Photographer Threatened with Lawsuit After Protecting His Copyright

Clockwise from top left: Jay Lee's original photograph, a screenshot of Google Image Search results, and a screenshot of Candice Schwager's website showing the image being used

After discovering that multiple websites had used one of his photos without permission, photographer Jay Lee began sending out DMCA takedown notifications to web hosts in an attempt to protect his copyright. One of the websites was owned by a woman named Candice Schwager, who had 14 of her sites temporarily taken offline as a result of the takedown request. Turns out Schwager is involved in both helping represent special needs children and helping a man named Louis Guthrie get elected as County Sheriff. This is where the story gets weird.

Lee and Schwager engage in an email exchange that grows increasingly bizarre, and both parties subsequently write blog posts presenting their cases. Lee published emails from Schwager (here’s a cached copy of the page) that appear to show her accusing him of conspiring against her charitable business and campaign. Schwager also published a lengthy piece titled “Chronicle’s Jay Lee’s Cheap shots at Atty4kids Nonprofit ~ Garcia Style” on one of her websites, and then emailed Lee stating that she intended to sue him for “libel, defamation, invasion of privacy, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and seek punitive damages as well as actual, court costs, attorney fees, and interest.”

Not wanting to engage in a legal battle, Lee quickly took down his post… but not before the story began to go viral online with the help of sites like Slashdot. What began as an effort to protect one’s copyright quickly swirled into a very messy and public battle, and one of the strangest infringement stories we’ve seen thus far.

Thanks for sending in the tip, Joshua!

  • Al Borrelli

    Talk about double standards. When I went to Candice’s webpage and tried to right click on the background to check if it was copyrighted, it says that right-click is disabled, “please respect copyright!” hahahahahahaahahahah… holy shit, you can’t make this stuff up!

  • …just a mortal…

    T A C, 

    I am thinking Crystal is a persona of someone else, and I def. think someone in this mix is pulling all the strings.  But, There are too many real world instances of Candice to discount her as being involved, maybe group therapy buddies, I am not sure… Does the Crystal you know live in houston area, have a last name that might start with the letter H, may have been a stripper at some point, Is late 30’s but sees herself as being much younger then she really is and a little obsessed with Goth/Emo?

  • Mansgame

     If it was a lousy picture, I dare you her (you have so many names it’s hard to follow) to go take the picture.  I double dare you to take a night picture of the skyline and see how it comes out and compare. 

    The rest of your rant makes absolutely no sense so I’m not even going to comment.  “The web is free so you can steal everything”.  Ok there.

  • Mansgame

     I hope you go after her (them) Steve.  You are an established photographer from what I saw of your website and have the means (and I’m guessing a good attorney). 

  • Jimmywli

    We do hope she gets what she deserves and not have her use good cause to cover her wrong and evil acts and stop her spreading negativity and that’s why we keep following on this case.  We want to see justice.

  • bappadityamishra

    I agree with TRoy

  • Lennaert Goris

    She has clearly got to much time on her hands: 

  • Joe Gunawan
  • Ace

    Lynch Mob?  Now you’re just being racist.

    Copyright exists at the moment of creation:

    “Start of copyright protection
    The protection of the intellectual property starts with creation, that is, as soon as the work has been made, as soon as the idea has taken form. Whether or not you give the work to someone, by intention or not (e.g. if you leave the text on a common printer), is not important.”


  • …just a mortal…

    Hmmm… Someone was visited by the infringing use fairy today…

    So in this case she remembers “buying” the image from a website selling wallpaper.  Hmmm, it was a much different tone in this post, could it be that she understands she doesn’t think she can “bully” Anne Geddes… 

    Btw, if anyone sees a link that shows a form 990, annual report, incorporation papers or any other official documentation showing that atty4kids is really a non-profit, could you post it, I might want to donate a buck or two, but I only donate to REAL non-profits.  Just saying… 

  • …just a mortal…

    Now she has turned her attentions to & Michael Zhang… hmmm…

    How very interesting, she has been blogging & tweeting up and down the internet about fair use and how nothing is copyrighted on the net.  Fair use is looking her right in the eye, and now it is infringement–is it opposite day in home room and I just forgot to turn my jeans inside out?  In fact her gracious “please don’t take me to court for my copyright infringement” love note to Anne Geddes still asserts that most of the images on the internet are not copyrighted, which shows she really doesn’t understand copyright, DMCA or fair use any more today then she did a week ago.

