It was recently brought to my attention that many artists who upload and sell their work on-line are growing more concerned about copyright infringements by unauthorised use of photographs of their work that may lead to a potential loss in profit.
The problem of copyright infringement is not a new one, but one we should all consider none the less. Can unauthorised use of my works’ images happen already? Sure, who is out there policing the internet... do you know if social networks use your images for promotional material already? Do you know that images from your blogs can be downloaded and printed off? And those from your on-line shops too? Yet, we all upload images and products freely and regularly.
Here I my tips for helping to take steps to protect your intellectual property while making a living on-line.
Copyright your work. Are you familiar with how copyright works in your country? There are plenty of help books on the topic… maybe you should borrow one from the library and find out how you can help to safe guard your work.
Copyright images of your work by adding the copyright logo, your company name (or full name if you are an independent) and the date (year of creation).
Archive your work and images. It may be laborious, but it’s not a bad idea as it often shows a thought process and development of your style… making it easier to suggest the likely hood of a piece being your creation.
Contact and Origin Details for press If someone else blogs about you or gives you some press, do they provide full links to your websites and or email, so that you can be contacted? Do you do the same for the people you feature? No! Well make sure you start doing this from now on, as it can also become a useful archiving tool.
To me the key here is primarily in the education of artists and crafters who live an on-line existence, to protect themselves and their work first and fore mostly... Copyright infringement does exist and will always exist, regardless of bills/laws. Do not give those who will an open invitation to your hard work and lively hood!