A common question I hear is Can I scan my portraits?

The short answer is: No, it’s a federal offense.

Although some may justify this action by saying they already paid for the portraits, this is equivalent to buying a movie and making several copies for your friends (which, by the way is illegal too). The same laws that protect musicians from having their music copied and directors from having their movies copied are the same copyright laws that protect photographers. These copyright laws are federal laws and breaking them is consequently a federal offense. Images don’t need to have a (C) logo on them to be protected by copyright either. They’re actually covered by federal copyright law as soon as they are created.

So next time you take a picture of your cute children playing at the park, you can say to yourself, “This picture is copyrighted by ME! WOOHOO!”

If you want to reproduce portraits for your website or any other use, Leavitt Photo offers a legal means for you to do so. Costs vary depending on the usage.