Copyright art?

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Copyright art?

Postby Diamond Dragon » Sun Aug 28, 2011 5:14 pm

My parents are worried about me sometimes putting up my art. (Because they're afraid someone with steal it) I'm wondering how you can copyright art?
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DiamondDragon - the Sky pokemon
Ruling the skies on its thick wings, this Pokemon is feared by all flying beasts. Its twinkling wings change in the sunlight. Some people believe that this pokemon actually has diamonds that grow on its skin. Despite its intimidating size, it is an extremely friendly ally and a very dangerous enemy.
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Postby Radical Dreamer » Sun Aug 28, 2011 5:32 pm

On DeviantArt, it's pretty easy to attach a Creative Commons license to your work. Honestly, you probably don't need to worry about actually copyrighting your work for real if it's fanart or something that you're posting on web forums--watermarks placed on the work in Photoshop or a signature on every piece ought to work. But one cheap and simple way to copyright your work that I've been taught as an illustration student is to mail your work to yourself--that way, you have a government document (the envelope after it's been through the mailing system) with a date on it. I've never done this myself, but at least two or three of my teachers have recommended it as an easy way to copyright without having to go through all of the legal processes. XD
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Postby Diamond Dragon » Sun Aug 28, 2011 5:45 pm

Ok, thanks!
Image
(Pic made by Bio! <3)

DiamondDragon - the Sky pokemon
Ruling the skies on its thick wings, this Pokemon is feared by all flying beasts. Its twinkling wings change in the sunlight. Some people believe that this pokemon actually has diamonds that grow on its skin. Despite its intimidating size, it is an extremely friendly ally and a very dangerous enemy.
@)}~`,~
Carry This Rose In Your Sig, As Thanks, To All The CAA Moderators.
http://dragcave.net/view/JXKV4
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Postby Hiryu » Mon Aug 29, 2011 8:33 am

Watermarks would probably help. Your signature could probably help determine if something was stolen, if you can cleverly hide it within the artwork.
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Postby Nate » Mon Aug 29, 2011 9:36 am

You do not have to copyright art. Art is automatically and immediately copyrighted the instant you create it.

http://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ1.pdf

From the government website on copyright:

"Copyright protection subsists from the time the work is created in fixed form. The copyright in the work of authorship immediately becomes the property of the author who created the work. Only the author or those deriving their rights through the author can rightfully claim copyright."

"Copyright is secured automatically when the work is created, and a work is 'created' when it is fixed in a copy or phonorecord for the first time. 'Copies' are material objects from which a work can be read or visually perceived either directly or with the aid of a machine or device, such as books, manuscripts, sheet music, film, videotape, or microfilm."

Why that part is there is so you can't claim "That's my character, but I never actually drew it, I just had the same idea!" Once your picture is drawn, it's copyrighted. And it even states directly,

"No publication or registration or other action in the Copyright Office is required to secure copyright."

However, actively registering your works with the Copyright Office provides even more legal strength if you run across art thieves. You can register your work online and through the regular mail, but of course it costs money to register a copyright. And again, registering isn't necessary to create copyright (as copyright exists the moment you create something), it just provides benefits. Really, the only reason to register your works is if you're planning to use them commercially.

So, again, you don't need to do anything to copyright your works. They're already copyrighted. :p
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Postby Mithrandir » Mon Aug 29, 2011 9:50 pm

Nate (post: 1500514) wrote:So, again, you don't need to do anything to copyright your works. They're already copyrighted. :p


Just as an alternative point of view, if you don't register a copyright, it can be VERY costly to deal with it after the fact.

This I know now.

Also, once you have a copyright, you'll be obligated to defend it. And that will both bore you and tick off a lot of people.

Here's my standard artist tip (and if your point of view is different, just ignore it):

"If you're not famous enough that people will pay lots of money for your art, then don't fight it when people want to take it viral (also called "copying") - unless they're trying to make money off of it. If you are famous enough that people will pay lots of money for your art, the advice is pretty much the same. ;)"
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Postby Nate » Tue Aug 30, 2011 9:06 am

Mithrandir wrote:if you don't register a copyright, it can be VERY costly to deal with it after the fact.

Right, it becomes slightly more difficult to prove you are the creator and stuff, yeah. Which is why registering for copyright is encouraged, but it isn't a necessity, since copyright DOES still exist even if it's not registered.
Also, once you have a copyright, you'll be obligated to defend it.

You are? I know that trademark holders have obligations to defend their trademarks against infringement, but I didn't think copyright holders did. I could be wrong, because I thought that was another major difference between the two...that if you trademarked something and someone used it, you were required to bring legal action against them no matter what...and if you didn't, you would lose all rights to that trademark. But since you can't "lose" copyright, you aren't obligated to defend it, because the copyright is yours until it expires no matter what. And thus, you can choose if you wish to defend it or not, as opposed to being obligated to defend it like with trademarks.

It's kind of like property, I've seen it described. You don't HAVE to call the police on everybody who walks on your lawn, but you have the right to, you're not required.

This I think also feeds into "fair use," which trademark doesn't have, and the fact that copyright can be transferred or licensed to others, whereas trademark cannot.
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