Best way to be nice and make sure your pictures aren’t stolen

Michael Clark

Now we see through a glass, darkly...
Apr 5, 2016
575
246
I believe that in the U.S. you must make some effort to claim a copyright. That does not mean you have to formally apply for the copyright, but I believe you have to at least do something to indicate you intend to copyright an image. That can be something as simple as writing a copyright message in the EXIF.
Nope. If you took a photo and it wasn't under terms of a contract that assigned the rights to someone else, you own the copyright to that image.

If you want to sue for more than actual damages when someone violates that copyright, it needs to be registered with the U.S. Copyright office within 90 days of first publication or before the copyright violation occurred, whichever is later. If you haven't registered the copyright you can't sue for punitive damages, only actual damages.
 

unfocused

EOS 5D SR
Nope. If you took a photo and it wasn't under terms of a contract that assigned the rights to someone else, you own the copyright to that image...
Thanks. Your comment led me to do a bit of research and you are correct. Things have changed since my college course in media and the law and it appears that it is true that original works are now protected by copyright from the moment of creation. Also correct that without registration, you can't get more than actual damages, which would be hard to prove in most cases.
 

AlanF

5DSR
Aug 16, 2012
5,035
1,821
Thanks. Your comment led me to do a bit of research and you are correct. Things have changed since my college course in media and the law and it appears that it is true that original works are now protected by copyright from the moment of creation. Also correct that without registration, you can't get more than actual damages, which would be hard to prove in most cases.
You must have been in college some years ago as the US copyright law dates to 1976.
 

unfocused

EOS 5D SR
You must have been in college some years ago as the US copyright law dates to 1976.
Graduated college 1975. But also:
U.S. Copyright Office Circular 1 Copyright Basics said:
Applying a copyright notice to a work has not been required since March 1, 1989...
Which is the provision that I was unaware of.
 
Last edited:
Reactions: Michael Clark