You know that FBI anti-piracy seal that appears at the beginning of home movies? The one that’s displayed alongside the messsage, “The unauthorized reproduction or distribution of a copyrighted work is illegal. Criminal copyright infringement, including infringement without monetary gain is investigated by the FBI and is punishable by fines and federal imprisonment”? Well, you can now use it to remind would-be infringers that your photographs are copyrighted.
Prior to a new policy that was enacted this past week, only certain members of the entertainment and software industries were allow to display the warning. Now, all copyright holders in the US — including photographers — can make use of the Anti-Piracy Warning (APW) seal and message.
Keep in mind that just like with the US copyright symbol (©), using the FBI seal doesn’t grant you any additional rights or protections that you didn’t have before. It’s simply meant to make people think twice about using your copyrighted photographs without permission.