The process of registering an image you have created for an official copyright may seem daunting at first, but in fact it requires only a handful of minutes and costs less than an average Friday night bar tab. Contrast that against the potential legal fees you will pay to dispute the infringement of your improperly protected or unregistered artwork, and consider the revenue you might lose in the process, and you'll agree that image copyright registration is not only a good idea, but is in fact imperative. It's also a simple, step-by-step process that anyone with the savvy to search the Internet can handle with ease.
Your Step By Step Guide To A Copyright
Over the past decade and a half, LegalZoom has grown from a company that helped people incorporate small businesses and offered limited legal advisory services to a full-service powerhouse offering everything from estate planning to business compliance audits to trademark, patent, and copyright assistance. And when it comes to the latter, their long experience shows in one critical way: they make the process painlessly simple. For the artist who doesn't know a copyright infringement claim from a copy of "Anna Karenina," this company leads they way toward successfully copyrighting a photo, painting, graphic design, or any other image that is original and unique. They use a step-by-step questionnaire style approach to the process, and their customer service team is always on hand should you need extra assistance with your filing.
Your Gateway To Global Copyright Protection
When you choose to copyright your original image using Copyright Registration Service, you are guaranteed almost instant copyright protection in more than 150 sovereign states around the world, and that includes the Vatican and even North Korea, oddly enough. That's thanks to the protections afforded by the Berne Convention; it's thanks to the airtight legal process established by Copyright Registration Services that you can rest assured your logo, photo, or other graphic image will enjoy proper filing and protection. The company also makes it easy for you to retrieve documents proving you have filed your material for copyright, or to research copyright claims made by others, thus giving you a leg up in any potential legal disputes involving your work or any other artists' creations, too. (Just don't expect your image's copyright to be officially recognized in Yemen or Iran.)
The Affordable Approach To Your Copyright
If you want to protect a visual work you have created by officially registering it with the United States Copyright Office but you don't want to spend more than five or ten minutes in the process, then you need to work with CopyrightsNow. This service uses an app that works on your desktop computer or your Apple or Android smart device to boil the entire filing process down to three simple steps. They can do this thanks to a massive amount of data crunching going on behind the scenes. Their artificial intelligence systems run algorithms that test every submission using a comprehensive validation system, ensuring that only authentic, original works are approved for a copyright. Filing errors are usually reported instantly, saving you time and enhancing your protection against any frivolous claims. This largely automated system saves you time and money, and don't worry: an actual human specialist reviews each application, too.
Getting You The Credit You're Due
If you fancy yourself the potentially prolific artist, then don't settle for one-off copyright service that protects just one of your works at a time. Instead consider signing up for an account with US Webstamp and enjoy unlimited copyright submissions for just $99 per year. Once you have created and paid for your US Webstamp account, you will be able to obtain as many Copyright Registration Certificates as you want, so go ahead and protect each and every photo you snap, painting you paint, or graphic design you complete. You'll enjoy online backup services that can help you retrieve works you accidentally lose, and the company's independent witnessing service can help you settle any claims that arise should another party dispute the authenticity of your rights over your work.
Image Copyright Registration: In-Depth
Credit Where Credit Is Due: Registering Image Copyrights
There is little to rival the frustration of having your original work copied by another without your permission. Add to this frustration the very real possibility of financial impact as you lose revenue rightly due from sale or display of your artistic creation and the potential time and costs of the legal process of rectifying the matter, and it quickly becomes clear why copyright law exists in the first place. Simply put, a copyright is the legal protection granted to the creator of an original work that can be expressed in some physical medium. That means a painting, a photograph, song lyrics, a digital logo, a cartoon, and so much more. If you can get your artistic notion out of your head and onto paper, as it were, (or onto canvas or into a sound recording device or onto a video screen and so forth), then your work is likely eligible for a copyright that will be recognized by the United States Copyright Office. Sounds important, right? Does it also sound complicated?
Here's one of the best kept secrets: securing a copyright for that photo you just developed (or downloaded from your camera) or the painting you just completed is a simple, step-by-step process that can be completed online from the comfort of your own home. Or, these days, you can even register an image copyright from your smartphone. That's right, when it comes to copyright law, there's an app for that.
What Is Eligible For Copyright Protection
It's difficult to overstate the range and type of media that are potentially eligible for copyright protection, so for today let's stick to the discussion of image copyright and illuminate a few viable examples:
- A Photograph
Original photography is extremely important to copyright, at least if you intend to control use of your images or your ever hope to profit from them. Proving you were the person behind the lens of a camera is harder and harder to do these days, what with the democratization of taking and sharing images that technology has bred. If your original image is copyright protected, it gives you a leg up in any disputes that may arise if someone tries to claim rights to your images, or says you are using theirs.
- A Cartoon
Your charming, striking, or witty cartoons might become the focus of a less than charming legal battle if you don't copyright them. Remember, seeing those cartoons you created on a coffee mug, a decal on a truck, or on someone's website is not copyright infringement if you never bothered to slap a copyright on your creation. There are ways to seek legal recourse even if you never bothered to copyright an image in the first place, but they're not guaranteed, and they're costlier and more time consuming than most people can stomach.
- A Logo
If you have designed an original and distinct logo, even something quite simple, it can be copyrighted - just think of the "F" Facebook uses to represent itself. It's nothing more than a lower case letter expressed in a certain font with certain colors, but it's easily recognizable, and covered by ironclad copyright protection. Just keep in mind that anything you create while under contract with another party may belong to them, not you.
What's The Copyright Process Like?
Think of a mid-sized online retailer; just imagine any of the thousands of companies with which you've wanted to do business. The process usually goes something like this:
- You Make An Account
- You Choose The Item You Want To Purchase
- You Provide Payment Information
- You Conclude Your Purchase
Online retail and online image copyright registration are not all that different, if you can believe it. Just swap out the second step with uploading an image file (most sites accept more than a dozen formats) and insert a step about waiting for the copyright services provider to review your submission to make sure it's original, and the rest is about the same. Except that instead of getting a purchase mailed to you, you get a copyright filed with the United States government that protects your original work for the duration of your lifetime and then for an additional 70 years after your death. And in most cases, that copyright has international reach, protecting your IP (that's "intellectual property") in more than 150 countries around the globe.
So if indeed you have created original visual works (or written a book, a song's lyrics, and so on) take the ten or fifteen minutes and work with one of the fine copyright services providers out there to protect your creation. And by the way, if you have created a lot of original works, some companies offer a sort of copyright membership program: all the copyrights you want each year for one fee. The process will pay for itself many times over the first time one of your copyrights settles a legal dispute.
Whilst every effort is made to ensure that the information provided on this website is accurate at the time of writing, the information provided is for general guidance only and is not a substitute for professional legal advice. Always consult a qualified Intellectual Property lawyer operating in your local jurisdiction.