Basically, a copyright is a property right.
Under the Federal Copyright Act of 1976 photographs are protected by
copyright from the moment of creation. Copyright in a work created on or
after January 1, 1978, subsists from its creation and endures for a term
consisting of the life of the creator and 70 years after his or her death.
are considered "original works of authorship" and are protected
by copyright law from the moment they are taken
copyright law provides professional photographers with certain protections
to ensure they get paid for their work. The law gives copyright owners
(the photographer, studio or individuals who have purchased the copyright)
several exclusive rights including the right to copy, publicly display,
publish or distribute subject to certain privacy rights.
Sale of a
particular copy of a photograph is not sale of the copyright in the
photograph, and the act of selling a copy of the photo does not give the
purchaser the right to make copies of the photo.
copyright owner is entitled to recover the actual damages suffered by him
or her as a result of an infringement, and any profits of the infringement
and are not taken into account in computing the actual damages.