photography copyrightSo you have photographs that you think are awesome? You’ve now ventured into the world of preventing others to take ownership of your wonderful photographs. Enter the world of copyrighting.

In and of itself, the word "copyright" simply means "the right to copy." This claim is a legal construct, which is made and designed for artists, mainly, to support their artistic endeavors. If your photographs were without copyright, just about any one would be able to freely download and use your different artistic works without due payment or compensation.

What would happen with this particular setup is that there would be little to no financial compensation for the effort of generating and producing pieces of art. If you have copyrighted your pictures, you have legal protection.

If anybody wants to use your work, or in some cases, even use just parts of it, they have to obtain your permission. If you are able to do this, you may be able to negotiate a "license" to copy. In some cases, you may even end up being paid in real money. With such an incentive, hopefully, it will inspire, motivate and spur more people to create art so that the world will be a better and more beautiful place teeming with art.

Going back to the first year of when copyrighting first came to be, legal copyrights were already made since 1557. It was at this time that a British printers’ society forbid other members from printing books originated by other members. The publisher obtained security but not the author.

During 1710, Britain’s "Statute of Anne" provided copyright protection to authors, regulated the length of the protection, and offered rights to the purchasers. Rights were also discussed during the U.S. Constitution of 1787 wherein they discussed "securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries".

The original U.S. Copyright Act dates back to the late 1700s, particularly in 1790. As time passed, the definition of rights were expanded and globalized with the Berne Convention, which was drafted in 1886 and accepted in U.K. law in 1988 and the U.S. in 1989.

Copyrighting plainly commonly pertains to most artists’ artistic works. Examples of these include paintings, murals, statues, TV shows, music, and for the avid photographers, photography.

As a photographer, having your images copyrighted gives you the exclusive right to be able to make and sell copies of the photo, to be able to generate derivative works (other types of art which are based on the photograph that you took, such as a painting of the photo). It also gives you the exclusive right to display the picture that you took in public.

Finally, you will be able to license usage for money to other people. In a nutshell, copyrighting your pictures doesn’t actually give you anything per se. What it does is it really just affects other people, by listing down the things that they shouldn’t do, ergo this is known and seen as a "negative right".