Many social networking site users are likely to be unaware of the potential copyright issues associated with posting such original works. Once the work is on the internet, it must be assumed that it will be available to all parties, both intended and unintended. What legal remedies are available if somebody copies a photograph or video and uses it for his or her own purposes without the owner’s consent?
Under the copyright laws, different remedies are available based on the status of a work. For example, the remedy may depend on whether the work is registered, unregistered, published, or unpublished. Generally, under the copyright laws an author has rights as soon as an original work of authorship is fixed on a tangible medium of expression. Therefore, rights can exist as soon as photos of your child’s birthday party or your vacation are taken. However, the work must first be registered with the Copyright Office in order to enforce those rights.
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