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Is Photographing Someone Else’s Work a Copyright Violation?

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As an artist, you take great pride in your creations. Whether you’re a traditional artist who uses paint or pencils as your medium or you’ve embraced the digital age with graphic design, the ability to create beautiful works of art is not something you should take lightly. However, when you find photos of your creation for sale online, you may wonder if this warrants a copyright violation. Keep reading to learn more about these circumstances and discover how copyright infringement lawyers can help you navigate this complex matter.

Does Taking Photos of Work Constitute a Copyright Violation?

Generally, copyright owners have many rights when deciding when and how their work is distributed, as explicitly stated in the law.

If someone takes a photo of your artwork, whether a traditional painting or a logo, and tries to sell copies of the image, you can likely pursue a copyright claim. After all, even if you never registered your work with the U.S. Copyright Office, you still own the rights to that work. This gives you, the copyright owner, sole discretion about how this work is reproduced, distributed, and sold.

When Is This Not an Infringement?

However, there are instances in which you may be unable to pursue a copyright claim. Most commonly, the use of your work falls under “Fair Use.” Generally, the courts will consider four factors to determine whether or not the copyright violation warrants fair use. This includes:

  • How the work is used
  • The nature of the copyrighted content
  • How much of the work is used compared to the work as a whole
  • Whether or not the use will impact the value of the copyrighted work

Generally, as long as the work is transformative in nature, it will fall under fair use. If not, the burden of proof falls on the copyright owner to prove their rights have been violated.

What Can I Do if My Rights Have Been Violated?

If you believe your rights as a copyright owner have been violated, it’s essential that you contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible. Unfortunately, copyright law can be extremely complex. As such, you may have trouble navigating the legal process without the experience of a lawyer to help you.

In instances where it is decided that someone has violated your rights, you’ll be eligible for compensation. Generally, statutory damages can range from $750 to $30,000, while a willful infringement can reach awards of $150,000.

When you need assistance with your copyrighted content, CopyCat Legal is here to help. Our legal team will work tirelessly to help you achieve the best possible outcome for your circumstances. We are dedicated to holding those who violate copyright law responsible for their actions. Contact us today to learn how we can help you.

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