When uploading your digital content to the internet, do you ever think about how you’re going to be protected from copyright infringement?
If you’re like most people, you probably assume the law will keep you protected from digital pirates making money off your intellectual property. That could be a big mistake!
Spoiler alert: You probably won’t be protected.
Unfortunately, we’re still in the Wild West stage of digital content. While there are some safeguards in place to ensure that your material is protected from piracy, the onus is on you to keep your content secure—and that’s often easier said than done.
From the moment your content gets uploaded to the internet, you run the risk of someone using your photos for personal or professional purposes. If you work in photography, copyright infringement doesn’t only cause you to lose potential earnings—it can also compromise the integrity of your brand, which can have long-lasting effects.
Naturally, you’d think that the law would keep you protected from this. After all, it’s illegal for someone to use someone else’s intellectual property without express consent, right? In theory, you’re protected from copyright infringement. But in practice, things are a little more complicated.
Take the case of Russell Brammer, who discovered that the North Virginia Film Festival used his picture of Washington, D.C. on their event website. After a long and drawn-out process, the court ruled that the North Virginia Film Festival was protected under fair use policy because:
The court also determined that the use of Brammer’s photo didn’t hurt his brand.
This ruling sent a clear message to the online community: People are free to use any pretty pictures they find online, as long as they can prove they didn’t know the photos were copyrighted.
In 2013, photographer Richard Reinsdorf filed a lawsuit against footwear company, Skechers, for copyright infringement where he sought $250 million in damages. This came after Skechers edited one of Reinsdorf’s photos and used it for their in their marketing campaign. While the court ruled that Skechers was in the wrong for using the photographs, Reinsdorf was denied compensation because he didn’t register the pictures beforehand.
The outcome of this case bears a striking resemblance to microphotographer Andrew Paul Leonard’s 2008 case against Stemtech, which the court found to have violated copyright laws by using Leonard’s medical photographs. However, the course also denied Leonard $1.6 million in damages because he didn’t register his images until after noticing the infringement.
As seen with Reinsdorf and Leonard’s cases, the court is hesitant to award damages even when copyright infringement has taken place. By doing so, the courts have inadvertently said that there are no consequences for using someone else’s intellectual property without permission. Moreover, this system creates unwarranted hardship on the content creator, who has to devote their time and resources to fighting piracy—time and energy that should’ve been channeled into their work instead.
Now, more than ever, there is a need to prevent digital theft.
Even in a perfect world where the courts took a stronger stance against copyright infringement, it’s still difficult for content owners to find and remove violations. Image Protect understands this, and has created a system designed to keep your photography secure from the moment it hits the internet.
Thanks to the revolutionary development of IPShare™, content owners can prevent their images from misuse. Driven by blockchain technology, IPShare™ gives owners greater control of their digital content, allowing them to:
Image Protect takes it a step beyond granting permission—it grants authorization to view or use your images. As a result, photographers can spend less time tracking down copyright infringement and get back to what matters: creating content.
Visit Image Protect’s website today to learn more about how you can keep your digital property protected or how you can invest in Image Protect through the ongoing token presale. You’re also encouraged to join the Official Image Protect Telegram channel to stay up to date on news and exciting offers as they happen.