|The Copyright Act affords copyright owners protection over their work, in this case the depiction of a motif, in the same way as the Designs and Patents Act affords protection over various types of inventions.
Respecting the work of the originator is an absolute requirement for anyone seriously interested in buying pictures. Always ask first, is a useful rule of thumb.
The Copyright Act applies to both analogue and digital use. Therefore, "asking first" also pertains to those images that are going to be used, for example, on the Internet, an Intranet or on a CD.
How to define a work and when is it an original?
Works include many types of pictures, such as drawings, illustrations or collages.
The work delivered to you by the originator is to be considered the original.
1. What am I buying?
When buying a picture you are only acquiring the right to use it in the manner specified in the agreement. All other rights of use - i. e. the copyright - belong to the originator.
2. Who owns the work?
The ownership of the copyright to the work delivered always remains with the originator. If you wish to keep the work, you have to reach a special agreement with the copyright owner.
3. How may the work be used?
The work may only be used in the manner agreed upon. This pertains to the printing procedure, as well as to the stated size and the distribution of the edition, or the publishing of the image on a homepage of the Internet for a limited length of time. If any changes are made subsequent to the agreement, the copyright owner must give his or her consent.
4. How about using the work several times?
As soon as the work is to be used again the copyright owner must be contacted. The re-utilisation of a work may entail further costs.
5. Can I make alterations to the work?
No alterations may be made to the work without the consent of the copyright owner. This includes cutting, retouching, digital manipulation as well as other methods. However, there are instances where a certain amount of cutting is allowed, providing the content is not distorted. In these cases the copyright owner must be informed in advance.
The name of the copyright owner must always be stated when the image is used for editorial or information purposes. When used in advertisements the name ought to be stated.
6. For how long is the work protected?
Copyright in a work remains for seventy years following the year the copyright owner died.
In order to be judged as a work, a picture must reflect individuality, originality and distinctive character. This means that two individuals cannot, independent of one another, produce the same picture.
7. Am I allowed to produce more than one copy?
Additional copies of the work may not be produced without the consent of the copyright owner, be it in newspapers, other printed material or as photocopies etc.
8. Am I allowed to transfer the work to a digital media?
To transfer the work to a digital media is equal to producing a new copy. This also includes the transfer of a picture from one digital system to another and the printing of such a picture. As a consequence, the prior consent of the copyright owner is a mandatory requirement.
Nowadays, the digitisation of pictures is an integral part of the printing process. When the copyright owner consents to the printing of a picture the use of this digitisation is said to be inherent. However, any other use of the digitised picture is not allowed and it must be removed after the printing is completed.