Contrary to what many believe and expect, the couple does not have control over who can use the videos that a Lakeland wedding videography took. The videographer has the copyright to the final products and he can sell the videos, use them for promotion, upload them on their social media feed, or reproduce them electronically.
This can be disappointing news, of course, especially because newlyweds are under the impression that they can do anything they want with materials that feature them.
Do not fret because this can be corrected by a simple agreement. Every couple who hires wedding videography knows that drafting a contract is imperative to protect their rights and expectations. Although federal law mandates that the videographer owns the rights to the materials, this is just the general and the default rule. A contract may change the terms.
Before a couple agrees to pay anything, it is important that they ask the videographer if they agree to change the terms of the privacy and the ownership of the materials. The terms should spell out how the videos will be used in the future.
You may be surprised to find out that most videographers don’t really care about the products. If you ask them to make you the sole owner of the videos, they will gladly include that in your contract (unless you asked for a huge discount in exchange of the videos being posted on the videographer’s Facebook account for promotion purposes).
Typically, wedding videographers use three types of contract: the videographer does not allow for the reproduction of the videos, the videographer may grant clients a license to reproduce the videos, and a videographer may include a copyright release that gives the clients full access to the videos.
So, don’t give up too easily. Even if the contract states that the videographer owns the rights to the videos, a respectful meeting and negotiation can easily change this term of the contract. It is so easy to draw up a new contract that will not only be meant to protect your rights but also the rights of the videographer.
It is always a smart idea to ask for a copyright release of the videos since it features you. But though some couples are uncomfortable with the thought of the videographer having full rights to videos that use them subjects, you should not worry about any future violations that may arise since wedding videographers rarely revisit the materials they make from the past.