Image Theft, Copyright Registration and Growing Your Income

Image Theft As An Income Source

I came across an interesting post today by photographer Thomas Hawke in which he views image theft as a potential source of revenue. That ties in with a “success story” circulated in the PicScout newsletter in which one of their clients, a niche stock photo agency, is deriving 50% of their income from tracking down infringers. They take the high road by viewing infringers as a possible long-term clients and attempting to convert infringers into licensors…an interesting approach!

Something You Can Do To Help Stop Infringement

As we all know, image theft has become huge and hurts all of us attempting to support ourselves with our photography. It is disheartening, at least for me, to see all of the appropriated images of mine circulating on the Internet, attributed to others, sometimes offered for sale by others and so on. I hate having to put watermarks on them as well. It is in the interest of all of us, professionals and non-professionals alike, to see progress made in stopping, or at least slowing down, infringement. One simple thing you can do, right now, is to take a minute of your time and send a letter to your congressional representatives to support S. 3804, the “Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act,”. The whole process took me less than two minutes.

Register Your Images!

After years of neglecting to register my copyrights I am now a convert. It really is pretty easy to register your images online. I think it is important that all of us put out that little bit of extra effort to watermark our images, register the copyrights, be proactive in promoting efforts to control infringement, and to help educate people about copyright matters. In the years to come this is come to become more and more important if we are to continue to reap the rewards of our own creative efforts.

About the author

John Lund  has been shooting professionally for over 30 years.  John was an early adopter of Photoshop, first using version 1.0 in 1990.  He began using digital capture in 1994.  John has been active in the stock photography world as a founding member of BLEND IMAGES, and long time contributor to Getty Images, Corbis, and, more recently SuperStock.

John has lectured on digital imaging and stock photography, has been a columnist for PICTURE and DIGITAL IMAGING magazines, and written ADOBE MASTER CLASS, PHOTOSHOP COMPOSITING WITH JOHN LUND.  John has been a frequent speaker at Photo Plus and other venues and has taught workshops at Palm Beach Workshops and Santa Fe Workshops.  His work can be seen at

Marco | Editor

Editor at large and founder of a bunch of stockphoto businesses

One thought on “Image Theft, Copyright Registration and Growing Your Income

  • December 29, 2011 at 11:46 am

    Hello Friends
    This blog is sharing information about “COPYRIGHT IMAGES” which is current issue revolving in world and is violated day by day .Everyone should be aware about its rules and laws so that no one can steel original content. This blog is clearly explained how to protect original photos and how register them so that we can protect them from cheaters and how to do fair work .So please friends stop violating laws and enjoy legal privileges with having copyright registration.
    Thank You


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