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How to Best Copyright Your Work

How to Best Copyright Your Work


Personal Web Copyrights

But what happens while you wait for the Copyright Office to approve your submissions? You need to market and sell your pics online today! Luckily, you have several options to fill the gap.

The one most used is the copyright notice, best known as the C symbol (©), plus the year the work was published, or the abbreviation Copr. This is usually accompanied by a written notice, prominently placed, and clearly explaining the extent of the copyright. The correct copyright display also includes the name of the owner of the work, “or an abbreviation by which the name can be recognized,” such as “copyright © 2010 Prince Michael Jackson.”

Sometimes a © notice is added as a watermark on top of an image by the artist, other times by a publisher’s software. For example, Google’s Picasa program recently added a “created by” watermark option for all downloaded pictures. The symbol is important because it tells the viewer or reader that it’s a work protected by copyright. This helps is court cases when another artist cites his use of copyrighted material as innocent infringement, which means they accidentally used your work not knowing it was copyrighted. It’s especially hard to argue your innocence of theft when a copyright was explicitly displayed.

Artists also manage to post artwork online without worry by using secure methods of software management. Painters and designers post images as small files of low resolution, for preview purposes. Others use scripting techniques to prevent right-click image saving, or use programs to track users’ copying habits.

Some artists don’t mind if a selection of their art is used for free if they can sell another work for full price. This is the Freemium economic concept and many online use it, often through Creative Commons licenses that flexibly define segments of their catalog. You can find <a href=“ target=”_blank">more about CC licenses here.

Next: Local and International Copyright Laws →

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