”The Professional Photographer’s Legal Handbook,” by Nancy E. Wolff. Publisher: Allworth Press (2007).
You’re a photographer, or a picture agent.Guess what? Like it or not, you’re also a paralegal.Whether you’re a creator or seller of pictures, or both, the entire basis for what you do rests on intellectual property law.Without it, you’d have no protection for your creations or those that you deal in.And, if you’re in the business of making or selling stock images, what you’re really doing is licensing limited copyright usage.The concept of "copyright", therefore, is one which every stock photographer and stock picture seller must become intimately acquainted with: what copyright is (as well as what it is not), what it protects (as well as what it does not protect), how its definition and application varies from country to country, and what you can do when a client violates copyright usage, commonly called "copyright infringement."
ancy Wolff, long regarded as the preeminent attorney working in the field of IP law as it relates to photographs and the stock picture industry (and, incidentally, ASPP’s “Picture Person of the Year” not too long ago), has produced a massively informative, readable and even occasionally entertaining treatise on what otherwise could be a total snooze of a topic.Describing in great detail real world examples of what is and what is not protectable under copyright, Wolff shows just how misunderstood the concept is as well as how it often simply comes down to one judge’s interpretation versus another's of the very same statutes.Other highlights include elucidating chapters on trademarks (and yes, they are different from copyrights!), rights of publicity, defamation, moral rights, Internet licenses and much more.
You probably don't have the time, inclination or money to go to law school, but that's OK: Nancy Wolff has done it for you and given you just about everything you need to know in The Professional Photographer’s Legal Handbook.