Photography – Copyright Protection

Many of you out there are photographers and we always have concerns about our photos. We post all over the internet in efforts to grow as photographers. But at what cost? How many of you have found your image stolen and used without permission? I bet most of you!

I recently purchased the book… Photographer’s Survival Manual: A Legal Guide for Artists in the Digital Age. If you are serious about your photography…it is a must own! On Amazon..its $14.07. It is an easy read and the author takes you through step by step how to register your photos with the US government.

The difference from someone stealing your without copyright might be a pay out if you are lucky of $100-$2000. If copyrighted and a lawyer is involved…pay out might be six figures!!! (of course values may vary depending on the usage) So why not copyright your photos?? I followed the instructions and it took me about 30 minutes and tested out 300 HDR’s. Cost: $35.00!!! Just yesterday after a month or so…I recvd my official document!!!

My pics are now officially copyrighted. Now you have to decide what is best for you. I know there are many well known photographers that state creative commons is a great solution. I tried it and it was not for me. I prefer to protect my IP. My opinion is that most all businesses protect their IP with copyright…why shouldn’t all photographers? Why is it the “in” thing to be creative commons? There are tons of photographers out there. Why should we not protect our business? Read the book and you can decide what works for you. This is just my opinion. You may react differently. Have fun!

11 comments on “Photography – Copyright Protection

  1. c. pardue says:

    In a previous comment on the hamburger place I noted that I had posted one of you photos on my blog and credited and referred to your site places2explore. Do you not want posts of your work even if it refers to your web site?

  2. I agree. I have copyrighted every photo I have ever taken. Not only do I embed a copyright into the metadata, but I officially copyright with the government too. Well worth the effort…

  3. CP – posts with credit are no problem! =))) Post away!! Pete

  4. Dawn,
    I agree! I have a copyright in my MData as well. And now will begin to copyright every photo. Better to be safe than sorry!! =))

  5. I’m really considering doing the same as I’ve had one incident that would’ve justified the cost. But one thing that I’m not following is how do you copyright the images you post a daily basis? do I have to file every image? do you have to continuously update your list? If I’m asking too much, then please ignore 🙂

  6. 2R – no problem! You can copyright photos at any time. The copyright goes into effect as soon as you send it in. But if you had posted a photo a year ago and you copyrighted it today…you can only go after someone who took it the day of and after the copyright. I have begun to only post new photos in small version with a watermark. I save up and try to copyright as soon as possible. Any real solid photos do not get published until they are copyrighted.

    Best way to copyright is in batches. It is $35 each time…so try to target 100+ photos…but then again it is your choice! =) The book will give you all the scoops! Good luck!

  7. Wayne Frost says:

    Good decision, Pete. I have a regular routine where I periodically batch up my photos and submit a copyright registration. I stopped publishing any of my images in my blog, my SmugMug galleries or anywhere else until AFTER I have submitted a copyright registration. I’ve been doing this for the past year, I never, ever, publish before copyright registration. It means though that if I want to be able to steadily release new posts to my blog or new images to my galleries, I have to plan ahead. I believe the hassle is worth the added benefit that I am then guaranteed STATUTORY damages if I am infringed.

    I have very strong feelings about non artists appropriating others’ works, and in my opinion creative commons does nothing to protect my intellectual property, but instead gives “cover” to individuals who don’t tive a second thought to their theft of your work. I don’t care what Trey Ratcliff says about this, his business model is an anomaly and he can love Creative Commons all the way to the bank, but CC is not for me.

  8. Bcn says:

    Hi Pete,

    I just saw your article about copyright protection of your photos. I have pinned a lot of your photos in Pinterest. I have given credits for the same and all the photos are directly linked to your website If you are hot happy with this, I am willing to take all your photos off from Pinterest, which I have pinned. Please do reply. You can find your pictures at my following boards in Pinterest.

    I would also like to thank you for your excellent pictures. They have always been great.



  9. Bcn says:

    Pete, Thanks for the quick reply and nice to know that you do not have any problem with your pictures being pinned on Pinterest. A big thanks once again and looking forward to see more and more of your excellent photography in the future.


  10. BCN, will do! Thanks for visiting! =) Pete

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