COPYRIGHT for Visual Artists
Every artist in the beginning of his creative career learns this term. But not every artist knows all the details of the Copyright Law. Even the experienced artists always have questions about the Copyright protection of their work. We want our clients to succeed in their artistic venture and feel safe entering the Fine Art Giclee Reproduction & Publishing world. So we decided to post this article on our website. Feel free to contact us if you have questions.
|What is Copyright?|
According to section 106 of the 1976 Copyright Act., as a copyright holder, you can do the following:
- reproduce your work, for example as a Giclee;
- create derivative works based upon original work;
- sell your prints, or licence your image files;
- sell your copyright to a publisher or share it with the publisher or another artist;
- display the originals and prints publicly
|Who Owns Copyrights?|
It seems clear yet there is still plenty of confusion going on around the subject.
For example, what if you commission an artist to paint your portrait, who owns the copyright for that portrait? Well, Read on...
|Does an artist need to file for Copyright Protection or is it Automatic?|
Although, there is such thing as filing for a copyright protection. You can fill out a form, attach photographs of your artworks and a money order and mail it to a proper agency. You can hire a layer to help you with it. It will cost you between $25 and few hundred dollars. Will that help you feel secure with your work been out there? That is for you to decide. Will that help you to defend your rights in court? They say - it is helpful.
|What is an ’artist for hire’ or ’work for hire’?|
There is a difference between an artist-for-hire (your employee) and a freelancer (independent contractor). If you order an artwork from a freelancer, the copyright ownership may partially or fully be retained by the freelancer. If you would like to have a solo ownership of the copyright for the artwork while commissioning an independent contractor, you need to enter a written agreement, signed by both parties, outlining the desired terms of the creation and use of the artwork.
To find out more download the PDF file below - 'Works Made for Hire Under the 1976 Copyright Act'.
|Joint Copyright Ownership.|
|Common confusion about the rights of original artwork owners.|
On the other hand collectors often are under impression that they can go ahead and reproduce the paintings they own and sell the prints online.
According to the Copyright Law, the ownership of an original painting, or any other work alone does not give the owner the right to reproduce. When the artwork is sold the artist loses the ownership of the artwork but still keeps the ownership of the copyright.
Hey, you can keep the artwork and sell the copyright to a publisher if that pleases your fancy :-)
|Exclusive or partial copyright ownership.|
Such transfers are comparatively rare in the U.S. and are almost never knowingly engaged in by European artists. For more on this subject, go to “Related Topics” and see the pages titled “Do U.S. Owners of Works of Art Also Control the Copyrights?”
|Do I have to put a Copyright Notice on my art catalogue?|
|DURATION (how long does a copyright last?)|
Since creation of an artwork till the death of the author plus seventy years. Read more..