License for Selling Your Digital Pics

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by ljsstudios, Jan 20, 2004.

  1. ljsstudios

    ljsstudios Guest

    Just curious if anyone can answer this question: Do you need a
    license of any kind to take pics and sell them as long as they are
    your own? If so, what would be the steps in obtaining one.
    ljsstudios, Jan 20, 2004
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  2. In most places you don't need any license, but you may be subject to
    various regulations. There are restrictions in many areas about using
    someone image and selling it to the public, there are a number of tax
    issues, both income and sales/VAT taxes and the registration and licenses
    that have to do to selling.

    I suggest you check with your local authorities.

    Joseph E. Meehan

    26 + 6 = 1 It's Irish Math

    "ljsstudios" <> wrote in message
    > Just curious if anyone can answer this question: Do you need a
    > license of any kind to take pics and sell them as long as they are
    > your own? If so, what would be the steps in obtaining one.
    Joseph Meehan, Jan 20, 2004
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  3. ljsstudios

    WMAS 1960 Guest

    Just to put it another way, There are a few issues that would have to be known
    and considered before you get a total answer to the question at hand.

    First, what kind of photography are you talking about. If you are refering to
    the type that most of us take, walking around with your camera and taking
    candid pictures and such, or news photographers taking pictures of newsworthy
    subjects etc. the general answer is no, you do not need a license or permit.

    If, on the other hand, you are setting up lights and camera stands etc. staging
    scenery in public places and having models, actors or stand-ins around a set
    than you might need a license from some cities or states etc. The issue here
    is largely your obstruction to the public and a hazard that you could cause to
    public safety and property. Also the issue that you could be posing a
    nuissance or distraction to the public or creating a situation that attracts
    undesirable crowds or other problems. Often cities will demand that such
    commercial or theatrical productions obtain a license or permit. To obtain
    that license you might have to pay a fee, show proof of insurance, and post a
    bond that will be held in case you damage any property while shooting. In our
    area many movies have been filmed. In some cases signs, park benches etc. have
    been moved around by crews and had to be repaired or relocated. Parkways
    (turf) had been damaged and needed to sodded or seeded. Lamp Posts and sign
    posts may need to be relocated out of view or other things that cost a city,
    town or village to restore back to their original conditions. Also, you may
    be required to provide security and traffic control, (local off duty police) to
    insure that no harm comes to the public or public interests. You may also need
    special permits if you are going to be working a photo shoot in areas where
    there might be quiet residential streets, or in late hours, or need special
    parking requirements etc.

    Then there is the issue of how you intend to sell your images. If you are just
    going to be selling them to people from your home or through an agent etc. you
    might not require a license. Like was mentioned contact and consult with your
    local community to see what is required. Some communities do require some home
    businesses to have business licenses. It is more a tax issue or an issue of
    making sure that residential neighborhoods are not being used for incompatable
    comercial purposes. For example, you might not want your neighbor in an
    apartment complex running a dental office or hair stylist business in their
    home, attracting a steady flow of strangers through the complex. I know of
    some accountants and lawyers who work out of their homes. However, they
    usually do not see clients there. They may send faxes back and forth, handle
    phone calls and do a lot of work via modem from their computers but usually,
    they have an office somewhere more appropriate that they use to see clients.
    Either that or they go the the client's place of business to conduct their
    meetings. I would assume, and this is based on my situation and maybe most
    situations, if I were going to, from my home, call some magazines or send some
    unsolicited submissions to newspapers or magazines, market my photos through an
    agent, make prints and sell them through galleries or decorators... etc., I
    would think I would not require a license. However, if I were opening a
    gallery near the town square to sell some of my work, or going to make up
    prints to sell on street corners during the summer, or at festivals... I might
    then need to obtain a license from the community in question. Some of that
    might require certain confirmation of conformity to ordinances and codes that
    would be to ensure that I am operating a legitimate fair business and that my
    displays or premises are safe for visitors and that certain fees and business
    taxes are paid.

    Asside from all this, while you may not need a "License" you may still require
    permission when shooting pictures of private individuals or property. If you
    are taking pictures for "Editorial" or documentary type reasons and are in
    public you usually don't have any restrictions. Anything is usually fair game.
    It is still wise though, if you know a person doesn't want to be photographed
    don't photograph them. Also, even if you can legally take their picture you may
    not be able to use that picture for certain uses. For example commercial uses.
    If you are at the scene of an accident or other news worthy incident you
    might not get hastled and anything might be fair game but you do have to keep
    behind and observe all police or fire lines. You do not need a license or
    permit to photograph such situations. However, while you may not need a press
    pass or other credentials those documents do have a value. If you are not a
    credentialed journalist, and crowd control is an issue, you could be hustled
    along and asked to move on while credentialed media is allowed to stay. In
    situations like this it is all about trying to minimize the obstructions and
    hazards that might build up during an incident. When they NEED to be selective
    the credentials will make a difference. Further, some credentialed media, in
    some jurisdictions, have been known to be invited into accident, fire or crime
    scenes after they have been secured and under the supervision of proper
    authorities. That is a privlege that the average person may not get.

    I don't know if all this addresses the specific angles, situations or questions
    that were originally asked. Hopefully it will direct some responses with more
    details to properly address your query...

    >"ljsstudios" <> wrote in message
    >> Just curious if anyone can answer this question: Do you need a
    >> license of any kind to take pics and sell them as long as they are
    >> your own? If so, what would be the steps in obtaining one.

    WMAS 1960, Jan 20, 2004
  4. ljsstudios


    ljsstudios <> wrote:
    > Just curious if anyone can answer this question: Do you need a
    > license of any kind to take pics and sell them as long as they are
    > your own? If so, what would be the steps in obtaining one.

    Not in the United States, but you might need a business license
    if you intend to sell your photos in a store or other physical
    building. Best to check with your local city hall for particulars.
    , Jan 25, 2004
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