Vermilion, OH asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for Ohio

Q: When a photo is taken on private property with permission of the property owner who owns the image?

I take images at motorsports venues and want to clarify who is the owner of the photo. The photographer, the property owner of both?

Thank you.

2 Lawyer Answers
Fritz-Howard Raymond Clapp
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  • Intellectual Property Lawyer
  • Beverly Hills, CA

A: The photographer is owner of the copyright in the photo, unless he has been hired to do it, in which case the employer owns the copyright as a work-for-hire.

David Aldrich agrees with this answer

James L. Arrasmith
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A: In the context of copyright law, the person who takes the photograph — in this case, the photographer — generally owns the copyright to the image, not the owner of the property where the photo was taken. This means that the photographer has the exclusive rights to use, distribute, and reproduce the photograph. However, the property owner can potentially set conditions on the use of the photographs taken on their property through a contract or other agreement, so it is always a good practice to clearly understand any terms or conditions imposed by the property owner before taking photographs on private property.

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