    If the posted letter is truly something she sent out–I am just going to say, wow, if thats her idea of professionalism then the “bar” has been set low. 

  • Regal4God

    As a supporter of Candice I must say. Look at yourself. You have defamed and libeled Candice here for days, “…just a mortal…” or “jaylee” as you go by names elsewhere. You have been worrying at this like a dog with a bone since the story was posted. It’s been more than a week. I notice you have posted here every day. I have complex automatic systems reading this site. I don’t miss anything. Reading this, you need to ask yourself why? How tied up are you in this, “jaylee”? I recommend this entire article is deleted. It shouldn’t be online, and candice is a top SEO Search Engine Optimization expert in her field. She will push it to the bottom. You are one commenter on a small site vs a top SEO expert with twenty years of SEO skills. She’s been at this game longer than you. 

    Did you notice your efforts to discredit her and guthrie have failed?  Google the streisand effect. I’ve seen your type online make note of it during this libelous attack on candice by the low life hackers and media she has endured. I’ve seen you gloating that you’ll forever blacken her name. Then google for Candice. Your effects have come to nothing and they don’t have any affect. There is no evidence of your work. She has wiped your efforts from google, and she will work with google to make sure petapixel is taken to the bottom of the pile. Take it from me, she’s a SEO tornado. 

    If you think nothing is copyrighted of hers just look. I believe Candice has registered copyright for all her work. Something you have failed to do “jaylee”. I print out everything I type online and sign and date it. So nobody can change it or pretend its theirs. I have the proof and I have the evidence, something “jaylee” has failed to do. If you took the photographs and copyrighted them why not say so? You have to wonder why. Do you try to lay traps and make your living this way by exploiting mothers and workers for disabled children? You’re either against guthrie or you are the scum who make money off others hard work. hard workers like Candice.

    This comment is to be considered copyright and you do not have permission to change it or twist my words or reproduce it elsewhere. It will be printed on petapixel only insofar as to make an example of you.

  • Mansgame

    So are you Candice referring to yourself in the third person’s point of view?  If I didn’t know better I’d say you sound more like Dwight Schrute  If you are, I don’t think anybody is buying this whole “it’s for the children” schtick. 

    Whoever you are, for the last time, the instant someone takes a picture, it’s copyrighted whether it’s registered or not.  Think of it the way your side of the isle thinks about the beginning of life- it happens at conception.  A picture is copyrighted just as a baby is a baby at the minute the button is pushed.  Think of the children.

  • Regal4God

    If yes there was copyright at the moment you create something but then what happens when a picture is only half created like a painting or a drawing or a sculpture or a piece of writing like this comment is there copyright for every version along the way? I think that would overwhelm the copyright office and there has to be a point where real copyright takes over. 

    And that is the point at which registration of copyright comes into affect and swings the balance. I think the government thinks differently. Visit this.

    Government proof of registration of copyright. If you have copyright when you create a photograph WHY DOES THE GOVERNMENT REQUIRE REGISTRATION. Tell me this. Explain it. I’d like to see you ignore the evidence. Look at the internet address there. It ends in .gov.

    Unassailable proof.

    Read and cry. Into your cereal.

    “Use Form VA for copyright registration of published or 
    unpublished works of the visual arts. This category consists of “pictorial, graphic, 
    or sculptural works,” including two-dimensional and three-dimensional works 
    of fine, graphic, and applied art, photographs, prints and art reproductions, 
    maps, globes, charts, technical drawings, diagrams, and models.”

    You are confused with birth. Why do you think this is the opinion of my side. You know nothing about me. I am not Candice. I do not even live in the same county or a different country as far as you know.

    End of story the government would not require a form to register copyright if copyright were automatically registered at the push of a button unless cameras send this form off by themselves. I happen to know for a fact they do not. Making more work for themselves. I don’t think so.

    This comment is to be considered copyright and you do not have permission to change it or twist my words or reproduce it elsewhere. It will be printed on petapixel only insofar as to make an example of you.

  • MikeWren

    Two words: Willful infringement.  That’s the big bucks. 

