The importance of licensing to creators

PHOTOGRAPHERS asked for a briefing, addressed to editors, on what licences mean. Freelance Organiser John Toner has obliged.

According to the Government, he notes, "the purpose of copyright is to allow creators to gain economic rewards for their efforts and so encourage future creativity and the development of new material which benefits us all." (from

And as Oscar Wilde almost said: "A creator who would sell you his copyright would sell you anything." Instead, editors should license work; and rather than looking upon a licence as a difficulty, regard it as an opportunity to discuss with the creator something that is tailor-made to their requirements: "This is the best way of ensuring value for money, and a professional will always have the client's best interests at heart."

The full briefing is available online at

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