When you sell a disk of high res images and include a letter of release, do you give your clients copyright or printing rights? There’s a huge difference!
If you give anyone copyrights to your photos, you are handing over every last right you have to your hard work and resulting art. Copyright means that you literally own the work and when you hand that over, you are giving your client the right to produce, publish, sell your images or even say that they took them. And if you ever want to use your own images after that? Well, you need to get permission from the one who holds the copyrights.
So now that I’ve thoroughly scared you into counting how many copyright release letters you’ve written this year, what’s the alternative?
When you sell your images, you are selling the rights to either print, share online or both so just put that in your letter! Write a release with printing rights and you can even consider downsizing your images so your clients can only print to a certain size.
Let’s face it, most of our clients will be printing from the local supermarket lab or online quickie printer. If you want to control the outcome of a 40 inch print, you’ll want to handle those prints through your professional print company.
To control the size, remember this equation: inches x 200 = pixels. If you want the files to be a max of 8×10, that’s 1600 x 2000 pixels. Or just read this about DPI and image resolution.
This post from MCP Actions will literally tell you everything you want to know about your rights, written by a legal professional