When a photographer takes photos of something, or even someone, he/she owns the copyright to those images by default. If the photo were to take photographs of a client, then give that client negatives, digital copies, or just plain prints; then the client would not be able to get more prints/copies of those photos from another source or third party printer. For example: if that client were to go to Wal-Mart and say "I need prints of these photos", then Wal-Mart would most likely reject the service without a "Photo Copyright Release".
A Photo Copyright Release is you, the photographer, giving your client permission in writing to obtain more prints of the said photographs from a third party photo printer, such as Wal-Mart. This option, is entirely up to you. Some photographers only want their clients to order prints from the photographer directly.
What I have done is made a PSD of a "Photo Copyright Release Certificate". It much more beautiful, and appreciative when you hand your client a certificate, not a piece of paper that looks like another contract. This is just another one of those great things that I wanted to share for free...
I am offering this PSD for anyone to download and modify to suit their needs. It's just another tool I choose to share. I started out with a royalty free MIT licensed "Certificate PSD" from Pixeden.com( now missing - 2012 ). Then I modified it so that it suited a Photography Copyright Release. Just be sure to replace "Your Company Name" with your own, "Your Company Logo" with your own company logo, and "Your Name Here" with the name of the photographer. Signatures go on the two lines provided after it is printed. With a photographer's signature, the certificate is void.
You will need "Photoshop"(although I used CS5) or above to be able to edit it. If you do not have Photoshop, you can always try "GIMP" which is a free program for Linux, or use the "Pixlr Photo Express" which is a free online editor. Although I cannot warrant GIMP or Pixlr Photo Express will be efficient. Also, you may need to install the "Crimson" free font if you do not already have it.
You can DOWNLOAD the file Photo Copyright Release Certificate at Google Docs. If you are unfamiliar with Google Docs, simple click the link, then file, then download. If you have ways to improve this generic certificate, please share it with me, so I can share it with everyone else.
LICENSE: You are free to use this "Photography Copyright Release Certificate" royalty free for use in both personal and commercial projects, however Xarcell Studio not legally liable for any misuse of the "Photography Copyright Release Certificate". You cannot however redistribute, resell, lease, license, sub-license or offer the "Photography Copyright Release Certificate" to any third party.
DISCLAIMER: Xarcell Studio does not claim to be a legal professional, and this not an attempt to provide legal advice. For legal advice seek a licensed professional.