Copyright & Business

American Photographic Artists
The APA, as a champion of advertising photographers and image-makers, offers a comprehensive resource page of links that address copyright issues. Links cover general information such as how to register digital and print photos; copyright laws in the U.S., Canada and cyberspace; forms to download and links to the U.S. Copyright Office and copyright attorneys.

American Society of Media Photographers 
Founded in 1944, at a time when print photographers had little financial or professional organization, ASMP was created to defend the rights and interests of professional photographers. The society advocates for copyright protection, business education, professional standards and fellowship, and against work–for–hire and other abuses. ASMP has chapters all over the nation and holds valuable meetings on a range of issues of interest for photographers—pricing and administration, client relations, and technical “how to” topics, as well as talks on featured photographers. These events are not only learning but also networking and social opportunities, giving photographers, who typically work in isolation, a sense of real community. 

Artists Rights Society (ARS) 
The Artists Rights Society is the preeminent copyright, licensing, and monitoring organization for visual artists in the United States. Founded in 1987, ARS represents the intellectual property rights and estate interests of over 50,000 visual artists and photographers. ARS is a heavyweight organization with artists such as Georges Braque, Joseph Beuys, Max Ernst, Alberto Giacometti, Le Corbusier, Fernand Léger, Henri Matisse, Joan Miró, Edvard Munch and Man Ray under its wing.

Brad Templeton - Copyright Myths
Brad Templeton, founder of the first .com company and head of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, offers a well-informed and down-to-earth debunking of copyright myths, particularly those pertaining to the internet, on his surprisingly low-tech and home-designed site. Templeton’s wry wit shines through in his authoritative answers to common misconceptions about how to use other people’s material on the web and internet.

California Lawyers for the Arts
California Lawyers for the Arts not only addresses the legal needs of artists in California, the organization advocates for funding and artists’ rights, as well as initiating projects that offer low income youths career training in the arts. 

Copyright at the University of Michigan
The University of Michigan has wisely assembled a very useful set of resources pages to help everyone in academia navigate the particular copyright issues that affect them. Covering a lot of territory, the resource features separate and comprehensive sections for teachers, students, and creators.

Copyright Website
Divided into sections for various branches of the arts, such as movies, music and the web, this slickly designed site provides “real-world” copyright information for all kinds of creative types. Here, stories in the news involving copyright law are highlighted and discussed as examples of what to do and not do in different situations. The Copyright Website’s other raison d’être is to offer a “copyright wizard,” an online copyright registration service that, for a fee, will manage the process of applying for copyright for you.

Editorial Photographers (EP) 
Founded by photojournalists for photojournalists, EP speaks frankly and directly to many issues facing professionals today. In a field that has seen a lot of change in recent years, EP’s stated mission is to advocate for photographers’ rights and to be a voice for change in the industry. Relying on education and communication to increase awareness of the issues, the site provides ample information on everything from wise business practices to copyright laws. The FAQ page, OutreachEP and Copyright sections are invaluable resources for those just entering the business as well as those coping with its changing rules.

Editorial Photographers United Kingdom and Ireland 
Inspired by the original Editorial Photographers site, EPUK has adopted the same plain-speaking tone to address the concerns of their membership of British and Irish photojournalists. Like EP, the site is simple and the information is directly relevant to the photographers trying to make a living in this rapidly changing field. There is a members-only mailing list and free resources for editorial photographers. Subjects include copyright, tax, invoicing, and creative issues.

Legal Information Institute - Cornell University
Cornell Law School’s Legal Information Institute electronically publishes legal information from the country’s Executive, Judicial and Legislative branches, as well as the nation’s various departments and agencies. Material such as court opinions (Supreme Court, other federal courts, state courts), the transcripts of laws (from each branch of government), specific topics in law (such as criminal law, intellectual property, commerce) and much, much more information - for free. The LII also does ongoing research on legal matters and on the effects of electronically published legal information and delivery on legal education, and the practice of law. Not surprisingly, the LII is cited as “the most linked to web resource in the field of law.”

National Press Photographers Association (NPPA)
National Press Photographers Association site provides a central meeting place where photojournalists can discuss topics that relate to the profession. The site contains news and events pages, professional development information, competition notices, and services for members. Members have access to active message boards covering a broad range of topics including business, news, current events, digital editing, ethical issues, and photo gear. In a rare acknowledgement of the stresses and traumas associated with being a photojournalist, NPPA Member Services also include a crisis intervention team of trained professional peers, ready to listen.