  • MikeWren

    When is my work protected?Your work is under copyright protection the moment it is created and fixed in a tangible form that it is perceptible either directly or with the aid of a machine or device. 
    Do I have to register with your office to be protected?No. In general, registration is voluntary. Copyright exists from the moment the work is created. You will have to register, however, if you wish to bring a lawsuit for infringement of a U.S. work. See Circular 1, Copyright Basics, section “Copyright Registration.” 

    “Sufficiently advanced insanity is indistinguishable from stupidity.”

  • Matt

    I love how Regal4God’s logic says that because the ability to register copyright exists, that is “unassailable proof” that copyright doesn’t exist without registration. 
    “Do I have to register with your office to be protected?
    No. In general, registration is voluntary. Copyright exists from the moment the work is created. You will have to register, however, if you wish to bring a lawsuit for infringement of a U.S. work.”

  • Guest

     Wow! “A top SEO Search Engine Optimization expert in her field.” That’s an exciting field to be a part of. She must know a lot of experienced scammers! Anyway, Candice is clearly not a top Public Relations expert in her field.

  • Bonzo_Wilson

    The reason that people go to private institutions is normally that they have lower entry requirements, in fact it may be the case that she was refused entry to a non-private institution on account of being considered not intelligent enough. The private qualification was clearly enough to allow her to attempt to acquire public validation of that qualification.

    Personally, I wouldn’t trust her as far as I could throw her from the observation deck of the Empire State Building.

  • Bonzo_Wilson

    I didn’t see that warning. but then I don’t have javascript enabled – what was more disturbing was that after I saved the page to read at my leisure, I found a file on my computer called “bth.htm”, which contains the follwing worrying line of code – my IP address has been changed to AAA.BBB.CCC.DDD

    Apologies – Edited to remove link – I clicked on the link which took me to a phony prize site – my pop-up blocker must be working

  • …just a mortal…

    As I have intimated before, I don’t care if you are Candice, her husband, her lover, a split personality,  a chipmunk, heck you could be Candi’s Who-ha for all I care (what an image)–makes no difference to me, its all the Candy Party line.    

    As to me being JL, nope, sorry, no cigar. If I was, I wouldn’t be commenting, duh, I would be watching everyone else comment and taking all of the Candi/Candi supporter comments and sending them to my attorney.  Have I commented on here every day, yep, I have, as the subject of photo infringement is near and dear to my heart.  Have I commented on more then one blog, absolutely.  Likewise, there are “Candi Clones” who have also tweeted, commented and blogged about this every day as well, everyone has an opinion!

    Defamed and Libeled, lol, don’t make me laugh–I think your projecting Candi’s behavior onto others.  Stating the obvious, pointing out facts and expressing my opinion are protected under the first amendment.  Has Candice infringed on the copyrights of others—“Anne Geddes – One Remarkable Artist”.  So let me add a NEW word to your vocabulary Candi/Candi-Clone: CREDIBILITY, after the Anne Geddes debacle who has more credibility CS or JL?     

    Do you, her or any of the other Candi-Clones understand copyright law as it applies to this situation, not as far as I can tell.  I would venture a guess that the regular peta pixel reader commenting on this article absolutely knows, with out a doubt, how copyright affects their work, this is OUR businesses, OUR livelihoods, OUR work, and each one of us has to know how to protect that work and that livelihood from people like Candi.  

    Its interesting to me that in your second post tonight you would bring up how copyrights on versions would overwhelm the copyright office.  Guess what “genius”, your comments are in the direction of why you do not need to register every work.  Even as a part time photographer I take 15,000 pictures or more a year.  You multiply 15,000 pics times every professional photographer in the US times any unique versions of the photos and then apply for official copyrights and you would paralyze the the copyright office, not to mention the vast amount of fees, paperwork and data involved.  The alternative, which happens to be what has already happened in the US, you change the system to treat everything created as copyrighted and require the artist to opt out of the copyright, leaving only those that absolutely feel they need a registered copyright to utilize the copyright offices services.  

    To say that I am suggesting that nothing of hers is copyrighted shows your ignorance and your lack of understanding.  If I am trying to explain to you that the law recognizes any original work as having a copyright, then I have already made clear that her original works are also copyrighted. The point I was making was, she keeps talking about the lack of copyright notice is a big deal (even tho copyright notice has not been required on any works created since 1989) and I was pointing out that she did not have copyright notices on the vast majority of her work, but I would assume if someone stole her content she would go after them, regardless of if she had that notice or not.  Amazingly, after I made that comment, copyright notices showed up all over her work, so again, didn’t read it all the way thru and either you two chat constantly or….  

