Thursday, January 31, 2008

Protecting your images

There's an online article (http://www.popphoto.com/popularphotographyfeatures/5001/grand-theft-photo.html) in American Photo magazine's sister website, PopPhoto.com, highlighting the importance of registering your photos with the U.S. Copyright Office even if you're an amateur. I initially came across the article scrapped into a blog - which is theft in its own right (taking an entire article, even if crediting the source is still plagiarism).

While the article is long, there are a couple of key takeaways:
  • "If you've posted pictures on a website in order to sell them, they're considered published ..."

  • Benefit to the photography community as a whole: As more people register their images the risk/reward ratio for thieves goes up, and photographers who make a living from their creations are more able to be paid for their art.

  • There's an easier way to submit your work for registration (note that you can submit a collection of images for each $45 registration fee). There's now an online submission process (it's in public beta). To sign up go to: http://www.copyright.gov/eco/beta-request.html. An added benefit, you save $10 per registration.

If you join the public beta test of the online registration process, be sure to go back to the article. The author, Neal Matthews, guides you through the process and identifies potential hiccups.

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