Representing Photographers

BIPP represents professional photography to government and industry and works with groups such as the PIC (Photo Imaging Council), Skillset (the Sector Skills Council for Creative Media) and the BPLC (the united voice for the industry on copyright issues). BIPP is also a member of the FEP (Federation of European Professional Photographers).

18.11.11 - New Intellectual Property court process will boost UK business

The Government today confirmed that a new small claims service will be introduced at the Patents County Court (PCC), helping small and medium sized businesses protect their copyright, trade marks and designs.

Currently small firms are often put off enforcing their Intellectual Property (IP) rights by high costs. The new process will limit fixed costs and allow damages of up to £5000 per case. New figures produced today by the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) estimate that around 150 firms will benefit from the service every year, providing an annual boost to UK business of £350,000.

The recommendation for a small claims service was made in the Hargreaves Review of Intellectual Property and Growth. Since the Review was published in May 2011 the Government has been looking at building a business case for the service, which has now been completed meaning it will become a reality.

Minister for Intellectual Property Baroness Wilcox said:
"This is great news for small and medium sized businesses as it will give them the confidence to stand up and protect their intellectual property rights. A small claims process means businesses will not have to fight through lengthy court battles instead of concentrating on growing their business.

"Businesses know how important it is to protect their rights and have been calling for changes to be made to the system. The Government is acting on these concerns because a strong intellectual property system will enable innovative small companies to grow and support the UK economy. We hope to have the new system in place by this time next year."

Justice Minister Jonathan Djanogly said:
"It is clearly much better for the economy if businesses are spending their time and money on trading and growth, rather than on unnecessarily complicated legal processes. That is why we are modernising the justice system in order to provide simpler, quicker and more cost efficient ways to resolve disputes."

Evidence presented to the recent Hargreaves Review, Digital Opportunity: A Review of Intellectual Property and Growth, indicated that around 1 in 6 (17 per cent) of small and medium sized businesses had given up attempting to enforce their rights due to high court costs.

11.04.11 - Artists' Bill of Rights Campaign

A new campaign has been launched setting out a Bill of Rights for all Artists and supported by organisations from around the world. It updates and expands the Bill of Rights campaign initiated in 2008 by the photographer's organisation, The campaign is presented through a website at and is now available in over 40 languages.

The campaign promotes the rights of creative people of all disciplines, music, photography, video, film, fine arts, writing, etc. It is independent, and open to all artists' representative associations. Representative associations can undertake all the campaign activities and have access to the campaign website to create and publish content credited to their association.

This is a collaborative campaign to be operated by the associations who wish to actively participate. We invite all artists associations to support the aims of the Artists' Bill of Rights and to contact us via the website to support the campaign, and, if they can, to actively contribute to the campaign. For further information please visit the campaign website.

22.02.11 - Hargreaves Review of IP & Growth

The Hargreaves Review Team have now issued a Call For Evidence, with a deadline of 4 March 2011. 

See our page Hargreaves IP Review for full information.

19.10.10 - Who's Afraid of Photographers?

The NUJ has organised a seminar at the House of Commons with the support of Don Foster's office. It goes ahead on Thursday, October 28 between 1pm and 5pm.

They will be discussing privacy law as well as the police use of anti-terrorist laws against photographers.

There is room for 80 people, and it will be first-come-first-served.

Anyone who wishes to attend should contact  

03.06.10 - Play your part in shaping future skills

Skillset, the Sector Skills Council for Creative Media, is currently undertaking the largest formal review of skills needs and working life in the UK's Photographic Industry. Results will directly and quickly shape all Skillset’s work, including future training support, pinpointing skills gaps and making sure our industry maintains its world class position.
As a member of the workforce you can play your part by completing a survey online at:

26.05.10 - British Photographic Council Survery 2010

The British Photographic Council is conducting a survery into the state of the UK Photographic Industry. To take part in their 2010 survey please follow the link below. Please note you may only complete the survey once.

08.04.10 - Clause 43 has now been removed from the Digital Economy Bill. Click here for more information. 

