When artists create their artwork, it becomes their form of expression, reaching and moving others to feel something. This connection makes each piece of art a valuable possession that\’s rightfully yours.
The Dangers of Selling Art Online
Unfortunately, artists need to work harder to protect their art now more than ever because of the focus on increasing your online visibility. You can reach more people and increase profits by selling on websites and increasing exposure on social media.
The moment you upload an image to the internet, you increase the risk of your art being copied and used in different ways without giving you the credit you deserve. Although sharing your work online does have its benefits, you must learn to protect the rights you have over your original artwork before it’s available on the digital marketplace.
A Change in How You Protect Your Art
Many artists have probably heard of the “poor man’s copyright,” which is the practice of mailing yourself a copy of your artwork so that it has a registered date by the postal service. The purpose was to prove that you had a particular intellectual property at a specific time with the stamped date.
But you must understand as an artist that this method isn’t going to hold up in court if you need to file a copyright lawsuit. The main reasons for the death of the “poor man’s copyright” are that:
- People can easily pre-send envelopes to themselves that can be used later.
- It doesn’t prove that an artwork is original or created by you.
Then what do you need to do as an artist to truly keep your art safe? The legally binding foolproof solution is a registered copyright.
Register Your Art With The United States Copyright Office
Why is it so crucial to copyright? When you register your artwork with the U.S. Copyright Office, you’re guaranteed protection by the government, so nobody will be able to use your art without your knowledge or permission. Registering will also ensure that you can get paid for your prized possession if someone wants to use your work.
Registering your work is even simpler now with the online portal, where you provide all the necessary information on the application and pay the required fees. The final step is to upload or mail in a copy of your artwork.
Keep in mind that before you can file a lawsuit, copyright registration is legal only when the U.S. Copyright Office officially registers it. Since the process can take some time, artists must be more diligent in registering their art correctly and quickly before sharing it online.
Other Ways to Prevent Art From Being Stolen
The highest level of protection for your artwork will definitely come from registering your artwork. But it wouldn’t hurt to take these additional steps when sharing your artwork online:
- Use a watermark when uploading on social media
- Sign all of your art (front and back)
- Upload low-quality images (making high-quality photos available for purchase)
- Disable the right-click feature
Art For Your Cause: Protecting Artists
Art For Your Cause empowers artists by providing a safe marketplace where they can get their work in front of art collectors and buyers of art on consumer goods. In addition, you will increase exposure to your work and ensure your art will make the world a better place by contributing to nonprofits.
Sign up today as an AFYC’s artist. This allows you to keep the focus on making art, letting us provide you with new innovative options to sell your art while helping others.