Being in the art biz for over 10 years now, I have seen so many artists get their work ripped off by either individual artists or companies. It especially pisses me off when a big company does this b/c it seems like there is not much us little people (with little resources) can do. Recently, our friend & artist Jude Buffum posted some really great advice on his facebook page. I wanted to share b/c it seems so simple & affordable.
He says, “All artists can copyright their work for $35 online at copyright.gov
Click on the eCO (electronic copyright office) link in the right column
From there it’s fairly straight forward. Have JPG photos or scans (internet quality is fine) of your work ready to upload. You can include everything you’ve done to date in one $35 registration case file, just give it a title like “Jewelry 2006–2012” or “Paintings 2010–2012″ or something. This is the single most important thing you can do as an artist. If and when someone copies your work, having your work registered gives you legal options you can’t even imagine, but not having it registered limits your options to the point no lawyer will take your case. TRUST ME it is the best $35 you will ever spend.”