As Britt, Jeff, and others have pointed out, Chuck's assertion that
copyright automatically transfers with the original artwork is dead wrong.
Here is the relevant passage from Title 17, Chapter 2, Section 202 of U.S.
"§ 202 . Ownership of copyright as distinct from ownership of material
Ownership of a copyright, or of any of the exclusive rights under a
copyright, is distinct from ownership of any material object in which the
work is embodied. Transfer of ownership of any material object, including
the copy or phonorecord in which the work is first fixed, does not of
itself convey any rights in the copyrighted work embodied in the object;
nor, in the absence of an agreement, does transfer of ownership of a
copyright or of any exclusive rights under a copyright convey property
rights in any material object."
In other words, selling the original artwork does not also transfer the
copyright (unless specified in a written contract) and, conversely,
selling the copyright does not automatically transfer ownership of the
original artwork. The only exception would be a work-made-for-hire
agreement, in which the original artwork, all rough sketches and other
preliminary work, as well as the full copyright belongs to the client.
And agoutistudios said:
"welll. differs from state to state I spose."
Nope. Copyright is governed by U.S. Law. It doesn't vary from state to
On 6/10/13 10:40 PM, "Griswold, Britt (GSFC-279.0)[Maslow Media Group,
Inc]" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>Your statement is incorrect. Unless all rights are explicitly sold with
>the painting, all the purchaser has purchased is a painting, not it's
>reproduction rights. That is the way the copyright law is set up.
>On 2013-06-10, at 1:33 PM, "Benedict, Chuck A -FS"
><[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>> wrote:
>> You sold the painting. You no longer own the painting. Assuming you
>>made no claims to any rights when you sold it, all rights transferred to
>>the new owner. The new owner can reproduce the painting any way she/he
>>sees fit. You can place no restrictions on the use of the painting by
>>the new owner. The new owner can place an image of the painting on any
>>website he/she wishes, at any resolution she/he wants. Finally, it is up
>>to the new owner to specify how, if at all, the image can be used by
>>anyone viewing it on the web. That's just how it is.
>Need to leave or subscribe to the Sciart-L listserv? Follow the
Need to leave or subscribe to the Sciart-L listserv? Follow the instructions at