in different states.

THE INFORMATION PRESENTED HERE IS GENERAL IN NATURE AND IS NOT INTENDED, NOR SHOULD IT BE CONSTRUED, AS LEGAL ADVICE. THIS POSTING DOES NOT CREATE ANY ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN US. FOR SPECIFIC ADVICE ABOUT YOUR PARTICULAR SITUATION, CONSULT YOUR ATTORNEY.

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Answered on 1/10/08, 10:12 am

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