How to protect your work from content thieves

PR and marketing pros should follow this advice to keep clients’ original creations safe from online plunderers.

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However, increased views can come at a price.

Photographers often find their images have been stolen. For many photographers, it’s not a question of “if” they’ll have an image stolen, but “when.”

Often the offense is committed by an otherwise well-meaning webmaster who doesn’t mean harm. Other times the thief feels that if an image is online it’s free to use—even though its being remounted on a for-profit site.

Regardless of the reason, when confronted, most offenders’ excuses fall under one of four themes:

1. I haven’t used it for personal profit.

2. I’ve never claimed it as my own.

3. I never saw a copyright claim on the photo.

4. I thought it was in the public domain.

All four excuses are, well, just that: excuses.

The bottom line is that if an image is used by anyone other than the creator without explicit permission, the image is being used without authorization and has been stolen.

Fair use vs. copyright

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