Thursday, March 4, 2010

Important Information about Copyrights and respecting them

    With email, and social media networks like Facebook, Buzz, YouTube and Picasa making photo sharing, downloading, and printing easier than ever, understanding the Federal Copyright Laws is extremely important in order to protect yourself from legal issues.  Many people believe that they own any pictures taken of them, when in actuality, a Photographer legally owns any pictures they create.   Under no circumstances (typically) does the person depicted in the image own the copyright to the image.  Here are a few things to consider about Copyrights:
  • An image is Copyrighted by the photographer the instant it is created.  All images created by any photographer, even images that have not been registered directly with the US Copyright Office, are automatically protected.
  • Images with a Copyright symbol located anywhere on them, either through digital metadata, or a physical Copyright stamp on the front or back cannot be legally duplicated by anyone but the photographer without express WRITTEN approval.  
  • Knowingly removing watermarks, Copyright stamps or the Photographer's name from an image (whether physically through cropping or digitally) is illegal and could result in  legal proceedings. 
  • Many photographers manage to keep their session fees down because they hope to sell their clients Prints as well.  When a client takes a print to a photolab to have it illegally duplicated, or illegally scans, uploads, or prints the duplicates themselves, photographers are forced to raise their session fees to combat image theft.
  • In choosing a photographer, clients should take into account not only the photographer's style and price point, but the quality of their products.  As professional photographers we have access to some of the most impressive and exclusive photo labs in the country.  Why compromise the quality of your Prints and your legal wellbeing by going to a neighborhood photolab?  
At Jordana Wright Photography, clients will find our Copyright rules explained clearly in our Client Agreement signed at or before Portrait Sessions and Events.  Many studios place a garish studio name or logo on the front of your image in order to combat Copyright Infringement and increase their business branding.  Jordana Wright Photography chooses to preserve the original images for our clients, only watermarking digital copies, and striving to provide our clients with physical Prints unmarred by text, logos, watermarks or Copyright stamps on the front of images.  We will always provide a Copyright Protection message located on the back of each print, along with the words "Do Not Copy" just as a reminder.  We are always happy to produce additional prints or products for our clients, and work very hard to provide attractive, affordable prints.

A photographer's livelihood is the images they create.  Every professional spends hours booking and setting up for sessions, travelling, maintaining our gear, learning new techniques, researching new products, and retouching every image for the benefit of our clients and our business.  Please respect the hard work we put into your Photography Sessions and Retouching and don't copy or reproduce the images yourself or at an alternative photolab.  Following Federal Copyright Laws allows photographers to keep our businesses healthy, and our prices reasonable.  

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