Whether you’re a professional photographer or take pictures on your phone for fun, you have the right to protect the content you’ve created. However, when you find your images on various websites without credit or compensation, you’ll likely be frustrated. Keep reading to learn what steps you can take if someone has been using your images without permission and discover how photography copyright infringement lawyers can help you navigate these issues.
Document the Use of Your Copyrighted Photos
When you come across your copyrighted photos on the internet, one of the most important things to do is to document the unlawful use of your images. This provides the necessary evidence to prove the photos are on the website.
Along with the images, you should compile a list of the URLs, dates, or social media handles that hosted the images. Be sure to include any other information in your notes, like whether or not they edited out the watermark or if they are trying to sell the photograph as their own.
Contact the Poster
Once you have gathered the necessary evidence, you’ll want to contact the poster. Generally, simply informing the poster that they are infringing on your copyright is enough to have the host remove the image or pay and credit you for your work.
At this point, you do not need to threaten legal action, as many people may be unaware that the images they are using on their site are subject to copyright or licensing issues. Remaining polite and informing them that they need to take down the photos because they do not own the copyright is, in most cases, more than enough for someone to remove an image from their website.
Reach Out to an Attorney
If the person does not respond, does not remove the photo, or outright refuses to edit their web page, you’ll want to contact an attorney for further assistance. They can help you create a “cease and desist.” This document is a formal, written complaint to a company informing them they are stealing content and that they must stop by a specific date. The letter will also include the steps that will be taken if they fail to remove the applicable images.
An attorney can also help you file a DMCA takedown notice, which bypasses the website owner and goes directly to the internet service provider. In the United States, internet service providers must remove websites that infringe upon copyright.
If none of the aforementioned steps work, you’ll need to consult your attorney to discuss your next steps. They can help you file a claim to pursue compensation for the images the thief has stolen.
When you need help, CopyCat legal is here to help. Our dedicated legal team understands how detrimental theft of copyrighted work can be to an artist. We’re ready to fight to help you get the justice you deserve. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you navigate this complex process.