Blog > Copyright, image rights: protect yourself !

Image rights

Copyrights relate to the person who produces an original artistic work (photo, video, sculpture, collage, etc.), while Image rights relate to the consent of persons who can be recognized on the works.

Practical case of image rights

On the side of the person photographed

Woman hiding her face

The right to respect for private life allows everyone to object to their image being used publicly without their consent. So if you make the cover of Here when you weren't aware, your lawyer will be happy to claim damages on the grounds of invasion of privacy. Obviously the probability of finding yourself in this situation increases sharply if your name is Claire Chazal...

The right to be forgotten allows you to request the removal of a photo from a website in the name of protecting your image, which is personal data.

You must be recognizable for image rights to apply.

If you plan to publish the photos of a shoot on your site or your social networks, consider asking the photographer for written permission.

On the photographer's side

Contract signing

Do you know the difference between a good photographer and a bad photographer? A good photographer, he takes a picture AND... makes you sign a document stipulating that you agree to your image being used ;-)

The key concept is at the time of publication of a photo. Any professional or amateur photographer can exercise his art in the street without anyone finding fault with it. But when publishing a photo on the web, in a magazine or on any other medium, the photographer must protect himself by asking a written and precise authorization from the model(s) .

This contract must specify the conditions of use of image rights in as much detail as possible:

  • number of photos to publish,
  • frame of the event (advertising campaign, personal book, ...),
  • possible remuneration,
  • possible time limitation,
  • possible limitation in space (regional, national, global campaign),
  • etc

Practical case of copyright

In theory

In France, the intellectual property code governs authors' rights in a broad sense. For example, the creation of computer algorithms, if they are original, may fall within the scope of the law. An author has two legal principles allowing him to protect his work:

  • a moral right which allows an unlimited time to defend against distortion. It is by invoking this principle that the artist Buren, having created columns of the same name in Paris and faced with their deterioration, obtained their restoration.
  • a property right which allows the economic valuation of the work by reproduction (prints) or representation (exhibitions). This right expires 70 years after the death of the author, after which the work falls into the public domain.

In practice

According to the principle "not seen not taken", plagiarism is tempting for some. Many media cases bear witness to this: translation of foreign sketches unknown in France by certain comedians, "borrowing" of text extracts without mentioning that it is a quotation by certain authors...

However, anti-plagiarism software has emerged to unmask imposters and the power of social networks can be devastating for cheaters when we put face to face the original version with the copied version. We therefore encourage you instead to develop your creativity to avoid on the one hand shame and on the other hand being "grilled" in the middle.

The main practical problem that arises for beginner authors is their margin of negotiation vis-à-vis a publishing house, a producer or any person who can "make" a career. Some prefer to self-produce by creating independent publishing houses. It's a difficult choice that depends on many parameters including the time and energy available to the artist to develop his commercial network in addition to his creative time. For this reason the profession of artistic agent has greatly developed in recent decades in order to "converge networks": a theater director by contacting a few agents can have access to a range of varied shows.

Article created on monday, january 24, 2022

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