Can a school claim copyright for photos I took there?

For the last two years, I have been taking the sports photos and cheerleader photos at my my daughter’s school. I was asked to do this because I have been a photographer since 1982. I do it now on the side. The question is, who owns the rights to the photos, me or the school? My daughter has posted some photos of her and the cheerleaders on Facebook and the school said that they owned the copyrights and she couldn’t post them, and that any photographer needed a contract to do photos with the school. I did it for two years and there was never a contract. Who owns the photos?

Steve on April 28, 2012

It sounds like you own the copyright. If you took the photos, and you were not a full-time employee of the school, and you did not sign away the copyright with a contract, then you would be the legal “author” of the “works” and thus you own the copyright.

college paper, work made for hire, Facebook

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