    Complex Automatic Systems reading this site–are you really the NSA? Should I put my Foil Hat On?  Yes, I know, everyone has a complex system to read this site, its either a smart phone, a tablet or a computer, and each year they get more complex.  blah blah blah.

    SEO Tornado? Well, if you are talking about SEO then yep, she has been at it longer then me as I have 0 interest, 0 hours invested in SEO and 0 extra twitter accounts/blogs to move any results up ;-) she wants to try to move stuff around google, have at it.  20 years, I think that is a little far fetched tho, but who’s to say but Candi, after all she has all that credibility going for her.  Tho, I do have a question for you on the SEO stuff, every time she posts/tweets about someone she doesn’t like don’t they move up in the algorithms too so any post about them or by them starts to get higher hits too?  She may be an SEO tornado but I am a Google Ninja-HIGH-YAH–Hopefully someone is laughing.  I aspire to do stand up too.

    So I know I sound like a broken record, but where is the Atty4kids Form 990 or annual report or something.  All I can find with the state of Texas is this:

    This doesn’t show it to be a non-profit?  What the heck?  Which brings up another point, Candi/Candi-Clone, I am so glad I do not live in TX, the privacy laws there suck, too much open records crap.  

    I post this comment as Creative Commons CC BY-NC-ND  ;-P

  • Guest

    This chick just gets nuttier.  I am lost on the whole notion that cause she a parent of a disabled kid that she can steal?  So since my child has downs I can steal and go around breaking the law?  God no!  That is a horrible example to set to my kids and society.  She does great work but you still can’t steal.  Doing good doesn’t make it alright to do wrongs.

  • Hemiram

    Technically, Lee could file for a registered copyright, and then bring suit to anyone who has violated the intrinsic copyright which was protected the moment it was created. Nice. I will have to remember that. 

  • Hemiram could not find anything there either

  • Hemiram

    One other thing, I did not think that Non-profits (tax exempt) were allowed to be political / make political statements?

  • joe_blow

    Jay should have never taken down his article about the debacle.  This woman is clearly nuts, and needs to be removed from the internet permanently.  I hope petapixel stands their ground, unlike Jay.  If I was Jay, I would file another complaint to GoDaddy to have her sites removed again for making ignorant posts flaming Jay and petapixel, only to further her own political interests.

  • Anarch

    That is her response. But the truth is that the photo in question was used as a background image for her law firm, not for the non-profit.

  • Anarch

    and here is the next article, 
    where she talks about herself in the third person as a horrible victim of Jay Lee.

    To quote her blog, “Jay Lee is a hacker and tech expert and knows everything imaginable about computers.”

    And in delicious irony, if you attempt to right click on the page, it pops up with a message, “Sorry, right-clicking is disabled; please respect copyrights.”

    That has to take the cake.  The woman needs to be disbarred.

  • Slashdot Samurai

    If I was in Jay Lee’s shoes, and I noticed my photographic work that I was willing to share online for people to view was being put to use without credit or payment by multiple businesses, as well as non-profit corporations, I would likely do the same thing.  I wouldn’t even care for the money that could be involved, I just wouldn’t want them using it to further their business/cause. 

    I’m only here because I read the Slashdot article a few weeks back and now a follow up has been posted.  I was initially intrigued because of the intense nature of Candice’s attack on Jay, and just the sheer number of websites that were taken down in the process.  All of these sites seem like the ramblings of a highly narcissistic person who want to flaunt their supposed accomplishments, and holier than thou position within the world.  Non-profit attorneys looking to fight for those who cannot defend themselves – handicapped children.  It sounds very noble, it really does.  However, it really seems like a masquerade for a woman desperate to demonstrate capability – a very human need, that many people attempt to accomplish by any number of ways. (ie. walking on the moon, making millions of dollars, becoming a doctor, or a lawyer)  However it has manifested into a form of psychosis: supposed political conspiracies, lynch mobs, evil people lurking in the shadows behind the anonymity of the internet. 

