Case study: Photography wizard wins with copyright protection
Written by Ellis Sweetenham on 08 April 2016« Return to Reading Room
Making a courageous career change, Rick Bronks fulfilled his life goals and started photography company, Satureyes Photography.
From its humble beginnings, he has now worked with a number of recognised clients such as Wembley Stadium, Mercedes and Dior, making his business grow from strength to strength.
Being in such a fast pace environment, with more worked being produced by Rick on a regular basis, it was essential that he was up to speed in regards to protection.
The most important area of Intellectual Property to protect works such as photographs is copyright.
Unlike other types of IP, copyright protection does not need to be registered and develops automatically when an original piece of work is created. While this may seem a great system, it can be difficult to pinpoint where a work actually originated from and whether it is in fact unique to the person claiming the copyright.
If you were to find that someone was using your work that you had established copyright protection in, you will need to prove that it was created by you and you have the right to prevent a third party from using it.
The best way to do this is to keep records and always label your copyright works where you can with your name and a date on which it was created.
While this may seem a task, it is essential if you want to protect any works that are of the literary, musical, artistic or dramatic nature.
The strength of copyright protection has somewhat weakened with the development of the internet as it is now so easy for a photo for example to be copied and used in a way that it shouldn’t be.
Rick confirms this and says in relation to the use of the internet, “It frightens me a bit but it’s a double edged sword. I want my work to be out there and my photos to be seen but I don’t want them to be abused.”
Overall, copyright protection has really worked for Rick and his business and he is yet to use it to enforce his rights but he is safe in the knowledge that he is fully protected if he ever needed to prove it. Giving advice to new businesses, he says “You need to be sensible at the start. You need to have a way you can prove a photo is yours to have some platform to stand on in case things go wrong.”
“Have a basic education about how to protect your work. Put barriers in the way of the people who want to copy your work, such as metadata and watermarks. After all, prevention is better than cure.”
Therefore, it is clear that in any business protection is key but in an industry such as photography, copyright is the only sure fire way that you can show you are serious about IP
For any more information regarding copyright and the protection it can give, contact Lawdit Solicitors
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