I have sold a high res photograph to an artist and have subsequently used the same photograph in low res on my Facebook page. The artists is now claiming that I cannot reuse the photograph as he now owns the copyright. Can I resell the high res photograph to other artists and can I use the sold photograph on my webpage? Can I sell the same photograph to other artists?
The question here is "what exactly did you sell"? There are two major possibilities here:
- You sold the copyright to the photo. In that case, you gave up all rights to it and you can't now use the photo on Facebook or anywhere else, or sell the photo to other artists. In particular, the buyer could now modify the photograph to his choosing and you'd have no right to stop that happening. Some jurisdictions would allow you to prevent your name being used with the photo in these cases.
- You sold a license to the photograph. In this case, you still own the copyright and can do what you like with the photograph.
The edge-case between the two of these is selling an exclusive license - in this case, the buyer wouldn't be able to modify the photo, but you would have prevented yourself from selling the photo to others. Licenses can also be time-limited and/or sublicensable, but neither of those effect your issue here.
I think the moral of this story is "don't rely on a verbal agreement unless you're on really good terms with the person you're doing business with, and probably not even then".
Check with a lawyer. IANAL but copyrights generally default to whoever created the work and are generally relatively difficult to transfer. It can vary a lot by jurisdiction though, so you should check with a local lawyer, but I would not be at all surprised if your verbal sale did not constitute a sale of the copyright unless it was specifically discussed and even then, without paperwork to back it up, it may not hold depending on jurisdiction. Talk to a lawyer.
If it turns out that you did indeed sell the copyright to the image, then you have no rights at all to the image and may not use it for any purpose unless you reserved a license for yourself during the sale.
First of all the copyright is a form of intellectual property and it is possible to sell it. The moral rights of the author instead remains of the author in any case.
You can sell the right of usage in several form and it depends on the kind of agreement you stipulated with the third party.
In general if you "give" (with or without compensation) to a third party without any specific about how to use it, the third party is free to do everything he wants with the limitation that he cannot say that he is the author of the image.
In the same time if you didn't regulate specifically the sell (exclusive or not) you are free also to do what you want with that image (reselling and so on).
Different is the case in which someone borrow you to shot that particular image, in this case you are paid to accomplish the work and the image resulting is the object of this work and the property belongs to whom employed for the work (but in any case you remain the author with the copyright that affirms that you are the author). In this case of course you are not the owner of the image and you cannot resell.
About the possibility of use in your own website is still possible for the Anthology Rights (that means to be used from the author to illustrate his own portfolio) but I'm not sure that it can be used on social network in which is implied the possibility of the reuse of the image.
Of course all the previous statements that are mostly general and stated in the international Berne Convention (1886) should be verified with the specific country legal jurisprudence.
I have sold a high res photograph to an artist and have subsequently used the same photograph in low res on my Facebook page.
The artists is now claiming that I cannot reuse the photograph as he now owns the copyright.
Can I resell the high res photograph to other artists and can I use the sold photograph on my webpage?
Can I sell the same photograph to other artists?