Basic Copyright Facts Made Easy for Creative Professionals
Everyone has heard the word “copyright.” The same is true of the terms “copyright infringement” and “copyright violation.” But have you ever stopped to think about what these things truly mean? If you are a photographer or other creative professional, you probably have.
But, many people who seek to get a basic understanding of copyright laws and their ownership rights over their work find lengthy, confusing articles. Whether you are embarking on a career as a creative professional or an established artist, you should have a handle on some key concepts that often arise in conversations and lawsuits about copyright.
Understanding your core rights is crucial to protecting them and seeking help when you need it. At Liebowitz Law Firm, PLLC, our lawyers focus their practice on ensuring creative professionals, especially photographers, receive outstanding representation when facing copyright infringement. Our goal is to ensure that your work is protected and that you receive the maximum amount of damages allowed when someone violates your copyright.
Here, we share some basic facts about Copyright that can jump-start your education regarding ownership of your work.
Copyright: Copyright is essentially the right to use and reproduce your work
Your Work: You own the copyright to your work the second you create it. In the context of photography, the second you click that button, you own the work. It is yours unless and until you assign some or all of your rights to someone else.
Work for Hire: If you are an employee and generating images is part of the employee/employer relationship, the employer that hired you owns the work. The copyright belongs to them.
Freelance Work: If you work as a freelance photographer, you own the rights to your pictures unless you have agreed to give or sell some or all of your rights to the client.
Ideas: You can’t copyright an idea.
The Copyright Symbol: It is unnecessary to use the copyright symbol (with or without your name and the year you created it) on your pictures. It does not affect your rights. But, it might give you a legal advantage if someone infringes on your copyright. It can help prove the infringer knew they were violating your rights.
Copyright Registration: Registering your copyright with the US Copyright Office is not necessary to have ownership over your work. However, if you wish to file a copyright infringement lawsuit, registering your copyright is essential.
Copyright Infringement: This is the term used when someone uses copyrighted material without permission.
Internet Copyright Infringement: If someone takes one of your pictures from the Internet and uses it without your permission, it is copyright infringement.
Fair Use: This is one of the exceptions to copyright and a common defense in copyright infringement lawsuits. When newspapers use copyrighted materials for reporting and teachers duplicate copyrighted materials for classwork, copyright infringement does not occur. These are “fair use.”
Public Domain: This means anyone can legally use the pictures or other material for any purpose- no permission or compensation required. Works in the public domain usually include pictures or work that are very old and have expired copyrights or works that were never covered by copyright law.
Photographers Call Liebowitz Law Firm, PLLC, to File Copyright Infringement Claims
Having the basic facts is important. But, if you find yourself wondering if someone is violating your copyright, rely on professionals who have experience and substantial knowledge about copyright law and litigation.
Liebowitz Law Firm, PLLC, has the copyright lawyers you want representing your interests when someone infringes on your rights. We represent creative professionals worldwide, especially photographers, and know how hard artists work at their crafts. We also know that you deserve to receive payment for your work and compensation when someone violates your rights.
Our lawyers are here to help you protect your ownership rights over your work. We can ensure that if someone uses your pictures without permission or in violation of a license agreement, you collect the maximum amount of damages allowed. Call Liebowitz Law Firm today at 800-778-1660 to schedule your free copyright infringement case evaluation.