Skip to content

Who owns copyright when you take a photograph of someone in public when you are the photographer?

When you take a photograph of someone in public, you, as the photographer, generally own the copyright to the photograph. This is because copyright law gives the author of a photograph, which is the person who takes the photograph, the exclusive rights to reproduce, distribute, and display the photograph.

However, there are some limitations on this general rule. For example, if the photograph depicts a recognizable person and you plan to use the photograph for commercial purposes, you may need to obtain a model release from the person in the photograph. A model release is a legal document in which the person in the photograph gives permission for the photograph to be used for commercial purposes.

Additionally, there may be other legal issues to consider when taking photographs in public, such as privacy concerns and the use of trademarks or copyrighted materials that appear in the photograph. It’s always a good idea to consult with a lawyer or legal expert who specializes in intellectual property law to ensure that you are not infringing on anyone’s rights when taking photographs in public.