© COPYRIGHT – Part 2
In Part Two of my ongoing sees on Photographer’s Copyright, I’ll be sharing some valuable information about the subject of copyright and how it affects photographers. I’m hoping to help educate not only photographers, but also those people who use photography with the work that they do.
Copyright law can be difficult to understand at times and my goal in writing this series of articles is to get you to understand the way copyright works, and how we as visual artists rely on copyright protection to earn our living. This series should help you dispel many misconceptions about the laws on copyright, but I’d urge you to seek legal advice from an attorney if you are facing any legal issue with copyright violation.
Part Two will consist of information gleaned from several photography and copyright organizations and associations. Credit will be given where it is due, after all this is a series on copyright, and i did get permission to use this information from all the individual groups. For more information I encourage you to follow the links I provide throughout the article.
Please note that this information applies to United States copyright laws and may not apply to other countries.
From PACA (Picture Archive Council of America)
Copyright Education – Copyright Commandments
1. The moment a photograph is created, it is protected by copyright. Use the copyright notice (©, year of publication, name).
2. The photographer has the exclusive right to authorize use of a photograph during his/her lifetime plus 70 years.
3. Written permission to use a photograph should be obtained in advance to avoid infringement.
4. Infringement is any unauthorized use of a photograph, absent some exemption such as fair use or limited classroom use.
5. Exceeding the terms of a license is an infringement. You should obtain a new license before making any new uses of a photograph.
6. Penalties for infringement are monetary and can be severe.
7. Combining or altering photographs may require permission from the copyright holders.
8. Creating a painting or a sculpture from a photograph is an exclusive right of the copyright owner and you should obtain permission first.
9. Reshooting or replicating a photograph is an unauthorized copy and requires permission from the copyright owner.
10. Using all or some of a photograph as reference for a second work may require permission from the copyright owner.
This video presentation uses images from cases to explain what copyright protects with respect to visual images, when permission is needed and when fair use may allow certain uses without permission. Just click on the photo below or the link above to watch the video on the PACA site.
Nancy has also put together a Power Point presentation that you can download here:.
The PowerPoint presentation is intended as an overview to teach the basics of copyright and how it applies to image licensing. It is complete with speaker notes and visual samples supplied by PACA members. A section at the end discusses the enforcement of copyright on the Internet.
For more information relevant to photographers, I suggest that you read Nancy’s book:
For Additional Resources on Photographers Copyright from:
- The United States Copyright Office
- American Society of Media Photographers
- Copyright Alliance
- Cornell Copyright Information Center
- Editorial Photographers
- FA©E (Friends of Active Copyright Education)
- Library of Congress
- The Copyright Society of the U.S.A.
- PAPA International
- Advertising Photographers of America
- Professional Photographers of America
- Photographer Registry
Please check out the Copyright Education – Additional Resources page
From the ASMP (The American Society of Media Photographers)
ASMP has launched a new initiative called Registration ©ounts to create awareness of copyright issues, to encourage all photographers to register their work, and to provide the tools and information needed for registration.
Copyright and the New Economy
On April 21, 2010, the American Society of Media Photographers presented an important symposium in New York City addressing the sweeping changes in the way images are used and distributed. The symposium, Copyright and the New Economy: Issues & Trends Facing Visual Artists, was a big hit with the packed TimesCenter audience. According to ASMP President Richard Kelly, “During the coming year, ASMP plans to lead in moving forward on copyright issues and identifying sustainable business solutions for our changing world.”
If you weren’t able to attend, videos are linked on the ASMP website here: http://asmp.org/content/registration-counts
I’ll highlight some of the most important points that you will find on the ASMP’s Copyright Tutorial Website but I’d urge you to visit their site as well to get all the information that they so kindly share.
Why register your photos with the Copyright Office?
- You have the full weight of the law on your side if you are infringed.
- You can file an infringement suit.
- You can more easily secure an attorney to take your infringement case.
