Copyright FAQ in Photography

Copyright FAQ in photography

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This section provides a brief and general answers to frequently asked questions about copyright. The law is always changing rapidly and it varies in detail between countries. You should always check for new changes. These are the newest ones I found to help out for now.

What is copyright

 Copyright is a form of protection grounded in the U.S. Constitution and granted by law for original works of authorship fixed in a tangible medium of expression. Copyright covers both published and unpublished works. (Source). Copyright Is a property right. Under the federal Copyright Act of 1976, photographers are protected by copyright  from the moment of creation. According to the U.S. Copyright Office, the owner of the “work” is generally the photographer or, in some situations the employee of a photographer. (source sited)

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How you can copyright your work

There are four simple steps you can take to help ensure your work is protected  

  1. Ensure you properly mark your work. A correctly worded notice will deter infringement, as well as it states that the work is protected.....etc. Read how I write mine but as metadata again is important as well.

  2. Register your work. I haven’t and don’t intend to until I grow my photography business.

  3. You need to keep all supporting evidence.

  4. Agreement between co-authors

  5. And agreements with your clients is very important to make sure you keep a filing system of your complete clients agreement before you start the session. Make it as detailed as possible.

How do you put in the copyright symbol

You take the options key and hit the “g” and that’s the secret to getting that symbol easy peasy! Note: I’m using a MacBook but I’m sure it’s universal.  

I just bought another canon well my mom did for my birthday and in the settings on the canon EOS t6 under the menu settings it’s own built in sections to fill out copyrights. Unfortunately it’s not long enough to say details and that’s why you need metadata a previous post you should read. Some cameras have that feature and others don't. It's always good to input metadata, read more about it. 

How much does copyright cost

From my understanding you don’t necessarily need to pay for it because it’s protected in the previous answers I listed. But to tell you what I’ve discovered at the you can create an account (no charge for that). Log in and start a new “claim” which is a new copyright application. Fill out the form online between 9-12 screens of information. Pay the government filing fee of $35 or $55. 

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Can you preserve the copyright of my images on the web

In general, you do not lose copyright when you place your images on the web, but you may lose control of them because you can't control who accesses your website. If a service provider demands that you assign copyright to it as part of its terms of service, it is advisable to decline and take your business elsewhere. Some of these places you can sell your photos, make sure you read the details before signing any agreement. If a service provider demands you assign copyright to it as a part of its terms of service, it is advisable to decline and take your business elsewhere. You might find that although you lose copyright, you are still responsible for the image should someone make a claim against you if they take offensive at your image.

What is the creative commons

This is a type of license that is designed to allow a flexible range of protections and freedom for authors, artists, and educators. The intention is to allow dissemination of intellectual property while protecting the creators from abuse and exploitation. Works can be used, provided the author is credited, the use is not for commercial purposes, and no derivative works are made. This allows a widespread of sharing creative and other works without losing the copyrights. There are some images that are free. 

What is a watermark

It is information, such as a copyright notice or your name and address that is incorporated into an image file. The watermark is usually visible but may be designed to be invisible. In either case, watermarks are designed so they cannot be removed without a great deal of image manipulation or damaging the image itself. Again read more on using metadata.

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