Image licensing 101, redux

A recent correspondence with a debutant pro photographer prompted me to revisit the whole topic of intellectual property and licensing vs pricing: it was clear that he had no idea what he was getting himself into, assuming a job is a job with a fixed price and then handover of images. Whilst this is for the most part true and can be true even for extended commissions, it would be silly to leave revenue on the table and undermine the value of one’s own work. In short, if a client commissions work for a certain purpose but wishes to use it beyond at a later stage – you are within your rights to seek additional licensing fees but only providing you set that out clearly to begin with, and there is documented evidence of parties’ agreement. But before we discuss licensing, we should spend some time on the basics of intellectual property.

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