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Shared Usage Rights

July 5, 2021


Hey Andrea! I had a client come back after reading my contract that states “shared usage rights” so that I can use the photos and they can as well. But he came back saying they want to “all rights” but says he is okay if I use them for personal marketing/website. This company is small and I am not quite sure he knows what he is talking about. What should I do here/what is the correct way “rights” are normally discussed and used in a contract?


The client’s response sounds like they are assuming ownership of the copyright since they’d grant you usage of the images. First of all, always make sure to be clear that you own the copyright. That is the #1 rule for your contractual terms. If you agree to “work for hire” that means you would not own the copyright. One term I include on every estimate is, “Artist owns the copyright and retains self-promotion rights for all images and tearsheets of ads.”