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The wonders of IP laws

The Photos you Paid your Photographer to Snap You do not Belong to You; they Belong to the Photographer

Indeed, the wonders ofIP laws: "Intellectual property (IP) rights law is quite interesting and most times controversial: An intending husband and wife hire a photographer and pay the photographer handsomely to come and cover their wedding. By common sense, the husband and wife are right to assume that since they have paid the photographer, every picture of theirs snapped by the photographer ought to legally belong to them. But no, that’s not what the law says; the law says that though you have paid the photographer, though it is your image that was snapped by the photographer, those pictures legally belong to the photographer and not the couple."

Yet, the same law assumes that if you are employed to work for a company, the creations out of you (phones, cups, garri, burger, etc) belong to that company, because you created them under the employment of that company. So, why should you “employ” someone to take your photos, and you are not automatically assigned ALL RIGHTS to the photos?

Do we have lawyers in the house?

Comment on Feed

Comment: Normally, if you are employed by a company to work for them, they train you to perform the task and the time and the days you work for them is specified. They also give you all the necessary tools that will help you do the work well. But in the case of someone paying a photographer to snap him, you only paid for what he will produce. I have also noticed that even when you pay a photographer and the photographer delivers the pictures to you, in the event that you requested him to also give you the film, you will pay extra money for him to release the film to you. Maybe, the art of photography is viewed as a talent which permanently belongs to the artist

My Response: Fair - thanks for this note. But I also assume that the company which hired me did not pay for my university degree, my certifications, my car to work, etc. For the photographer, his equipment could be seen as my degree which enables  me  to be employed. Also, I assume, the photographer included the cost of the equipment in the pricing, considering depreciation, etc. Largely, I do not think that is a strong point why I should pay him and he still owns the rights to the photos.

Comment: Thanks Prof. for highlighting, though I would have appreciated links to Nigeria IP laws to see for myself what you are highlighting, nonetheless, i don't think those who make these laws engage in what i term "concentric thinking" a kind of thinking where you consider all sides to an issue before making a final decision, the pros and cons etc. By common sense observation, it makes absolute no sense, for your photographer to own pictures you pay for.... makes no sense at all

My Response: If you click, there is a link for further reading. Nigeria’s IP laws are everywhere on the web. Yet, I am not sure any section will write that your photo taken by your photographer does not belong to you in that specific manner. That said, if lawyers here said this is not consistent with what was taught in the law school, we will ask our law writer in Tekedia to explain.

Comment: This is my simplistic take. The photographer was not employed but contracted to take pictures and he has done that. In this era of digital photography, the pictures actually belonged to the photographer since he 'created" it with his equipment.

What usually happen is that you pay them to give you a copy of the picture but the original always remain with them.

If you give the photographer your phone to take your picture, then the picture is yours since you own the equipment with which the picture was 'created'. You will pay him for his service and that is the end.

This I believe is the thinking behind the employee IP right treatment. The company provides the equipment etc. for the employee to create. The employee is paid for that service, the IP belongs to the company.

If the employee, in his spare time and using his own equipment, comes up with and idea that would benefit the company, the IP belongs to him.

Okay, I am not a lawyer but.....

My Response: "The photographer was not employed but contracted to take pictures and he has done that. In this era of digital photography, the pictures actually belonged to the photographer since he 'created" it with his equipment." -interesting. So, if Dangote Cement contracted you to develop a chemical for cement production, using your equipment, that chemical rights belong to you? And that means you can send the chemicals to Lafarge or BUA Cement? I am not sure that is possible.

I do think the photographer using his tool changes nothing since most contracted entities do not ask their clients to send them equiipment to use.