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…

The Most Basic Thing You Need to Know About Street Photography

Street photographers have come under increased scrutiny in recent years

It was renowned street photographer Garry Winogrand who once said, “Anything and all things are photographable.” However, in today’s society where almost everyone has a cell phone, and just about every cell phone has a camera built in, many people are increasingly concerned about their personal privacy. The line between what you are allowed to photograph and what you should photograph is constantly being challenged. On top of that, what and where you may legally be allowed to photograph in your home country isn’t always the case while you’re abroad. And then there’s the question of ethics; just because you could photograph something or someone, doesn’t necessarily mean that you should.

Continue reading…

Jonathan Higbee: This is What NYC Street Photographers Sometimes Experience

All words and images by Jonathan Higbee. Used with permission.

Let me tell you about my day. It was odd and saturated with adrenaline thanks to an ambitious group of security personnel who are now schooled in civil rights!

A gang of security guards outside the Time Warner Center decided it was a good use of their time and mine to harass, intimidate and threaten me. I was photo-waiting (like I do) at a beautiful scene with filtered afternoon light combined with gorgeous bounced light that Midtown and its skyscrapers so generously afford sometimes. I was on the sidewalk, photographing urban geometry-type work. The first guard to approach me came up and told me I had to leave, that I was a threat to national security. You know how Manhattan has pretty much become an open air psychiatric hospital in recent years? Well, yeah, I thought he was insane and ignored him.

He persevered (bless his heart), so I realized he was serious and removed my ear buds one by one (modern day equivalent of taking off earrings) to play ball.

Continue reading…

How Photographers Can Protect Their Copyright

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Sony a7 Mk II product photos (4 of 8)ISO 1001-50 sec at f - 5.0

When it comes to protecting a Copyright, lots of photographers and photo enthusiasts don’t know much about it. After all, many of them aren’t lawyers. We all wish and hope that our work won’t get stolen, but unfortunately it happens much more often than we’d like. With millions of photos being taken each day, there is also no telling how many thefts are reported or if the artist is even aware that it’s happening.

But in anticipation of the moment that it happens, we’ve talked to a couple of experts on the matter.

Continue reading…

New Act in UK Makes it Legal for Photographs to Get Used Without Payment


Lets just let this sink in a little: In a attempt to possibly kill off professional photographers, the UK has a new act that makes it legal for photographs to get used without payment to the creators. A few photographers instantly went “WHAT!” A few others said some phrases so colorful they could not be repeated. The British government, in an appalling decision, is applying this to all photographs worldwide. Basically, this affects all photographers.

This new act known as the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act, which received Royal Assent, allows all work considered to be an orphaned work to be used for free. Orphan works are those which the creator cannot be found. In essence, this just does not mean the work of people who have passed. This applies to images that have no metadata also. The majority of websites and social media sites strip out all metadata. This makes an image and orphan work, allowing it to be used for free and for any purpose. If a corporation or individual proves they searched and could not find the author of the image, they don’t have to pay.

There is a lot more to this and you can read it here.

Via 3 Legged Thing’s Facebook Page


500px Decides the Timing is Right for Adopting Creative Commons Licensing Options

In a bid to broaden their user base and allow for more flexibility for their current members, 500px has adopted the ever-widening Creative Commons Licensing options set for their site. New and longtime users of the popular photography social networking site can select from the 6 options that Creative Commons offers when uploading their photos to the site for sharing. This is pretty monumental, as they are the only other major player in online photography sharing to offer this option to their users. While it may seem like a mute point to most and a thorn in the side to some, allowing for the attributed sharing of creative works is not a new idea (just take a look at the history of copyright and the recent paper published then quickly pulled by the RSC on the subject of copyright law).


Continue reading…

OP-ED: From The Other Side of the Lens- A Response To the Anti-Paparazzi Lawsuit from a Former Paparazzo

This morning, I read a post on Petapixel on the photographer arrested under California’s Anti-Paparazzi law. And then the comments came in: ripping apart paparazzi and calling them scum. Now I totally understand where these commentors come from saying this, but I don’t feel that the other side of the story is ever heard in full. For those of you who have followed The Phoblographer for the approximately three years I’ve been running it, you all know my dark secret. However, we’ve gained a significantly large following over time and many of you don’t know who I really am.

I am a former paparazzo here in NYC. For a short period of time out of college, I hunted celebrities and I played the game until I decided it was too cut throat of an industry. Given the chance, I’d do it all over again. But with all of this said, no one ever hears or knows the other side of the story and how the industry works.

Continue reading…