Monday, June 15, 2009

The Proper Way To Copyright Visual Arts Brian Johansson

If you are trying to register any type of visual arts you should follow the copyright process as explained here. Visual arts can generally be described as any pictorial, graphic, sculptural or architectural works. Including 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional fine, graphic and applied art. There are some architectural works that fall under visual arts, and depending on the medium of the art there may be parts of the exhibition that are not copyright protected. This includes pieces of art that may include working or moving parts or pre-existing parts such as furniture, clothing or machinery. Other works that fall under visual arts may include…..

· Two-Dimensional Works.

· Advertisements (pictorial).

· Artwork for bed, bath, and table linens or for wearing apparel (For example: heat transfers or decals already applied to T-shirts).

· Blueprints, architectural drawings, mechanical drawings, diagrams.

· Book jackets or record jackets.

· Commercial print
published in newspaper or other periodical.

· Commercial print or label (For example: flyers, labels, brochures, or catalogs used in connection with the sale of goods or services).

· Contributions to collective works (photographs, drawings, cartoons, etc., published as part of a periodical or anthology).

· Fabric, textile, wallpaper, carpeting, floor tile, wrapping paper, yard goods (If applied to a three-dimensional work, see below).

· Fabric emblems or patches, decals or heat transfers (not applied to clothing), bumper stickers, campaign buttons.

· Greeting cards, picture postcards, stationery, business cards, calendars.

· Holograms .

· Maps or cartographic material.

· Patterns, cross-stitch graphs, stitchery brochures, needlework and craft kits.

· Pictorial or graphic works (For example: artwork, drawings, illustrations, paintings).

· Pictorial or graphic works fixed only in machine-readable form .

· Posters, photographs, prints, brochures, exhibition catalogs.

· "Limited edition" posters, prints, or etchings (published in quantities of fewer than 5 copies, or 300 or fewer numbered copies if individual author is owner of copyright).

· Oversize material (exceeding 96" in any dimension).

· Three-Dimensional Works.

· Artwork or illustrations on 3-D objects (For example: artwork on plates, mugs).

· Fabric or textile attached to or part of a 3-D object (such as furniture).

· Games .

· Globes, relief models, or relief maps.

· Jewelry .

· Pictorial matter and/or text on a box or container that can be flattened (contents of container are not claimed).

· Prints or labels inseparable from a three-dimensional object (for example: silk screen label on a bottle).

· Sculptures, toys, dolls, molds, relief plaques, statues.

· Sculpture (for example: doll) in a box with copyrightable pictorial and/or textual material; claim in sculpture and artwork/text, oversize material (exceeding 96" in any dimension).

· Architectural Works include either unconstructed building s or constructed building s.

The second step is to put together a package including either a form VA, a check for $30 made out to the "Register of Copyrights" and a non-returnable copy of the materials that are being registered. The form VA can be obtained at the copyright offices website at under the visual arts tab. Depending on what medium your work is there are different requirements for the deposit materials. Obviously if you are registering a building they will accept a photograph of the building but they may also require drawings, plans or other supplemental material. You should research the particular medium that you are trying to register at the copyright listed above.

Find out more great information about copyright protection at

1 comment:

DouginVT said...

The Architectural Works Copyright Protection Act case T-Peg vs Vermont Timber Works has been decided in Vermont Timber Works favor. You can view details of the case, including public documents and exhibits at: