Whether you are a professionally-trained photographer or a hobbyist who is moving into the stock photography market, your work is protected by certain copyright parameters. (If you decide to upload your images to a stock site that specializes in free or very cheap stock images, you will likely forfeit some of these rights). Here are some guidelines about stock photography copyrights from iStockphoto.com:
*From the moment a work is created, it is protected by copyright for 70 years after the photographer's death.
*Copyright can be transferred or renewed by the photographer's spouse or next of kin.
*The title of a photograph cannot be copyrighted and therefore has no protection under law.
*Photographers must take responsibility to monitor their own copyrights. Otherwise they may expire. Also, if an author fails to satisfy statutory formalities of copyright, the protection may be lost.
*Some photographers decide to hand over the management of their copyrights to another professional so they can focus more on their work at hand.