How to Establish a Copyright for Your Art

Artists want their work to be seen and appreciated, and one of the best ways to get your work out there is to share it online. You might choose to use a social media platform or an art sharing website to drum up some interest. 

Unfortunately, there is a downside to sharing your work online. You run the risk of your art being copied and reproduced in different mediums and platforms without giving you the credit you deserve. 

In cases like this, finding ways to protect your work before sharing it with the world is vital. 

Why Copyright Your Work?

The moment you have completed an art piece, you become the owner of its copyright. This gives you the sole right to control how your art will be used, produced, or modified. 

However, this in itself still does not protect your art from being used by others. When you copyright your work, no one else can take credit or gain a profit for what you’ve created.

This included protection from someone simply posting your work online without including your name to major corporations using your artwork without your approval or consent. 

Protecting your artwork from the beginning ensures that you don’t have to spend any valuable time or money tied up in legal battles to protect your work in the future. This gives you much more time to focus on what matters the most – your art. 

How to Copyright Your Art

When deciding to copyright your art, you should be able to prove that your art pieces belong to you without any doubt.

Include Signature Items in Your Artwork

One of the easiest ways to prove that your artwork belongs to you is to sign your name on all your finished artworks. Be sure to sign the front and the back of your art pieces. 

All images of your artwork that are shared will have this information on them, regardless of if the sharer gives your credit. The more signature items you have on your artwork, the easier it will be to prove that your artwork belongs to you.

Register Your Artwork

The most important step you can take is to finally register your artwork. In the United States, this is done by registering it through the Library of Congress Copyright Office. The Copyright Office makes this a simple process by now providing a way to copyright your artwork online through their online registration. 

The copyright process can take anywhere from 6 months to almost a year, so keep this in mind when deciding on when to begin the process. 

Once the registration office has approved your artwork, you will receive an official certificate of registration. Completing this process allows you to showcase that you are the sole owner of your artwork. It also gives you the right to ask for monetary compensation if someone uses your artwork without your permission.  

For more information on the topic, check out our blog post “A License to Sell.”

Once you’ve covered all your bases on the legal side, you can now continue to create art with a clear mind.  Art For Your Cause is a reputable artist’s network where you can license and safely market your artwork. 

Contact us now to start sharing and selling your art with us!

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