I have a charity client who is running a fundraising drive and are giving away a car, an Apple computer and a branded kitchen appliance. They've given us images they've found off the internet to use in the marketing collateral. I know they don't have copyright to these; however, would the original photographer have copyright over the content? For example, if a photographer took some photographs of a branded product, without express permission from that brand, would the brand not have any legal comeback?
If you could let me know, I'd be really grateful.
Yes, the photographer may own copyright in the photos, even if taken without the permission of the brand owner. If the photos infringe the rights of the brand owner, then the brand owner will still be able to enforce the rights against the photographer, notwithstanding any new copyright.