[WikiEN-l] Creation of user photographs

zero 0000 nought_0000 at yahoo.com
Wed May 24 08:24:07 UTC 2006

> Date: Tue, 23 May 2006 08:59:01 -0700 (PDT)
> From: Phil Boswell <phil.boswell at gmail.com>
> Subject: Re: [WikiEN-l] Creation of user photographs
> Peter Mackay wrote:
> > 
> > Mmmm, but does requesting someone to take a photograph actually
> > give you
> > copyright over the resulting image? I don't think it does, without
> > explicit assignment.
> > 
> If you were on holiday and asked a passing random person to use your
> camera
> to take a picture of you, I suspect that you would be quite surprised
> were they to attempt to assert copyright over the picture.
> Many people are in the habit of acquiring pictures in this manner : I
> don't
> suppose there can be more than a handful who would ever even
> contemplate
> this scenario as more than a mental exercise, and if there is a
> single one
> who would consider forcing said passer-by to sign something
> forfeiting copyright, they would rightly be judged a lunatic.

If this ever came up in court, I'm pretty sure the court would
decide that copyright had been transferred the moment the
passer-by handed your camera back, by mutual consent.  There
is no requirement that the transfer has to be in writing.
Everyone understands that "will you please use my camera to
take a photo of me?" includes the caveat "and give me the
copyright of it", so unless the passer-by replies "yes, but
I'm keeping the copyright", copyright has indeed been
transferred.  It's just like walking up to someone and handing
them $10; you don't have to say anything or write anything to
make them the legal owner of it.

(Disclaimer: actually I know nothing!)

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