Copyright issues: Protecting your own photos, using other people’s

When photos only existed as prints or as reproductions in books, copyright for photographers was relatively straightforward. However, since the advent of the internet new situations have been created that simply didn’t exist before, and the whole thing has become that much more confusing.

Many internet users are under the erroneous impression that photos posted on the net are free to use, inciting the fury of those photographers whose work has been purloined without so much as a by-your-leave.

In one sense, stealing is stealing however it’s done; in another it could be argued that there are degrees of culpability. Someone who steals one of your images and makes money out of selling it is a lot more culpable than someone who writes a blog article that is actually about your work and uses your images to illustrate it without asking you first. Many of us would be OK with the latter (even if we wished they’d asked first), but most of us would be angry and upset with the former.

Before we look at copyright in action, let’s consider some of the basics (we’re talking here about UK
copyright; other countries may differ).
 First of all, if you take a photograph, it’s automatically copyrighted to you – you don’t have to
do anything to claim…

View or download our full article as a pdf document: Copyright Issues