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What If You Dont Copyright Your Images?


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#1 mrgoodfox

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Posted 26 October 2010 - 06:15 PM

Can someone else get the images off your site (that you designed) and copyright them under their name if you never did?

#2 jonbey

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Posted 26 October 2010 - 07:20 PM

(disclaimer - making it up....)

I should not think so. You made them, they are yours. Is there not a copyright notice in the footer? Or one mentioned anywhere on the site?

If they are publishing them online you can file DMCA complaints. Google seem to act on them, and I have been advised the ISPs do too. If you have the source files etc. then you can prove they are yours, if it comes to that.

#3 tam

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Posted 26 October 2010 - 07:37 PM

They could but you could but they would be lying and you could challenge their claim.

Anything you create automatically belongs to you, you don't have to register it or even display a notice. I doubt anyone would go to the bother of taking images off the web then registering them, they'd just use them.

#4 jonbey

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Posted 26 October 2010 - 07:58 PM

if they are hotlinking / scraping then I can give you a neat htaccess trick that will display an image of your choice instead. I display a logo (served by a photosharing site) when someone tries to hotlink. Ha.

#5 iamlost

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Posted 26 October 2010 - 09:01 PM

Disclaimer: the following is not legal advice. Please consult a competent attorney.

Copyright exists from the moment you publish a work.
A work does NOT have to be registered to be covered by copyright.
However, because it can be difficult to show an original date of publication for a particular work, such as an image, on a website I strongly recommend that you take dated screenshots as a minimum.

Registering your copyright does have several advantages.

I like the fact that images, can via exif data, provide author and creation date among other information. If image is from a negative or scan it can be added. Yes, this data can be altered but most 'borrowers' are too lazy or ignorant. I also recommend adding a small copyright notice in a corner of each image. It is possible to use CSS to cover that portion while displayed as part of the page.

While my sites were growing, adding content frequently, I registered copyright via the 'automated database' provision. At this point I simply send in a CD once a year to cover whatever minor alterations were done.

If someone actually registered copyright on your previously published but unregistered work it can be difficult but not impossible to oppose. Basically you need to prove ownership prior to their filing for registration - I recommend consulting a competent attorney.

Important: registering copyright does NOT grant ownership.
It does, however, provide a guaranteed reference date of publication.
Disputed copyright is a matter for mediation or the courts.

Note: copyright registration is considered a prima facie DMCA defence.

#6 Tiggerito

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Posted 27 October 2010 - 06:56 AM

In the old days you would send yourself a copy by snail mail and never open it. As mail has a stamped date it was considered proof that it existed at that date.

I guess you could send yourself a DVD of your images just encase you need to produce proof of creation date.

#7 jonbey

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Posted 27 October 2010 - 07:50 AM

why not just send via googlemail, or upload to a sharable google document. These are time stamped aren't they, and you cannot alter the times. At least, I think that will work.

picasaweb maybe, with a private folder that can be shared if need be? Would that replace the cost of stamps, and the uncertainty principal. OK, you send the mail, but how do you know the photo is still inside if you don't open it?

#8 mrgoodfox

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Posted 27 October 2010 - 08:04 PM

Thanks guys. That was great information.

I ended up filing for copyright for my image as I plan on using it on a lot of promotional material.

#9 Black_Phoenix

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Posted 16 November 2010 - 02:50 PM

Hi guys, here's a handy site I found, used this to track down several of my drawings that people have pinched and re published

http://www.tineye.com/

Hope its of use

Dave

#10 jonbey

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Posted 16 November 2010 - 03:28 PM

Funny area. I often buy stock photos, and sometimes I see websites running very similar content to me with the same photo, but I cannot be sure if they have re-written my content and nicked the photo, or if they have purchased it.

Maybe watermarks are the way ahead.

#11 iamlost

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Posted 16 November 2010 - 03:45 PM

Funny area. I often buy stock photos, and sometimes I see websites running very similar content to me with the same photo, but I cannot be sure if they have re-written my content and nicked the photo, or if they have purchased it.

That is the value of creating your own graphics - uniqueness. Well worth the effort, if doing yourself, possibly well worth the cost if buying - by which I do not mean buying stock usage but buying custom creations.

#12 jonbey

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Posted 16 November 2010 - 03:52 PM

Yeah, maybe. Cannot afford that investment at the moment, maybe when I have more readers.

#13 jonbey

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Posted 16 November 2010 - 04:10 PM

OMG, Tinyeye is amazing.



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