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How to Copyright Your Images

How to Copyright Your Images

As a photographer or graphic artist, you have the exclusive right to:

  1. make and sell copies of your photo
  2. to create derivative works (other art based on the photo, such as a painting of the photo)
  3. to display the photo in public
  4. to license usage for money to other people

Owning a physical copy of an image does not mean that someone can use that image as they wish, as it does not make them the copyright owner of the image. For example, if a photographer sells a picture to someone, the photographer remains the copyright owner.

Only the copyright owner has the exclusive right to reproduce their image, and can bring proceedings for copyright infringement against anyone who reproduces it without their consent.

It is advisable to place a copyright notice on images being displayed in public, for example, on-line. Other forms of copyright protection can involve placing a watermark on the image to deter infringement or only posting very low resolution versions of your images online as then the print quality is very poor.

Most graphic artists and professional photographers (and today many amateur photographers also) choose to protect their work by registering copyright with an independent third-party.

With an Unlimited Copyright House Subscription Plan, there is no need to choose only your best images for copyright registration. You can upload thousands of images for one subscription fee, from holiday photos to contenders for National Geographic! It is an excellent option for free-lance photo journalists and graphic designers.

Copyright House also provides ongoing customer support - so in the unfortunate event that your work is infringed, we are here to help you.

The information on this page is not a complete guide but should be regarded as a basic overview to enhance your understanding of copyright. This is not legal advice and should not be considered as such. Some information may not be applicable in certain situations.

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