In our recent "The Government Shutdown and You" blog post we discussed how the current government shutdown has affected copyright registration. Since we had copyright on our minds, we figured it was the perfect time to remind you of your PPA member copyright benefits. Remember, just because the copyright office is currently closed, that doesn't mean you can't still send in copyright registrations or that your copyrights are no longer valid!
A frustrating day for any photographer can be when you discover that someone is using one of your copyrighted images without your permission. Not only is it illegal--it also cuts into your bottom line! So what do you do if it happens to you? Luckily for PPA members, there's an easy solution: just call PPA's copyright and government affairs department at 800-786-6277 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Once you've contacted PPA, we'll help you determine the next steps to take to resolve your copyright infringement problem. If you wish to do so, you can also have us contact the infringer on your behalf as a way to get them to stop the practice or bring them to the negotiating table.
Of course, we hope that you never run into a situation where someone has violated your copyright, which is why PPA provides a whole host of resources to help you protect your copyrights.
Visit the copyright resources page to download the Copyright Kit, which will give you a great overview of the copyright process. You can also find copyright inserts you can include with your clients' orders to help keep them educated about copyright. Finally, there's also guides you can download to help you with electronic copyright registration as well as sample contracts for giving someone permission to reproduce one of your copyrighted images!
Don't forget about the copyright webinars on the copyright resources page. They'll walk you through the basics of important copyright information you should be aware of.
In addition to providing you with resources, PPA's RECON program checks on local retailers to make sure that they are obeying copyright law. If you're a PPA member, you can become part of this program!
The Retail Compliance Network (RECON) is a dedicated group of photographer investigators who go undercover in an effort to preserve the integrity of photographers' copyrights. They embark on stealth missions to local retailers who offer photo finishing services or use online print services to see if they are complying with copyright law. If a retailer violates the laws, PPA approaches them with the results and urges them toward greater compliance.
If you'd like to become a RECON investigator, you can download an application; just remember you need to be a PPA member.
Along with all of these efforts, PPA members can also get a discount on services to add digital watermarks to your images. This is especially important for photographers that post copyrighted images to forums, websites, Facebook or other social media! The watermark lets everyone know who these images are copyrighted by and cuts down on illegal use.
So, access the copyright resources today and make sure all your images are properly copyrighted! These resources are just for PPA members, so join PPA today to have access to the resources as well as copyright assistance.
Want to read more about protecting your images? Check out the "10 Ways for Photographers to Protect Their Copyright" post.