I Will Steal Your Photos


Troll Extraordinaire
Mar 15, 2005
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San Francisco
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
Seriously. I will steal them. I might ask, I might not. Is there anything you can do about it? Sure. It'll cost you 30 bucks. I'm only being partly facetious here. Despite my conscience, I sometime will, in fact, steal your photos. Why? Because I can. Simple as that.

Lets be honest here. Most of you are blatantly lying on your websites. I'm guilty of it too. You put a line of text at the bottom of your page. It looks something like "© 2006 Johnny Photographer." Or maybe, "All photos on this website subject to U.S. Copyright." Not really. Your photos are, technically, protected under U.S. copyright law. But for all useful purposes, they are not. Here, from the U.S. Copyright Office website:

Do I have to register with your office to be protected?
No. In general, registration is voluntary. Copyright exists from the moment the work is created. You will have to register, however, if you wish to bring a lawsuit for infringement of a U.S. work.

Pretty self-explanatory, I think. I'd bet that out of every individual who writes a copyright notice on their websites, 1% or fewer have actually registered their work with the copyright office. I'm not really supposed to steal your photos. But if you haven't registered them, there's really not a lot you can do about it. Moral of the story? If you're really serious about protecting your work, register it.
ok gess who on here has registraded and hwo hasent
Just one point here... Go ahead and steal them... Then when found out, a person can have the DOJ come down on top of you....

But, thats just a thought..
So this type of topic came up in my photography class just the other day. So the question became "Where does the copyright symbol go on your photo?". Well the obvious answer is the front, but where is that stated? I've searched many different locations and can't find where you are suppose to place the symbol. If anybody knows for sure and has a link to a site that has directions, I would be very grateful for your help.
Soocom1 said:
Just one point here... Go ahead and steal them... Then when found out, a person can have the DOJ come down on top of you....

But, thats just a thought..

Only if the photo is actually registered. My point here is that the assumption that unregistered photos are protected is deceptive. They may be recognized as copyrighted by the artist, and by the USCO (u.s. copyright office). But when push comes to shove, it's essentially useless. Like their website says, your images don't have any "protected" standing in court unless they're registered. That applies to criminal court as well. The DOJ can't prosecute a theft charge for theft of an unregistered photo.
"Seriously. I will steal them."

I make prints solely for my own pleasure and hang them on the interior walls of my home.

I [and, I'm sure, the local constabulary,] would be most interested in knowing how you intend to steal them.
If your wording is correct, then is the (C) symbol a mark of registration or of copyright? I would assume it's a mark of copyright, which you've quoted as being in effect once the work is created. That being the case nobody is in the wrong by using this mark without registering their copyright.

You could always register after someone has stolen the work, assuming you can prove it's your work. Then bring your lawsuit.

The copyright exists when you click the shutter. Or perhaps we're to beleive that all pro photographers register every shot they take? Yeah, er, OK.
My point isn't that people are stupid for putting the copyright symbol there.

It's just that there's no legal recourse for copyright infringement unless you register them. Straight from the horse's mouth.
I'll accept that there may be no legal recourse in the US unless the images are registered, but a $30-50 registration / filing fee would be the least of your costs if you were taking any legal action, and the first thing your lawyer would tell you to do. What you're telling me is taking legal action costs money?

I was responding in the main to "Lets be honest here. Most of you are blatantly lying on your websites."

I think it's fine that you wanted to point out to people that registration of images is required in order to take legal action. (Doesn't stop you calling the person / organisation involved and explaining that you own the copyright and offering to sell them use rights if they don't want to stop infringing upon your rights). I'm not trying to start a flame war, and I hope I haven't caused offense, but when I read your post it just smacked of scaremongering and to certain extent particularly in relation to the quote above questionable opinion presented as fact.
does it matter whether you have the original negative/file or no? (outside of trial/outside of making more copies)

also, could you not download a picture, register that picture with the copyright office then sue the photographer you stole it from?
The negative would help you in proving that the image was yours.

For your second question, it could happen, but would be a dangerous game. There's a good chance that the real photographer could produce the RAW files or negatives, along with other shots of the subject that didn't make it to the website, along with the model release and contract or whatever, a statement from the makeup artist, receipt for studio hire, whatever. If the real photographer cannot produce anything at all to prove that the image belongs to them then there would be trouble.

In reality the question isn't all that different to getting a key cut for someones car and claiming it was yours. 99.99 times out of 100 There's likely to be far more to back up their claim to the car.
Well if someone REALLY wanted your photos, nothing's gonna stop them. Watermarks can be removed, printscreen, etc.
and most images on people's websites are resized so you couldnt do squat with them anyway...unless you planned on calling them your own. if you do register, will that cover future work, or just past work?

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