Yep, I said it. Eeeew...it almost feels like a dirty word but, really, let's just get it out in the open.
A fellow photographer (hi, Marinda!) wrote this article, & I've borrowed & paraphrased part of it (yeeees, with her permission).
It's good stuff.
A little lengthy, but probably an eye opener. So go grab a diet Coke or a cuppa coffee & settle in for a few minutes. You'll be glad you did, cuz you'll learn when it's o.k. (& not o.k.) to copy your photographs!
Q. First, what is Copyright?
A. The US Constitution and Federal Copyright Act give "copyright" protection to "authors" to protect their "original works" (such as photographs).
Q. Okay. What does that mean?
A. It just means that the law protects original works and gives the exclusive rights to reproduce them to the author. When the copyright has been violated, the author can pursue legal action and the offender can be held liable and fined.
Q. I bought the disc of images with printing rights. What can/can't I do with these images?
A. Things you can do:• make prints for personal use
• make greeting cards / announcements for personal use
• make photo books / photo gifts for personal use
• upload watermarked images to the web (your personal website, blog, social networking sites like Facebook or MySpace, photo sharing sites like Kodak, Shutterfly, Smugmug, Photobucket, etc) to share with your family & friends
Things you cannot do:• enter the photos in contests - nope, not even those "cute baby" contests – with written consent from the photographer
• alter the image (change to color or b/w, alter color saturation, apply effects, crop, etc.)
• provide digital copies of the images to family and friends
• remove/disable any digital watermarks or other proprietary notices or markings
Q. Aunt Susie saw my photos and just wants to have one copy of it.
A. It’s always great to hear that your friends and family love my work!! You may print a copy from the digital image you purchased and give it to Aunt Susie. However, you may not provide an un-watermarked digital copy of your image to Aunt Susie.
Q. What about the images you post on Facebook?
A. The images posted on Facebook are meant to be enjoyed, viewed and even shared. I welcome and encourage you to tag yourself in the images or share the link to the images. I also welcome and encourage you to use the images as your profile pic - as long as you don't remove the watermark in the cropping process. To avoid removing the watermark, simply drag the cropping bars all the way to the edge of the photo.
Q. So what are the rules about the prints I just purchased via my Gallery?
A. Here are a few examples of what you may not do:
• Scan them
• Copy them
• Reprint them
• Edit them
• Crop watermarks out & post them on the web
• Take pictures of them & print them or post them on the web
• If would like additional copies, please order them via your Gallery if it is still active. If it has expired, please contact me for pricing.
Q. Okay, I get it. But I might have violated your copyright policy. Now what?
A. Hey, don't sweat it! We all make mistakes, and I'm sure you didn't intend to do so. I'd just like to ask you to make an attempt at rectifying the situation. If you've already posted or shared un-watermarked images, please take them down or provide photo credit by adding a a link to my blog (www.stephanienewboldphoto.blogspot.com) or my website (www.stephanienewbold.com). If you need a watermarked copy of the images to use on the web, give me a call and I'll quickly provide you with files you can use.
And please please please - with sugar and a cherry on top - promise to never, ever do it again :)
Reprinted and reprised with persmission from Marinda Fowler Photography.