Copyrights INFO

t Information – Found a photo of mine used on a political website. I didn’t sell them or anyone else the image. What should I do? 3 comments »Started by Carolyn Kamuda
In the U.S., whether or not you have it marked with a © or not and if you do or do not have it registered with the Library of Congress Copyright Office does not matter. You own the copyright to it and they have infringed that right. Registering it helps and would give you a bigger stick if it was going to be a fight over use and go to court, but no political person wants that. You will have to register it if you go to court and court will be expensive.
Once a work has been fixed in tangible form, the exclusive rights of copyright apply automatically. The work does not need to be registered with the Copyright Office. However, there are a number of benefits available only to works that are registered with the Copyright Office. (see below)
A copyright notice does not need to be affixed to a work for it to be protected. However, including a copyright notice on a work provides several substantive and procedural benefits, such as alerting the world that a copyright is claimed in a work.
Registration with the Copyright Office is required prior to filing any lawsuit to enforce the exclusive rights.
Registration within three months of publication or prior to an infringement is required to obtain statutory damages and attorney fees.
* Statutory damages for innocent infringement may range from $750 to $30,000 per work infringed
* Statutory damages for willful infringement may be as much as $150,000 per work infringed
Registration establishes a public record that the owner claims a copyright interest. Registration is required to establish a record with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection to protect against the importation of counterfeit and pirated copies.
I would approach it with from a business side. I would contact them and say you are glad they find your image a great fit for their advertising. Let them know you are the legal copyright holder and would be glad to license the image to them so they are not breaking US Copyright laws. Let them know you would like to resolve this “over site” on their part. Be fair in your pricing, but firm in the fact that it is a copyright violation.
If they refuse to license the image or remove it, then contact the isp hosting the site and let them know about the infringment and ask the site be removed until the infringment is removed. I would at that point also take it public (media, blog, where ever).
I would guess they will license the image or apoligise and remove it. Be professional about it. Also, it does not sound like it would fall under the Fair Use.
There are certain limitations on the exclusive rights of copyright owners available to third parties either as affirmative defenses to claims of infringement or as exemptions. For example, there is a limitation on the exclusive rights of copyright owners for libraries and archives to reproduce and distribute protected works.
The most common, and complicated, defense to copyright infringement is fair use. The Copyright Act of 1976 incorporated the principle that some uses of protected works without permission from the owners of the copyright should be considered “fair use.”
Fair use is an affirmative defense to copyright infringement and is determined on a case by case analysis. For a use to be considered fair, courts must consider the following four elements:
1. What is the purpose and character of the use including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;2. the nature of the copyrighted work;3. the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and4. the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work. 17 U.S.C. § 107 (2006).