With lots of businesses either operating completely online (as an ecommerce business) or having some online presence (such as having their own website), using photos and videos is extremely common. 

However, this heightened use of IP also attracts more regulations. If your business has dealt with IP before, you’d know that protecting your IP is one of the first steps to retaining your competitive edge, and also just ensuring you take credit for your creative work generally. 

So, the same thing applies to photos and videos. You’d need to obtain consent from the people you’re taking photos or videos of, and it should include certain terms and conditions. 

What Is Intellectual Property?

Like we mentioned, photos and videos are considered Intellectual Property (IP). But what exactly is IP?

IP refers to your intangible assets – these could be your logo, your business name and even colours you use for your branding. 

To make things clearer, let’s say you have an office for your business. You have all things valuable to your business in there – trade secrets, resources, tools and computers. To keep these safe, you lock up your office every day before you leave. This makes sure that no one can come in and steal your belongings. 

Protecting your IP works the same way, except you can’t actually touch this kind of property. Instead of a physical lock on the door, you do things like Register A Trade Mark or have Copyright Disclaimers. So, these are your legal protections. 

Once you’ve taken these kinds of steps, no one can use your IP as only you will have the exclusive legal right to use it. 

How Does This Apply To Photos And Videos?

If your business is taking photos or videos of people, this is something that requires their consent as that is their IP. This kind of consent form will essentially allow the photographer to use the photo or video for commercial and promotional purposes. 

Let’s say Mira is a wedding photographer, and Will and Dave have kindly asked her to take photos for their beach wedding. 

They expect about 50 guests, all of whom will likely show up in the photos. Mira sends out an email to all the guests with a Photography/Video Consent Form attached. It reads the following:

Hi guests,

We’re very excited to see you at Will and Dave’s Wedding. We’d like to inform you that there will be photos and videos taken at the event by a professional photographer. We will not be posting any photos that include you unless you give us your consent to do so. 

Please see attached for a Photography Consent Form where you can confirm whether or not you give us your consent to have your photos/videos taken and shared for commercial or promotional purposes. 

Kind regards,
Mira’s Wedding Services

When it comes to any consent form, you want to make sure you’ve covered all grounds. IP laws can be strictly enforced in Australia. 

At Sprintlaw, we offer a Photography/Video Consent Form package which includes:

  • A Photography/Video Consent Form in accordance with your requirements
  • Phone consultations with a Sprintlaw lawyer 
  • 1 complimentary amendment to the final draft we provide you 

Next Steps

Handling IP in any business context can be tricky, especially if you’re not familiar with the rules and regulations around it. It’s always a good idea to chat to a lawyer if you’re unsure about what your next step should be. 

If you would like a consultation on your options going forward, you can reach us at 1800 730 617 or team@sprintlaw.com.au for a free, no-obligations chat.

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