Someone else is using my picture

You pull up a website and you see a photo you took. It was used without your knowledge or permission and you feel ripped off—it's a horrible feeling.

Even though no one broke into your office or home, you've become the victim of crime; something has been stolen from you. Luckily, there are some simple steps you can take to have the photo removed and to deal with future thefts more easily.

The instant you take a picture it is copyrighted by you. You own it and you alone determine how and where it can be used [with some exceptions (Fair Use)].

Copyright is an automatic right and does not require the author to file special paperwork, as is the case for trademark and patent; however registration is required to enforce the rights.

One of the many terrific things about copyright is that it comes with a host of exclusive rights that allow the owner to do or authorize a number of things and exercise substantial control over his or her work.

The copyright owner has the right to do four things (called exclusive rights):

  1. Reproduce the copyrighted work;

  2. Display the copyrighted work p