Copyright protects the author as the creator of a work. This means that the creator has economic and, above all, ideal property rights for his created work, and the focus is on the relationship to it. The copyright starts here from a different perspective and protects those who have the rights to the work in an economic sense, with a clear focus on economic aspects.
How do I protect my copyright as an artist or photographer?
Photography copyright applies to both snapshots and artistic recordings including digital prints and artistic drawings. But even without a creative and individual influence, photos are protected by copyright. The UrhG refers to photos that show, for example, holiday impressions or family celebrations as photographs.
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A photograph is an unchanged and lifelike reproduction. This can also be, for example, articles in image reporting that document events for newspapers, among other things. Also falling product photographs, which are used in advertising or for offers in online auction houses, including the photographs.
The duration of protection for photographs is set for a shorter period of time than for photographic works. The period of validity for the copyright on photos is limited to 50 years in these cases. The period begins either after the publication or, if this has not occurred, the production of the photo.
What rights do authors have on photographs?
The copyright for photos usually arises from the creation of the photo, i.e. the moment the photographer presses the shutter release on the camera. He is thus also the author, regardless of whether he is acting on behalf of a person or on his own responsibility.
- The creator is granted various rights through the copyright for his photography. This includes, among other things, moral rights and exploitation rights.
- The author cannot transfer the moral rights or the exploitation rights to other persons during his lifetime. They remain in place for the entire duration of the copyright.
The relationship between the creator and his work is defined by moral rights. The publication rights for photos enable the author to decide whether and when to make his work available to the public. He can also insist on the recognition of authorship.
The law also grants the author exploitation rights. This means that he is the only one who can decide whether a work is used in physical or non-physical form. Possible forms of exploitation include reproduction, distribution, performance, and making available to the public.
- With the exploitation of his work, the author can receive financial compensation for his creative and creative work. If he cannot or does not want to exploit his works in full, he can allow third parties to use them.
- For this purpose, a contract about the rights of use for photos is drawn up. This defines the types of use, the scope and the limitation of use, and the financial remuneration.
When does a photo have a copyright infringement?
If images are used without the permission of the author – for example in the form of a license agreement on the granting of usage rights – this is a violation of copyright law.
But even if the author is not named, there is a copyright infringement on the photo. The so-called photo theft is one of the common violations of copyright law in photos on the Internet.
In doing so, photos protected by copyright are copied from existing websites and incorrectly displayed as their own. This is particularly common with product images for webshops and online auctions. Businesses have the responsibility to know the basic laws including the use of images for their website. For this reason, the authors try to protect their images with watermarks, for example.