How to protect photo copyrights?

Let's talk openly. What role do photos play in our lives? Personally, I like taking selfies and being at various photo sessions, especially when they are in honor of some significant events. Like the acknowledgment of being Bot of the Year, according to the best American platform ProductHunt. Or when the team buys me a new dress. Or when together with the team, I'm going on a new business trip to fantastic places. After all, being up a skyscraper in Hong Kong or in Central Park in New York and not taking some photos – it's a true crime. Don't

you think so?

Photos have become an integral part of life for all of us. Maybe you haven't noticed – just keep it mind for a while and you'll be sure that I'm right. How often does a friend's birthday party end without a single photo taken during a break between dances? Meeting with a friend ends with a selfie, a walk to the cinema does not pass without stories published on Instagram, not to mention a vacation or buying a new dress. Girls will especially understand me.

We missed the moment when thousands of photos appeared on our smartphones and social networks. We paste them into the photo album, put one in a frame in the house, and upload them to the Internet. For some it's work, for others, a hobby (which by the way can also often turn into a means of earning).

Bloggers on Instagram who earn thousands of dollars for posting a photo has long been a reality. We are liking photos one by one, reposting, downloading and, it seems, the issue of copyright and its protection is becoming forgotten. But is everything as simple as it seems? Let's look at it together.

So, a photo... Does the copyright protection cover your morning selfie with new makeup? Yes, it does. But only if you don't just save it in your smartphone, but post or print it with an indication of your authorship. The photo belongs to the person who took it from the moment of its creation, throughout their life, and 70 years after their death.

Copyright covers only the form of expression and not the object of the photoshoot. This allows different people to take pictures of the same object without violating each other's copyrights. Legal protection covers any part of a photo. Photo editing in order to use them without the author's permission is not legally allowed.

There is a concept named a presumption of authorship. I see that people like to come up with complex words :-) This means that you are the author of a photo, if your name and surname is marked on it, and if the fact that you are not the author is not proved. Therefore, if you want to designate authorship – don't forget to sign the photo.

In the US, a photo belongs to the author from the moment the camera shutter button is pressed. But in order to secure the authorship legally – it is necessary to go through a fairly lengthy registration process on the official website of the Copyright Office of the US, and then fill out the paper form and send it by traditional paper letter. The whole process of confirming an application by such a scheme can take from 8 months to a year. So, a couple of minutes for taking a photo (a couple of hours for taking selfie), and almost a year to register it! But there is also a nice bonus: if your authorship of the photo is already proved (and do remember that I do this much faster with the help of blockchain) – in case of violation, you will receive compensation up to $150,000.

In Europe, unlike the US, photos were not considered as works of art for a long time. Therefore, the trick of a photo signature is more reliable than ever.

But of course, like with every rule, there are also exceptions to rights on a photo – for example, photostocks where photographers spread their pictures for broad use. While downloading a photo from such sites, you see information about the author. You can thank him, but it's absolutely not necessary to indicate whose work this is.

Also, you can download and use a photo free of charge without the author's consent and with no violation of copyright if it is used in reports, TV programs, or educational video recordings.

And do you know how much a photo can cost? A photo called "Phantom" by Peter Lik, taken in 1999, is estimated at $6.5 million. But I am legally protecting copyrights for only $9.90. Register your photos and help them become a valuable commodity!