It’s my copyright

The frustration of cyberspace can sometimes seemingly outweigh the benefits, particularly for photographers who struggle to stay on top of their image tracking! It’s important to know where your photos end up for many reasons, but most important for me is the fact that it’s income. Copyright in the UK is protected automatically – here’s the technical bit from the designs, copyrights and patents act 1988:-

“photograph” means a recording of light or other radiation on any medium on which an image is produced or from which an image may by any means be produced, and which is not part of a film;

First ownership of copyright.


(1)The author of a work is the first owner of any copyright in it.

It’s incredibly straight forward – I took the photo so at the moment my finger pressed the shutter release, it’s my copyright. Simples! This is the very reason that the UK version of the monkey selfie thing raised the issue of whether the owner of the stolen camera or the monkey in fact owns the copyright to this selfie:-


This photo was taken by a macaque who stole a camera belonging to David Slater of Gloucestershire. Anyway, I’m getting off track….

I am finding it very useful to be able to reverse search my photos but it’s causing me endless frustration in that I’m finding my photos all over the place! I licence my photography through Getty and Alamy, sometimes giving them exclusive rights (which equates to more money for each sale for me) and as such if they find those photos anywhere else I could have them remove that image from their server or, worse still, terminate my contract! I was headhunted by Getty and take great pride in that, and my Alamy account was the result of a string of unsuccessful submissions which eventually worked in my favour. These contributor accounts are not easy to come by and so I’m sure you understand my frustration when people/organisations overlook this important excerpt of the designs, copyright and patents act which we look at before:-

Infringement of copyright by copying.


(1)The copying of the work is an act restricted by the copyright in every description of copyright work; and references in this Part to copying and copies shall be construed as follows.
(2)Copying in relation to a literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work means reproducing the work in any material form. This includes storing the work in any medium by electronic means.
(3)In relation to an artistic work copying includes the making of a copy in three dimensions of a two-dimensional work and the making of a copy in two dimensions of a three-dimensional work.
(4)Copying in relation to a film [F1or broadcast] includes making a photograph of the whole or any substantial part of any image forming part of the film [F1or broadcast].
(5)Copying in relation to the typographical arrangement of a published edition means making a facsimile copy of the arrangement.
(6)Copying in relation to any description of work includes the making of copies which are transient or are incidental to some other use of the work.

For any UK photographers, here’s the full Act.

Whether it be a relatively small infringement by UniLad, who are yet to reply to my notice to remove this work of mine:-


Or to large companies using my work to turn their profits like this:-


It’s just incredibly annoying, because my work features all over the place – magazines, newspapers, billboards, and it’s an income, so illegal use is causing me to lose time on editing whilst I’m finding out where my copyrighted work is appearing throughout the world! I’ll leave it now, I’ve got other things to do than rant (as you can see!), so here’s one use of my photos which I took rather as a compliment than an infringement. One lovely young lady in Singapore found my series of stag photos from Richmond Park, London, and spread out her Apple devices to send me a photo. Much love x

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