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Image rights

For any photographic assignment, make sure that you handle the rights properly! Is the photograph for a specific situation, intended for one-off publication? Or do you anticipate that it will be used more often, in which case should the rights be acquired?

There are two kinds of rights at issue here: portrait right and copyright. Broadly speaking, portrait right is the right of the person portrayed, while copyright is the right of exploitation by the photographer taking the photograph.

Make sure that the photographer understands that the assignment is subject to the University of Groningen General Terms of Purchase. This means that portrait right liability rests with the photographer. The General Terms of Purchase also stipulate that copyright belongs to the client. The image plan contains a standard email explaining this to the photographer.

Single use: limited access in the image database

Portrait right

Point out to the photographer that they must guarantee that the photograph does not infringe the rights of third parties (Article 11.1 of the General Terms of Purchase). The photographer can do so by having the subject sign a consent form for single use/use in a communications tool. Bear in mind that permission is also needed from the subject if a photographer takes photographs in which that person figures prominently.

Copyright

It is customary practice for the photographer to ask a lower price in a quotation for a single-use licence. The photographer retains the copyright. Article 11.2 of the General Terms of Purchase does not apply in this case.

Image database

The photograph can still be placed in the image database, but make sure that it can only be viewed by close colleagues. The information accompanying the photograph must clearly state that anyone wishing to reuse the photograph should contact the photographer.

Multiple use: accessible in the image database

Portrait right

Point out to the photographer that they must guarantee under Article 11.1 of the General Terms of Purchase that the photograph does not infringe the rights of third parties. For portrait rights, the photographer can do so by having the subject sign a consent form for single use/use in a communications tool. Bear in mind that permission is also needed from the subject if a photographer takes photographs in which that person figures prominently.

Copyright

If you wish to place a photograph or series of photographs in the image database for re-use, send a copy of the University of Groningen’s (UG) General Terms of Purchase to the photographer, together with the assignment. Article 11.2 of the General Terms of Purchase states that the photographer transfers the copyright to the UG. Remember: the General Terms of Purchase must accompany any request for a quotation.

Image database

Photographs intended for multiple use are placed in the image database. The image database manager will ensure that a selection of iconic photographs are available to a general audience. In the case of portrait photographs, the image database manager will check which kind of re-use consent has been given. The photographs from the ‘public collection’ will be made available under a Creative Commons ShareAlike licence. This allows re-use for non-commercial purposes, such as Wikipedia. However, the user must fully acknowledge the maker and the University of Groningen website and adaptations must also be made available under a Creative Commons licence.

Attribution for the University of Groningen website: Name of photographer, CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/ by-sa/3.0), via http://www.rug.nl/beeldbank.

Attribution for Commons Wikimedia: Name of photographer, (http://www.rug.nl/beeldbank), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0), via Wikimedia.

Photograph

If you find a suitable photograph on the internet, always find out who holds the rights and if there is a fee for publishing it!

Photographs from Wikimedia must be supplied with a caption stating the photographer’s name and the licence.

This information can be found on Commons and Wikimedia in the ‘attribution’ accompanying the photograph. The use of details from a photograph is permitted for the website. Some parts of the website use a text overlay projected over a photograph. This could include carousel sliders for home pages, sub-home pages, banners and educational banners. When using a detail from a photograph in this way, you must ensure that the overlay does not adversely affect the subject of the photograph.

Film and video

With film, the issue of rights can be complicated because in many cases material comes from different source files. In most instances, the producer is presumed to be the right holder. In principle therefore, the General Terms of Purchase must also accompany this kind of assignment.

Last modified:22 June 2020 1.33 p.m.
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