Attorney Kiffanie Stahle on copyrights and protecting your work online

Warning: Awesome business resource for creatives ahead!

Have some lingering legal questions about copyrights? If my conversation with Maria Brophy wasn’t enough to give you a kick in the pants, my talk with attorney Kiffanie Stahle will leave give you the final information and push.

How to think about Pinterest? We jump right into that as well! That subject is always dicey! What to do..what to do?

Most importantly, Kiffanie reveals strategies on how to protect your imagery and creations online. She has a vested interest in helping creative people since she is a photographer as well and an attorney!

The really good news is, she is for hire! She can look over contracts, send out cease and desist letters, whatever you might need. If you listen all the way to the end, she discusses her pricing strategy and you don’t want to miss it! This interview is a terrific resource!

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  • Camille

    Hi Monica,

    Thank-you so much for this interview. I know most of us artist need to get more organized in this area 😉
    Kiffanie never answered my most burning questions!
    What if we have works over 3 months, we still go ahead and
    copyright correct?

    • just asked this same question!

    • Monica Lee

      I thought we answered that….here is what Kelli Proia sent me..”If copyright registration is made within three months after publication of the work or prior to an infringement of the work, statutory damages and attorney’s fees will be available to the copyright owner in court actions. Otherwise, only an award of actual damages and profits is available to the copyright owner.”

      You can leave a lot of money on the table if you don’t register within 3 months.

      OR PRIOR TO AN INFRINGEMENT OF THE WORK…so yes, go back and do it-but if has been infringed already…you may be in a bit of a pickle.

    • Sorry for the confusion. Yes, you can register the copyright in works older than three months. The three month window is a “grace period” for works that are infringed quickly after they are first put out.

      If you register your copyright within the three month “grace period” or prior to the work being infringed you have a much bigger stick to bring to to the fight when your copyright is infringed for the reasons that Monica (quoting Kelli) says above.

  • betz White

    Fascinating! I’m reading over a contract this morning so this is very timely! Thanks for continuing to bring up Pinterest. Every time I meet a new person that asks if I am on Pinterest, they jump all over me like I am some tech laggard when I tell them no. I know my work gets pinned there by others, but I am not comfortable with the terms to be the pinner of other people’s work. I’m with you, Kiffanie!

  • If you’re interested there’s this website called stipple where you can tag your image with a bit of html code to help track it. You can then see where your image is posted on the web (pinterest, blogs, etc.) You can watch a video on their site:
    Hope this helps!

    • I hadn’t heard of this one yet! Thanks for sharing. I’m going to add it to my list of resources for those that create visual content.

  • Definitely a lot of great info! I wonder, for already published works in the past… is it just a lost cause, you can’t officially register the copyright?

  • Kiffanie answered some of my burning questions about copyrights; specifically “What exactly does ‘PUBLISHED’ mean?!  I had called the Copyright office and asked that question some time ago and the person could not give me a definition!  

    So, now I understand why – because technically no one knows!  But, I’ll play it safe and continue to do what I’ve been doing, as was Kiffanie’s suggestion – anything that’s been made available for sale is considered “Published”.  

    Thanks, both of you Smart Creative Ladies, for the information!

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  • Sue Allemand

    Very awesome Kiffanie!   Its great to hear from an attorney that “gets” us!  And is realistic and down-to-earth as far as artists and their resources and what scares us about hiring an attorney in the first place!  You’re so great!  I’ll definitely be contacting you when I need something!  P.S.  I still love my Pinterest….hehe… but cautiously.  🙂 

  • Thank you so much for this! It’s comforting to see artists having each other’s backs!

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