Online Copyright Infringement Assistance
If your work has been used without your permission, but you don't know what to do about it, PPA can help with our Copyright Infringement Assistance tool. It's designed to point you in the right direction, with steps you can take to stop the infringement! It’s quick and painless…because having your art stolen is painful enough!
As a professional photographer, protecting your images is one of your top priorities. This is why PPA works tirelessly to gather the latest information on the laws that affect your most precious commodity. Explore the section below for the most accurate, up-to-date information and resources.
Copiers, scanners and printers...oh MY! These days it's all too easy for your clients to use the available technology to reproduce your work. It may feel like you're fighting a losing battle, but you're not alone. You're a member of PPA, and we are staunchly in your corner...not only does PPA have a full-time presence on Capitol Hill fighting for stronger copyright law, we also provide a toolbox of resources to help you protect your own rights.
What Can You Do?
Remember: Copyright is a property right. Under the Federal Copyright Act of 1976 (effective January 1, 1978 and amended when the U.S. joined the Berne Convention in 1989), photographs are protected by copyright from the moment of creation.
You are the first line of defense in copyright protection. We encourage you to take these simple steps to strengthen your position:
- Mark your images as copyrighted. This can be done on the front or back of a print, and you can either watermark a digital image or embed your copyright in the metadata. While it is not required by law (your images are protected from the moment of creation), it is a wise step.
- Let customers know how to contact you—PPA Members may use their Member ID number and PPA's number, 800-786-6277. We regularly help consumers find the creator of an image.
- Educate and inform your customers that images are protected by Federal Copyright Law.
- Use the PPA Copyright Statement. These can be posted in your studio and inserted into each print order. (You can also call 800-786-6277 to purchase printed packs of 50 inserts.)
- Include a statement about copyright in your contract or other sales agreements. Infringements can then be dealt with as a contract violation, not just as a Federal Copyright case.
- Include a Copyright Statement with every order, reminding clients that photographs are protected by copyright and that they (the customers) agree that reprints will only be ordered from the original photographer or with the photographer's permission.
Note: Make sure that a local attorney reviews any changes made to your contracts. Contract law varies from state to state.