One of our favorite jokes is about someone in prison for the first time and during his first anxiety filled evening, he hears someone calling out a number and hysterical laughter following immediately after.

“Six” followed by deep belly laughs.

“Fourteen” followed by snickers, chortles, and guffaws.

“Thirty eight” followed by hoots, hollers, and roars.

Questioning it, he asks his cellmate what that’s all about. His cellie explains that the guys have been in prison so long and have heard the jokes so many times, that they assigned numbers to the jokes and instead of repeating the same jokes over and over, they just need to hear the number.

So this guy decides to be one of the gang, he’s going to call out a number.

“Twenty Three!” he yells out.

Nothing, not a twitter, not a snicker.His cell mate looks at him, shakes his head and sighs, “Some guys just don’t know how to tell a joke…”


Mixing that old chestnut of a joke with the TV game show “Jeopardy” we have the following responses to questions asked by photographers that we’ve heard over and over and over. We have heard these so often, all we need are the numbers at this point rather than listen to the whole question.

You need not be Alex Trebek to figure out the questions that go with these answers:
1.  There is no legal requirement to place a copyright notice on your photograph and there has not been one since 1978;

2.  One or more infringing uses of your image on Google images does serve to give others permission to rip off that same image;

3.  A person can be personally liable for copyright infringement even if the infringement was perpetrated by a corporate entity;

4.  The compensatory damages likely to be recovered may exceed that of a likely statutory damage award. So the inability to seek statutory damages may be utterly irrelevant as to whether or not you should start of copyright infringement lawsuit;

5.  Then register it now.

6.  The fee is $55 per filing, not per image. $55 can cover all of the filing fees for thousands of images;

7.  Your client/infringer is wrong and is lying to you;

8.  The infringer’s failure to “make a profit” as a result of its illegal activity is of little to no importance.

9.  You have no idea whether the infringer has the ability to pay a judgement now or during the decade (or more) that a judgment is good for;

10.  You don’t know whether or not the infringer has any business insurance which would cover damages resulting from copyright infringement or the failure to obtain a model release;

11.  Webmasters or developers have no immunity from litigation. The company/infringer who owns the site or sells the goods and hired them is typically responsible and on the hook for the infringement.  The webmaster may be a co-defendant;

12.  There are no credentials, minimum age requirements, specialized training  or licenses required to be a “webmaster” or developer.   Generally  a webmaster creates and manages content and/or manages the server and technical programming aspects of the site. (Ed has  had cases with several webmasters still in high school and in one instance, middle school).

13.  Webmasters seldom know anything at all about the DMCA, The Copyright Act, state model release laws, laws regarding the use of celebrity images, intellectual property concerns and so on.  They very rarely possess more knowledge of such things than their clients and even less frequently are more knowledgeable than photographers.

14.  Just because you own the copyright that does not mean that you can license the photo of Joe Celebrity to anyone without Mr. Celebrity’s written consent;


And the final answer for “Double Jeopardy”:

15.  You are in this situation because you relied on the “legal” advice of a blogger with no legal training.