Many professional photographers use services such as Flickr to promote and share their work, and after this past weekend many photographers may have to rethink their involvement with different organizations, especially Flickr.
Jim Goldstein wrote an article on his blog entitled “How Every Flickr Photo Ended Up on Sale This Weekend“:
It turns out everyone’s Flickr photos were available for purchase through MyxerTones.com from July 3rd to July 5th, but Myxer disabled their Flickr integration after receiving numerous complaints.
I for one have many of my photographs uploaded to Flickr for others to see, and I don’t mind having them publicly available (and I have been contacted by individiuals wanting to purchase photos from Flickr), as long as they respect my copyright. After reading Jim’s article and reading other horror stories of Flickr in particular I will be watermarking my uploaded photos (a shame I know, but some people never learn) to try and safeguard my copyright.
A great resource that I have found along the way (thanks to Google for this one) is a guide from the Wedding Photo Directory entitled “Copyright Your Photos – Guide to Copyright Protection, Registration, and Your Rights“:
One common misconception for any startup photographer is: once you’ve captured the photo, it completely belongs to you. However, in order to claim ownership and file a potential copyright infringement suit, you must properly present and copyright your work, register your photos, and know your rights as a professional photographer.
So the next time you are looking to share your professional photos online, or elsewhere, make sure that you have done everything you can to protect and enforce your copyright. OR, if you are on the receiving end of these photographs, please take the time to verify where the photos are coming from.