While the use of digital manipulation for altering images has now become a common thing, it presents serious challenges to copyright protection. Indeed, altering images though Adobe Photoshop and the other imaging programs, without permission, infringes the copyright owner’s exclusive right to adaptation.

1. Photoshop vs Copyright

Nowadays, the number of images editing programmes is so huge that it is possible for anyone, including non professionals, to manipulate digital images. This faculty does no longer only belongs to professional graphic designers. In fact, altering digital pictures has become an everyday act and does not require great expertise.

While Adobe Photoshop is the giant among imaging programs on the market, a diversity of other similar software exists. The principle behind these programs is to enable anyone to make a vast range of modifications to a photograph, ranging from few touch ups to the creation of major scenes which never occurred.

2. In practice

In practice, digital images can be altered in many ways. Changes can be made by adding, moving or deleting elements, by changing the colours, the contrast or the brightness, by burning and dodging (respectively making parts of the image darker or lighter, for example to de-emphasise a background), by cropping a photograph, by reversing an image from left to right or horizontal to vertical, and so on.

3. Users are usually absolute Beginners

Digital manipulation on images may become an issue in the sense that it clearly infringes the copyright owner’s exclusive rights to adaptation. Hence, most people do not have the slightest idea that altering images protected by copyrights, through Adobe Photoshop for example, make them potential copyright infringers.