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  1. #1
    Spamminator Grandpaw's Avatar
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    How do I copyright my photos

    After seeing jetrim's problem it made me do a search on the forums to see how I would copyright my photos. I did not find my answer and I didn't want to hijack jetrim's thread so could we discuss how and where this could be done? I am sure there are many members and visitors that could use this information, Jeff
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    All images posted by me anywhere are Copyrighted by Federal Law and may not be copied or used in ANY FORM without my personal written permission. Jeff Impey
    "I decided years ago I was only going to have two types of days... Very Good Days or just Plain Good Days I just refuse to have Bad Ones!!! :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

  2. #2
    Learning more with every "click" mjs1973's Avatar
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    Re: How do I copyright my photos

    When you say copyright are you talking about registering your photos with the copyright office or simply adding something like a copyright watermark to the photos you post?

    If you want to register your copyright you can go to www.copyright.gov You should find all the info you need there. I have never registered my photos but from what I have heard, it's not too difficult. I believe you can register your copyright online, but you still have to send in an actual copy of your photos. This can be done on a CD or DVD and you can register as many as you want all for $35.

    If you want to add a watermark to your photos check out this thread.

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  3. #3
    Senior Member jetrim's Avatar
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    Re: How do I copyright my photos

    As Mike stated, this is a pretty straightforward process as far as registering with the copyright office. What I did was to read the site, make 800px resizes of all the shots taken that day and add them to a zip file named "Dania Beach photo shoot". I filled out the form selecting "Work of visual arts" and listed "Dania Beach photo shoot" as "title of work being registered" and then listed the file names of each of the 325 shots in the zip folder, one at a time as "contents title". Mind numbingly tedious, but not difficult. After that you put in information about yourself, your intended heirs, other assignees you may want to add, etc. Then you pay, then you upload the works to be copyrighted.

    I could have just copyrighted the one image, but figured to be safe I might as well do the entire batch.

  4. #4
    Spamminator Grandpaw's Avatar
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    Re: How do I copyright my photos

    Thanks for the information. I would like to copyright my photos so they remain mine and not get away from me, Jeff
    Check out my website Here
    My Nikon D7000 Tips thread is HERE

    All images posted by me anywhere are Copyrighted by Federal Law and may not be copied or used in ANY FORM without my personal written permission. Jeff Impey
    "I decided years ago I was only going to have two types of days... Very Good Days or just Plain Good Days I just refuse to have Bad Ones!!! :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

  5. #5
    Senior Member OldClicker's Avatar
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    Re: How do I copyright my photos

    My understanding: To be clear, you own the copyright of any photo that you are the author of (unless you did it for someone else as 'work for hire' - then the employer owns the copyright) - no registration is required. Registration does, however, provide evidence that you own the copyright and would probably be required to make your case if it goes to court. Registering after you see someone else using your photo is acceptable, but may lessen what you can get from a court settlement. TF
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  6. #6
    Senior Member jetrim's Avatar
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    Re: How do I copyright my photos

    As Terry said, everything you've shot so far is your own intellectual property and is already covered by copyright law. However, by registering with the copyright office, it buys you several important options that would not be on the table otherwise. First, no need for "discovery" you can already prove it's yours by virtue of the registration certificate they mail you. Next, you can recover attorney fees - very attractive to any lawyer you might wish to hire. Finally, infringement becomes a Federal offense rather than a State offense which allows the case to be heard in Federal Court and also entitles you to Federal Statutory Damages which if I recall correctly are in the neighborhood of $125,000 to $150,000 per infringement. In my case, I can currently demonstrate 4 separate instances, so that's a fairly compelling argument for them to do the right thing early. From the copyright attorney I spoke with yesterday and the two pro's who've had this happen to them, there really isn't any down side to filing AFTER you discover the infringement, but you do only have 90 days to do so, and if you let that clock wind down to the the end there's a $760.00 fee for express processing.

  7. #7
    Spamminator Grandpaw's Avatar
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    Re: How do I copyright my photos

    Thanks oldclicker and jetrim for the information. This is something II will have to investigate further in the future. Thanks again for you taking the time to reply to my post, it was very helpful information, Jeff
    Check out my website Here
    My Nikon D7000 Tips thread is HERE

    All images posted by me anywhere are Copyrighted by Federal Law and may not be copied or used in ANY FORM without my personal written permission. Jeff Impey
    "I decided years ago I was only going to have two types of days... Very Good Days or just Plain Good Days I just refuse to have Bad Ones!!! :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

  8. #8
    Member vaughn bobbitt's Avatar
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    Re: How do I copyright my photos

    In the 70's we were told to mail it to our self with a description that proves you took the photo
    "We do not use the full scope of photographic technique until
    we get down to it in the darkroom. That is where our pictures
    come to life."

