Can I use, on my website, photos that I took at my full-time job?

I take photos of industrial gearboxes and oilfield equipment that myself and and co-workers build using my camera. My employer uses some of my photos on their website. Do I have the right to use these photos on my website or does the company own the rights to them? I do not have a contract to take photos nor is it part of my job description.

Brett on May 28, 2012

Your employer probably owns the copyright as work made for hire. The absence of a contract or job description is probably not a factor; just being employed and having this related to your job is probably enough. However, you might be able to use the photos on your website under fair use. For clarity, you could ask your employer to sign a short agreement giving you “non-exclusive license” to display the photos on the Internet.

work made for hire.

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