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Buachaill
Buachaill, Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10537
Experience:  Barrister 17 years experience
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I am looking for some legal advise regarding a current

Customer Question

Good afternoon
I am looking for some legal advise regarding a current situation to do with my job.
I am a self employed Wedding photographer with a 5* rating. I have recently had a very happy customer become an extremely unhappy customer. Said customer has decided that they do not feel as though their wedding photographs are what was expected and are pursuing me to send original files. I feel like I am being backed into a corner with something and could do with some professional advice.
I have stuck to my side of my contract yet I am being pursued for things that photographers do not release.
If I could have some advice on where I stand I would be grateful.
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Buachaill replied 9 months ago.

1. Dear Olivia, the first thing you need to realise is that in law, you own the copyright in the original files from which the photographs were taken. Essentially, as you created the original files, copyright in them attaches to you as photographer and not in the persons whose image was taken. Accordingly, you can refuse to release the original files to your unhappy customer if you want to retain the images. This is because you created it and hold copyright in these original files.

Expert:  Buachaill replied 9 months ago.

2. The term for which you hold copyright in these original files is the duration of your life plus 70 years. So, you don't have to release them to this unhappy customer. Additionally, the original agreement whereby you took the photographs would give you a general licence to have taken the photographs. So, you haven't infringed the original agreement which gave you the licence to take these photographs. If you require any further clarification, I will be happy to help further.

Expert:  Buachaill replied 9 months ago.

3. Please Accept or Rate the answer as unless you do so, your Expert will not get paid for answering your question by the website.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Thank you for your response. I would like a bit of additional information about where she could potentially go from here if I refuse her the files. I am concerned that this will provoke a bad response from the client and that she may slander me. Will she be able to take this case further?
Expert:  Buachaill replied 9 months ago.

4. Well, in law, the client can sue you for the original files. However, she will quickly get advice that her claim will not be upheld. Her remedy would be to argue that the files cannot be published as she has "image rights" in the photos. However, this still does not give her the rights to the original files. However, if she does slander you, then you can sue her for defamation. However, that is like using a sledgehammer to crack a nut as it does not look good to customers that you sue someone for them complaining about your services.