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Who owns the photographs?

I asked my sister to take photographs for me at my home birth. I offered to pay for film and developing and she declined.

Who owns the photographs and negatives?


Asked by ShrinkingMom at 3:11 AM on Feb. 20, 2009 in Just for Fun

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Answers (5)
  • Actually you commissioned the photographs, by asking her to take the photos so they should be yours but when she refused compensation it became a volunteer piece. She still retains the copyright unless further license arrangements are made.

    So you own the photos and she would own the negatives, unless you had made prior arrangements or there was a common agreement otherwise. Even for a commissioned piece, having the negatives would constitute a purchase of the copyright.

    Typically they would be handed off together in a family situation but that often doesn't abide by the law. Perhaps its best to treat any copyrightable work as one that requires a contract in writing, family or otherwise.

    Answer by isabellalecour at 10:39 AM on Feb. 20, 2009

  • I guess technically if she took pictures on her camera and paid for the film and developing, they belong to her. What an odd question. Is she refusing to give you the pictures of your birth...?

    Answer by toriandgrace at 3:14 AM on Feb. 20, 2009

  • well it's your vag and baby, so I'd like to think you own 50% of them.

    Answer by DesignerMom0801 at 3:17 AM on Feb. 20, 2009

  • Seems to me that you would own them. I could understand your sister offering to pay for the expenses, and even wanting some of the pics, since it is her niece or nephew being born. However-----How many pics does she need? Why can't she just let you have pics of your birth and not make a big deal about it?, and does she realize that its not like you could have taken the pics yourself??

    Answer by BabyBeans0506 at 3:21 AM on Feb. 20, 2009

  • Technically, she does. What she decides to do with them...while she should hand it all over to you by up to her.

    Her camera, her film, her time, her copyrighted material....again, unless she gives it all to you.

    And I can't imagine a sister not doing what is right....If you're asking, it seems like there is some mistrust between you two?

    Answer by TiccledBlue at 5:30 AM on Feb. 20, 2009

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