Ruth Carter Esq. a copyright lawyer from Carter Law Firm Ruth spoke of her book “The legal Side of Blogging” Here is a link if you would like to purchase it on Amazon here!
The Copyright of your Original Work Starts at the Click of your camera!
Here are the 5 rights you get in a copyright.
5. Derivative Works Copyright Registration.
In order for an image to hold an actual copyright it must be registered with the library of congress, you can’t sue for infringement unless work is registered. Each image needs to be registered individually unless it is part of a set then you can register the entire the set. However recourse is better if you do individually as you can sue per piece used where it they are registered as a set you can only sue as a whole set. You can sue for actual damages i.e. what you lose because someone steals your work.
Cost of work for the application it is being used for. Or Statutory damages Court just punishes the infringer up to $150K per item. They could also be eligible for court fees and attorney’s costs if you are eligible for statutory Creativecommons.org lets you put licenses on your works. They have 6 different ones to choose from. If you find your works being used illegally you can use the Digital Millennium Copyright Law which is where you would go directly to the web host and state that a site they are hosting contains illegally obtained content and the host would be required to remove the site at that point.
Model Rights to images. The model only holds the rights if they directly hired you to shoot photos. You must have model sign a release. Always! Fair use Law supersedes some copyright law. This is where an editorial, News agency or Educational facility uses your work in news reporting or teaching. In these cases they do not need to gain your permission for use.
Photography for Hire: “Work Made for Hire” if you are hired to take photos. The need to have the contract signed prior to starting is imperative. This contract would spell out exactly what and where the photos are being used for. This will spell out things like does the client have the right to have the prints turned into images for their profit, or how long they can use that image for, how often they would need to re contract the images. If they are using the images for 1 campaign that is to last 6 months you would charge X. If they want to extend the campaign you would charge Y. *With this contract it would be best to provide a one sheet page of information that would state exactly what they can and can’t do with your images. Social Media: Read the terms of service about what the site can and will do with images you post to them.
They are all different and the they all change the rules from time to time so keep yourself up to speed on those rule changes. It is important to set up a corporate Veil. This would be your LLC or INC. This will keep your business assets completely separate from your personal assets. This will involve Checking accounts, Credit Cards, PO Boxes… All these things set up in the business to be used for business ONLY. No robbing Peter to Pay Paul. You can transfer equipment to the business if you write down each item date and sign the transfer agreement and file it. Once this occurs if you sell your business all articles transferred are the properties of the business.
The winner of the $300 SMUGMug.com Pro Account from this meeting was Stephanie Bullard.