Photographers Working In Their Office

The Ins And Outs Of Copyright And Photography Insurance

As a photographer, you put a lot of time and effort into your photos. You want to make sure they are not only up to your standards as a photographer, but up to your clients’ standards. Because you put a hundred and ten percent into your photos, it is important that you receive the proper attribution.

Image attribution makes sure that the original photographer or creator of the image is given credit for their work. Another way to ensure image attribution is through copyright protection. Copyright is the legal right to one’s work. It protects your images from being stolen or used against your permission.

Because copyright can be a bit confusing, let’s take a deeper look at all the ways you can protect your work and photography business. This includes how you can use copyright to protect your photos and how photography insurance can protect your business.

The Berne Convention

In 1886, a convention was held in Berne, Switzerland. This convention laid out the terms of copyright protection for photographers. It stated that photographers automatically own the copyrights to any original photo they take. The Berne Convention provides a way for artists to control how their work is used.

Copyright is a great tool in protecting your photos. Problems arise when other photographers try to use your photos without your permission or claim your photos as their own. Then, unfortunately, you are having to go through the long process of proving that you are the rightful owner of the photos.

Young female food photographer setting everything up for shooting

How To Copyright Your Photos

To prove that your photos have been copyrighted, you will need to register the photos with the U.S. Copyright Office. You can register a single photo or a gallery. Cost varies by the number of photos sent in. By doing so, you will receive legal proof that your photos belong to you.

Here Are The 3 Simple Steps To Registering A Copyright:

1. Register Your Photos With the US Copyright Office

It is important to know that your photos belong to you for 25 years. However, if you ever find yourself in the position of your photos being used against your permission you will need to be able to prove that you own the copyrights. By registering your photos with the US Copyright Office, you can provide foundational legal evidence which will help against lawsuits filed for copyright infringement. A U.S. Copyright lasts up to 70 years.

2. Save time, File online

Registering your photos online is typically faster, cheaper, and more straightforward. You can send in a single photo or a whole gallery. The cost varies and depends on the number of photos you upload. It takes about 8 months for your copyright to be processed. When you send your photos by mail it can take up to 13 months to be processed.

3. Save Your Proof of Copyright

A couple of months after you register for copyright, the U.S. Copyright Office will send you an official copyright certificate. In the event that you ever need to prove copyright, you will have the official document. Keep it easily accessible. If you ever lose your certificate, you can request a duplicate. While it is a great idea to have proof of copyright, it isn’t irrefutable proof that the work belongs to you. Copyright infringement could still be an issue based on earlier work.

Couple of photographers working on computers in the studio

How To Prevent Copyright Infringement

In addition to registering copyright, there are four additional and easy steps to help prevent copyright infringement.

1. Post your Work Online

By posting your work on public websites you grant implied rights for people to view, download, and save a copy of your work. A copyright problem arises when unauthorized copies are put on other websites and someone else claims them. In that case, you can post a takedown notice to enforce your copyright.

2. Add a Personal Watermark

By using your favorite editing software you can add a watermark to your photos that let people know you own the photos they are viewing. Watermarks can be your logo, name, or business name. Watermarks can be placed in the corners of your photos or in the center, making it difficult for other people to re-use your photos.

3. Include a Copyright Notice

To include a copyright notice, all you have to do is include the copyright symbol, “©”, or the word “copyright”, and then include the year. To finish off the copyright, include your name. Additional tips include posting up-to-date copyright information with your photo. By posting the copyright information with the photo it can help discourage people from stealing your work. It is also important to note that it is considered copyright infringement for someone to remove your copyright information.

4. Post Carefully

While the internet can be a fantastic place to connect and grow, it can also be a hazardous place for your work. With internet users who aren’t afraid to use your photos without credit, the internet is an easy place for you to have copyright issues. If you are posting to photography member sites, make sure to read the terms and conditions. You don’t want to unknowingly give up rights to your photo. Another great tip for when posting online is to disable the right-click function. This will make it harder for internet users to copy and save your photos.

photographer working on her computer

Protect Your Business With Photography Insurance

Obtaining copyright for your photos is a great place to start when protecting your photography business. In addition, it is a great idea to protect your business with photography insurance. Full Frame Insurance offers photographers general liability insurance, camera equipment coverage, professional liability insurance, and cyber liability insurance.

General liability insurance can protect your photography business from the cost of third-party bodily injury and property claims. Claims can be expensive and paying for them out-of-pocket could financially devastate your business. Photography insurance can help mitigate or even eliminate those out-of-pocket costs. General liability insurance can also protect against the cost of copyright infringement as well as personal and advertising injury claims.

Camera equipment insurance is also known as inland marine insurance and can help with the cost of replacing or repairing stolen or damaged equipment. This policy can protect against claims that happen at home, on a job, or anywhere you take photos.

Professional liability insurance can protect your business from the cost of negligence claims. These claims can arise from faulty memory cards that result in lost photos.

Cyber liability insurance is a great policy to add to your photography insurance if you store information online. It can protect you from the costs that arise from a cyber security breach. Cybercrime has become increasingly prevalent for businesses, no matter the industry or how large the business is.

Protect Your Photography Business Today

What are you waiting for? With so many unknowns and uncertainties in running a business, take a little stress off your shoulders and insure your business with photography insurance today. Protect your business with your new knowledge of copyright and make sure that your photos are protected just as much as your business is.

Learn More About Photography Insurance


Related Articles

Camera Equipment on Professional Photoshoot Set

Inland Marine Insurance University

Portrait photographer, photojournalism, fashion photography, sports photography, editorial photography, lifestyle photography, nature photography, the list could go on and on! Does your photography business fall

Read More

Cyber Liability

Cyber liability insurance protects your business from the cost of first- and third-party claims that arise from a cyber security breach within your business. Cyber crime has become a common threat for businesses both big and small. If you collect or store business information online on a computer, tablet, or mobile device, we highly suggest including this additional protection to your policy.

'Failure to Deliver' Coverage
(Professional Liability)

‘Failure to Deliver’ Coverage, also known as Professional liability insurance, can protect your business from the cost negligence claims that arise from professional errors and omissions, like giving bad instruction or failing to provide necessary information on a subject. If you teach classes or run demonstrations as part of your business, we strongly recommend this additional coverage option.

Additional Insureds

When you add a person, event, or organization to your policy as an additional insured, they receive protection if they are named in a suit due to a covered business-related loss/claim because of your actions or operations.

Additional insured status cannot be granted to a friend or co-worker as an extension of your policy. Each individual must purchase their own policy to obtain liability coverage.

A written contract, such as a venue, studio rental, or employment contract is required to add another party as additional insured.

General Liability

General liability insurance can protect your business from the cost of third-party bodily injury and property damage claims, like if a client trips on your business equipment and injures themselves. It also protects against the cost of copyright infringement claims, personal and advertising injury claims, and more.

Damage To Rented Premises

This coverage can protect your business from the cost of claims arising from damages done to rented spaces, like a studio or event booth. It’s common for property owners and event organizers to require businesses to list them as additional insureds on a policy before renting a space. Full Frame provides unlimited additional insureds for just $30.

Camera Equipment Coverage

Also known as inland marine insurance, camera equipment coverage can protect your business from the cost of repairing or replacing damaged or stolen business equipment—including camera bodies, lenses, lighting equipment, and more. Our policy can protect against claims that occur at home, on a job and anywhere in between. Full Frame offers multiple coverage options for equipment insurance based on your business needs.