Copyright – the easy way

There may be many more or less complicated rules on copyright which differ from country to country, but a little common sense will take you a long way.The Federation of European Professional Photographers, the FEP, intends to adopt, on a European scale, an initiative of BURAFO’ (the Dutch society for the protection of photographers copyright) to take the mystery and complexity out of copyright, to make it simple and even understandable. So, at the next general meeting, the FEP will propose that its member associations adopt and recommend the so called 10 commandments on copyright on photographs.“Copyright is about respecting the work of others and enjoying photography in a way that can make us all pleased and ensures the creator can and will keep creating”, says FEP President Neil Warner.“Many photographers and other creators alike, spend a very long time perfecting their skills in order to make the best possible work for their clients and for users in general. Copyright is there to ensure the creators can generate revenue and hence keep creating”, FEP CEO Giuseppe Scozzi adds, “just like others from their work”The 10 commandments on copyright is a good logical start for respecting both client and creator.

  1. Respect copyright on photographs.
  2. Always ask permission from the photographer if you want to use a photograph.
  3. Do not trust anyone who claims that he can give permission. Only the photographer can give permission for the use of his photographs.
  4. Make sure that there can be no misunderstanding about the way the photograph is used and the fee agreed.
  5. Only use a photograph for the agreed purpose.
  6. Always try to find the photographer of the photograph you wish to use. Do not use a photograph when you do not know who took it.
  7. Always state the photographer’s name next to his photograph.
  8. Do not change, crop or cut a photograph without the permission of the photographer.
  9. Be aware of the rights of third parties. Also, ask their permission before using the photograph.
  10. Always give the photographer a copy of the publication.

The Federation of European Professional Photographers, the FEP, recommends that photographers use these simple rules to explain copyright to clients.


For further information please contact FEP press officer Jørgen Brandt at