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When do you get a photo copyright?

The internet is a great place for spreading pictures, art, information and much else, but it also creates a problem. For photographers, for instance, it may mean that their photos get stolen and used without their permission. Many pictures get passed around so much -- all people need to do to save a digital picture is right-click and save it to the computer -- that few people have any idea who the original creator was.

This does not mean you have no rights, though. It's just that things are far more complicated than they used to be, and you may have to do more to protect those rights.

The first thing that you should know is that you don't have to apply for a copyright on photos that you take. As soon as you take the picture, you own it. You have the copyright. It is legally your photo, and no one can use it without your permission.

How long does that last? The photo is copyrighted under your name for your entire life. Even passing away doesn't end that. It stays your photo for another 25 years.

Plus, you don't lose that copyright just by sharing it. Posting your picture on Instagram does not give anyone the right to do any more than look at it. Photo theft may be easy and common in the digital age, but that does not mean that it is right.

Have you lost photos to theft or copyright infringement? This can cost you money, hurt your brand and violate your rights. You need to know what steps to take.

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Costello Law Corporation
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