I am an amateur photographer and I would like to make a site where to put my work after scanning them. How can I prevent others from downloading and using them without paying me or asking my authorisation?

There are some technical expedients making downloading photographs from Internet difficult, or at least inconvenient. Amongst these systems there are electronic marks, with which a kind of electronic watermark is affixed to the photos so to make them easily traceable every time someone uses them illicitly. However, even without resorting to these measures, it deserves remembering that the law on copyright protects the photographs, so that from the time they are distributed on the web by the author, nobody can use them without violating his clear right. If the photos are “artistic”, then they benefit form a full right, so anyone wanting to use them needs to have the author’s authorisation and must pay him royalties. If, instead, they are simple photographs, in order to be eligible for royalties from anyone using them, it is necessary to quote the photographer’s name, the date and the year of production next to each photo, besides, if it is the case, the name of the author of the photographed work. If these indications are not supplied and someone uses them, the author could not claim any royalty. In practice it is rather difficult establishing when a photo is a work in the technical sense or a simple photo, but generally this assessment is done on the basis of the originality of it. It is not important what is portrayed, but the particular way it is portrayed, the moment that it gets captured, demonstrating that it is the gesture of an artist.