Copyright 101

Let’s talk Copyright…

Yep, that ugly word.  You know, that one that means there is a law that protects all Westlight Photography images.  But, really, what does it mean?

Q. First, what is Copyright?

A. The US Constitution and Federal Copyright Act gives protection to artists (authors,photographers, etc.) for their original creations.  This means the author has exclusive rights to reproduce. When the copyright has been violated, the author can pursue legal action and the offender can be held liable and fined.

Q. OK, I bought a disc of images with printing rights. What can/can’t I do with these images?

A. Things you can do:

  • make prints for personal use
  • make greeting cards / announcements for personal use
  • make photo books / photo gifts for personal use
  • upload watermarked images to the web – your personal website, blog, social networking sites like Facebook, photo sharing sites – to share with your family & friends

Things you may not do:

  • enter the photos in contests – nope, not even those “cute baby” contests
  • alter the image (change to color or b/w, alter color saturation, apply effects, crop, etc.)
  • provide digital copies of the images to family and friends
  • remove/disable any digital watermarks or other or markings

Q. Aunt Susie saw my photos and would love to have one copy of it.

A. I love hearing that family members are delighted with my work!  You are welcome to provide friends and family with a printed copy of your image.  Please do not pass on the digital original.

Q. What about the images you post on Facebook?

A. The images posted on Facebook are meant to be enjoyed, viewed and even shared. I welcome and encourage you to tag yourself in the images if you aren’t already or share the link to the images. I also welcome and encourage you to use the images as your profile pic.  Please do not crop out any watermarks.

Q. So what about the prints I purchased?

A. Here are a few examples of what you may not do:

  • Scan them
  • Copy them
  • Edit them
  • Take pictures of them & print them or post them on the web

Q. Okay, I get it. But I might have already unknowingly violated your copyright policy. Now what?

A. No worries!  We all make mistakes, and I’m sure you didn’t mean to. I’d just like to ask you to make an attempt at rectifying the situation. If you’ve already posted or shared images, please take them down or provide photo credit by adding a link back to me ~