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Copyright Law

How it Applies:

Artwork, including photographs, drawings, paintings and illustrations are all considered "intellectual property" and are protected by U.S. Federal Copyright laws.  These copyright laws were put in place to protect the interests of the artist.  Prior to use,  permission must be obtained from the artist of the image or his/her agent.  Failure to obtain  permission is a violation of the U.S. Federal Copyright laws.  Since copyright law can be can be confusing,  a more simplified version, "The Copyright Commandments",  was created by the The Picture Archive Council of America (PACA): 

"The Copyright Commandments":

1. When it's created it's copyrighted. Use the copyright notice. ©

2. The photographer or his agent has the exclusive right to exploit the copyright in each image. That right is for the life of the photographer plus 75 years.

3. Permission to use a copyrighted photograph for any purpose whatsoever must be obtained in advance, in writing, to avoid possible violation of the Federal law on copyright.

4. Any unauthorized use constitutes an infringement.

5. Penalties for infringement are monetary and can be severe.

6. Combining, altering or scanning photographs or any part , including electronically, is an exclusive right held by the photographer and permission to combine or alter should be obtained in writing prior to any such changes or uses.

7. Exceeding the terms of a license has been held to be an infringement. A new license is required prior to additional use.

8. An artist's rendering of a photograph in another medium is a derivative use of an image and requires the written permission of the copyright owner prior to use.

9. Re-creating a copyrighted photograph is a derivative use and therefore requires the permission of the copyright holder of the original image.

10. Reference use of a photograph or any part hereof requires the permission of the copyright holder.