Sunday, October 10, 2010

Top 10 Copyright Myths For Photographers

Here's another 10-10-10 Top Ten list. This time, it's for image creators and photographers. You've heard these lines from your clients. It's time to dispel these common myths.

1. You must register with the U.S. Copyright Office to get a copyright ... FALSE.

2. The image must be registered with the U.S. Copyright Office to sue for copyright infringement ... FALSE.

3. You must be a U.S. citizen to register a copyright in the USA ... FALSE.

4. Copyright can protect my ideas ... FALSE.

5. A "poor man's copyright" (mailing a sealed copy to yourself) is the only registration you need ... FALSE.

6. If you don't defend your copyright, you lose it ... FALSE.

7. It can still be a "fair use" when someone makes money from the image use ... FALSE.

8. If an image is old, it cannot be copyrighted ... FALSE.

9. Copyright infringement is not a crime ... FALSE.

10. If you give an image to your client, they can use it for whatever they like ... FALSE.

These points are over simplified. Check out more thorough explanations at in the comments section of this post.

(Note: This is not written by a lawyer, and this is not legal advise. Do consult a lawyer to get legal advice concerning copyright. This list suggests common misinformation about copyright and is not a definitive list.)

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