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#1 Jeff VanderWeide

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 06:49 PM

So I have a question regarding copyright protection. I have a watermark set for LR5, well like five of them but is this actually enough for copyright or do you have to register every photo? Or do you copyright the watermark. Sorry if this is a noob question, I am a noob.  :huh:

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I like the fact that pictures are worth a thousand words, its makes me a speed reader.

#2 richocampo


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Posted 17 September 2013 - 07:11 PM

I think everybody have that problem.   In my case, the copyright settings are already in my camera and every picture have my data in it.  For post processing, I'm using photoshop, I have a custom brush to set the copyright everywhere in the picture just like google earth and you zoom in the maximum pixel you can still read my name on it.  Not full-proof protection.  With so much power with photoshop they can just remove that instantly.  but then again it's a way of marketing too for yourself.  

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#3 Jasón Nargiz

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Posted 19 September 2013 - 06:41 PM

From what I have read on the topic, any photo you make is automatically copyrighted to you. Unless you were taking the photos as a work-for-hire, which means you were taking photographs for your employer. You can register your photos with the Library of Congress, but you will have to pay a fee. By registering it protects your photos from copyright infringement by allowing you to seek up to $150,000 per infringement. Otherwise it is harder to pursue legal action.


You can read more about it here, which is where I gleaned most of the information from: http://www.jmg-galle...my-photography/


This is the official site: http://www.copyright.gov

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#4 Red8Rain



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Posted 25 September 2013 - 06:52 PM

in one of my law classes, back in the days of college, the instructor said if you want free copyright, mail a copy of it to yourself with the PO timestamping it, you can use that in a court.

#5 Jeff VanderWeide

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Posted 27 September 2013 - 06:18 PM

I had heard that before Red but it must be sealed so don't open it! :)

I like the fact that pictures are worth a thousand words, its makes me a speed reader.

#6 David Thorman

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Posted 28 September 2013 - 03:07 AM

you may find the same with email

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Only 6700 to go till I get the good one then :wacko:

#7 Alyson Brimecombe

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 08:31 AM

In Australian Law, copyright belongs to the photographer, unless it was a commissioned job, and it then needs to be part of the contract that copyright REVERTS to the photographer. The word 'revert' is very, very specific within the contractual wording. 

Every client signs a contract of services with me, the first clause covers the fact that copyright reverts to me, but the rights they get are limited to private and personal use of the images only. If you aren't using a contract in your jobs, you are doing yourself a disservice. All you need to do to retain copyright is to use a contract and have it stipulated that it reverts to you. You don't need to to any other lengths other than that.  

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#8 mickthedigger



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Posted 15 November 2013 - 06:51 AM

Hi Alyson, Have you got a base version of your contract? Just wondering how I would set it up so legal fees arent huge.



#9 CanonSniper



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Posted 18 June 2016 - 11:20 PM

Unless doing work for hire, and I believe work for hire does indeed involve some form of contract, any and all images you take are automatically yours. If you are posting online, I would definitely not use full-res versions, use right-click protection, and watermarking. I don't know what SquareSpace offers as far as right-click protection goes and other image related security, but Smugmug not only gives you the ability to enable right-click protection, but it can automatically watermark your images, and it lets you upload a full-res photo to use for printing purposes while allowing you to choose smaller display sizes.

Someone also mentioned putting copyright info in the picture via the camera. As far as I know, most, if not all, pro-end cameras allow you to do this in their menu. Whatever info you put in is added to the exif/meta data of the image file. A lot of labs won't ever see that, but I would think it would go a long way toward proving infringement in court. I would also recommend shooting raw. Not only does a raw file give you unparalleled post-processing abilities, but it is the unaltered original that you and you only own. If you pair that with copyright exif/meta data, you should have a very strong case, even without registering your image. You may not be awarded the largest some of money, but it would be hard for anyone to argue that you don't own the image.

Releases: for those who want to give their clients the files for them to print themselves.
There is no set form a release has to take. It is merely a statement that you are the owner/author of the images in question and that you have given permission for someone to do something with them, such as print them. I highly recommend stipulating that it is for personal use only, and that if they post them that they give you credit in some way. You should also be as specific as possible about which photos you are talking about. Give a brief description of the images, include a thumbnail print that can be referenced. I like to use lightscribe discs that I put my logo on, along with a title that I refer to in my release. I created a template with places that say "title of disc here" and "name of client here." Then I do a find and replace to quickly put in the proper information. This gives a nice, professional look, while referring to something that is difficult for someone to fake. I also put a pdf of my release on the disc, and I use the security feature when saving it as a pdf to prevent anyone from editing the pd f, or copying any part of it, such as my logo. While that may be a bit of overkill for me, I'm certain there are people out there for whom it would not be.

Lastly, consider joining a photography organization. Most of them in part are like unions, they help look out for your interests and can help you prevent and deal with copyright infringement. Every now and then they may pay for a lawyer to come by and help the whole group with the wording of your release statements, explain the differences between the words release and licence (which I could use myself), explain the procedure for filling for copyright infringement, and so on. They can also help you file for infringement if it actually happens, and help with court and lawyer fees. Which is part of why you pay a membership fee. They do other nice things, like help you find locations to use for a shoot, provide classes you can take, group outings, let you know about competitions and conventions, possibly even helping you afford to go to a convention using a group rate. But even without all that, the business and legal help they can provide is worth it for many of us.

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