The end of Canadian photographers?

While I realize it sounds like hyperbole, I will no longer be able to use Canadian photographers, it’s too risky. My friend Jhayne posted a link on her Facebook that claimed, “A big win for photographers in Canada: as of today, you now officially own the copyright to all your photographs regardless of whether they were commissioned.” Immediately I realized bill C-11 was a terrible idea, and it seems like no discussions with business owners must have taken place.

What this means, as I understand it, is if I hire a Canadian photographer for my business, or any purpose, that photographer is able to tell me what I can and can’t use it for, as well as use the photos against me. For example, if I hired them to do a website ad, they could forbid me from using the same photo in a t.v. commercial. They could also use my photos any way they like, which if disgruntled could result in a negative situation. They could also allow my competition to use photographs I commissioned them to take. Even outside of a business context, I can’t imagine a photographer I’ve hired being able to dictate what I can use my wedding photos for. In summary, as a result of this new law it’s simply too risky to use Canadian photographers, I don’t know what they were thinking.

If it was up to me, I would be OK with photographers obtaining a revokable licence/permission to use the photos I’ve commissioned them to take for their portfolio, but anything else just seems too prone to trouble.

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