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how do I get my digital art copyrighted?

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Old 02-28-2004, 01:15 PM
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bigkidjr bigkidjr is offline
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how do I get my digital art copyrighted?

This probably sounds really stupid, but i am in the process of trying to get a digital art website going, and i'm concerned that I haven't officially copyrighted my work. I've gone to the government's website, but the sense I"m getting is that I have to individually copyright each piece, at a rate of $35 or $50 per piece, if i'm remembering correctly. can this be true? there is no way i can afford this, given the number of peices I'd need to copyright.

please tell me i've misunderstood....

thanks!!
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Old 02-28-2004, 04:46 PM
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T Paul T Paul is offline
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Register in Bulk

I took a stock photography class from BetterPhoto.com and one of the questions dealt with was copyrighting your work. They suggested that you register your photographs in bulk. For example make a set of 20 individual color prints and pay a single fee for registering all 20 at the same time. Title this work, "Digital Art Series 1" for example and although it is registered as a 'mini-book' each individual photograph will still be registered. Stock agencies are even taking advantage of this by registering their catalogs as a single piece and it still covers ALL of the individual photographs in the catalog.

Additional note: Do not send slides, or a CD-ROM, because since the Anthrax scare, all Federal mail is getting 'irridated' and 'zapped' and your work may be damaged or destroyed by these high-tech scanners. Also when sending your color prints, use a matte paper since images on the glossy paper have been known to 'melt' when passing through these scanners.

Registration of Photographs

Last edited by T Paul; 02-28-2004 at 04:52 PM.
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Old 02-28-2004, 05:54 PM
Noelf Noelf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigkidjr
This probably sounds really stupid, but i am in the process of trying to get a digital art website going, and i'm concerned that I haven't officially copyrighted my work. I've gone to the government's website, but the sense I"m getting is that I have to individually copyright each piece, at a rate of $35 or $50 per piece, if i'm remembering correctly. can this be true? there is no way i can afford this, given the number of peices I'd need to copyright.

please tell me i've misunderstood....

thanks!!
There is two sides to copyright.

The minute you took a picture or made an image you are granted immediate copyright of that image. You don't have to register anywhere to have a copyright on an image.

If you were to pursue a lawsuit, THEN you must register the copyright of the image to be able to go after damages.

A great website for copyright info on digital images is http://www.rightsforartists.com/index.html I highly recommend them.

- Noel
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Old 03-02-2004, 04:00 PM
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bigkidjr bigkidjr is offline
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hey you guys. thanks for the really useful links and tips!! Very helpful! i still have two questions, tho:

1. does the copyright info that T Paul talked about cover digital art, not just photographs? if so, that'd be great and much more affordable, although it'll still take a heck of a long time to get the copyright...

2. can a person put the "c" copyright symbol on an image, even if it's not officially copyrighted with the government? i know an unregistered copyright ("c" symbol) wouldn't stand up to a legal battle, but it probably would deter some would-be thiefs...
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Old 03-02-2004, 04:47 PM
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Pocoroba Pocoroba is offline
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Post "Poor Man's Copyright"

Long ago, an old aquaintance of mine explained to me what is known asthe "Poor Man's Copyright". This copywright costs whatever the going rate for a postage stamp may be currently (for future readers).

If you can print out your image, design or prose or invention and place it into an envelope and seal it, address it to yourself and also list your return address, go to the post office and then mail it.

When it is delivered back to you, there will be a dated postmark. Do not open the envelope! This is for a judge to do if you were ever in a position to challenge or be challenged as to the original author or creator of the subject in question. Both (or all) parties go to court, the judge acknowledges the postmark date and opens the envelope. If your challenger can prove that their version was created earlier than your postmark, by means of a Poor Man's Copyright of their own, which is doubtful, or a registered copyright, then you lose the case. If they cannot prove earlier rights to the material, then you win - case closed.

Good luck!

Mario Pocoroba
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Old 03-02-2004, 05:14 PM
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Doug Nelson Doug Nelson is offline
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The business about the unsealed letter is a popular myth. Your best bet is to research your government's rules.
http://www.copyright.gov/help/faq/ is a good starting place for US copyrights.
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Old 03-02-2004, 06:13 PM
Noelf Noelf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigkidjr
hey you guys. thanks for the really useful links and tips!! Very helpful! i still have two questions, tho:

1. does the copyright info that T Paul talked about cover digital art, not just photographs? if so, that'd be great and much more affordable, although it'll still take a heck of a long time to get the copyright...

2. can a person put the "c" copyright symbol on an image, even if it's not officially copyrighted with the government? i know an unregistered copyright ("c" symbol) wouldn't stand up to a legal battle, but it probably would deter some would-be thiefs...
You can definitely put a "c" copyright symbol on your image because it is copyrighted. Make sure you realize that The minute you finish work on a project, it is copyrighted to you unless you assign the copyright elsewhere.

The registration of the copyright is just that. Registering a record of your copyright. Not asking for copyright.

- Noel
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