© Copyright Question

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by RobbieS, Mar 19, 2008.

  1. RobbieS macrumors member

    Feb 28, 2008
    Okay so I have done a lot of reading but I am still a little confused on the copyrighting of photos. (I live in the United States) It appears that from the moment the shutter button is pressed, the image is copyrighted. However, why are there webpages out there that "for a fee" can copyright the photos for you? Is it just a scam, or is there more to it that I dont know.
    Basically, at what point can i use the "© 2008 Robert Senese" in my metadata?
  2. JNB macrumors 604


    Oct 7, 2004
    In a Hell predominately of my own making
    Not a scam, but will overcharge you for what you can do yourself, should you feel the need. You can use the copyright notification immediately, no further action required.

    From the U.S. Copyright Office

    What is copyright?
    Copyright is a form of protection grounded in the U.S. Constitution and granted by law for original works of authorship fixed in a tangible medium of expression. Copyright covers both published and unpublished works.

    What does copyright protect?
    Copyright, a form of intellectual property law, protects original works of authorship including literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic works, such as poetry, novels, movies, songs, computer software, and architecture. Copyright does not protect facts, ideas, systems, or methods of operation, although it may protect the way these things are expressed. See Circular 1, Copyright Basics, section "What Works Are Protected."

    How is a copyright different from a patent or a trademark?
    Copyright protects original works of authorship, while a patent protects inventions or discoveries. Ideas and discoveries are not protected by the copyright law, although the way in which they are expressed may be. A trademark protects words, phrases, symbols, or designs identifying the source of the goods or services of one party and distinguishing them from those of others.

    When is my work protected?
    Your work is under copyright protection the moment it is created and fixed in a tangible form that it is perceptible either directly or with the aid of a machine or device.

    Do I have to register with your office to be protected?
    No. In general, registration is voluntary. Copyright exists from the moment the work is created. You will have to register, however, if you wish to bring a lawsuit for infringement of a U.S. work. See Circular 1, Copyright Basics, section “Copyright Registration.”

    Why should I register my work if copyright protection is automatic?
    Registration is recommended for a number of reasons. Many choose to register their works because they wish to have the facts of their copyright on the public record and have a certificate of registration. Registered works may be eligible for statutory damages and attorney's fees in successful litigation. Finally, if registration occurs within 5 years of publication, it is considered prima facie evidence in a court of law. See Circular 1, Copyright Basics, section “Copyright Registration” and Circular 38b, Highlights of Copyright Amendments Contained in the Uruguay Round Agreements Act (URAA), on non-U.S. works.
  3. buddhahacker macrumors member

    May 6, 2006
    Instant Copyright

    You answered your own question. At the point you create something it is copyrighted. You do not need to register it. However, you MUST protect your copyright. If you become aware of someone infringing on your copyright and choose not to protect your right then you may loose that right. This is why companies have become much more aggressive in pursuing copyright violators. It used to be that if you were using copyrighted material in a not for profit or for some slight gain it wasn't worth the effort for companies to demand you to stop. Now, if they don't pursue, even the little guy, they open themselves up to loosing the right to their creation.
  4. strider42 macrumors 65816


    Feb 1, 2002
    I don't believe this is accurate. You have to protect trademarks. but copyrights are not revokable for any reason (afaik). It just gets difficult to prove you own the copyright if you didn't register it or if its gotten into general use. Copyright is just that, the right to copy an original work. This always resides with the original creator, unless sold, for the term protected by law. trademark on the other hand has to be protected, as if something becomes a generic term, it is no longer considered unique enough to be a trademark,

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