Know Your Rights
Lifehacker put up another interesting article regarding some of your rights as a photographer. Depending on what you photograph, parts of the article may or may not be relevant, however it’s generally a good idea to know anyway.
I think the most relevant piece of the article concerns copyright:
Copyright exists in your photographs at the moment you click the shutter. While you do not have to register your photos with the U.S. Copyright Office for them to be protected by copyright, there are many reasons to register them. When a photo is not registered with the U.S. Copyright Office prior to an infringement (or within three months of the first publication of the photo), a copyright owner may recover only “actual damages” for the infringement (pursuant to 17 U.S.C. 504 (b)), instead of statutory damages. Courts usually calculate actual damages based on your normal license fees and/or standard licensing fees, plus profits derived from the infringement, if not too speculative.
A lot of people will put watermarks over their images or, as I have done, put a copyright notice on each image. Either practice is unnecessary according to the law, and is only done to help make it more difficult to steal an image.
Hopefully you’ll never have to worry about being sued for your photos or having your art stolen by someone else.
Of course, when in doubt, ask a lawyer for legal advice.