Create a 2021 Copyright Preset for Lightroom Classic
Even though we haven’t been traveling during the past 9 months, I’m still going to encourage readers to create a 2021 copyright preset for Lightroom Classic. This year it’s a free step-by-step PDF download. These are easy to follow, step-by-step instructions for creating a 2021 copyright preset for Lightroom that I show you how apply with every import.
Why should I create a 2021 copyright preset?
Copyright law gives you, the creator (and owner) of a photograph you’ve taken (whether you feel it’s creative or not) the right to give permission for others to use it. Without that permission, using your photo without your express written permission, infringes on your rights as the creator and owner of that copyright.
The first tested case of photography copyright infringement in an American Court
It’s import to have a little history on copyright; it puts things in perspective.
Burrow-Giles Lithographic Co. v. Sarony, 111 U.S. 53 (1884)
Napoleon Sarony took a photograph of playwright Oscar Wilde in 1882. The Burrow-Giles Lithographic Co. started selling reprints of the photo without Sarony’s permission. Sarony sued, alleging copyright infringement for his photo titled, Oscar Wilde No. 18.
Sarony’s claim was filed under the U.S. Copyright Act of 1865. This particular act extended copyright protection to photography. According to Burrow-Giles, a photographer wasn’t an author and a photograph wasn’t a writing, which was based on an article of the U.S. Constitution, ratified in 1787, pretty much 40 years before photography was invented by Niépce in 1827.
Burrow-Giles Litho Tries to Undermine the Artistry of Photography
The court rejected the argument that photography was a mechanical process that showed no artistic expression. In this case, it was established that Sarony exercised artistic expression, “by posing the said Oscar Wilde in front of the camera, selecting and arranging the costume, draperies, and other various accessories in said photograph, arranging the subject so as to present graceful outlines, arranging and disposing the light and shade, suggesting and evoking the desired expression, and from such disposition, arrangement, or representation, made entirely by the plaintiff, he produced the picture in suit.”
This made the photograph an “original work of art” and qualified it as a member of the class of things that the Constitution allows Congress to protect.
And, yes, you are the copyright holder from the moment of inception. This is true. Under the Federal Copyright Act of 1976, all photographs are protected by copyright from the very moment of creation. So, by clicking the shutter of your camera, you are creating a copyright protected work.
There is downside. Your copyright is pretty much toothless without formally copyrighting your photos with the U.S. Copyright office. And you can’t really sue for much if you are infringed. You must first copyright your photo(s) formally with the Online Federal Copyright and Trademark Registration website before you can sue.