Copyright Law Artwork: What you need to know

Believe it or not, you can make it all the way through an Art degree without ever understanding what exactly artist copyright law is and what it means for professional artists. The problem is not the art teachers. Most of them were truly talented, inspiring teachers. However, learning never stops. Because it affects our work, our careers, and our livelihoods so closely, we all need to understand copyright law artwork. 

Since classes are starting back up in person and online, we wanted to take this opportunity to speak directly to young creators about what copyright is and how it can help you get your career off the ground.

Even copyright for digital art. But why? A worthwhile creation deserves to be protected.

Art tools.

The first thing you need to know is that copyright is an "automatic right." Your work is automatically protected the moment it is fixed in tangible form. Copyright protects works of art, stories, or music once they are created. 

To protect your work, you don't need to do anything else. After you make a piece of work, it belongs to you.

As the owner of that work, the copyright gives you the power to copy it, sell copies, use copies in other works, and, for some types of works, publicly display and perform it (among other rights). You need even copyright for digital art.

Frames in a wall. Did you know about Copyright digital art?

A recording, a composition, a photograph, etc., are tangible forms of a work that become protected by copyright law artwork.

Creators may choose to register their works in order to broaden their protection. You must submit an application, a filing fee, and a copy of the work to the U.S. Copyright Office to register your work. Even copyright for digital art.

Once the application has been received, the Office checks to see if your work is protected by artist copyright law. The Office doesn't examine whether your work qualifies for other laws such as trademarks and patents, which are controlled by other government agencies.

You can think of artist copyright law registration as obtaining an official birth certificate for your work, which mentions its creator or "parent" (you) and the date of its creation.

When you register your work, you receive an official document called a certificate of registration, which serves as a public record of your ownership. 

If you want to sue for infringement of your U.S. work, you will need to register within a certain time period if you want to pursue statutory damages or attorney's fees.

Statues in a museum

In other words, you need your registration if you want to try to have your attorney's fees covered or pursue compensation if, for example, you were to file a lawsuit against someone using your work without your permission.

Is Registration Necessary or Not?

Man checking his computer. You need to inform about Copyright digital art.

As we mentioned above, you can register your work anytime during the life of the copyright, but there are some advantages to registering it early. To ensure that the artist copyright law is applied fairly to creative works, the Office is committed to serving you and the public at large as an unbiased entity. And we think that's pretty cool! 

We recommend registering your work if you want to demonstrate your ownership of it or if you plan to earn an income from it.

An application can usually be completed online, you upload your work, and you register for a fee. Have you ever wondered how artist copyright law affects your work or did you want to know how to proceed? Copyright for digital art can be tricky on the internet, though.

If something is valuable to you, it is also valuable to protect it! The hardest part is connecting your creativity to your work. We'll help you with the rest, like your copyright law artwork. Read on about art right here:

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