If you’ve had pictures done before, you’ve heard the term copyright and copyright release thrown around. If you weren’t sure what they were, I’m here to fill you in! I did a blog post a while ago on the Peoria Camera Shop blog and figured it be worth putting a snippet on my own website, too. Click here to view the whole blog post.

In a nutshell, copyright basically gives the creator (photographers) of works of art (photographs) the sole right to reproduce, publish, and distribute them. Merriam-Webster says that it is the exclusive legal right to reproduce, publish, sell, or distribute the matter and form of something (as a literary, musical, or artistic work).

When you purchase digital files from your photographer, you are not purchasing the copyright. The photographer gives you a copyright release. This is written, explicit permission to make copies of the files. When you go to printing stops, they should always ask for this if you are printing professional photos. They do this to protect themselves and obey the law. Most the time if you have a CD made by the photographer, you have their permission to print, but the printing places still must have a written copyright release. It’s a technicality, but it just has to be done.

I print out a copyright release for you, as well as include on on the CD, as well. So, no matter what, you’ll be covered! Like always, I recommend the Peoria Camera Shop for ALL your printing. Yes, I do work there, but that’s not why I prefer that you print there. The quality there cannot be beat. Big box stores just have really nice ink jet printers, whereas the Camera Shop does it the old fashioned way with a chemical burning process. This means your prints will last longer. The Camera Shop also prints truer to color. Some stores have a cool tone and some have a warm, but the Camera Shop is just right.

If you have any other questions about copyright or releases, please ask!