Hey guys, how are you?
It's been a while since my last "Go for it" Article.
This time I'm bringing you something different. This time it's not about Photoshop; this time it's about protecting your work.
More and more artists are facing situations such as stolen works, unauthorize use, ripping, etc. We, as artists, are always trying to protect our work but, sometimes nothing seems enough.
For you to fully protect your work it's always adviced that you register and copyright your work, either it's paintings, photographies, digital art, literature, websites, blogs, etc.
So, what is ©Copyright?
In a general way, "Copyright is a form of intellectual property which gives the creator of an original work exclusive rights for a certain time period in relation to that work, including its publication, distribution and adaptation; after which time the work is said to enter the public domain. Copyright applies to any expressible form of an idea or information that is substantive and discrete. Some jurisdictions also recognize "moral rights" of the creator of a work, such as the right to be credited for the work.
Copyright has been internationally standardized, lasting between fifty to a hundred years from the author's death, or a finite period for anonymous or corporate authorship; some jurisdictions have required formalities to establishing copyright, most recognize copyright in any completed work, without formal registration. Generally, copyright is enforced as a civil matter, though some jurisdictions do apply criminal sanctions."
- original definition taken from Winkipedia.
I also advice a close reading to What Is Copyright? which contains many pertinent and important information.
In a general way, and according to many jurisdictions' laws, registering and giving your work a copyright, may cost you some money.
Fortunately there are some websites speciallized in registering and giving you full copyright of your work.
Let's see 2 of them:
My Free Copyright - www.myfreecopyright.com
How does it work?
"MyFreeCopyright.com provides a third-party, non-repudiation, registered dating of your original digital creation. By using this service, you publicly associate your digital copyright and defined rights to you." (taken from MyFreeCopyrights FAQs)
How do I protect my art on MyFreeCopyright.com?
You create an account and add your personal information. After this initial step, you have to upload your works or website info, etc. Next, a "digital fingerprint" of your original work is captured, logged and stored. After this procedure you'll be receiving an e-mail with the "fingerprint" code proving your registry and legal rights of your work.
Everytime you submit a copyright protection on MyFreeCopyright, all the information is gathered on a list which contains the copyright information about your work, the "fingerprint" code and all the extra information you added.
Everytime you need to, you have that proof of registry and copyright of your creations. MyFreeCopyright cannot provide legal action but, the information contained in your account have legal value in order too prove the copyrights of your work.
Safe Creative - www.safecreative.org
How does it work?
"As the author you have personal and patrimonial rights over your work and you will always have to prove that you are the author, to be able to make use of these rights, or to avoid copyright infringement by others. To do this Safe Creative, a free platform for registration and accreditation, supports authors providing legal valid proof. (taken from SafeCreative.org FAQs)
How do I protect my art on SafeCreative.org?</i>
The procedure is very similar.
You create an account with all your personal information. Then you have to upload the file you want to register and add copyright. You have to add all the pertinent information regarding that same work and choose the type of license you want. During the registry of you work it's possible to choose the type of license and learn the differences between each type.
Once again, this registry will grant you a legal proof that you are the owner and author of your work, giving you full copyright of it.
SafeCreative.org can't offer you direct legal actions but all registries are legal in the court of law.
I advice you to read both websites FAQs because they gather very important and valid information regarding your copyrights and ownership as artists.
For now I'm familiarized with these 2 websites for free copyright registry. For sure there are others.
This is a great step to allow you to regiter your work as your won and give you full rights over it.
If necessary, with these websites you have the legal information to prove you are the real authors of your work and noone else instead.
You just have too check them out and choose which one you like the best; or if you want to, register your work in both websites.
Protect yourselves and your work in advanced.
I hope you find this article useful for your needs.