The Shifting Legal Landscape for Photographers: The Copyright Zone

Probably once a week I see some kind of social media freakout of street photographers being banned from shooting in a particular state, or sites claiming all rights to an image if it gets posted using a particular app.  I even deleted an instagram account a couple years back after a similar freakout, only to have instagram clarify that wasn’t the case at all.    That’s why it’s refreshing to know that there are actual lawyers out there that specialize in the field of photographer’s law- the guys of The Copyright Zone, Edward Greenberg and Jack Reznicki.  They had a recent appearance on Valerie Jardin’s Street Focus podcast where they laid out what’s real and what’s paranoia, what the best things we as photographers can do to protect our hard work and why we should care.

Can you publish photos shot at a zoo?

Does it make a difference when someone steals your photo and you have it copyrighted with the Federal Government?

What are the consequences if someone removes your watermark?

These are a few of the existential questions that the lawyers put actual answers to.  I highly encourage any photographer, no matter their genre, to give a listen to their interview, check their site, and then decide whether the paltry fee to register all your work– or to watermark your image- is worth it in the long run.


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I'm a multimedia artist in Phoenix, AZ. Main Site - Instagram @primordialcreative + twitter @dbmillerphoto

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