Plagiarism has been common throughout the world since time immemorial, and more so in today’s digital era and even more so in the field of photography. There have been instances of image theft and usage of images without credit to the photographer. The magnanimity of this issue is the reason for my writing about this in detail. Though I’m no expert in the field of copyright etc, have spent some quality time researching about this before writing this.
Watermarking is the first step towards owning a piece of art you have created. In visual terms, how effectively you place the watermark is what matters most of the times. Having said that putting a standard watermark is not advisable, since one colour, size & position may not fit all of your images. Customizing the watermarks to match a particular image is the solution to this and this can be done using Lightroom quite easily. I’ll talk about the “how’s” in a later topic.
Watermarking & copyrighting ensures certain minimum safeguards of the rights of authors over their creations, thereby protecting and rewarding creativity. A detailed article from dPs on how to handle image theft can be read here.
The definition of Copyright is a right given by the law to creators of literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works and producers of films and sound recordings. In fact, it is a bundle of rights including, inter alia, rights of reproduction, communication to the public, adaptation and translation of the work. There could be slight variations in the composition of the rights depending on the work.
a. The primary thing in watermarking your image with copyright symbol is that you do not have to register for putting the copyright symbol. If the work is created by you, you have the full rights (automatically) to put your watermark with the Copyright symbol on your work. The work here refers to any form of art viz., a piece of music you have created, a small video you have took, a painting that you made or a photograph.
b. Copyright protects the rights of the author i.e., creator.
c. Copyright can be assigned to anyone by the author.
d. Registering your copyrights has some advantage. Check with your country’s copyright law to get some clarity. In general, however, certificate of registration of copyright and the entries made therein serve as prima facie evidence in a court of law with reference to dispute relating to ownership of copyright.
e. If you want to register your work, each and every work needs to be registered separately.
f. Copyright generally has time limits.
g. There is no such thing as “International copyright” that can protect the author’s work throughout the world. However most countries do offer protection to foreign works under certain conditions, and these conditions have been greatly simplified by international copyright treaties and conventions.
The above points are generalized, check with your country’s copyright law for specific details. The bottom-line is to watermark all your images. A good story for you to read here.
If you have a story to share about copyright issues or you have a good idea about copyrights do share in the comments section.
Cheers and happy photographing.