Big News! The PPA and Pixsy Have Partnered to Fight Image Theft

Unfortunately, image theft is rampant these days, but this should help a lot of photographers.

Hopefully, you’ve never been a victim of image theft before. It’s a horrible ordeal to go through, and in many cases, it can be hard to win any case you might have. Especially if your images are not copyrighted. Sharing on social media has just made the problem worse because it’s just so easy for others to take your work. However, now that the PPA (The Professional Photographers of America) has joined forces with Pixsy, it’s easier than ever to take the fight back to those who rip us off. Find out all the partnership details and how you can become a part of this after the break.

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How a Photographer Lost Big to Instagram After Being Offered $50

After a recent court case involving a photographer and a large media publication, the debate on licensing rights has reopened.

Photojournalist Stephanie Sinclair has lost her court case against popular news publication, Mashable. Sinclair took the online-magazine to court after accusing it of infringing copyright law. In an article published back in 2016, Mashable used one of Sinclair’s images. The company is said to have initially offered Sinclair $50 to use one of her photographs, but after she declined, the company turned to Instagram to find a work-around to using her image. With everyone pointing the finger at each other, let’s break down the situation and explore possible solutions going forward.

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Heads up: Copyright Registration Fees Are Set to Increase on March 20th

Beat the deadline and get copyright registration on your work before fees increase.

One thing we talk about a lot around these parts is copyright, and why you should be getting your work copyrighted. Time and time again, we hear horror stories about how a photographer had their work stolen and how getting the law on their side was an uphill battle. You can protect yourself quite easily with copyright registration, but be warned that the fees to apply for copyright protection are about to increase. Find out the details after the break.

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These Media Companies Condone Unsplash Blindsiding Photographers

Once again, it’s time to call out a rights grab when we see one.

We at the Phoblographer have already spent a lot of our energy talking about how and why Unsplash is profoundly detrimental to our industry. While they are not the only company to engage in rights grabs, or run the only contest guilty of blatant copyright obtainment, they are undeniably one of the worst, most unapologetic perpetrators. If you’re not presently aware of the danger they pose to photographers and working professionals for any reason, here are the main takeaways to know. Continue reading…

Scopio Is Like Netflix for Stock Images, But We’re Not Entirely Sold on It

stock images

Stock image services are a dime a dozen these days, and they promise the world, but you need to be careful out there.

Before everyone had a phone in their pocket, stock imagery was a lucrative platform for photographers to sink their claws into. Now that stock images have completely flooded the numerous services out there, the money that can be made has dwindled to a pittance. In the case of Unsplash, you make nothing. We recently came across another site that specializes in stock images, and it doesn’t seem too bad. With that said, we urge caution out there in the wild world of copyrights. Let’s talk about this after the break. Continue reading…

Photography Cheat Sheet: Privacy and Copyright for Photographers

Today’s photography cheat sheet is all about the rights and responsibilities of photographers when it comes copyright and privacy.

Photographers are among the creatives whose works constantly faces copyright infringement issues. Likewise, many photographers aren’t aware of the responsibilities that come with the job, especially when it comes to street photography. To address this, we’re sharing an infographic that will serve as a handy photography cheat sheet for knowing your rights and responsibilities as a photographer. The infographic below, put together by WhoisHostingThis, is a primer on what you need to know about privacy and copyright issues you may encounter as a photographer. Knowing about copyright law will allow you to protect your work, while familiarity with the privacy law will allow you to avoid legal liabilities. We highly suggest that you keep a copy of this photography cheat sheet for instances when you’re in doubt.

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Why the CASE Act Is So Incredibly Important for Every Photographer

If you’re reading this, at one point or another you felt compelled to pick up a camera, pursue and develop the craft, or appreciate the immense talents of other image-makers.

You found the satisfaction in documentation, capturing a moment, preserving a memory, literally stopping time. You discovered the power of the universe in your hands in that instant, and it inspired and ignited you the way only art and creation can. You felt the creative connection that I hope all of us get to experience as often and fully as possible, that artistic expression of self.

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Review: Smartframe (A More Secure Way to Share Your Images)


The goal of Smartframe is to make your digital images more secure on the Web, but does it work?

Digital images have really revolutionized how we share our work. Today we are able to snap a picture, edit it, and post it online within just a few short minutes. Before you know it your work is in front of millions of eyes around the globe. As amazing as this is, it doesn’t come without its problems and the biggest problem is image theft. The moment your image is online it can take just seconds for someone to right click and save your pictures to their computer. They can also screenshot the image if you have right click disabled on your blog or website. This has been a problem for as long as I can remember. Enter Smartframe. Continue reading…

How Using Unsplash Got This Photographer Into Legal Trouble

We’ve been warning photographers about losing rights to their work when they upload photos on Unsplash. Now, a photographer and business owner tells us about the legal issue he could be facing after using one such photo from the platform. 

If you’ve been considering posting stuff on Unsplash to get traction for your work, we’ve been very vocal about what you stand to lose. This time, we want to share what it’s like when you’re on the other side of the fence, and the legal problem you could find yourself grappling with when you source a photo from Unsplash for use on your blog or website. Simon Palmer, a photographer, cameraman, and business owner, recently shared with us an unsavory experience that unfolded after using a photo from Unsplash for a blog. His marketing team has been instructed to use only copyright-cleared images for this purpose, so they thought it wouldn’t be an issue. However, sometime later, they were contacted by international copyright enforcer Copytrack with a copyright infringement notice, requesting a license fee. He double-checked the image on their blog and was sure they downloaded the photo from Unsplash and credited the photographer as was indicated on the site.

