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Questions about copyrights?

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Hello my name is Eric and im going to be 17 in about a week. I love taking pic's all the time and would love to make it a career. I have put pictures on here before and i really like the tips i get. But now i have been taking some that my mom and dad think should be procted a bit more. They said something about a copyright. I see them on most of the pics on here. So i guess my question is, how do I go about doing that, or what is the best thing i should do to have my pics safe? Anything would be helpful, thank you.

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Eric, putting a copyright symbol and the year and the name on images like many of us do doesn't add any copyright protection. It's just a reminder to people that all photographs automatically receive copyright protection with no registration from the photographer, and that it's illegal for them to pull them onto their computer and use them for any purpose without the photographer's consent.

All it really does is keep the honest people honest.

American copyright laws offer some protection for each image at its creation with no need for you to fill out any forms or pay any fees. However, what also matters in copyright issues is how easy it is to recover damages when someone steals an image and you sue them. If you take the additional step of registering your images online (it costs money but you can do it in batches as a cost-saving measure) at http://www.copyright.gov and someone steals your image, you can sue for larger damages than if the images are unregistered, and you can collect court costs as well.

Most commonly, people will pull images from the Internet onto their computers and use them for wallpaper. Some photogs are very casual about that and don't care. Others actually do care because they make money by selling CDs of wallpaper images. Sometimes people pull in those images and post them on other sites and pass them off as their own. And sometimes they get pulled off and used on commercial Web sites because the owners don't feel like legitimately paying for their use. There are many other ways to violate copyright, but those are just some of the most common in this electronic day and age. Are you protected with no registration in the event you find out someone has done that and you want to sue? Yes. But as stated, you can punish people much more severely if you register the copyright.

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