Licensing is often a confusing term within photography (and even in other industries). Often times people get thrown a curve when asked about what kind of licensing they require. Many times clients are told they should ask for ‘full rights’ or a ‘buyout’ which may or may not meet your actual needs. The key to licensing and where the value lies is determining what you need and only paying for that.
At Orange Photography, we include a basic licensing agreement with most of our bookings. Typically this will allow you to use the photos for your own marketing purposes and often to post on social media and your website. Of course the actual terms may differ and in this blog entry we’d like to clarify what licenses are available and what they can mean to you.
But back to basics and why licenses exist, in the US, Copyright law states that a copyright comes into existence automatically when you capture an original image. The reason for this is to protect creators to further innovation and creation. If everything that someone created (whether it was a painting, movie or music) was immediately available to everyone for free, then those artists could not make a living by creating those works. Hence US Copyright law protects creators to encourage more innovation and creativity.
Any person or business must have permission (a license) from the creator to publish (reproduce) images in any medium, physical or electronic.
A license is how that copyrighted material can be monetized and extended. So getting the right license is key for anyone who hires someone to create something. PLUS, the Picture Licensing Universal System—a cooperative, multi-industry initiative — provides a system that clearly defines and categorizes image usage around the world, from granting and acquiring licenses to tracking and managing them well into the future. We leverage PLUS to make things more clear and offer some of their PLUS Packs as image licensing options for you.
Ultimately, we can provide whatever you need and will work collaboratively with you to determine what will meet the needs of both your usage and your budget.