What we do to look after your rights.
Every issue has two sides. fotolibra started as a Rights Managed agency to commercialise the IPR (Intellectual Property Right) in its Contributors' images. As a Contributor you assert your copyright in the images you upload to fotolibra by agreeing to our Terms & Conditions when you register with us.
At fotolibra we regard the full application and protection of copyright as essential to protect the integrity and value of our Contributors' properties. To this end we robustly safeguard Contributors' image rights. Each image on the site is watermarked and the metadata attached to each image clearly states "© Year firstname lastname / fotolibra." All rights reserved. We monitor audit trails to ensure that Rights Managed images are only used for the purpose for which they have been sold.
However some see copyright as a potential handicap. This can arise when the owner of an image was not the creator of the image. If you took the photograph, you are generally the copyright holder. But if for example you were specifically commissioned by a company to take a picture, the copyright may rest with that company. When you scan and upload family albums that you have inherited, the copyright probably rests with you as the immediate family, heirs and successors. Not until a picture sells for noticeable amounts of money and gets widespread use are lawyers for the opposition likely to become interested.
Copyright law varies from country to country, although it shouldn't. The Arts and Humanities Data Site had a good overview of copyright, though sadly its funding was cut in 2008 and as a result the page has not been updated since 2006. See also What is Copyright Protection .
Collection Agencies collect fees for the use of IPR and redistribute their takings among artists and creators. One of the best known collection agencies is the Performing Rights Society, which ensures composers and performers get a small fee when their work is played on the radio, for instance. Public Lending Right does the same for authors when their books are borrowed from libraries. For pictures DACS reimburses artists when their pictures are used. There are many others.