Protect Your Pretty Pictures: 3 Things To Know About Copyright & Photography

Copyright, Q & A with Legal Bae

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February 14, 2018

Hey! It’s Legal Bae time!

More and more of you beautiful people are showing your face on social media, and you’re wondering if other people can simply take your photos and use them in memes, repost them as shares, or put them on their websites as stock images. In addition to you sharing your photos, you may also notice others sharing stunning photos of flatlays, fun vacations, and sweet selfies; yet, you still wonder if that’s okay.

So, this question was posed to me: If I post my image on #Facebook or #Instagram does that mean my image is in the public domain and anyone can use it?

Press play up top to hear my response:

Here’s the deal. When we choose to post our images on Facebook, Instagram, SnapChat, or other platforms, we don’t always know the official “rules”. As your #legalbae, I’m here to share with you the top three things you should remember when posting your pretty pictures online.

1. You OWN your images.
The moment you put your finger on the shutter or touch the home button, your photos belong to you. You have the copyrights to any picture, graphic, or photo you post in these internet streets. No one else owns your photos; not even Facebook or Instagram.

2. Your copyright attaches IMMEDIATELY.
You don’t have to wait 24 hours or any other extended period of time to claim copyright privileges. You own the copyright as soon as you take the photo. Posting your images to social media platforms do not shift your ownership.

3. You must provide PERMISSION for others to use your photos.
Because you post your photos on social media, does not give others the right to use your photos without your permission. They must ask you to use your pretty pictures on their blogs, websites, or social media posts. So, if you see someone using your photos, you have the right to request immediate removal.

Now let me say this, if you’re a creative entrepreneur and your photos are important to the livelihood of your brand, business, or personal reputation, I’d suggest taking the legal steps to filing for a copyright registration for collections of your work in order to strengthen your legal standing.

If you’re posting pretty pictures for your family to see or to promote your business, those photos still belong to you. You own them, and that’s the real deal.


Your #legalbae

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