It all begins with you. Under US law, you own the rights to your work as soon as you create it. However, loading your work onto your website, online gallery or social media puts it out there for the world to view and to steal. Though nothing is foolproof, here are four steps you can take to lessen the chance of copyright infringement.
1. Low Resolution Images
Log resolution images or images that have a smaller file size cannot be printed without the image appearing blurry or grainy. Therefore, it is impossible to use or resell. Low resolution images also load faster than higher ones making them easier to view on your website.
Watermarks vary from the barely seen to the highly visible. Placing a watermark on your image, a faint logo directly in the center or lightly plastering your name across your work, is effective in preventing your work from being used without permission by basically making it useless. Who wants a image with your logo stuck in the center?
3. De-activate the right click
The right click option allows for copying the image and pasting it elsewhere. By deactivating this option, it makes it very difficult, though not impossible, to copy an image. Most websites and online galleries will allow or provide this feature.
4. Register Your Work
The best option is to register your work with the U.S. Copyright Office. You can do this online or by mail. It’s very simple but the costs can add up. However, if you have a group of work, you can always register the volume more economically. Just make sure you keep a copy of the work within the volume. As always, consult a Copyright/Patent Attorney for additional details.