Are my photos safe?

If a photo can be seen in a web browser, it can be downloaded, copied or saved. There is nothing technically possible that National Geographic can do to completely prevent this from happening, and it is not an issue unique to Your Shot. The only sure way to protect your photos is to not upload them to the Internet. 
 
That said, National Geographic does provide some deterrents to make it harder, but not impossible, for people to copy your images. If you find your photo being used without your permission elsewhere online, you should submit a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) Notice Of Infringement (copyright) with the website or service.

Here are some sites where you can learn more about the DMCA:
http://petapixel.com/2013/07/10/using-the-dmca-to-stop-the-copyright-infringement-of-your-photos/
https://nppa.org/page/5617
http://copyright.gov/onlinesp/
http://www.copyright.gov/legislation/dmca.pdf
http://www.marketingdock.com/copyrights/dealing-with-copyright-infringement.php
http://www.sfwa.org/2013/03/the-dmca-takedown-notice-demystified/
http://www.dpreview.com/articles/1999431312/two-easy-steps-for-using-a-dmca-takedown-notice-to-battle-copyright-infringement
 

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