I was browsing Google Images one day and was a little surprised to see a couple of photos there that I had posted on this forum. Not really important to me, but some people post some very fine work here and they might not want it entering the public domain.
My pictures seem to be gone now, but these searches turned up a few from this group:
Every picture carries a copyright. While fair use allows using pictures from the public domain for new art, education, personal use etc. it doesn’t cover commercial reproduction for advertising. There are places that will monitor for unauthorized use and try to recover some money, like https://www.pixsy.com/.
If someone uses one of your pictures on eBay you can report them and have the listing removed. It used to be a pretty big deal with figs, harder to tell if a picture is stolen now since many fig pictures are posted privately on sites that Google doesn’t crawl so they won’t come up in a reverse image search. That has always been my main concern, if a seller doesn’t have their own pictures chances are they don’t know what they are selling or misrepresenting it.
My memory may be deceiving me but I thought that even though all your original work carries a copyright you can forfeit that right if you allow the work to be posted in public without noting and dating your right. I think phrases such as “All rights reserved” or “World rights reserved” together with the “Copyright 2019” (or the copyright symbol and year) serve the purpose.
As I said, it isn’t really important to me, but my father was a published author and copyrighted hundreds of titles, so I kind of grew up with the concept, plus I wrote some technical stuff and product catalog that we copyrighted. And I wouldn’t mind being brought up to date on things I misunderstand!
When you use the copyright notice it may stop someone from stealing your photographs, either because it serves as a reminder that the work is protected or because the notice interferes with the use of the work when it is part of the photo. Also, it helps to post a copyright notice on your photos because the infringer then cannot say the use was innocent. Further, you may be eligible for DMCA damages if your copyright notice is removed to hide an infringement (see above). You may use the copyright notice without registering your work with the U.S. Copyright Office.
Google just pores over the internet constantly, indexing content. Seeing your image show up there doesn’t necessarily mean anyone else has used it, it may just be a search result for your own forum post. Follow the link to see if it takes you to your own content.
Unless this forum includes some license provision (I don’t think it does), content you post here is still yours and you are the copyright holder because you are the creator. That said, the whole point of a forum like this is to share information, and you should generally assume that you lose control of anything you put on the Internet anyways.