Photo Attorney

Oct 23, 2007

The Costs of Copyright Infringement

The Institute for Policy Innovation recently released its study on "The True Cost of Copyright Industry Piracy to the U.S. Economy," finding that copyright infringement "costs the U.S. economy $58.0 billion in total output, costs American workers 373,375 jobs and $16.3 billion in earnings, and costs federal, state, and local governments $2.6 billion in tax revenue." Unfortunately, photography, while mentioned, was not among the primary industries considered.

In sum, if you make your photographs available to others, you will likely be infringed. What can you do in response?

1. Educate others, not just your clients, about photographers' rights.
2. Make it difficult to infringe (and be eligible for more damages when infringed) by putting a water mark with your copyright management information on your photos.
3. Register your photographs so that you are eligible for statutory damages when you are infringed.

Take my advice; get professional help.

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