A Licensing Primer for Photographers
When most people think of what a photographer does, they just think about taking pictures. A photographer has many more responsibilities. He must
pose subjects, create suitable lighting, know how to work with many different types of equipment, develop photographs, and choose the best shots for
framing and other purposes. Photographers should be able to make a great deal of money for their talents, but the expense of purchasing equipment
and supplies, plus other costs associated with photography, mean that many photographers barely break even. There is one way that photographers
can make more money, and that is through licensing.
Licensing is the transfer of copyright, in whole or in part, from one party to another. Both parties benefit in some way from entering into a licensing
agreement. When a photographer licenses his work to another person or company, the photographer is the licensor and the person or company is the
licensee. When licensing the use of a photograph to another party, the photograph can make the license exclusive or non-exclusive. An exclusive
license limits how the photographer can further use the work. A non-exclusive license gives the photographer the right to license the work to other
parties. The photographer usually receives some monetary benefit for licensing, but production credit and other benefits may also be realized.
When determining a licensing fee, photographers need to take several factors into consideration. The first component of a licensing fee should be the
photographer's costs of doing business. The photographer needs to know how much their costs are so that they can meet the costs and still have
enough left to make a profit. The second thing included in a licensing fee is a usage fee. Usage fees will depend on how much a photograph is being
used and what it is being used for by the licensee. If the photograph being licensed will only be used once, the usage fee will be lower than if the
photograph were to be used several ti