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If i make lots of prints from my original copyright photos. How will i know that the prints are protected with copyright too

Tarpon Springs, FL |

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Attorney answers 3


Your copies will still be protected. When you obtain a copyright in a work, you have the exclusive right to reproduce that work, distribute that work, display that work publicly, perform that work publicly, and prepare derivative works of the original. So, unless you give permission to someone else, you are the only person who may make a copy of your photos (subject to a fair use defense) and those photos are protected by the underlying copyright in the original work. See my article in the link below for more basic information on your rights as a copyright holder.

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If you exercise your copyright right to reproduce your original work, that doesn't change your ownership and the protectability of your copyrightd work. reproduction is one of a copyright owner's rights. Others include making a "derivative work" of your original work, publicly displaying your work, and distributing your work.

An artist automatically gets what's called a "common law" copyright the minute a creative work is created but have you registered your photos for copyrights with the Copyright Office? If not, then you won't be eligible for statutory damages and attorney's fees if your photos get infringed, and those are powerful protective tools.

If you're serious about making your photography a business, you need to hire an IP lawyer.

Avvo doesn't pay us for these responses, and I'm not your lawyer just because I answer this question or respond to any follow-up comments. If you want to hire me, please contact me. Otherwise, please don't expect a further response. We need an actual written agreement to form an attorney-client relationship. I'm only licensed in CA and you shouldn't rely on this answer, since each state has different laws, each situation is fact specific, and it's impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue.


Making copies of your photos is part of the copyright, and it does not affect the scope of protection. You may be asking about placing a copyright notice on the copies of the photos. A copyright notice usually includes a "c" in a circle, or the word "copyright," may be used, along with the date and the name of the person who owns the copyright to the work. For example, Copyright 2012 John Doe. Although not required, a copyright notice may be a deterrent against copyright infringement. Use of the notice informs the public that a work is protected by copyright, and may defeat a defense of innocent infringement.

This answer is for informational purposes only. It is not intended as specific legal advice regarding your question. The answer could be different if all of the facts were known. This answer does not establish an attorney-client relationship.