I have read stories about images being stolen and re-posted as the thief’s work. And maybe thief is too harsh of a word to use for most, but when someone takes credit for work he or she did not produce, that is stealing. With today’s social media winning as the preferred method to advertise in, a photographer must protect his intellectual property. I have found most people un-knowingly, and I use un-knowingly very lightly, copy images found on social media and alter, crop, composite, etc the image and re-post as their own work. I even had the question asked to me “how do I know if the image belongs to someone else”. Well it is probably a good bet if you did not take the image, it does indeed belong to someone else. What about public domain, you ask? All work created by the U.S. Government does fall into the category public domain and can be used without reprecussion. Likewise according to the library of congress ”the term of copyright for a particular work depends on several factors, including whether it has been published, and, if so, the date of first publication. As a general rule, for works created after January 1, 1978, copyright protection lasts for the life of the author plus an additional 70 years. After that time it becomes part of the public domain. But getting back to the main point, “when in doubt, ask permission or do your homework to confirm you are not un-knowingly infringing on someone’s copyright.
A good resource for help explaining copyright issues is www.thecopyrightzone.com. Edward C. Greenberg and Jack Reznicki authored the book “Photographer’s Survival Manual, A Legal Guide for Artists in the Digital Age”. I have read through this book several times and even though the book is about legal issues, the read is very interesting and the authors keep the tone easy to follow. This book is a must read for any photographer wanting to protect your images and details step by step how to register your images for a copyright and why registration with www.copyright.gov is your only protection in a court of law. I was intimidated about registering my images until I read this book but now I register all my images at www.copyright.gov. (Photo courtesy of www.thecopyrightzone.com)
The following is how I word my copyright, and by no means is this the only way, it just happens to be how I state my copyright.
All images on this site unless otherwise stated are the copyright of Ray Justice.
All photographs appearing within this website unless otherwise stated are the exclusive property of Ray Justice and are protected under international copyright laws.
It is illegal to download, reproduce, copy, store, manipulate, project, use or alter in any way, alone or with use of any other material, or by use of computer or any other electronic means without the express written permission of Ray Justice. The use of any image as the basis for another photographic concept or illustrations is a violation of copyright. By entering and viewing this web site, you are agreeing to be bound by the terms of this copyright notice. No images on this web site are within the public domain.
Title to all photographs, transparencies, and digital or electronic images, and other material whether analogue or digital hereafter called (“The Works”) delivered to the client/customer remain the property of the photographer Ray Justice. The client/customer shall not be permitted to sell any of The Works without prior agreement of the photographer, or pass these Works to any third party. In addition – these Works cannot be cropped in any manner, including any composite or distortion representation of these Works, without the prior agreement of the photographer.