    OTTO ROMAN CROY/



    Vaughn

  9. #9
    Captain of the Ship Photo-John's Avatar
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    Re: How do I copyright my photos

    Quote Originally Posted by vaughn bobbitt
    In the 70's we were told to mail it to our self with a description that proves you took the photo
    You can still do that - with a CD, even. You left out one detail, though - don't open the envelope. If it's beedn opened, anything could be put in it and it doesn't prove anything. So it must remain sealed.

    Using the online form to register with the copyright office is your best protection - in the US.
    Photo-John

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  10. #10
    Pentax Forum Moderator
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    Re: How do I copyright my photos

    According to what I have read, and learned in a seminar, there are 2 ways to submit your works to the copyright office. You can either do it "individually" or put everything on a disk and submit the disk. However, and you may want to double check this, if you have "published" a photo in anyway, including the internet, social networks, books, newspapers, etc., you can't submit it to the Copyright Office. That is my understanding. Otherwise, it's fairly simple and of course the cheapest way is by disk. Whatever fits, gets copyrighted.

    The main problem with the "Poor Mans Copyright" (mailing it to yourself) is that you can't recover any damages. Basically all you can do is get a Cease and Desist Order. However, once you have that, if they continue to use the image(s), then you can pursue to the full extent of the law.

    Finally, as all have mentioned, the moment you take your photo, paint your picture, create your sculpture, write your book, etc...it IS copyrighted. After that it becomes a matter of proving that you are the owner and whether you can collect damages.

    Here is a link to the copyright office FAQ: http://www.copyright.gov/faq.html

    Hope this helps.
    Ken


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  11. #11
    Member PWhite214's Avatar
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    Re: How do I copyright my photos

    The following is quoted from the U.S. Copyright Office FAQ online @http://www.copyright.gov/help/faq/faq-general.html#what


    I’ve heard about a “poor man’s copyright.” What is it?
    The practice of sending a copy of your own work to yourself is sometimes called a “poor man’s copyright.” There is no provision in the copyright law regarding any such type of protection, and it is not a substitute for registration.


    Phil

  12. #12
    KmH
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    Re: How do I copyright my photos

    Some points for clarification regarding copyright in the USA.

    Copyright is owned from the moment an image is recorded in a tangible medium. For digital photography, that is when the image is recorded on the memory card.

    The author/creator of that work owns the copyright for the rest of their life, plus 70 years so it can be passed down to any heirs.

    Copyright is a legal monopoly and is actually a bundle of rights that rights can be licensed piecemeal, if desired.

    Copyright is federal law, so infringement actions are heard only in federal court. Infringement actions filed that do not pertain to registered copyrights will likely be dismissed from the get go for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.

    Suit can be filed for the recovery of actual or statutory damages. There are limitations on the circumstances that allow for seeking statutory damages. There is only a 3 month window. There is also a statute of limitations and which circuit court an action is filed in, matters.

    Published and unpublished photos must be registered separately. By mail up to 750 photos of the same type, like un-published can be registered on the same application and the cist is $40. You can register online, for $35, as many photos as you can upload in 60 minutes.

    Internationally, 140 countries have signed the Berne Convention. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berne_C...Artistic_Works
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  13. #13
    Senior Member Medley's Avatar
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    Re: How do I copyright my photos

    Regarding mailing items to yourself:

    I was a lanlord for a number of years. Certain aspects required mailing items to tenants. The wat the law was written, we weren't allowed to do anything which prevented the mail from reaching the tenant, which precluded sending items via registered mail, etc.

    Long story short, it turns out you can go to the Post Office, and ask for something called a Certificate of Mailing. It amounts to a statement by the Postmaster that a specific piece of mail was handled on a specific day and time. In Oregon, it sufficed as legal proof that I mailed, say, a 72-hour notice on a certain day. I would simply taje the letter to the window and ask for the certificate. As I recall, postage and fee for the certificate came to less than $2.00.

    Cheap insurance, if you decide to go that route.
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  14. #14
    KmH
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    Re: How do I copyright my photos

    I’ve heard about a “poor man’s copyright.” What is it?

    The practice of sending a copy of your own work to yourself is sometimes called a “poor man’s copyright.” There is no provision in the copyright law regarding any such type of protection, and it is not a substitute for registration.
    http://www.copyright.gov/help/faq/fa...l.html#poorman
    Keith

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