Depend on photos for income?
Yes, many people depend on photos for their income. Sure you can make some income from weddings and portraits but there’s a thriving market for anything from “fine art” prints to corporate brochures, presentations and web sites. Photographers who do this kind of work rely on a fair reward for their work.
Back in the early days of our photo scanning service I was contacted by a pro-photographer who wanted assurances about what would happen to his originals and his scans. Did I keep a copy? If so, for how long? In what formats? Thankfully I was able to give him the assurances he sought and away we went with the project. At the time I thought he was being ultra-fussy but since then I’ve noticed several instances where people have had their photos used, without their consent and without payment. There’s an incident running now about an American photographer who found shots she’d taken of a rock band being used without her permission. Even when she asked nicely things turned very ugly, all sorts of legalistic threats and so on.
For the pro in photography having your work plagiarised or just plain lifted can be a major problem. Indeed, if I relied on images for my income I’d be looking for ways to stop what is (in my mind) simply theft. So I was struck by an email from the providers of our online service (Zenfolio) who are now offering a service to protect you against the theft of your images. If your photographs are used online they’ll find out where and put a stop to it, for $48 a year. Already they provide “right click protection” meaning that unless you’re signed in as a user you can’t just view any image then save it to your local machine via the browser. Zenfolio will, if necessary, take legal action to protect your rights.