Originally Posted by the Talking Can
I'm going to spend the rest of my life posting photo shopped versions of that photo on message boards.
How much do I have to change in order to claim copyright in someone else's work?
Only the owner of copyright in a work has the right to prepare, or to authorize someone else to create, a new version of that work. Accordingly, you cannot claim copyright to another's work, no matter how much you change it, unless you have the owner's consent.
Somebody infringed my copyright. What can I do?
A party may seek to protect his or her copyrights against unauthorized use by filing a civil lawsuit in federal district court. If you believe that your copyright has been infringed, consult an attorney. In cases of willful infringement for profit, the U.S. Attorney may initiate a criminal investigation.
Could I be sued for using somebody else's work? How about quotes or samples?
If you use a copyrighted work without authorization, the owner may be entitled to bring an infringement action against you. The Copyright Office recommends that permission be obtained.