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02-19-2014, 05:44 PM   #1
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Canadian Copyright Question

Hello all,
Just found a photo I took last summer and entered in an online contest on a prize table at a local art show. No mistaking the photo with my family and dog silhouetted the corner. The young lady got rather upset when I asked her where she got the picture from. Just want to know what I have to do here in Canada to put a copyright notice on my photos and if I have to reapply every time I post a new picture.
Thanks
Rod Heeney

02-19-2014, 06:29 PM   #2
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You do not need to put a copyright notice or "apply" with anyone in order to hold copyright on your photos (provided they are not produced "for-hire" for some third party).

However, when you enter a contest it's pretty common for the organization running the contest to require that you give them a royalty-free, perpetual, non-revocable license. But regardless of that (unless the online contest and the local art show are somehow connected), it seems pretty unlikely that this use of your photo is legitimate. I'm not too clear on what you mean by finding it "on a prize table" - meaning the photo had won a prize or was itself to be given as a prize? Whom did they identify as the author?

Anyway, you should probably ask them to remove it, and if it was entered by someone else in a contest and won a prize, you should inform the people who run the contest and request that they disqualify whomever fraudulently entered your photo into the competition.

(Note: I am not a lawyer...)

Last edited by Doundounba; 02-19-2014 at 06:32 PM. Reason: not a lawyer caveat
02-19-2014, 06:38 PM   #3
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I don't know anything about copyrighting your photos besides actually adding copyright info in your exif... There is no place where you register your pictures (or any copyrightable work) that I know of. Try to look on Service Canada website, they probably have more info about this.

For a start, I would write to the person distributing your pictures and ask them to stop. If that fails, you'll probably need to take legal steps against them. So unless you suffered monetary losses because of this, I doubt it'd be worth it.

But there is one thing thought, most of the contest I entered pictures into, included a clause where you release any rights you have on your pictures and give it to them. If you can, check the fine prints of the form you use to submit your pictures because you may not own the rights anymore.
02-19-2014, 06:53 PM   #4
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Thanks folks. To clarify the issue the picture was entered in a contest by the young lady who won the contest with it. Was not a huge prize but was dissapointing. She as far as I know had nothing to do with the other contest and yes she used her name as the photographer. Do I need to register anything to put my copyright notice in the metadata or no.

02-19-2014, 06:58 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by rodh Quote
Thanks folks. To clarify the issue the picture was entered in a contest by the young lady who won the contest with it. Was not a huge prize but was dissapointing. She as far as I know had nothing to do with the other contest and yes she used her name as the photographer. Do I need to register anything to put my copyright notice in the metadata or no.
It can be done in the menu of your camera, it would then be embedded within the EXIF data of the photo. If you were to pursue it I assume you would have to provide your file so that dates of last modification could be verified.
02-19-2014, 07:12 PM   #6
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Even if you do not enter any copyrights info on your picture, it belongs to you. No registration required, you took it, it's yours. Unless you gave up your rights as it was said.

As Doundounba said, you should advise the contest organiser about the infringement, because no matter how you look at it, the lady did not take this picture, copyright or not. It will however be your job to prove that you own the original.

(hint, always shoot RAW, submit high-res JPGs, the RAW file is your proof of ownership. You cannot take a JPG and convert it to RAW and regain all the original RAW info)

---------- Post added 02-19-14 at 21:16 ----------

As for the camera settings, under menu, in the "wrench" menu, on a K5 it's under wrench menu 3. Wrench menu 2 in the K-r. It's called Copyrights Information. Probably in the same spots on any K10D or newer Pentax.
02-21-2014, 07:12 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by rodh Quote
Thanks folks. To clarify the issue the picture was entered in a contest by the young lady who won the contest with it. Was not a huge prize but was dissapointing. She as far as I know had nothing to do with the other contest and yes she used her name as the photographer. Do I need to register anything to put my copyright notice in the metadata or no.
I find it hard to believe that somebody would stoop so low as to use somebody else's photo as their own. Was this maybe a kid's contest or for young children? If she was an adult, I don't know what she was hoping to get out of it. I mean, did the judge's ask about her photo? Did she go through and concoct a huge lie to help her believe the photo was hers?

It's really strange and I just can't see what her motivation was (unless the prize was a significant monetary value).

I kind of wish you confronted her directly (which you did) and followed up to make sure you got the answers.
02-21-2014, 07:45 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by ravenorxs Quote
I find it hard to believe that somebody would stoop so low as to use somebody else's photo as their own.
Check out Stop Stealing Photos it happens all the time.

02-21-2014, 07:58 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by mattt Quote
Check out Stop Stealing Photos it happens all the time.
I have now found out that this young lady has taken lots of photos from the contest. Somehow she has gotten hold of the entire list of photos. Both contest groups are now aware of this but I am not really interested in going after this legally as long as she doesn't get any more recognition. The prize was not large enough for the trouble. Still would like to know how she got them to begin with.
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