I recently had some photos printed using Henry's online photo finishing service. When I picked up my prints I noticed they had the oddest thing printed on the back:
PROFFESSIONAL IMAGES ARE COPYRIGHT PROTECTED
DO NOT COPY
With each being repeated in French and (from what I can tell) German. Setting aside the lack of punctuation, the awkwardness of expression and the fact that they felt the need to shout their message at me in ALL CAPS, the message itself is inaccurate and presumptuous.
Professional Images are Copyright Protected
Yes, yes they are (... or rather protected by copyright). On the other hand, so is every photograph or drawing produced within the borders of a signatory of the Berne Convention and it's been that way for over a century.
I'm not really sure what they're trying to convey with this message. That I shouldn't try printing off professional images that I find online (in which case they would have done well to remind me before I picked up the prints) or to sow the seed of doubt that copyright somehow applies differently to professionally produced photographs than it does to mine since I've never been paid a dime for my photographs.
Do not Copy
This message is more straight forward; however, it most certainly isn't directed at me (I'm the copyright holder of the images after all) but at people other than me who normally wouldn't have any right to copy the work.
... except the photos in question are available on my flickr page and are distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution license. If someone can create something valuable by using my photos, I want them to. The license states that they need to give me an attribution, beyond that I'd love an email letting me know that the images are being used, but otherwise anybody is free to copy, edit and redistribute the images as they see fit.
As the holder of the copyright I have the power to set the terms under which my work is distributed, thus, I find it kind of irksome that an agent that I employed to make some prints felt the need to incorporate warning in the prints which are completely contrary to the terms I had previously established rather than just printing the damn photos.