The internet is an excellent tool for showcasing your work as an artist and reaching potential buyers worldwide. However, as your audience grows, you and your work are at a higher risk of copyright infringement. That’s why you need to know how to copyright my artwork so that other people can’t take credit for and profit from what you’ve created. When you copyright your art, you can protect all of the fantastic pieces in your online art portfolio, so you won’t have to spend valuable time and money on future lawsuits or legal issues. And this allows you to spend more time on what you love doing: making art and improving that portfolio!
So, you’re probably wondering, how do I copyright my artwork? The simple guide will break down everything that’s involved in copyrighting art.
What is Copyright Infringement?
Before you get to the details, let’s go over how copyright infringement can affect your artistic business. There are many ways that someone can infringe on your intellectual property, ranging from relatively harmless to outright theft. For example, copyright infringement covers everything from someone sharing your work online without including your name to a big company mass-producing an image you created without your consent. It’s not fair, but artists have work stolen all too often these days, and they have to spend time, energy, and funds to get what’s rightfully theirs.
How to Copyright Art
Technically, before you copyright my artwork, it is already considered your intellectual property when you create a tangible artwork. This means that you retain all the rights to your work, so no one else is allowed to reproduce, share, publish, or profit from the art without your consent. However, just because legally the work belongs to you, that doesn’t mean there aren’t still a ton of good reasons to copyright your art. When it comes to legal issues surrounding copyright, you need as much information as possible to prove that the work in question does belong to you. Let’s go over how to protect your artwork from legal woes when you copyright artwork.
Sign Your Name
If you work in traditional mediums, you need to know how to copyright a drawing or painting. You’re probably already doing this, but one super-important way to copyright your art and mark it as your own is by signing your finished artwork. To prevent people from stealing the images of your work posted in your online portfolio, you should probably be signing the front of your work and the back, so that shared images will still have that information on them, even if you haven’t been credited. The more information you include with or on your artwork, the easier it is to determine ownership should you prove that your artwork has been used without your consent.
Register Your Artwork
Registering your art not only creates proof of ownership, but it also entitles you to ask for more money if you need to sue for copyright infringement since you’ve had to put in the effort and money to get your work correctly registered. Luckily, it’s accessible to copyright my artwork using the Copyright Office’s online registration process.
Maintain Digital Records
If someone is attempting to pass your creation off as their own, keeping extensive, detailed digital records and photographs of the artwork in question will be a massive help in proving ownership. Digital documentation is excellent too because it will often contain relevant metadata which can prove exactly when the photograph or document was created, which can be vital in proving who created the image in question first. Make sure you’re using high-quality photographs to capture the artwork accurately.
Now that you’ve got a detailed understanding of how to copyright my artwork, you can put a system in place and get back to focusing on what matters most: creating beautiful work for your online portfolio.
With the legal side of your business covered, you have all the time in the world to make that art portfolio as stunning as possible.