Before understanding copyright infringement it is important to understand what copyright is and what it protects. Copyright law protects the rights of creators for creating intellectual and artistic work which is beneficial for society.
Copyright in Australia is generally covered by Copyright Act 1968(Cth), some amendments have been made to deal with new technologies or concerns that arises time to time.
Copyright is infringed when copyright material or a “substantial part” of work is being used or changed by another person or entity without the permission of the owner.
It is not necessary for the infringer to use or copy all of your work as long as they have used a substantial part of your work without your consent they may have infringed your copyright.
Now the test of what is substantial is “qualitative” rather than quantitative. In other words there’s no rule that for example copying 5% of work is okay, it all depends on the quality of what is being copied.
There are some cases in which copyright material can be used without being an infringement, in this situation court will determine whether the part is important or distinctive or not and can be used without any consent of owner.
It important to seek independent legal advice before making any legal claims if you think your copyright has been infringed. This will avoid your claims being considered as a groundless threats.
Australian law advises you to write a letter of demand in this particular situation because there is a time limits for starting a legal proceedings to sue someone for copyright infringement.
Recover cost of stolen photos
Photographer have several options available to them to recover the cost if there pictures are stolen that include the following:
- Personally send a cease-and-desist letter Request a photo credit
- Request attribution
- Take the matter to public
- Hire a lawyer to send a demand letter File a DMCA takedown notice
- File a copyright infringement lawsuit
As a final note you should know that there are tools like TinEye or Google Images Search that will help you to find your stolen photos.
After following theses links you can then upload your photo and the service will find similar photos found on internet.
It is a good idea to check the photo using both of the services because they provide different images search results. Use both of them as complimentary application.
After detecting a stolen photo you can contact the website hosting service that hosts the site and complain about the content that has been stolen.
Website hosting services usually are more efficient when it comes to removing copyright content and take down the whole site that has posted your content without your permission.