Wednesday, July 8, 2015


Q. If I sell an article that includes accompanying photographs, what are my rights as far as the photos are concerned? Can I re-use them with another article, as long as the new article is completely different from the original one? Or is it necessary to obtain new photos to go with every new article?

A. If the photos were sold as part of an article/photo “package” then it will depend on what rights were sold for the package. If you sold only First Rights, the photos can be resold after the original piece is published, in the same way the original article can. If you sold One-time Rights, you don't even have to wait for the first publication—since they are only buying the right to publish article and photos one time. However, if you sold All Rights to the package, the photos belong to the original publisher and you cannot use them again in the future. However, if you need those particular photos to go with another article, you can always contact the original publisher and ask if they will release the rights to those photos back to you. If they have no further use for them, they may be willing to do that.

In some cases, if the photos are particularly valuable with wide possible use in the future, a writer can sell whatever rights they need to for the article, but sell only One-time Rights to the photos—giving the writer full control over their future use. 

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