Photography Protection

As of today, 2016, million of people have cell phones that are capable of capturing photographs. Thus these people then, most likely, will upload these to the internet and social media outlets to let their peers see what they have captured. However, there is a more darker twist to this, there are those that lurk on the internet that will steal your artwork (aka your photographs) and then will later repost them as their own without you ever knowing. Now for those that are professionals this is a very alarming fact. For most that own a photography business you have to share your photographs with the world in some way to gain customers but, how can one do it safely and without fear that someone can claim your work as their’s. The answer is simple, Privacy and Copyrights. The laws in place for these two subjects are very special to photographers it helps protect their work and others from stealing.

One of the first things to do is to check what Copyright laws you have, these laws can vary in different countries. In the U.S most photographs are automatically copyrighted once you have taken them but that just means that you, as the creator, can copy and use photographs as you wish and you can control how others use them. However, this provides no legal action for it someone steals your work, but, you can then apply for the registration. This means you can sue someone for copyright infringement and you can have greater penalties for those that use your work without your consent such as having them pay legal fees. Please do keep in mind that the registration does cost money so if you want to appear more official and to buff up your photographs then keep reading.

Other ways to protect your work is by watermarks. Watermarks is a way for photographer’s to sign their art work. For this it can be a design you have created with your logo and the copyright symbol or something more simple such as your name, year, and the copyright symbol. Another way to protect your photographs is through Metadata. Metadata is text information that is embedded into a photos file, it can have copyright notices, your name, and contact information. However, Metadata is sometimes hard to put into the photo’s file, programs such as Photoshop, Illustrator, or Bridge will allow you to add metadata and edit them as you please. Other ways to prevent theft is by sharing only the low resolution versions, adding a transparent image over the top (preventing the copy+paste option), have JavaScript to disable the right-click function, or have software that can keep control of images.

So remember, your photographs are yours and yours alone. There are several ways that you can protect your images so that as a photographer you can keep photographing what you love. Just remember to always know your rights and how you can protect your art.

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