Some facts about Copyrights from the Professional Photographers of America:
- Copyright is a property right.
- Just because you buy a print does not mean you have purchased the copyright.
- Professional photographers are the smallest of small copyright holders.
- Under the Federal Copyright Act of 1976, photographs are protected by copyright from the moment of creation.
- Photographers have the exclusive right to reproduce their photographs (right to control the making of copies).
- Unless you have permission from the photographer, you can’t copy, distribute (no scanning and sending them to others), publicly display (no putting them online), or create derivative works from photographs.
- A photographer can easily create over 20,000 separate pieces of intellectual property annually.
- Professional photographers are dependent on their ability to control the reproduction of the photographs they create.
- It affects their income and the livelihood of their families.
- Even small levels of infringement—copying a photo without permission—can have a devastating impact on a photographer’s ability to make a living.
- Copyright infringements—reproducing photos without permission—can result in civil and criminal penalties.