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Photos, Copyrights & Trademarks

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Founder of 1stAngel Arts Magazine Social Area Manager on Fine Art America An oil painter by profession, it is actually my digital work which has been exhibited. I enjoy bringing art to non artists and artists to other artists. I have interviews on my magazine from all kinds of artist, writer and musician. I hope you enjoy them and my site as much as I do

Photos, Copyrights & Trademarks – Kathleen Stephens used with permission

There are no copyright or trademark violations in photography. What?!

Copyright  and trademark violations do not occur when you point a camera and push  the button. It isn’t the taking of a photo but the publishing of it that  can be a trademark or copyright violation.


Every photo you take is copyrighted from the moment you push the button.

The  memory stick of your camera holding your photos contains your  copyrighted images. Where violations of trademarks or copyrights occur  upon publishing, copyrights exist from the second a photo is created.  You can register a copyright if your image is being used for commercial  purposes, otherwise registration is not needed.

What are copyrights?

The Wikipedia gives a vast amount of information on copyrights including history, conventions and definition by countries. I recommend  that everyone read through it. Basically, copyrights are a set of  exclusive rights giving the creator or copyright holder of an original  work the right to copy, distribute and adapt their work.

A trademarkis a symbol, word or phrase that identifies a company or product.

Trademark violations take place when a photo is published – made public  – containing a trademark of a company or product. For example, the  Golden Arches of McDonalds, a Coca Cola sign, car insignias, etc.

Can you include trademarks in a photo and publish it without being in violation?

Yes,  but they can’t be the focus of the photo. Shooting and publishing a  street scene with a row of Harleys parked down the side of the street  does not violate the Harley trademark. Shooting the Harley insignia on a  bike and posting it does. Shooting a band on stage using Fender guitars  does not violate Fender’s trademark, but shooting a Fender guitar where  the word Fender is visible does.

Registering Copyright

You don’t need to register copyright for it to exist,  but if a work is potentially valuable or marketable, registering the  copyright will make it easier for you to bring legal action against  someone for copyright infringement.

There  is no government registration system for copyright protection in  Australia. You do not need to publish your work, put a copyright notice  on it, or to do anything else to be covered by copyright — the  protection is free and automatic.


In the US registering your work is required if you ever need to  litigate a copyright claim in court. Registering your work before any  infringement occurs also allows the artist to collect damages set by law  and attorney fees.

© 2011, Isabella Francesca Abigail Shores. All rights reserved.

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