    A Slashdot lynch mob ain’t just any lynch mob, it’s a lynch mob made up of computer geeks who spend most of their time reading everything.  Understanding the basics of copyright and patent law is sort of learned within the first month by a regular reader.  It forms such a basic building block to Open Source software that it can’t be ignored for long without getting lost in the conversations…

  • FR

     If you read what Jay had to say, he found a lot of people infringing on his copyright, and had gotten the process of notifying the website administrators down to an automatic process.

    Normal practice is to look up the website’s registrar and contact the webmaster. There is no obligation to go chasing the actual website owner, the process is always to just contact the webmaster. After all, its the choice of the domain owner who he/she decides to list as the webmaster. If the webmaster decides to ignore you then the next logical step is to notify the domain registrar via DMCA if their is a true case of copyright violation.

    You are right though, its very weird how this woman has decided to handle what was her own wrongdoing. She’s now started lodging false DMCA takedown notices to domain registrar’s of domains hosting news about her actions, for example is reporting on the story and they have used a screenshot of her website which shows her copyright violation, which by the way is fair use, so she is not within her rights to lodge a DMCA take down.

    Pot calls kettle black, she’s a hypocrite and seriously scary woman.

  • Brielle

    I get the feeling like she may be suffering from something like Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

    Common reactions to having that self important, ego tripping, holier-then-thou bubble popped is to create controversy, conspiracy theories, paranoia, etc.

    It’s one thing to be a confident, strong willed, and verbal individual.  It’s an entirely different thing when you let it get to your head to the point this woman has.

  • That_Anonymous_Coward

    Darn Disqus letting me miss your reply.
    I explored the stripper now real estate agent angle.  The picture on LinkedIn is lifted from the interwebs and predates her.  There are other shots of the person in the picture out there.
    My fear is that it is another sockpuppet for a different Crystal, who is not a journalist.  Popehat talked about this one.
    The whole SEO angle is what lead me there, the Crystal I am thinking of sends offers to fix your SEO problems for $2500 a month… problems she created.
    Now with the failure to send a DMCA notice correctly should exclude a lawyer from being that stupid.  But a long ranting note about how someone has done her wrong fits my guess perfectly.

    Take a lawyer who needed help getting her awesome SEO business off the ground, add someone who is very good at SEO then have them run into each other online.  The sockpuppet has a history of doing battle against the “bad people ™” like the Sherrif Candice dislikes.  The lawyer lets the sockpuppet run the show, and no one is the wiser until a photo is infringed, and leads to a laundry list of stolen images upto and including the logo.

    The sockpuppet isn’t the track and field star.

  • That_Anonymous_Coward

    Hello Sockpuppet,
    1 question, is your last name Cox?
    It’ll help me win a bet I have going about you Crystal.

  • Mikko

    This video has been removed by the user.

    Sorry about that.

  • That_Anonymous_Coward

    Sitting in the formerly foreclosed townhouse condo that someone else owns hoping that GoDaddy will deliver to her over 9000 internets worth of sunshine and kittens.
    Seriously… you published your “home” address on the interwebs and you think this will end well?
    Delusional is just a dim light on the horizon behind you lady…

  • Regal4God

    You and a thousand others may make threats to Candice. Let me tell you. I have experience and this will not end well for anybody but Candice. 

    You may make barely veiled threats to Candice’s home address but you have to ask yourself. Why? Why would you do this to a woman who works for disabled and disadvantaged kids. Why would you do this to an honorable woman who has integrity. Why would you do this to someone who is bullied by the media. Endured attacks by computer hackers and “academics”. Why?

    In the end everything you write online is evidence. Everything. You have written using a name that appears in other places online. You have written using an unavoidable internet address. You spread libel that Candice is in somebody elses home. Let me tell you this is not the case. Candice would know. Candice has said nothing about living in somebody else’s home. Foreclosure? That’s a term I think you don’t know how to use. I am not Candice but I am sure of this as I am sure of my own children.

    But I know why you do this. It all ties in with Garcia. Everything. All of it. Discovery will find this out and we’ll see who has the last laugh. You know, we are already laughing now. Guthrie will have the last laugh. Garcia, he has no hope left and resorting to these actions is proof he is running scared. Running from the truth. The thinly veiled actions of a madman. The actions of someone who knows they have already lost.

    You have already lost.

  • Mark1138

    “But I know why you do this. It all ties in with Garcia. Everything. All of it. ”

    Either this is Candice, or crazy is catching.

