A great article ran last weekend in the Philadelphia Inquirer about piracy on the web of artists' images.
If you're a photographer, it's crucial to insert a watermark or other unique attribute into your images when you post them to the web. This will make it much easier to determine when an image has been improperly pilfered by another party and possibly allow you to claim additional damages if the watermark is tampered with.
Images can also be registered with the U.S. Copyright Office for $35 each. It's also best to register the copyright before the image or work is released publicly. For example, if you have an art show coming up, register your works within three months of your show to get the best protection.
When in doubt, consult with a small business lawyer about what protections you may need.
Sarah E. Holmes is a Philadelphia business attorney and strategist that helps start ups and established businesses looking to expand, protect their assets and increase their profits in an approachable, down-to-earth way.