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.