i guess the bottom line is copyright - stuff is kind of complicated.
gang registration is like $65USD and worth every penny ...
it is best to register because these days it is very easy to grab+go ...
and people seem to have no morals anymore
and it seems that the poor mans copyright i mentioned is urban legend / BS
better to deal BEFORE not after ...
oh well ...
I've found this an interesting discussion. To my mind, the other side of the question is: what are the odds that you'll find out that someone stole your work? OK, if a company were to misappropriate a photograph and use it in a Super Bowl commercial, you might see it and know to complain. But if that same company took an image and used it in their annual report, what are the odds you'd ever see that? If one were so inclined as to misappropriate images, I bet he/she would get away with it 99% of the time simply on the basis that the odds of the actual photographer seeing the image would be miniscule.
This is the official response to any worries:
The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 –Your photos and you
Myth – the provisions remove the automatic right to copyright for owners of photos posted online
Fact - The powers do not remove copyright for photographs or any other works subject to copyright.
Myth – anyone can use a photo they have found on the internet as an “orphan” if they cannot find the copyright owner after a search
Fact – A licence must be obtained to use a work as an “orphan”. This will require the applicant to undertake a diligent search, which will then need to be verified by the independent authorising body which the Government will appoint before a work can be used.
Myth – works will have their metadata stripped and be licensed en masse as orphans under the Extended Collective Licensing provisions
Fact – the Orphan Works scheme and Extended Collective Licensing (ECL) are separate and the orphan works scheme is about licensing of individual works.The Government will have no power to impose ECL on a sector, and the safeguards included in the scheme mean that ECL is only likely to be an option where there is strong existing support for collective licensing. Any rights holder who is worried about how their work could be used under an ECL scheme will always retain the ability to opt out.
It is unlikely that ECL will be an option for photography where there is a strong tradition of direct licensing: there is no collecting society for photographers in the UK, so no application for an ECL is feasible at present.
Myth – anyone will be able to use my photos for free if they cannot find who owns them?
Fact – If a work is licensed following the verification of the diligent search, there will be a licence fee payable up-front for its use. The fee will be set at the going rate.
Myth – anyone can use my photos without my permission
Fact – Anyone wishing to use a work as an orphan must first undertake a diligent search for the rights-holder which is then verified with permission to use the work granted by the Government appointed independent authorising body. If the work is not genuinely orphan then the rights-holder should be found, if the search is not properly diligent, no licence will be issued.
Myth – the Act is the Instagram Act
Fact – Given the steps that must be taken before an orphan work can be copied, such as the diligent search, verification of the search and payment of a going rate fee, it is unlikely that the scheme will be attractive in circumstances where a substitute photograph is available. The rate payable for an orphan work will not undercut non-orphans.
Myth – a company can take my work and then sub-license it without my knowledge, approval or any payment
Fact – The licences to use an orphan work will not allow sub-licensing.
Myth – the stripping of metadata creates an orphan work
Fact – the absence or removal of metadata does not in itself make a work “orphan” or allow its use under the orphan works scheme
Myth – I will have to register my photos to claim copyright
Fact – Copyright will continue to be automatic and there is no need to register a work in order for it to enjoy copyright protection.
Myth – the UK is doing something radical and unprecedented with the Orphan Works powers
Fact – Other jurisdictions already allow the use of orphan works. The UK powers are largely based on what happens in Canada – which has been licensing orphan works since 1990.
I think this is the most important bit: A licence must be obtained to use a work as an “orphan”.
its strange that a similar discussion ( not really ) is going on here:
while it is pretty unlikely that people will take random photographs from random people and use them in an annual report
or billboard campaign or whatever, if someone's work is of a well known person, place, thing, or event, chances are more likely
that it might get noticed if not used. i assisted someone years ago who used to shuffle his stock images around to the credit card companies
they loved his crew/regatta images and used them as much as they could ... sometimes they kept using them and he had to slap them on the wrist.
it seemed like a game of cat n'mouse back then but that's how he got paid and he retained control over his work.
Three really important issues are being intermixed here.
1) the laws of copyright ownership and protection vary from country to country. And the practicalities of copyright vary from country to country;
2) in the USA, the remedies available to someone whose copyright may have been infringed are dependent on registration. And as any lawyer will tell you, it is all about remedies, because nothing much else matters; and
3) in the UK, a new wrinkle has been added to copyright law with the ostensible purpose of making it possible to use material for which the copyright owner cannot be identified or located.
a) some may recall a relatively recent fuss where Scarlett Johansson suddenly had a bunch of partially naked photos of herself appear on the internet. As it turned out, the photos had been taken by Ms. Johansson herself, using her phone, and someone hacked into her phone and stole them. Ms. Johansson had a lot of success using the courts to prevent the re-use and publication of those photos because, as the photographer, she held the copyright for them, and thus was able to expeditiously obtain a number of injunctions that prevented future breach of that copyright; and
b) in Canada, unlike most of the world, our traditional rule has been that if you contract with a photographer to have photographs taken, the copyright on those photographs belongs to you, not the photographer. That rule has been recently changed by new legislation to match most of the rest of the world - the photographer is the copyright holder now. This change isn't as important as it may seem though - it has always been the case that the rule may be amended by contract. In a commercial setting, invariably ownership of copyright is dealt with by contract.
If you have the negatives how can someone else have the copyright without a document proving that the work is orphan or that the copyright was transferred to them?
If someone takes your low resolution image from your website to resell or to use in a marketing campaign, is it not god that you are the only one who can proved high resolution prints? Or even better, the only one who can provide a original traditional print.
What can they do with low resolution images other than print it small or a large but bad quality print?