There are a lot of assumptions about copyrights, mostly erroneous

the  best approach is through knowledge..

Copyrights are governed by the Berne Convention, , the US being one 
of 170 participating countries....    as of now, I am pretty sure 
China has not joined  (surprise!!)

research the Berne Convention and factual sites that explain its 
provisions for more information:

heres one

some  basics:

you own copyrights of your work as intellectual property from the 
moment it is created

copyrights, like any other legal rights can only be transferred by a 
legal document.

you do not need to place the copyright symbol on your work in order 
to possess or protect your copyrights.

despite the expense and involved process of registering your images 
with the Copyright office, it offers the best protection,

  if for some god awful reason you need to pursue a case in court 
concerning the theft of an unregistered work, and it is  found in 
your favor will allow you to stop further use by the thief, but not much else.

If the same thing occurs with a registered image, you can recoup your 
lawyer's cost and punitive damages of up to $10,000 for each offense.

there are a lot aspects to copyright laws, but its all  pretty much 
spelled out..

A commissioned Illustration does not eliminate your rights, unless 
spelled out and agreed to in writing by both parties

The only aversion of inherent rights to your intellectual property is 
in a "work for hire" case.   If you Illustrate  for an employee that 
has hired you and pays you wages and benefits, your copyrights may be 
, at least in part, forfeit. This does not include commissioned or 
freelance work.

You should familiarized yourself with what rights you might or might 
not have when you are hired on by an employer.


At 05:34 PM 6/10/2013, you wrote:
>It is my understanding that the sale of an original piece of fine 
>art and the rights assigned are QUITE different from that of a 
>commissioned illustration. I strongly suggest you go to the US 
>Copyright Office site for more information:
>Best regards,
>  On 6/10/2013 2:33 PM, Benedict, Chuck A -FS 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.
>>-----Original Message-----
>>From: SciArt-L Discussion List-for Natural Science Illustration- 
>>[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Britt Griswold
>>Sent: Monday, June 10, 2013 12:35 PM
>>To: [log in to unmask]
>>Subject: [SCIART] Copyright and web use question
>>I would like to ask a questions regarding copyright; I sold a 
>>watercolor painting and the person who bought it would like to use 
>>it on their website as a added graphic element. I'm not sure how to 
>>word permission for them use it only on the website and how to 
>>protect it and prevent other uses from happening. I'm also not sure 
>>how to ask them to keep it low resolution on the website so it 
>>cannot get reproduced off their website.
>>Thanks so much for any advice on all this.
>>All my best,
>>*Sharon Birzer*|*Birzer Studios*
>>Need to leave or subscribe to the Sciart-L listserv? Follow the 
>>instructions at
>>This electronic message contains information generated by the USDA 
>>solely for the intended recipients. Any unauthorized interception 
>>of this message or the use or disclosure of the information it 
>>contains may violate the law and subject the violator to civil or 
>>criminal penalties. If you believe you have received this message 
>>in error, please notify the sender and delete the email immediately.
>>Need to leave or subscribe to the Sciart-L listserv? Follow the 
>>instructions at
>Need to leave or subscribe to the Sciart-L listserv? Follow the 
>instructions at

Need to leave or subscribe to the Sciart-L listserv? Follow the instructions at