5 Essential Things Photographers Must Know About Copyright

Have you taken a photograph? Then under Copyright Law of many countries, you own the copyright to that photo. This law is something that affects not just photographers but also those who want to use photos taken or created by someone else. With the ease of taking and sharing images, the concerns related to their unauthorized use have increased much. Hence, comprehending legal rights associated with the photographers and their photographs is more crucial than ever. Let’s have a look at five vital things everyone should know about copyright in photographs.

  1. Copyright is Automatic

If you take a photo, then you automatically become its owner according to the provisions provided in the copyright law of the US and several other nations. As it is automatic and immediate, you needn’t file or publish anything to establish or own your copyright. However, going for Copyright Registration of your photograph is recommended due to several reasons, but it’s not mandatory.

  1. Use of the Copyright Symbol Isn’t Mandatory

Using the copyright symbol on your images at the time you publish them is a good idea. It is a reminder to the viewers that the specific image is protected as your copyright. In other words, it’s a smart step to secure your work from being infringed by those who mistakenly believe that photos without a copyright symbol are available for free use. However, the copyright law of most countries is clear that using the copyright symbol isn’t required to protect your photos. The law states that one’s images belong to him/ her regardless of whether he/ she put the symbol when publishing them or not.

  1. Registering Your Photos With Relevant Copyright Office Offers Additional Protection

Registering your photo with Copyright Office bestows you with extra protection in the Copyright Infringement case. It limits your case to actual damages, i.e., the amount of money that the violation costs you as opposed to statutory damages, i.e., damages valued by the law based on the type of infringement. Since the actual damages are often very difficult to prove and can be very limited in some cases, the ability to obtain statutory damages is a remarkable reason to register your copyright whenever you come up with new and useful work.

  1. It’s Possible to Allow Others to Use Your Photo Without Giving Up the Copyright

You, as a copyright owner, possess the right to license your photo to another party. Copyright licensing refers to a way of permitting someone to use your photo without affecting its ownership. Copyright License Agreements can vary based on the control over the image you want to grant to others. You can grant the right to use your photo for specific purposes for a specific time or broad usage. Besides how you plan to license your photo, you can allow the party to use the same without giving up your ownership. Hence, if someone asks for permission to use your photo, ensure understanding what rights you are granting, along with whether those rights relate to licensed use or copyright.

  1. Use of Photos Doesn’t Always Mean Infringement of Owner’s Copyright

Although the law provides the owner with exclusive rights to reproduce, display, share and distribute his/ her work, there are a few legal provisions under which someone can use a copyrighted photo even without obtaining permission from the original owner. For instance, quoting a portion of any written work or sharing a photo for purposes like educational, reporting, legislative, etc., can be allowed under ‘fair use.’ Nevertheless, fair use is limited in scope, and therefore, most cases where someone uses your work without your consent result in copyright infringement. So, be careful.

As photographers, it’s essential for us to at least have a basic understanding of the Copyright Protection and rights we can enjoy under the law of the respective nation. For further information and questions/ answers related to copyright law, protection, registration, or more, you are recommended to find a good Intellectual Property Attorney. You can also look for a deft Intellectual Property Law Firm as such companies will provide you with the best possible information. These can assist you with almost every concern, from the Copyright Registration Process to the fee required to register your photo and even how to secure other Intellectual property (IP) assets. For more visit: https://www.trademarkmaldives.com

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