  • Mark1138

    “But I know why you do this. It all ties in with Garcia. Everything. All of it. ”

    Either Regal4God is Candice, or crazy is catching.  BTW – way to give God a bad name…

  • Seetherut

    Hey Regal-Candice-Crissy-Crystal-NutBagger,
      Seems atty4kids and politicsandchicks are both down again. Someone call JL. He clearly has been busy being a “hacker” again.

  • Chris Bowen

    Candice, yes yes and yes.. Being a lawyer you should be able to read the law. Take a look at title 17, chapter 4 section 408 “copyright registration”.

    You can find it at

    “Such registration is not a condition of copyright protection”

  • …just a mortal…

    um, did we not learn credibility in my last lesson, Candi/Candi-Clone?

    Still looking for a Form 990, Annual Report or any other evidence that Att4Kids is a non-profit.

  • Chris Bowen

    regal4god I would recommend that you take a class in logic. Registration is a way to prove copyright, however IS NOT required to establish copyright protection. US title 17 chapter 4 section 408 clearly states that “such registration is not a condition of copyright protection”

    You can find it at the same hostname you pointed to, with a slightly different URI

  • That_Anonymous_Coward

    Please explain how I made a veiled threat, I would love a look inside your odd little mind.

    Candice stole images and logos, or more correctly you did in her name.  As someone who is supposedly an officer of the court, she knows better.  She has used her position to threaten and intimidate people, this is a disbarrable offense. You might want to let her know what you’ve been doing online using her name before she isn’t a lawyer any more.  You can tell her its all an evil plot to get her, but you created all of the damage and you can’t spin the story any other way.

    Yes my name appears in many places, unlike you sockpuppet.  You only exist here, created to “defend” the actions you undertook pretending to be Candice.  I do believe you are Crystal Cox, and woe to Candice when she figures that out.  I look forward to your witch hunt against me sockpuppet.

    The address is owned by someone not named Candice, it was purchased when it was in foreclosure.  It is a dirty little place as of April 2011.  Maybe for all of your SEO magic you fail to grasp tax records and streetview exist.  So if that is Candice’s home she is committing tax fraud on the state of Texas.  Transferring property and not recording the sale… naughty naughty.

    I have no idea who Garcia is, but I know who you are sockpuppet.
    Your so wrapped up in your little personal crusade, you can’t understand not everything is related to it.  You stole images got caught and tried to use that for more fodder for some silly political campaign that doesn’t matter to anyone but you.  Not everyone is from Texas, you seem unable to grasp this concept.

    To quote Charlie Sheen, I’m Winning.
    Your in a panic, and the more you thrash the deeper you sink.

    Maybe I should make Mr. Guthrie aware of the ranting posts you make invoking his name and the damage that could do to his political aspirations.  Pretty sure he’d drop association with Candice in a heartbeat.  Your so consumed in proving your right, it’ll cost you everything again.

    I’m not some banker or lawyer you can make a circle of websites to defame and then offer to make it all better for $2500 a month. 
    Give it your best shot, even Randazza leaves me alone…

  • …just a mortal…


    There are two types of non-profits.  They key is, are the donations the organization receives tax deductible or not.  Those that are tax deductible are the ones that are not supposed to get involved in politics.  

  • That_Anonymous_Coward

    I wonder if some super SEO wizard figured out she went to far and is trying to hide the evidence…
    Shame the net never forgets….

    Oh god it might be better than that…
    Her ranting letter threatening to sue GoDaddy might have paid off by getting her booted.

  • That_Anonymous_Coward
    Oh look she stole images from Disney too…

    Also bad at photoshop, that or she used magic to add addisons name.

    Oh hey look a copyrighted photo on her ebay account… someone wanna see if she got permission?

    Crazy lady go down the hole….

  • Bonzo_Wilson…
    Oh look she stole images from Disney too…

    Intriquicacy??? Intricacy, perhaps?

  • That_Anonymous_Coward

    What are all of these red squiggly lines under my words for?!

  • Bonzo_Wilson

    No idea …. theres; nothing here Screenshot perhaps?

  • Jon Liebold

    But Registration is the only way to get damages that would exceed a normal license at a common rate. Most lawyers would not even bother with your case unless the work was registered.

    But you are correct. Copyright goes into effect the second the work is “fixed” so in a photograph’s case the copyright existed the second the photographer clicked the shutter.