Representing Photographers

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



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. The British Institute of Professional Photography 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 intellectual 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 British Institute of Professional Photography 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. 

British Institute of Professional Photography Members also receive free legal advice as a membership benefit. For more information on this excellent benefit, call us now on 01772 367 968.

Taking Photographs in Public Places

British Institute of Professional Photography 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.