Recent Meetings and Representation

  • attending meetings at the British Copyright Council (BCC), of which we are members;
  • working alongside the AOP, BAPLA, DACS and others in lobbying issues with the DEB (Digital Economy Bill) which have already been addressed, such as the dropping of Clause 17 and, significantly, changing the wording of other clauses such as those relating to orphan works;
  • attending events run by BLACA, the BCC and SABIP;
  • participating in the consultation working party set up by the Intellectual Property Office;
  • working with Pro-imaging on the artists' Bill of Rights, in exposing rights-grabbing issues;
  • participating in discussions with the British Photographic Council, of which we are members;
  • participating in the BPC National Photography Symposium to discuss copyright issues and the DEB;
  • joining with STOP43 in lobbying for the removal of Clause 43 of the Digital Economy Bill.

Hostile Reconnaissance
Terror Laws, Civil Liberties & Press Freedom- Rally
13 April 2010, Friends Meeting House, Euston

The London Photographers’ Branch is proud to announce a pre-election rally on Terror Laws, Civil Liberties & Press Freedom at 7pm on the 13th of April at Friends Meeting House in Euston.

Speakers include:
Jeremy Dear, General Secretary National Union of Journalists
Paul Lewis, Guardian Journalist & British Press Awards Reporter of the Year 2010
More speakers are TBC and will include high-profile photographers, journalists and lawyers who have dealt with the raft of terror laws that we face today.

Supporting the rally are the National Union of Journalists, NUJ London Central Branch and the I’m a Photographer, Not a Terrorist! campaign group.
Fore more information visit:

Photographers & The Police - A seminar
14 April 2010, 6.30pm-8.30pm, AOP Gallery

Join human rights lawyer Shamik Dutta from law firm Fisher Meredith LLP and photographers David Hoffman and Paul Stewart for a seminar answering many outstanding questions regarding photographers' rights to take pictures. First come, first servied; spaces limited. Click here for more information or book by e-mailing

BIPP continues the battle to protect photographers' rights by joining the campaign led by Stop43.  The core aim of Stop43 is to stop commercial orphan works exploitation in the UK Digital Economy Bill Clause 43.  For more information on the campaign visit their website or go to Digital Economy Bill on the BIPP site.

Artists' Bill of Rights

The Bill of Rights for photography competitions is a campaign which began in 2008, led by Pro-imaging.  The campaign aims to protect photographers from ruthless exploitation by competition organisers, who seek to gain perpetual and irrevocable usage rights of the competition entries.  BIPP is proud to support this protection of photographers' rights.  When entering competitions, it is vital that all terms and conditions are read and fully understood, before submitting images.

Copyright & Licensing

The copyrights and licensing of images is a complex issue, governed by the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.
Key points include:

  • The Act is governed by law and copyright is an automatic right - it does not need to be registered. 
  • The Act aims to protect peoples work from being copied.
  • Photographs are considered 'artistic works' within the Act.
  • Copyright applies to any medium. This means that copyright protected work cannot be produced in  
    another medium without permission. This includes the publishing of photographs on the internet, a 
    painting of a photograph etc.
  • Copyright does not protect ideas for a work. It is only when the work itself is fixed or tangible.
  • A Copyright protected work can have more than one copyright, or another intellectural property (IP) right connected  to it.

The Intellectual Property Office ( is the official government body responsible for granting Intellectual Property (IP) Rights in the United Kingdom. There is comprehensive information on Copyright and licensing on their website,  Their Information Centre are able to answer general copyright enquiries, they cannot give opinions or advice on infringement. They can be contacted on 0300 300 2000 or

The full Act of 1988 can be seen on the website of the Office of Public Sector Information-

Photographers who are members of the BIPP have access to a number of legal document masters, including terms and conditions, wedding contracts, licensing and re-usage documents and agent/photographer agreements. All of these will play vital roles in protecting a photographer's copyright. BIPP photographers also receive free legal advice as a membership benefit. 

Taking Photographs in Public Places

BIPP continues to work to protect photographers' rights. A current issue is the taking of photographs in public places. Along with meetings with government bodies we liaise closely with organisations such as Pro-imaging and the AOP to highlight these vital issues and concerns.