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!