Have you filed your copyright?

Have you filed your copyrights for all the art you've created this year? For only $35 you can file your images digitally online at http://www.copyright.gov/eco/

Kate's tips:

  • Have the Tutorial open on your screen while you go through the application process, otherwise it's easy to get sidetracked and go down the wrong road, especially when a lot of their examples are oriented towards musicians & video producers.
  • There is a hour time limit for downloading, so it's best to have your art ready before you get on the site. Make copies of your art files, reduce their file sizes and put them all in one folder on the desktop. That way, they are ready to download and easy to find. I reduced each image down to 100-500K range.

Have any tips of your own? Leave them in the comments below or write to me directly and I'll add them on this post.

Before using the service, read
eCO FAQs, or eCO Tutorial (PowerPoint) eCO Tutorial (PDF).
For recently added features, see eCO Updates

Articles on Copyrights

Fear of Getting Your Art Stolen? Look at the Numbers

How to Register You Copyrights Digitally

Artist Protects Copyright Through Twitter

The 10 Key Points That Must Be In Every Licensing Agreement

Protecting Your Designs with Watermark Tools

Photoshop Tip: How to create a customized signature brush

Protecting Your Art: Interview with Alyson B. Stanfield

How to protect your assets in a licensing agreement

Free Booklets from the Copyright Office

PDF Copyright BasicsPDF Registering a Copyright with the U.S. Copyright Office
PDF Make Sure Your Application Will Be Acceptable
PDF Cartoons and Comic Strips
PDF Have a Question About Copyright Registration?
PDF Make Sure Your Application Will Be Acceptable
PDF Publications on Copyright
PDF Copyright Notice

Copyright Books for Artists

The Copyright Zone: A Legal Guide For Photographers and Artists In The Digital Age If you license or publish images, this guide is as indispensable as your camera. It provides specific information on the legal rights of photographers, illustrators, artists, covering intellectual property, copyright, and business concerns in an easy-to-read, accessible manner. The Copyright Zone, Second Edition covers: what is and isn’t copyrightable, copyright registration, fair use, model releases, contracts and invoices, pricing and negotiation, and much more. 

Legal Guide for the Visual Artist This book provides legal guidance for any visual artist involved with creative work. Topics covered: developments in copyright, artists in artist-gallery relationships, First Amendment protections for graffiti art and the sale of art in public spaces, cases dealing with art and privacy, model contract for Web site design. The book also covers copyrights, moral rights, contracts, licensing, sales, special risks and protections for art and artists, book publishing, video and multimedia works, leases, taxation, estate planning, museums, collecting, grants, and how to find the best professional advisers and attorneys. In addition, the book teaches strategies for negotiation, gives information to help with further action, contains many sample legal forms and contracts, and shows how to locate artists' groups and Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts organizations.