Tips on Protecting Your Online Photos from Copyright Infringement
Photography has certainly changed since Congress created US Copyright Law. No one at that time considered that there might be digital cameras, the Internet, smartphones, and social media.
As more and more photographers publish pictures online, there is a greater risk than ever before someone might use them without your permission.
Why? Because it can be challenging to keep track of where your work ends up or how it is used once you upload it. Think about how many photographers have sued celebrities for copyright infringement in the last few years – many of the cases stem from actors and musicians posting copyrighted photos to Instagram or other social media platforms. Some cases involve pictures taken directly from a website that get used for creating commercial goods or in other ways.
It has become even more important that photographers maintain control over their work and seek damages when people violate copyright laws. Filing copyright lawsuits in federal court is one way to ensure you collect the maximum damages allowed by law. Recently, the CASE Act created an alternative forum to pursue copyright infringement claims for those who wish to take advantage of a less formal venue.
Photographers worldwide seek help from our experienced copyright lawyers at Liebowitz Law Firm, PLLC, when someone uses their pictures without permission. Our lawyers are dedicated to protecting and enforcing creative artists’ rights and ensuring you collect the damages the laws allow when someone violates those rights.
Here, we share with you some suggestions that might make it a little harder for someone to steal the pictures you post online.
Consider the following:
Adding a watermark to your pictures – This is an easy way to deter image theft. Adding a small logo, piece of text, or stamp is a simple way to let people know you own the picture. Even people seeking “casual” use of an image will usually bypass one with a mark. For instance, someone looking for a picture to insert into a paper, presentation, or website blog post, will probably not choose one with a watermark. They will likely look for a similar photo that suits their purposes without one.
Getting a barcode – Some companies sell barcoding services for photographs. They essentially give each of your photos a digital fingerprint which makes it traceable-wherever it ends up on the Internet.
Trying not to post high-resolution photos or files – If someone gets a hold of one of your high-res images, it makes it easy for them to do with it as they please. It is much more difficult to reproduce or copy a photo with a lower resolution. It is crucial that you keep the high-resolution copy for yourself as it can help you prove ownership if necessary.
Consider compressing photos or reducing their quality before uploading them.
Adding copyright information to the metadata – Some programs allow you to embed your copyright information right into a JPEG file.
Reading the terms and conditions of websites – Before you submit photos to any website or sharing platform read the terms! Submitting to certain sites can mean you are compromising some of your rights. For example, you might be granting a creative commons license when you upload a photo, or you might be giving the right to embed your photos. Read carefully, so you know what you are getting yourself into by posting your photos online.
What if Someone Takes Your Photos?
Even if you try, it is not always possible to prevent someone from infringing on your copyright.
What do you do if someone steals your photos? What if they are violating the license you granted? There are plenty of things you can do if you think (or know) someone has violated your copyright.
Perhaps the wisest choice is to call our copyright infringement lawyers at Liebowitz Law Firm, PLLC. We are dedicated to making sure photographers receive damages when someone uses their work without permission or compensation. We know how hard it is to be a creative professional and want you to know that you do not have to tolerate violations of your copyright.
Call Liebowitz Law Firm, PLLC, For Copyright Protection and Enforcement
Schedule a free consultation with our copyright infringement lawyers by calling 800-778-1660 today.