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May 15th, 2009:

Who Owns a Photo?

This post is perhaps a little off-topic, (but then as this blog doesn’t really have a topic per se) I figured it was fine to pop it on here.

I suppose I ought to add the disclaimer here and now that I’m not a lawyer, and I have no experience whatsoever of the law and indeed how the law differs from country to country.

Right, enough procrastinating, let’s do this.

You may be surprised to know (well I was) that the owner of a photo (in most instances) is the person who took the photo.

Sounds obvious, right? In the same way that a person ‘owns’ anything they write (e.g. I own this blog post); the person who takes the photo owns it.

There are however exceptions to this – for instance if an employee of a company takes a photo on behalf of the company, then the company owns the photo.


What I find a little troubling is that, for the most part, the subject of the photo has no rights. So if your friend takes a photo of you, they can do whatever they like with it – you don’t get a say. Now, hopefully your friends are lovely and wouldn’t ever do anything mean.

But what about your ‘better half’? They might have some photos of you that, well let’s just say you wouldn’t want broadcast.

So what if your significant other becomes an ex? Hell hath no fury and all that. Just sayin’ 😉


So, what do you think? Is this fair? Or should the subject of a photo also have some rights about how their photographic image is distributed? Lemme know in the comments, loves.