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.
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.
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.
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.