Being creative and producing beautiful photographs is a proud moment for all bakers!

When I first started piping buttercream flowers I would never of thought that other bakers would steal my photographs. When it first happened I was so angry and outraged that someone else would steal my pictures and claim as their own. Trust me they do! Some of this is naivety, as people don’t understand the artistic copyright laws. They simply go onto Google see a photograph they like and copy and paste it! This is in fact illegal but it’s not always done with intent, this is what you need to understand and not take it personally.

This is when your head vs heart should kick in. Make sure you run your business with your head at all times. I know we put all the love, time and effort into our businesses but don’t let your heart take over. It’s very easily done as I learnt the hard way.

Yes you will get the odd person do this with intent but very rarely is. Most people say to take it as a compliment! That’s annoying in itself when people say this but they are right, doesn’t make it feels any better but it’s the truth.

All I was ever concerned about was what happens when the customers of said ‘thief’ turns up to collect a bouquet that’s meant to look like mine? And they get some sort of other version? Not your problem though and nor was it mine.

You are running a business so make sure you stay professional at all times. What you will find happens is your followers and fans will alert you of this anyway! Again this is why I always say about developing your own style, that way it’s so obvious when someone steals your images. Your brand stands out.

Fran and Emily from @rockpoolcreative are now going to show you exactly what you need to do when this happens to you.

Hi All! It’s us from RP ☺️ we hope you are all well. Let’s talk reporting on Instagram. Bullet points to aid you below –

  • Find the image that is yours
  • Three Dots on the top right of any and all images on Insta, click
  • Click link – copy this to your notes section of your phone 
  • Do this for ALL images that are yours 
  • Go to your own account, copy your images of the exact ones which have been ‘taken’ by the other account
  • Make note of the @tag of the account which has the images 
  • THEN – We always suggest messaging or commenting first to ask for artist credit on the images. Be polite, remember sometimes people don’t realise what they have done OR they will happily credit you. IF they don’t and block you (this can happen) you already have the links and the @tag to report 
  • Go to https://help.instagram.com/535503073130320/ – this is the Intellectual Property copyright and trademark reporting area of Instagram 
  • Under the Copyright section there is a link that says Reporting Copyright Violations
  • Scroll to the bottom to the Copyright Form – (see image below) 
  • Click copyright 
  • Continue with your copyright report 
  • Click “I am the rights owner”
  • Fill in ALL the details 
  • Provide the links previously saved 
  • Add the information – I own and retain the copyright of my artistic works you can see my work here (add your links to your images) 
  • Click Send 

Please note – copyright laws can vary from country to country. Please check your country laws to find out more. The UK link is – https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/copyright-notice-digital-images-photographs-and-the-internet/copyright-notice-digital-images-photographs-and-the-internet

This is the reply we received from the US copyright office –

In the United States, copyright ownership begins with the author/creator of the work. In the case of photographs, the photographer is generally the copyright holder. The copyright holder does not need to make a registration with our office to secure copyright. Copyright is secured upon creation. Therefore, the photographer owns the copyright once he/she has created the photograph. Under Section 106 of the Copyright Law, the copyright holder has certain exclusive rights, including the right to copy, distribute and display the work. Although a registration is not necessary to secure copyright, registering one’s copyright with the Copyright Office has some benefits. For more information, see: http://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ01.pdf .

A registration can provide proof of authorship and ownership. Most people register their works so that they can enforce their copyrights in court. It is possible that a person can report someone using their works without permission (i.e. take down notice) on some websites. If this is happening to you, you should get legal advice from an attorney and/or follow the procedures on that specific website.

For additional information on registering photographs, see Circular 42: Copyright Registration of Photographs at https://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ42.pdf , Chapter 900 section 909 of the Compendium of U.S. Copyright Office Practices at https://www.copyright.gov/comp3/chap900/ch900-visual-art.pdf and Chapter 1100 section 1117 of the Compendium of U.S. Copyright Office Practices at https://www.copyright.gov/comp3/chap1100/ch1100-registration-multiple-works.pdf .

Voila! Allow the process to take its course, and in the meantime, put it to the back of your mind. 

Hope this helps! 

F & E x 

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