Copyright Summary

You can group artwork or other copyrightable material in booklets and file copyrights on each booklet. Books, drawings, computer programs, and artwork, among other creations are copyrightable.

You can go to the US Copyright Office website, follow the directions to file your copyright, charge the fee to a credit card or a debit card, and Federal Express the copies to the Copyright Office with the printed website receipt. You may either (1) upload your work to the Copyright Office website or (2) Send, by Federal Express with the receipt enclosed, two copies if the work is published, and one copy if the work is not yet published. If I do this for you, the cost is $450.00.

Copyrights, like patents, have specific provisions in the United States Constitution. Chapter 17 of the United States Code is the copyright statute. If the author owns his own copyright, the copyright lasts for the author’s life plus 70 years. On a work not owned by the author, the owner of the copyright has either 95 years after publication or 120 years after creation, whichever is shorter.

At any time, it is possible to claim a copyright interest in a created item by marking the item with "copyright", the year, and your name. If the copyright application is filed within three months of the first publication date of the item with a proper copyright notice, the copyright holder can recover from an infringer from the date of publication, most likely including punitive damages. If the copyright application is filed later than three months after publication, the copyright holder can, in most cases, only recover severe punitive damages under the federal law, from infringers from the date of copyright issuance.

If someone hires another person to make a piece of artwork and wants to own that piece of artwork, that individual needs a written agreement with the artist, stating that the artist has been hired to create said work of art for which the employer will hold the title. As the holder of that title, the employer can now obtain a copyright on the artwork. Without that written agreement, the artist could own the exclusive right to make copies of the work.

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