- If you register your work prior to infringement (or within three months of first publication), you can ask for statutory damages and attorney fees if you win an infringement case.
- You can use your registration as leverage to get paid by defaulting clients.
- You have added protection against anyone claiming your work is an “orphaned” work.
- You are adding value to the services you provide your clients by protecting the investment they have made.
Make sure to read the PHOTOGRAPHY COPYRIGHT FAQ PAGE for a wealth of pertinent information
From the APA (American Photographic Artists)
Licensing, and the Value of Copyright
Mark Getty gets it. Bill Gates bet the bank on it. And our clients — the big corporations, the advertising agencies and the publishers – they all benefit significantly from their understanding of this very simple, yet all important concept: INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY IS THE CURRENCY OF THE 21ST CENTURY (And by extension: Those who own and/or control intellectual property, control the marketplace) There has recently been considerable discussion among photographers and their trade organizations on the subject of copyright transfers. Some in our industry have asserted the benefits of owning and retaining copyrights, while others have recommended that photographers transfer their copyrights to their clients. The Advertising Photographers of America (APA) position on copyright ownership is and always has been:
The copyright to your photographs is yours under the law.
You own it.
The APA offers eleven pages of incredible information on copyright on their website. All visual artists should read the article titled:
You can order a PDF copy of the document here: APA Order Form
From the Copyright Alliance
Copyright in the Classroom
The Copyright Alliance Education Foundation and YMI have developed a free online video, Copyright in the Classroom, to provide a quick explanation of copyright, identify “teachable moments” in the classroom, and review all the free teaching resources available at the Alliance web site.
If you are a teacher or would like to educate yourself or anyone else about the history of copyright and the basics of how copyright works in the United States, please take a few minutes to watch this video.
Another valuable resource from the Copyright Alliance Education Foundation is available in their 13-page guide is designed for teachers of all grades and subject areas and includes: an overview of copyright, FAQ section, glossary and standards charts for all the classroom curricula available on their web site.
Download the Educator’s Guide
For Artists: How to Copyright Creative Works
The Copyright Alliance is developing short, easy-to-read documents for artists and creators that explain how to obtain registered copyright protection for creative works. Find documents relevant to your work below, and check back often for new additions!
Copyright Basics for
The Copyright Alliance has also produced a document that addresses 10 myths of copyright in relation to technology and innovation.
More terrific information from the Copyright Alliance can be found here:
I’ve been generously granted permission to reprint all the information contained on this page by the following organizations:
The American Society of Media Photographers is the premier trade association for the world’s most respected photographers. ASMP is the leader in promoting photographers’ rights, providing education in better business practices, producing business publications for photographers, and helping to connect purchasers with professional photographers. ASMP, founded in 1944, has nearly 7,000 members and 39 chapters.
Special thanks to:
ASMP Director of Communications
The Copyright Alliance is a non-profit, non-partisan educational organization dedicated to the value of copyright as an agent for creativity, jobs and growth. They are committed to promoting the cultural and economic benefits of copyright, providing information and resources on the contributions of copyright, and upholding the contributions of copyright to the fiscal health of this nation and for the good of creators, owners and consumers around the world.
Special thanks to:
Copyright Alliance Director of Communications
APA’s mission is Successful Professional Photographers. Their goal is to establish, endorse, and promote professional practices, standards, and ethics in the photographic and advertising community. They seek to mentor, motivate, educate, and inspire in the pursuit of excellence. Their aim is to champion and speak as one common voice for advertising photographers and image makers to the advertising industry in the United States and the World.
Special thanks to:
APA National CEO
PACA, the Picture Archive Council of America, is the trade organization in North America that represents the vital interests of stock archives of every size, from individual photographers to large corporations, who license images for commercial reproduction. Founded in 1951, its membership includes over 100 companies in North America and over 50 international members.
Special thanks to
PACA Executive Director