Jay Lake (jaylake) wrote,
Jay Lake

[help] Question regarding copyright

Apropos of this morning's zen photo, I've been meaning to ask this for a while. I think I know the answer, but suspect my intuition is out of place.

What's the copyright status of a photograph taken by someone else using my camera?

Example A:

I gave the camera to the_child and she took it on a field trip. Those are her photos, unambiguously. If I am going to reproduce them, I seek her permission.

Example B:

I am out with friends. I gave the camera to kenscholes to take a picture of me and bravado111 on my behalf. Generally I know who took the picture, and can secure a permission if needed. Say, because I have placed the photo in Locus or something.

Example C:

I am out with friends. I gave the camera to a waitperson to take a picture of the group of us on my behalf. I never get the photographer's name or contact info. Do I have any right to reproduce that photo under copyright law? It can't be work for hire, because I didn't pay them for the photo. The implicit ownership of the photo is clear: it's my equipment and the photo was taken at my request. But the copyright status is unclear to me.

Thoughts? Experiences?

Tags: help, photos, publishing

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