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Copyrighting your images

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I tried doing a search and only found the watermark plugin thing

I'm interested to know what is the best and simplest way to properly copyright an image, short of filing any form or signing documents and all that extra legal stuff I'm not familiar with, yet.

I'm not sure if it has to be something like

"© [year] [your full name]"

or

"Copyright [year] [username]"

or

if a simple image could work, but a trademark has to be copyrighted, correct?

see where I get confused and a bit lost.

Can anyone help clarify a little bit for me please?

thank you.

:-)

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As soon as you make a work, you are de facto copyrighting it. No need to sign a form or hire a lawyer or such (You can if you want.) You don't need to put a copyright notice for it to be copyrighted.

But if you do here is the format:

Copyright © 2008 [name]

© can be replaced with ©

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ncfan51 is correct; in the United States (and, apparently, in India), once you have placed a work in a retrievable form (on paper, sculpture, disk, etc) it is copyrighted, unless you expressly release that copyright to the public domain or another license, such as Creative Commons. No need for forms, or even notices.

I recommend Creative Commons, in fact; ( http://creativecommons.org ) it allows you to retain the ownership and the credit for a work, while allowing others greater flexibility in the use of your work. Most of my work on deviantART is licensed under Creative Commons.

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ncfan51 is correct; in the United States (and, apparently, in India), once you have placed a work in a retrievable form (on paper, sculpture, disk, etc) it is copyrighted, unless you expressly release that copyright to the public domain or another license, such as Creative Commons. No need for forms, or even notices.

I recall you have to put a copyright notice in the USA but not in the UK for it to be copyrighted.

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I recall you have to put a copyright notice in the USA [...] for it to be copyrighted.

Not true. After it is in a retrievable form, it is copyrighted. I don't know about the UK, however.

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I do know that there are several law differences in the UK to the US that mean more rights for copyright holders in the UK - and I am sure I have heard several times that that is one of them.

Edit: Just stay on the safe side is my advice - even in countries where you do not have to it still helps as proof.

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I was going to be a lawyer with a focus on corporate and copyright law before I changed my major. Trust me, you don't have to have a notice to copyright something in the United States.

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Tried to edit my previous post, but you were too quick.

Not vital, but helpful.

According to the U.S. Copyright Office:

This site[/url]":3rqxiuw3]When is my work protected?

Your work is under copyright protection the moment it is created and fixed in a tangible form that it is perceptible either directly or with the aid of a machine or device.

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It probably depends per-country. Just state the copyright status of all your work to avoid confusion.

I wholeheartedly agree with this statement. :-)

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The problem occurs later when someone says that they created it first, it can take years in court. Musicians used to (possibly still do) record a song they'd written onto a tape, & send it recorded delivery to themselves. The idea behind it being that it was date-stamped by a recognizable source & it was (theoretically) possible to prove that you had written that song before anyone else, or at least when the package was stamped. This has never been tried in court so no-one knows if it'll stand up in court or not.

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The problem occurs later when someone says that they created it first

Bear in mind its not copyrighted until you release it to the public. But maybe that's just the UK.

I think it is just the UK. It's copyrighted the instant you put it in a retrievable format in the US. For instance...

...I just created and saved a Notepad file with the preceding sentence in it. Even though it hasn't been published yet, it's in a retrievable form, so I hold the copyright to it. Now, since I'm about to hit Submit, it will be published; however, that doesn't alter the copyright status of that sentence. It's mine. CAN'T HAS!

;-) Just kidding. I license it for quoting.

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Not true. As MBL has stated, there are ways to prove preeminence.

MY example has, as I said, never been tried in court so it's not known if it works. I guess what you could do if you wanted to copyright something you'd written into a notepad document would be to put it onto a memory stick, get it date-stamped by an official organization (any big company or department of the government), & then leave it alone. I don't know if this would work in the states, I don't even know if this works in the UK, I'm no lawyer & I never want to be.

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So.. if you encrypt something after making it and lose the password, it's not copyrighted anymore? (it wouldn't be retrievable, if the encryption you used is strong enough anyway)

And what about copyrighted webpages? If you look at them, you downloaded a copy of them, is that copyright infringement? (it is likely that your browser will also cache them on disk, so you'd have 2 copies! and what if you save the whole page manually?)

Or copyrighted programs: if you run them they must be copied to RAM first (and you could make as many copies of it as your harddisk allows..)

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So.. if you encrypt something after making it and lose the password, it's not copyrighted anymore? (it wouldn't be retrievable, if the encryption you used is strong enough anyway)

You would have no way to prove it unless there was an unencrypted copy availible.

And what about copyrighted webpages? If you look at them, you downloaded a copy of them, is that copyright infringement? (it is likely that your browser will also cache them on disk, so you'd have 2 copies! and what if you save the whole page manually?)

Or copyrighted programs: if you run them they must be copied to RAM first (and you could make as many copies of it as your harddisk allows..)

Obviously the copyright holders allow that.

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