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Members' business & legal service

What the AOP can do for its Members:

The AOP has dedicated staff to help solve members' problems and offer guidance on a myriad of topics affecting the everyday business of being a photographer in a commercial environment. They can be consulted by either email or telephone and their expertise comes from years in the industry. Whilst they are not lawyers, they can often give enough information and guidance to defuse situations and prevent costly legal cases.

The staff can help AOP members on:

  • negotiations for re-use of your work
  • looking at, and advising on, contracts from clients; agents; and libraries to identify the good and bad clauses and help you negotiate a good deal
  • advise on small claims and county court procedures; providing expert witnesses; attending court with you
  • arranging arbitration by fellow members and staff for problems that won't go away

Members' problems that need more of a legal eye, can be referred to Swan Turton, a media and IP specialist law firm, who are retained by the AOP to help members with more complicated issues. On referral from the AOP office, members receive up to 30 minutes consultation, the cost of which is mainly borne by the AOP with the balance (currently £40 + VAT) being passed onto the member. Should members need to retain the lawyers services further, they will be charged by Swan Turton at an AOP discounted hourly rate.

We have a number of web-based products available making help available to members 24/7:

  • Beyond the Lens - available to download as an iBook for £19.99
  • FAQ's - questions most frequently asked of the AOP advice staff with answers and links to further information and template letters
  • Business documents - terms and conditions of business; estimate, invoice, & licence templates; model release forms to download
  • Copyright4clients - a resource to inform those clients who can't understand why you won't assign copyright or work for nothing, click here.
  • Usage Calculator - replaces the re-usage guidelines by calculating the suggested usage cost from information you input

The AOP represents it's members on a number of other organizations to ensure photographers' voices are heard:

The British Copyright Council

A national consultative and advisory body representing those who create, hold interests in or manage rights in literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works, films, sound recordings, broadcasts and other material in which there are rights of copyright or related rights; and those who perform such works. As a liaison committee and pressure group for change in copyright law at UK, European and international level, the BCC provides its members with a forum for the discussion of copyright matters.

The British Photographic Council

A body comprising all the major UK photographic bodies, it exists to protect, develop and promote the rights and interests of photographic image-makers, those involved in the distribution of their work, and the bodies that represent them in the UK. The Council represents its views to the Government, the European Commission and other relevant bodies either directly, or through, or with the co-operation of other bodies with similar aims. It also exists to improve and encourage best practice nationally and internationally on matters relating to the use of photography, and the employment and commissioning of representing photographic image-makers and the distribution of their work.

Design and Artists Copyright Society

DACS provide a range of licensing services for copyright consumers seeking to license the individual rights of an artist. Licences for secondary uses of artistic works are administered under collective licensing schemes on behalf of all visual creators. DACS distributes these funds through Payback. DACS also manages the Artist's Resale Right on behalf of artists in the UK. The Artist's Resale Right entitles an artist to a resale royalty each time their art work is sold by an auction house, gallery or dealer.

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