copyright question

nomav6

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I have some ppl that want to buy some 8X10's from me, I've never had any of my stuff copyright'ed and I know nothing about the process of it, but my question is, should I copyright the photos before I sale them?
 

Big Mike

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I'm not a lawyer and details vary with location....that being said...

By clicking the shutter, you have "copy right'ed" your image. You own the rights to the image.

If you are selling prints of your image, you are not necessarily selling the rights to that image. It would be illegal for them to make copies or use the image commercially.

If they wanted to use the image, you could sell them the rights to the image. It could be limited usage; for one year, for a calendar, for an ad campaign etc. Or it could be all the rights from now on.

If you are in the USA, I believe that you can register your images with some government office...which gives you more leverage if you ever had to enforce your rights to your images...but you still own the rights if you don't register.
 

darich

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Like Big Mike said by simply taking the shot you own the copyright.

Here in the UK I've never heard of any "company" holding a disc of your images for a fee just to prove you own the copyright. You could argue all it means is you have a copy of the shot on the CD.

The cynic in me says that's a company taking advantage of people who aren't sure of something. But then the law is different in the US.

I'd suggest keeping a copy of the original as printed and sold and could then be reproduced exactly if required. The only advantage i can see with sending images to a company would be that you have a copy away from your computer/home/office in case of any mishaps.
 

zedin

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This is probably also another reason to shoot in RAW. If there is ever a question of who owns the image then if you have the RAW file it is pretty clear. If you shot just jpg there might be room to debate since both parties would have the jpg.
 

kelox

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darich said:
Like Big Mike said by simply taking the shot you own the copyright.

Here in the UK I've never heard of any "company" holding a disc of your images for a fee just to prove you own the copyright. You could argue all it means is you have a copy of the shot on the CD.

The cynic in me says that's a company taking advantage of people who aren't sure of something. But then the law is different in the US.

I'd suggest keeping a copy of the original as printed and sold and could then be reproduced exactly if required. The only advantage i can see with sending images to a company would be that you have a copy away from your computer/home/office in case of any mishaps.
Well I would be inclined to disagree with you on this one. The 'company" is a government agency that is there just for that purpose. They are not just holding a disc of your images for a fee, they are protecting your rights as the owner of the image. If you want to think that it just means you have copy of the shot on cd, then why even argue the shot is yours?

Along with them "holding" your cd of images, there are certain rights that come with that. You are getting more than just a storage place for your cd.

You're right in that you may be a bit of a cynic, but I don't know you, I can only ask that you check the site out then let me know what you think. I'm sure there is an agency very much like this in the UK.
 

kelox

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nomav6 said:
thanks, thats pretty much what I was looking for :)
Glad to be of some help. Check out all the information, it can be a bit confusing, esp. when trying to determine where you fall in the order of things. If you have any questions, call the 800 number, they are actually pleasant.
 

Aoide

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Both responses to copyright are correct. As soon as you take the picture you become the copyright holder. You don't have to do anything else to be able to enforce your copyright. If you want to file with the US copyright office then you use the link that Kelox gave you. But even if you don't file with the government you are the copyright holder.
 

dsp921

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Aoide said:
Both responses to copyright are correct. As soon as you take the picture you become the copyright holder. You don't have to do anything else to be able to enforce your copyright. If you want to file with the US copyright office then you use the link that Kelox gave you. But even if you don't file with the government you are the copyright holder.

True you don't have to register to hold the copyright, but I believe that you have to actually register in order to file a claim should you need to. Also, registering prior to an unauthorized use of your image would increase the amount awarded in a suit. If you are registered before you need to file a claim you can get attorney fees & statutory damages, if not you will only be able to file for actual damage/lost profits. This is for US origin images. No clue how it works elsewhere.
 
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nomav6

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I knew that as soon as I took it I owned it, but I wanted to make sure that I had proof somewhere on file too, thanks guys for all the help :)
 

BernieSC

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Just get a permanant stamp made and stamp the back of the photo. The thing is you want to prevent someone from copying your photos. Now if you sell someone a photo and they have a scanner and a decent printer they can copy that photo all day long and give it or sell it to their friends if they want. And you will never know.

It doesn't matter, with the technology out there today people can copy photos if they want no matter what you do to prevent it. The only thing you could hope for is by putting a copyright on the back they could not sell the photo for publication or something like that.
 

Big Mike

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Or charge enough for the print, that you won't care what they do with it. :D
 

xion

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With film/ slides it is very easy to prove who shot the picture. I am a bit unclear how it works with Digital images. Lets say you took a jpeg picture (lets say with a point an shoot) and you like the picture so much, you just send it over to your friend, who then distributes it. Someone else either sells it or wins an photo contest. How do you prove that you shot the picture, apart from always shooting in RAW and copyrighting it.
 

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