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Berne Convention: The laws vary from country to country, but the Berne Union for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Property (Berne Convention) is an international copyright treaty signed by almost 100 countries. Under the Berne Convention, copyright is protected during the life of the author and for 75 years after his/her death.
Copyright gives photographers the right to exclude others from using their images.

This information is designed to provide no more than a brief insight into copyright. Essentially, anything that has been created can be protected under copyright and copyright must not necessarily be explicitly stated. However, although copyright is always implied, for the photographer it is safer to state that a work is protected under copyright. A copyright notice includes a copyright symbol © or the word copyright, the year of first publication and the name of the copyright holder.

Basically, copyright law gives the copyright owner of a photograph the sole right to any financial proceeds from that image. This effectively applies to all creative work and is valid for all media, whether in electronic or “hard” form. The copyright owner may reproduce, display or perform, sell, rent, distribute or transmit the work, provided that no other laws are infringed in doing so.

Limits: Very similar work produced at a later date does not infringe copyright if produced independently.

Although very complicated, the exception to the basic principle of copyright is the so-called fair-use provision, which allows limited non-commercial use. Essentially this means that use of copyright-protected photographs for such purposes as research and education etc. is considered to be fair use.
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