Copyrighting photographs..

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by BmDubb, Oct 8, 2009.

  1. BmDubb

    BmDubb TPF Noob!

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    Hello,
    As I am an artist, and have actually had flash art, and paintings stolen... I was wondering how do you go about getting your photographs copyrighted? I plan on putting up a website to showcase my photographs soon, and I want them to be copyrighted so they won't be " stolen "...Just curious how to do it.. How long it takes.. and how much it costs ( Lets, say... per photo? )
     
  2. ErectedGryphon

    ErectedGryphon TPF Noob!

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  3. Felix0890

    Felix0890 TPF Noob!

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    I was about to ask this. Thanks for posting and thanks Gryph for linking that.
     
  4. epp_b

    epp_b No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Copyright is an "opt-out" process, meaning that you don't need to register anything (you can if you choose, but it's optional). When you create a piece of art, it is "automatically" copyrighted.
     
  5. Actor

    Actor TPF Noob!

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    The problem being...

    1. You must be able to prove that you created it.
    2. You must be able to prove when you created it.
     
  6. fiveoboy01

    fiveoboy01 TPF Noob!

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    Some cameras have the ability to embed that info into the photo. I know mine does, not sure about lower end models. EXIF always shows the date taken, and if you used a unique file prefix in camera(again, I know mine can do this, not sure on others) then it wouldn't be difficult to show that you took the picture.
     
  7. musicaleCA

    musicaleCA TPF Noob!

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    Unfortunately, EXIF data is easily forged, with a minimum of know-how. Any good defence lawyer will blow a hole in that very quickly. The only hope would be having the RAW file on-hand (you produce the RAW file, they can't; that's pretty solid proof that the image is yours). The best way to make a case is to have registered your copyright in advance. Copyright registration is the most sure-fire way to win a case regarding copyright violation. It won't do squat to prevent your images from being stolen, of course.

    File names are even more flimsy as evidence than EXIF data.
     
  8. UUilliam

    UUilliam TPF Noob!

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    Short answer:
    Everything created is auto-Copyright to author for life+70 years
    Companies pay for copyright as it helps proove their ownership in a court case.

    Longer answer:

    To copyright (and have sufficient proof that you own the document)
    place the original / a copy on a Disc, Paper, Card or w/e your output may be or however is easiest to hold it!

    Go to a post office, Ask to get a date stamped onto it and the offical post office stamp, Send it to yourself, Never open the package... Ever until a court case arises
    if such case arises, re-send it to yourself afterwards WITH THE ORIGINAL ENVELOPE INSIDE THE PACKAGE TOO!
     
  9. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Sorry, thats Internet Urban Legend and not true. Check out the Bourne Convention.

    In the USA visit U.S. Copyright Office
    In the USA, if the copyright for your image is not registered with the copyright office, you can not sue for copyright infringement.
     
  10. burstintoflame81

    burstintoflame81 TPF Noob!

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    The "Poor mans copyright" ( sending it to yourself ) will not hold up in court. Copyright is owned by you from the moment you create a picture. "Copyrighting" your pictures, is actually registering the copyright with the copyright office. I believe it goes through the library of congress. You will need this registration if you wish to litigate for infringement. It basically places the burden of proof on the infringer.I have song lyrics copyrighted, but have yet to copyright photos, but most of the same applies. ( It is a different form that you fill out though I believe ). It usually takes 6 months to get the form back if I remember correctly. However, its usually retroactive from the date they recieve it. So if they get it next week, your copyright registration starts on that date and not the date that they finish processing it and send you your information. It costs $35 but you can register many pictures together as a group as long as they are from the same year. ( I registered my songs as a collection as well becase it was cheaper that way ). It doesn't matter if you don't intend to market them that way, atleast you have the proof that you took the picture.
     
  11. burstintoflame81

    burstintoflame81 TPF Noob!

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    Also, I would recommend registering the RAW file and not your photoshopped to death JPEG or TIFF. That way you will have the bare file and any variation of it on file( black and white, tinted, saturated, colors reversed, sepia, etc etc. ) will be easily covered. Some people wonder with all the digital tools now, if they change it enough they can make people think its different, but with the Raw file you have all of the original photo information which in my opinion makes it harder for someone to do that without having the RAW version of the file. Or maybe I am just super paranoid :)
     
  12. musicaleCA

    musicaleCA TPF Noob!

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    I'm pretty sure you can register your copyrights online.

    The legal difference between registered and unregistered images isn't whether or not you can sue. You can always litigate against infringement. The difference in the states is whether or not you can sue for punitive damages as well. If you don't have your copyright registered, you can only claim actual/real damages.

    Since in the Canadian legal system, you can only claim actual/real damages regardless, this is mostly a non-issue.
     

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