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Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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My question is about who owns the copyright on photos taken

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My question is about who owns the copyright on photos taken by a freelance photographer.
She has worked for me on a very regular basis mainly in nurseries for over 2 years and there was a verbal agreement that all images taken on behalf of my business belong to me. I thought this was also in an email but can find no proof. I told her she was no longer required in a dispute in working hours invoiced for. She has agreed and removed all images taken on my behalf except for 2 weddings that I invited her to for experience in 2014. They are now on her Facebook page and I asked her to remove also which she flatly refuses.
Originally she was meant to take over my business and I did at the time say she could use the images on her website-to-be which was meant to be a follow on of taking over my business.
She has responded to an email recently with:
"I can confirm all photographs have been deleted from devices, dropbox and social media, and the copyright is the property of ..........." which I would think covers it as accepting our verbal agreement but has still not removed the wedding ones.
Please can you advise as think her argument is she owns the copyright of the weddings as a freelancer, whilst I see it all under the same banner of my business.
Can I demand that she removes them please.
Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you.
Did anyone else witness this verbal agreement please?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
No witness, but the fact she has deleted all other images taken makes me feel she has agreed that all images belong to me as in her email I quoted above.
I would agree. There was a conversation, unless she denies this took place (and I can't see how she can) then you own the copyright.
This means all the images belong to you and indeed you can ask her to remove them. If she refuses you can seek a Court injunction to make her delete and remove them all.
Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your response, am I allowed to quote this to her?
There is another issue with her if you can help again.Once I had retracted my offer of taking over my business I contracted her to work freelance @ £30 per working hour (by email) knowing that some nurseries stop for an hour for children lunches. She agreed and never questioned what a working hour was, she was free to leave the premises. She now argues that she was on site and on standby and were "enforced lunch breaks" so should be paid for non productive time.
I have not paid her invoice to date because of the copyright issues above and originally agreed to pay her own final invoice purely to draw a line under it once she had removed all images but did stress the reasons why I shouldn't. The difference was only around £150 and just wanted everything concluded at that stage.
I did request by email that she invoiced me weekly with hours worked but she did not for 6 weeks although verbally requested also. Can I now pay her the amount I reworked as her actual working hours. I would have stopped her working for me if the issue came up in weekly invoices.
Finally as a long shot can I also deduct the fees incurred here?
Yes you are allowed to quote this.
Sadly you would need to post a new question for that topic, but if you put for Alex I can answer it for you.
In the meantime if I could kindly ask you to rate this answer so the site credits me for my time.
If I could ask you to rate this one first please, then I can help on your other one.
Ash and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi Alex,
Continuing with the original question can I also charge her for having the Facebook images up since Oct 3rd 2015.
I only came across them a few weeks ago once she had stopped freelancing for me. I probably wouldn't but just want to know where I stand as expect she is going to be difficult when I contact her tomorrow.
Yes if they are used without permission.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hello Alex,Sorry this is still dragging on, she has finally taken them off Facebook and I also requested she deleted them from her computer and would not use in any manner in the future. Her response has been "I do not intend to re-post any images on Facebook or use them in the future." which I do not feel is a strong answer. Is this enough to cover me legally if they should re-appear anywhere or can you give me a statement to use which I could quote please?
Many thanks. Fran