Though you may have paid for photos, music and/or artwork, you may not have a right to reproduce them.
You may not be allowed to use photos even if they are of you!
When you contract with a non-employee to have images, sculpture or pictures made of you, your facilities or your product, ask questions beforehand.
For example: Who will own the negatives or digital image files and what usage rights will you receive?
Professional photographers usually retain the negatives, transparencies or digital files and sell you prints or duplicates.
Even when you buy prints or duplicates you do not necessarily receive the copyright, or the right to make copies of them without a written release from the creator/copyright owner.
Ask: What rights am I getting for my money.
If you use a scanner to take photos from your annual report and use them on your website or in a public presentation you may be in violation of the copyright owner’s right to reproduce.. The contract may not grant you the right to use their creative work for that particular purpose.
It’s the same if you scan your wedding portrait and make a few prints for the relatives. Though it’s unlikely you’d be caught in this circumstance, it’s still illegal unless you have the photographer’s permission.
In general, the copyright to creative works produced by employees in performance of their duties belongs to the employer. Absent a specific written release, the copyright to work done “for hire” by a designer, artist, agency or photographer remains with the creator of the work. They have the exclusive right to control all reproduction, distribution and the creation of derivative works.
If you plan to use these materials on a website, in a publication, presentation or other public venue, you should include a clause similar to the one below in any contract for production of work that might be used for multiple purposes.
I acknowledge that [the materials] may be duplicated and distributed in any and all manner and media throughout the world in perpetuity.
I further warrant and represent that I am legally authorized to transfer the ownership rights to [the materials.]
I agree to indemnify and hold [Your Company], their licensees and assigns, harmless from and against any and all claims, damages, liabilities, costs and expenses arising out of the use of [the materials] or any breach of the foregoing warranty.
(Make certain that [The Materials] accurately and completely describes the Intellectual Property in question.)