Sometimes passing the camera around creates a sticky copyright situation.
Submitted for your approval, the following photography containing the author of this blog and his photographic idol/mentor, Jim Brandenburg.
Jim Brandenburg and Rikk Flohr
Photo Credit: Heidi Mae Niska
The shot above was taken at the TCACCC 2008 Spring Break event where Jim Brandenburg presented to over 300 photographers. The shot was taken with my camera by Jim’s assistant Heidi Mae. She was kind enough to snap the photo of me with my photo-mentor after the presentation.
My Canons are all programmed to fill in my copyright notice upon capture. Dutifully, my 20D filled in a © Rikk Flohr. Upon extraction from the camera, a more complete copyright was filled in by Lightroom.
I am not a copyright attorney but I am guessing that it is not quite clear. Was Heidi my agent in shooting the image? Was she a de facto work-for-hire photographer? Is the image mine because I have claimed the ownership or is it Heidi’s by virtue of having snapped the shutter? Sticky wicket, to say the least.
How many of us pass our cameras around and allow others to take photographs-never realizing that we may not own those images? Heidi’s or mine? She gets the photo-credit for sure. I get the pleasure of having the image. The copyright? Who knows?
Rikk Flohr © 2009