Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2004/10/28

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Subject: [Leica] What should a photo release look like?
From: timatherton at (Tim Atherton)
Date: Thu Oct 28 22:30:18 2004

> Anyway I am not sure what you mean by the below phrase " register the
> copyright of the Image NOW
> Where, how, when ??????

The Copyright Office with the forms they provide... it provides you HUGELY
more protection (within the US) than with an unregistered image.

see Pt II especially

eg - "The way the regulations are set up, all of the benefits of the 1976
copyright act come from the registration of your images.

If someone infringes your images and they are not registered, the infringer
has broken the law. Most infringers willingly take the risk, because they
know most photographer's do not register their material. They also know that
they will pay little more when caught then they would have to if they
licensed the image from you. The logical conclusion is why not take the
risk. Without registration, you as the image maker bear the burden of
proving what the image was worth and the burden of your own legal costs.
There is no mechanism for punitive damages without registration.

Once an image has been registered the law is set up to compensate the
copyright holder with his or her legal fees and punitive damages of up to
$150,000.00 per image infringed. One attorney I met at a panel discuss on
copyright calls this the biggest legal "hammer" he knows of when negotiating
settlement or prosecuting a copyright in infringement. The difference being
registered and not is legally "stunning"."

In reply to: Message from ruben at (Ruben) ([Leica] What should a photo release look like?)