Can You Prove You Own Your Art?

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According to Dids MacDonald, CEO of Anti Copying in Design (www.acid.uk.com), a non-profit membership organization based in the United Kingdom, “Ensure you have documentation to prove you own the IP rights – when it comes to proving your design ownership, an audit trail of the detailed journey from idea to finished artwork is compelling evidence.

“In any dispute, or to provide reassurance in a licensing opportunity, the onus is on the artist to provide evidence of ownership, originality and date of creation.”

“Shout loudly about ownership!  If you don’t want your work to be copied, say so!”

This is ever more important today, when the tools available to art pirates are more sophisticated and there’s been enormous growth in the hacking of sites by bad actors overseas who are rapacious in stealing artwork that they can use in manufacturing products that are then sold back into the countries from which the art originated.

If you’re an artist and especially if your income and economic wellbeing come from what you’ve created, it’s more important than ever to document the creation of your artwork and especially to register your original copyright with the US Copyright Office at the Library of Congress (https://www.copyright.gov/).

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One Response to “Can You Prove You Own Your Art? on “Can You Prove You Own Your Art?”

  • This is so true: “If you’re an artist and especially if your income and economic wellbeing come from what you’ve created, it’s more important than ever to document the creation of your artwork and especially to register your original copyright with the US Copyright Office at the Library of Congress.”

    If you register your creative work with the US Copyright Office BEFORE publication or WITHIN five-years of first-publication, you’re granted presumptive proof (prima facie evidence) that (1) you actually authored the work, ((2) you have evidence of a valid copyright, (3) and all the information (facts) you included in your copyright registration application is deem valid unless it is refuted. See page 7 of http://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ01.pdf. Also see 17 U.S. Code § 410(c).

    By timely registering your art, affixing a watermark, and including metadata, you reaffirm your creative authorship, ownership, and corresponding copyright.

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