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"Cook, Lynette" <[log in to unmask]>
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SciArt-L Discussion List-for Natural Science Illustration- <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 6 Mar 1997 03:29:51 -0800
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          A few more comments on copyright registration:

          1)  The copyright is on the artwork as soon as the art is
          completed.  Usually this is in the Artist's name, unless
          that copyright has been transferred to or purchased by
          another party by contract or other agreement (i.e. work for
          hire contract).  Current copyright law states that the
          artist does not have to add the word "copyright", use the
          copyright symbol, or include the date in order for the
          copyright to be valid.

          2)  The current registration fee is $20 per application.
          This means one application and one $20 fee per published
          image - along with TWO copies of the printed piece OR one
          $20 fee, one application, and ONE copy of the illustration
          if it is unpublished.  It's true that you can group
          unpublished works together into a collection, as long as
          each work has that collection name.  There is no limit to
          the number of images which can make up a collection.  For
          most scientific illustrators, you want Form VA (for Visual
          Arts).  If you submit a collection you may also send along a
          Continuation Sheet, on which you list the individual titles
          of the works.

          3)  One exception to a point in Item 2: If you have several
          pieces of art, such as 100 illustrations which were included
          in the same book or series, you may use one application, one
          $20 fee, and two copies of the book or series.  This works
          as long as the series was all published on the same day and

          4)  Registration does not mean PROOF of copyright ownership.
          It's something like buying insurance - you may or may not
          need to have registered the copyright.  Yes, if someone
          infringes and you take them to court, you must first have
          registered the copyright.  There are certain financial
          reasons why it's best to register as soon as the art is done
          - not after the infringement occurs.  This is because it may
          allow you to sue for STATUTORY damages rather than ACTUAL
          damages, statutory damages being as much s $100,000 per
          infringement.  If you go to court, you still need to proove
          the copyright is yours and you did the art.  Registration
          helps, but hopefully you also have your sketches and
          reference materials in your files.

           5)  If you register everything you do (which is a good
          idea, just in case) it costs lots of money.  Think ahead.
          Group your work into collections and register before they
          are published.  Once published, you don't have to register
          again.  As I understand, however, the Library of Congress
          may find out and ask you for their two published copies.

          6)  If you haven't done submissions before to the Copyright
          Office and are unsure if you're doing it right, consult a
          copyright attorney.  If the reviewer doesn't like everything
          you sent - or says that something is missing - you must
          provide it within the time stated.  If you don't, you've
          lost out and you can't try to register that image again.

          7)  If you have a published piece for which you DO NOT have
          the printed copies for the submission, you must apply for
          SPECIAL RELIEF from the copyright office.  This is
          permission not to send what they ask for.  You may or may
          not obtain this - it's at their whim and discretion.

          8)  You can also call the Copyright Office for help and an
          advisor will assist you.

          Have fun and good luck!

          Lynette Cook
          Morrison Planetarium
          [log in to unmask]