There are a considerable number of misconceptions concerning the copyright of items on the Internet (or elsewhere).

Perhaps the most common is that copyright does not exist in items where it is not specifically mentioned. This is simply an urban myth! While the situation regarding copyright (including the confusion concerning image rights which is a different but related subject) is a complicated matter it is possible to make a few assumptions and be fairly safe in this legal quagmire.
It is safer to assume that copyright exists in every published word and picture taken in the last 75 years or so (no, it's not that simple, but it's a reasonably safe premise).
The items which I find most often stolen (yes ... that's an appropriate word!) from this site are, not surprisingly, photos. The copyright in all photographs used here belongs to me unless specifically stated otherwise. I don't have to state the matter - it is so by virtue of the fact I pressed the shutter and/or own the equipment. Some of the remainder have been taken with my camera when loaned to others. I am happy to accept the copyright then belongs to them! It is a reasonable presumption that you do not own the copyright of a photo unless you pressed the shutter or own the equipment. It mattered not who owned the camera, the film, or in my case the CMOS chip, that recorded the images until recently - now it's more complicated than that. This situation can be varied by prior agreement between photographer and client ... this might be worth remembering if you ever hire one for a specific occasion, such as a wedding. You can specify in the contract that the pictures taken on that occasion will be your copyright. Not all photographers will be willing to take on a job with this proviso however.
Image rights are a much more complicated matter as court cases related to the image of the Late Princess of Wales illustrate. To use a rather obvious example, I do not recommend that you photograph a Coca Cola label for instance and, since you have taken the photo, assume you have the right to use it where and when you choose.
Put simply my pictures are my intellectual property as defined in law, and are subject to automatic legal copyright, which debars anyone else from copying, adapting, lending, showing them in public, placing them on the Internet, or otherwise distributing them either free of charge or for sale, without my prior written permission.

Want to use one of my pictures?

I receive quite a few requests for photographs sometimes for use on web pages and sometimes for printed material. The copyright situation remains the same whatever use you intend putting the pictures to. I am normally happy to say "yes". Check here for full details

Pictures supplied on CD-ROM

If you have received a CD-ROM from me in the past, either requested, or as a gift, you will find a file on the CD indicating the uses I am happy to allow for my pictures. These would normally follow the guidelines shown here. A CD-ROM supplied as a gift does not indicate that the copyright has been handed over too! 
Please respect the copyright notice on the CD-ROM and in the notes above.

To Request or Purchase a Photo