Copyright issues in photography: what you need to know
Copyright law provides a legal framework to automatically protect an original work (photography, artwork, film, etc.) created by an author. As such, a photographer enjoys a series of rights to his/her photographs and may decide to assign them to a third party (the assignee) through a transfer of rights contract.
This contract must meet several conditions:
1. It must be written and signed;
2. It must specify the scope of the assigned rights and, in particular, the nature of the right assigned, the media on which the photograph may be used and the duration of the assignment.
Under this contract, the assignee will hold the "proprietary/economic rights", which will enable him/her to use the work, reproduce it and communicate it to the public via the agreed media.
Similarly, any use of a photograph without the approval of its author may be considered as an act of infringement within the meaning of the French Intellectual Property Code, which may give rise to legal proceedings with the risk of being sentenced to pay the author significant financial penalties.
The people in the photographs have the right to the image and right to privacy. The public dissemination and commercial use of photographs that clearly depict them must also be covered by a contract where the conditions regarding the use of the image are defined.
Where can I find the official Accor forms when should they be signed?
If you are preparing to organise a new photo report in your hotel, ensure that the photographer signs the official transfer of rights contract, drafted by the Accor legal department. This signed contract is the absolute precondition for validating the service. It is therefore essential to present it to him/her before the report, in order to avoid any subsequent dispute. In any case, no other document will be accepted by the team in charge of incorporating your photos into the Photo Library.
Similarly, if there are any extras in the pictures, you must obtain their signed written approval, before using their image. Without this document, the Photo Library will again refuse to include the images concerned.
Are you, or a non-professional third party, the author of these photos?
In this specific case, you are not exempt from fulfilling the official Accor transfer of rights contract. Fill in all the fields that concern you and leave blank those you are unable to fill in (e.g. : agency name, invoice number, etc.).
Do you plan to use direct upload to illustrate categories for the « Websites Update » interface in the Photo Library?
This upload tool does not require you to send the photographer's transfer of rights contract or any approval forms for identifiable extras in the shots to the Photo Library. However, by ticking the "Photographer copyright" and "Image rights" if applicable, you hereby certify to be in possession of these documents and take full responsibility for the use of the related images.
Did you know?
The standard transfer of rights contract (photographer and extras) are available on the Accor Photo Library in six languages: French, English, Spanish, Portuguese, German and Chinese! Specific versions for Germany and Austria – as well as the brands Raffles, Fairmont and Swissôtel – are also available online.
All of these forms are regularly updated in collaboration with the Accor legal department.
By routinely downloading the required form from the Photo Library, you can rest assured that you are using the latest official version!
How can you ensure that you have the rights to use an image?
By clicking the icon "Info Sheet" icon under the thumbnail(s) of an Accor Photo Library search result, it is possible to consult the usage rights attached to them.
The following is stated for each author or extra:
• his/her role;
• the type of rights assigned to Accor;
• a date where rights are terminated, if applicable.
Using this info sheet, you can also download the photographer's transfer of rights contract and approval forms from extras in electronic format.
These documents detail the scope of everyone's rights and guarantee usage for you in compliance with these rights.