Thursday, November 20, 2008

Now, more than ever...

There is NO excuse for us visual artists not to copyright our work.

But there's GOOD NEWS! The U.S. Copyright registry now accepts e-filings.

There are two big benefits to utilizing the online system to register, instead of sending in hard-copies:

• The electronic filing fee is only $35, a $10 savings over the standard (hard-copy, mail-in) $45 fee

• You do not have to mail in hard copies!!! This is a BIG one for me, because including the good-quality prints of my artwork that are required for hard-copy registration can end up being expensive. (I usually register several works at once, so this is a big deal.)

Lastly, with the big scary monster under the bed called the "Orphan Works" bill threatening our security for the past couple years, we simply cannot take any chances. The onus is on us to be pro-active about protecting our precious assets of creativity - our work, our livelihood, ourselves!

For more on Orphan Works, read the Illustrators' Partnership of America's Orphan Works blog (...and, for the sake of argument, bi-partisanship, and in the spirit of sharing but not reflective of my own opinions on the subject), here is the Copyright registry's take on the OW bill.

© * © * © * © * © * © * © * © * © * © * © * © * © * © * © * © * © * © * ©

If you have never copyrighted your work before, no sweat. This is the perfect time to get acquainted with the process of doing it, and finding a way to make it a regular habit (like paying quarterly taxes). Start now!


carol eldridge said...

Good for you Kathy! I have long been a copyright advocate and when I consult with artists I always recommend that they copyright their artwork. It is so important. I am glad to see that you did a post on this since our artwork is like money in the bank and we must protect it at all costs!

Have a nice Thanksgiving!



Anne Leuck Feldhaus said...

Thanks Kathy..I did not know about e-filing. I'm a bit behind on the © detail, this will save me some time & money...speaking of - I better get back to work!

Have a fabulous thanksgiving!