This section is from the book "Complete Self-Instructing Library Of Practical Photography", by J. B. Schriever. Also available from Amazon: Complete Self-Instructing Library Of Practical Photography.
Permission For Right Of Copyright From Subjects. Unless there is an agreement to the contrary, all portraits taken at a sitting are the property of the person who orders the sitting. Even if a photographer takes a sitter in several positions, he has no right to print from any of the negatives without the sitter's permission. The reason for this is, that in the taking of a photograph payment is for all attempts, and, therefore, the copyright is not vested in the photographer. Even if a person brings a sitter to the studio, to be photographed, and orders some portraits, the copyright falls to the person who orders and pays for the picture. In the case of groups, such as those of basket-ball clubs, etc., the secretary or treasurer of the club, whoever is responsible for payment, is the owner of the copyright.
1023. If the photographer receives no payment for the sitting, the copyright falls into his possession, and as it is his, he is, therefore, at liberty to sell prints to the sitter or anybody else. In other words, it was a " free sitting."
1024. Even if the photographer accepts a reduced price for the sitting he has not a right to the copyright, for in that, and indeed in any case where it is possible to assume he has been fully paid, he must get the sitter to transfer the copyright to him, if he wishes to acquire it. The following form shows the kind of agreement suitable for this purpose:
Agreement For Transfer Of Copyright.
For value received, I hereby grant..........
.........., Photographer, the right of ownership to copyright, and the ownership in the copyright, of the negatives made of me this day.
Dated-----day of.......... 190..
1026. The transfer of the copyright in this way, to the photographer, deprives even the sitter of the right to allow the photograph to be reproduced, but photographers who work largely on the " free sitting " principle usually do not overstep the mark in collecting a fee from the sitter, when the latter wishes to reproduce it. It is usual, for example, to allow an actress to employ the photograph on her professional card or in such circumstances in which otherwise she would have to pay for the reproduction.