This article was originally published on June 19, 2019
Got a spare while? Read this short article and have no doubts about your photo rights. Learn how to act when your photos get stolen and where to seek assistance for the picture protection.
As a photographer you would rather spend the next couple of minutes on editing your pictures, reading about the new gear or testing the tripod which arrived this morning. We get it all, there are some photographers in our team as well. But in order to enjoy it to the fullest with a clean head, you should be fully aware of your rights.
Imagine spending hours on taking the one, perfect picture and then seeing it stolen. Oh, you might end up furious. In such case, it would be good to know what to do next to 1) get back the money that you deserve from your copyrights and 2) prevent your pictures from getting stolen once again. Now, spend a short while on reading the next couple of paragraphs to get to know the steps needed to keep your photographs safe and find out how we can help you for free.
Depending on the country, there might be different rules applying to intellectual property rights on photographs. Copyright law may not always be the one and only applicable. In certain cases, it is important to take into account civil and criminal laws. Depending on the morality and cultural beliefs, reactions to photography differ between societies. There might be no official regulations, but objections may appear when photographing people or spaces. In order to react properly and make sure your rights are not violated, you should be familiar with applicable rules and some customs specific for certain cultures. A quick tip for if you are a travel photographer: before you go shoot in a new country, make sure you become familiar with local rules and customs.
Since most of our clients live and work either in Europe or the US, we base most of our articles on these two jurisdictions. According to the mentioned above, when in the public space, you are allowed to photograph whatever you want to. Nobody can stop you from shooting. You have the right to photograph people without anyone’s permission. Surely, some rules of mutual respect apply. But this is something everyone should figure on their own. Do not be intrusive and respect privacy. The best practice is to get the confirmation of consent from the photographed person.
You can also take pictures of buildings or other objects located in the public area, such as shops, museums and public libraries unless specified otherwise or the management asks you to stop. Remember that taking photos for commercial gain in a public place may be prohibited in some instances.
Be extra careful when shooting during some bigger events, taking pictures in the presence of police officers or security guards. Security guards have less power than police officers. They are not allowed to stop and search you. If they use force to take your camera or memory card, they commit assault. Have the courage to say no. You have the right to do so.
Shooting in big cities is one of your favourites? No wonder! There is something absolutely mesmerizing about their energy. But when they get busy, be careful with your tripod. You do not want to cause an obstruction of free passage of the footway or cycle path. Respect people who are in a hurry.
Once you take a picture, it automatically gets copyrighted. From that moment, it is protected by law and no one is allowed to use it without your consent. The same rules apply when photographing someone else’s work protected by copyright law. It will usually be treated as copyright infringement to take a picture of a work (painting, sculpture, fabric, etc.) protected by copyright without the permission of the copyright owner. Once you spot the copyright infringement, you have every right to claim your rights and get back the money you deserve. There is a bunch of different ways to do so. The most common, but not necessarily the best one, is to… sue the infringer! At PhotoClaim we believe this is not the only possible way. It is a costly one, that is for sure. Years of experience showed us that there are other ways to get compensation for your violated copyrights. Find out how we work and do not hesitate to test our service. You can register with us for free.
You might be curious about the status of image theft not only in your country but also all around the world. Since we keep a close eye on it, we prepared some fresh statistics for you. Find out how many cases we managed to open so far. The number is still growing which means two things: the unfortunate phenomenon does not stop but our monitoring is also improving, and we keep on detecting more and more copyright infringement.