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Home » Blog » Commercial Interior » Interior Photography Services – copyright vs licence

As professional interior photographer I wanted to explain the legal regulations regarding professional interior photography services in more depth.

Sometimes it’s difficult to differentiate between copyrights and licence. Both serve a different purpose. Most of the time both can be obtained from a photographer as part of their standard interior photography services.

However, majority of clients require only a licence and it is a cheaper option too.

This article is meant to address many common inquiries regarding copyright , licensing and using photographs by our clients, who hire our professional interior photography services.

If you have any question, that has not been answered here, please contact us directly using the CONTACT form on my website.

What is copyright?

Copyright is a form of intellectual property, applicable to some forms of creative (in this case interior photography) work.  The right to ‘copy’ or reproduce the work can be granted in form of a licence by the photographer.

Who owns copyright?

Under the law, it’s the interior photographer who owns copyrights to all the photos, with few exceptions:

  • If the photographer is employed and/ or acting on behalf of another company, then the company the photographer works for will own the copyrights (has to be secured by contract)
  • there is an agreement that assigns the copyright to another company (between the photographer and the client)
  • the client made clear from the very beginning that they want to purchase the copyrights not the licence


What is a licence?

It’s crucial to first obtain permission from the copyright owner before you use their work. That means the interior photographer, should provide a licence allowing the use according to the terms and conditions agreed.

Who owns licence?

The Licence granted is personal to the Client and the scope of the licence can be agreed at the time of the booking.

The Licence comes into effect from the date of payment of the relevant invoice. No use may be made of the images before payment in full of the relevant invoice without the written permission of the photographer.

Permission to use the images for purposes outside the terms of the Licence will normally be granted upon payment of a further fee, which is mutually agreed in writing.

When hiring a professional interior photographer you should  be prepared to pay a fee, as many photographers will charge you for using their work, on top of the standard photography rates.

Only the copyright owner, photographer, can give permission, so you should contact the photographer, or his/her company, directly for consent.

The standard licence usually covers all PR, the PR press kit, social media channels and website.

The Licence granted is personal to the Client and may not, be assigned, nor may any image delivered to the Client be loaned or transferred to third parties without prior agreement with the photographer.

Please contact us directly for all the queries regarding interior photography services at info[at]mareksikora[dot]com


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