Do-it-yourself legal solutions for those who wish handle their own everyday legal matters. The site offers a wide variety of information, software and forms, but the pages on business, copyright and art will be of particular interest to photographers. 

Photo Attorney
As a blog that deals with the many legal issues related to photography, Photo Attorney posts articles on questions of fair use, copyright infringement, and rights grabs along with current legal news in the photo world. The editor, a “lawyer who works with photographers,” occasionally comments on news postings.

Picture Archive Council of America
This trade organization represents a number of North American and international stock archives, from those of individual photographers to large corporations. Digital photography has changed the rules of image reproduction forever, and in this new landscape PACA presents itself as an advocate for copyright protection and fair business practices. Through its straightforward and well-designed site, PACA disseminates relevant legal documents, educational videos, a membership directory, a newsletter and calendar of current events on the photo scene.

Stanford University - Fair Use and Copyright
Stanford University has put together an excellent set of tools, including the subject-specific blog “Faily Used” at Twitter feeds to help make sense of copyright laws and concepts such as Fair Use and Public Domain. In fact, there is a daunting amount of information in these pages, ranging from the basics of copyright law and fair use to updates on current litigation in copyright matters. Culled from many different and reputable sources, Stanford’s information is current and comprehensive.

The UK Copyright Service 
The UK Copyright Service makes the point that copyright protection may be an automatic right under international law, but evidence can be required to support a claim, so registration, which is central to UKCS’ services, is where one begins. The site outlines the often complex rules of international copyright in clear terms, using well-designed graphics to help users navigate their way through the process. 

Thompson Reuters Foundation 
As the charitable division of the venerable and respected Thomson Reuters news service, the Foundation employs all the expertise that has made Thompson Reuter’s reputation in order to create ways to “increase trust in and access to the rule of law, to save lives through the provision of trusted information and to improve standards of journalism.” These inter-related goals are addressed by three programs: TrustLaw, a proposed global hub for the practice of pro bono legal work; TrustMedia, a program of training courses for journalists around the globe, imparting the skills and values that have made Reuters’ international reputation; and the Emergency Information Service (EIS) a system that uses many means to get emergency survival to people caught up in natural disasters. The Foundation has also joined other media companies in signing up to a multi-media centre in the United Arab Emirates to train, develop and promote Arab talent in journalism, broadcasting, film-making and publishing. is packed with information for aspiring journalists all over the world. 

ToS Back
A project of the pioneering free speech on the web watchdogs, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, TOSBack is a site that monitors those lengthy and legalistic Terms-Of-Service contracts and other website policies that so often go completely un-noticed until something goes wrong. TOSBack keeps track of changes in the T-O-S contracts for major social networking sites, online businesses, and other Internet communities, pointing out new clauses and changes in language so that users can be aware of the rules for sites they use everyday and track changes in these over time.

United States Patent and Trademark Office
Viewing patent and trademark protection as one of the foundations of American inventive entrepreneurship, the US Patent and Trademark Office PTO has made as much of the process of registering a patent or a trademark available online. Besides basic information and the step-by-step application, there is information about national and international laws, manuals and publications, and other resources.

US Copyright Office
Linked to the Library of Congress site, the US Copyright Office now offers an online service, allowing creators and users to inform themselves and/or register copyright on their material. The site provides, among many other things, a long list of links about copyright basics, transcripts in PDF of the entire copyright law (known as article 17), a searchable catalog of registered material and step-by-step instructions on how to register a copyright and how to record a document. Instructions cover literary works, visual arts, sound recordings and performing arts as well as serials and periodicals.

What is
In down-to-earth language, this not for profit site address the basics of copyright information. Easy to consult and written in accessible terms, the site answers many questions dealing with internet and web use of existing creative material.

World Intellectual Property Organization
A specialized agency of the United Nations, WIPO was established with a mandate to develop international laws and standards that make sure that everybody is on the same page. As one might expect from an international organization of this type, the website is densely packed with information, including news bulletins, gateways, resources, and frequently asked questions. This must be the definitive resource for international copyright and IP questions.