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Opinion: Unsplash’s Latest News Is a Mockery to Photographers


Over 1,000,000 images have been shared on Unsplash now; that makes our heads and hearts hurt.

We have spoken in some depth about Unsplash and how they are unraveling the threads of photography as we know it. It seems as though the threads are being pulled apart faster and faster. The company just announced that over a million images have been shared with them by photographers and creators who may not understand exactly what they are doing to themselves or the industry as a whole. Heavy sigh Continue reading…

Is 2019 the Year Photographers Finally Take Back Their Copyrights?

A new court ruling is the first indication that the tides are changing in regards to copyright laws and photography.

We see it time and time again; a company or an individual sees an image online that they like, so they take it and profit from it without consent from the photographer. This scenario plays out over and over again each and every day, but previous laws in the United States of America have made it virtually impossible for an individual to fight for compensation, even if the image was copyrighted. Thanks to the PPA (Professional Photographers of America) and a coalition of visual arts groups, a reform is coming that will finally favor photographers and other small creators. Continue reading…

The EU’s New Copyright Laws Should Come to the USA ASAP to Protect Photographers

The new copyright laws that have swept across the European Union will help protect photographers and content makers, but not without controversy.

News coming out of the European Union today is that 19 of the partnering nations have agreed to enact new copyright laws that will bring copyright issues into the 21st century. While the bill had been heavily opposed by many across the pond and beyond, the new laws will hopefully help protect those of us who create images and content from greedy corporations who feel like they can just take as they please. As controversial as this topic has been, there is no doubt that these new copyright laws should become norm in the States as well–especially for the protection of photographers.

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Making Copyright Infringement Claims Is Now Harder for Photographers

Be proactive and copyright all of your work, especially pieces you plan on sharing with the masses.

Being able to share our work with millions upon millions of people is great. You can snap a picture, it can go viral, and someone may even want to buy your work. Unfortunately, there are those who like to skip that last part and just take what’s not theirs. In the past, if you had noticed that your work had been taken illegally you could register a copyright for your work, and then you could start proceedings against the party who infringed on your property. But a new U.S Supreme court ruling has changed all of that. Continue reading…

Dropbox Partners With Unsplash in Deal That Rips off Photographers

Image rights

Apparently Dropbox thinks Unsplash and their toxic views in regards to image rights are cool.

Just when we thought things couldn’t possibly get much worse for photographers who unknowingly give up their image rights to services like Unsplash, things take another turn for the worse. The real bad part here is that Dropbox, one of the largest cloud based services around, has now got in on the act. A service called Dropbox Paper which allows teams to collaborate in online projects will now have access to over 850,000 images that have been quite honestly snatched from talented photographers around the globe; and they won’t get a single penny for their work. Sigh.  Continue reading…

The Industry Needs to Stop Taking Photographers Image Rights ASAP

We’ve noticed a disturbing trend regarding image rights and it just seems to be getting worse.

There are a ton of services out there that market themselves as the perfect way for photographers to get their work seen by, and possibly even purchased by major brands and organizations, all you have to do is sign up to use, upload your images and then wait for all of that exposure to pay off; only there’s a catch. A lot of these services state in the small print that you will be giving up all image rights, and that you can never claim to be the photographer who took the image. Wait. What? The saying “if it sounds too good to be true, it’s too good to be true” definitely rings out here, and a recent report about another image rights grab has just confirmed that this issue is just getting worse. Continue reading…

US Court Slams Esquire’s Claim of Fair Use vs a Photographer

Worried your Instagram posts might get used by magazines without your permission? Here’s a recent case that should settle your mind.

All forms of photography, whether taken for work or for personal use, are now at risk of being stolen or used without permission — even by established publications. Global publisher Hearst recently learned the consequences of that when they published on Esquire’s website the iPhone snap of Jonathan Otto, showing President Donald Trump crashing a wedding on June 11, 2017. The court decision dropped by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York on December 10 ruled against the publisher’s claim of fair use and sided with the copyright infringement case filed by Otto.

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Congress is Looking to Make it Easier for You to Enforce Your Copyright

Thank god this is finally happening!

If you have been a photographer for any length of time now the chances are that at some point a person or business has used an image of yours without permission. You would also know, getting any sort of payment from them after the fact and collecting any compensation through a copyright case is as unlikely as it is expensive. Thankfully the US Congress is looking to remedy that – at least partially. Continue reading…

Dear Adobe and Google: Please Come Up With a Better Way for Photographers to Protect Their Images

Dearest Adobe and Google;

This is a relatively open letter to you folks: the big corporations that try to foster the needs of photographers, videographers, content creators, designers, digital media specialists, etc, through a few key platforms you’ve created. Earlier this year, you, Google, showed off a way that many photographers can have their watermarks easily removed from photos. This is even further insult to the fact that many popular image sharing platforms have for years stripped out metadata and copyright information from images just so that a server could save some space.

So if this is the case, why can’t either of you come up with a way to protect the very lifeblood and community who, in some ways, fostered your growth?

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