The Copy right Law

Does it Protect You?

One of the benefits
of producing your stock photos
for the editorial field
as opposed to the commercial field)
is that it’s rare that you’ll ever hear
of a “stolen photo"
by a magazine or book photo editor.

Photobuyers in the editorial field are a group of professionals who perform photo research and purchase either as staff members of publishing houses or as freelancers.

It’s a tight community, and “nicking” photos is not a practice that is condoned – nor would it come with any monetary reward or advantage.

In the advertising world, however, yes, the possibility of theft does exist. But again, not in the fraternity of photobuyers in the editorial field.

So how does the Copyright Law protect you?

According to the Copyright law: Your copyright protection comes automatically when an original work of authorship (your photo) is fixed in a tangible medium of expression (i.e. you click the shutter on your camera).

That's it. By clicking your camera shutter, you have gained copyright on the picture you just made.

Registration of your photo with the Copyright Office is optional (but you do have to register a photo before you file an infringement suit).

The use of a copyright notice © is optional for photos distributed after March 1, 1989. However, if you feel safer marking you photos with a copyright notice, it can take any of these three forms:

* © followed by a date and name.

* "Copyright" followed by a date and name.

* "Copr." followed by a date and name.

Although the Berne Convention no longer requires that a copyright notice appears on or in your photograph to be fully protected, here at PhotoSource International we recommend that you mark your images with a copyright notice in the photo metadata available to you. If you choose to use an alt tag to display your copyright notices, check Google to learn different opinions on this practice.

Copyright for your photos is free.

As an editorial stock photographer you are going to find much more enjoyment when you are photographing subject matter that you like to take. Learn more about how to sell those pictures at PhotoSource International and the PhotoSourceBANK, Pine Lake Farm, 1910 35th Road, Osceola, WI 54020 USA. Rohn Engh is director of and publisher of PhotoStockNotes. E-mail: info@photosource.com Fax: 1 715 248 3800; www.photosource.com

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