Pursuing a career in the visual arts can be the culmination of a lifelong passion. If you are an artist producing paintings, sculptures, digital images, or photographs, you need to act to protect your ownership of your work. Especially in the online age, it is easy for others to make copies of your work and attempt to profit from them. The best way to prevent this is to secure copyright protection.

A Boca Raton visual arts lawyer could evaluate your need for copyright protection and take the lead in seeking fair compensation in the event of an infringement. Claiming copyright protection will result in you having the sole legal authority to display the art , which lasts for a period of 70 years after your death. This also allows your heirs to be the sole beneficiaries of your product. Reach out to a skilled copyright attorney today to see how they could help you to obtain this vital protection.

Visual Arts Mediums as Examples of Copywritten Material

Artists have the ability to apply for the sole right to display their works and this applies equally to any form of authorship. As applied to the visual arts, this may include:

  • Paintings
  • Sculptures
  • Art displays of any sort
  • Digital depictions
  • Photographs
  • Movies

As long as this depiction is original and not a copy of a previous work, the author has the right to seek copyright protection. Whether or not the work in question is published, or will eventually be published, is irrelevant. A Boca Raton visual arts attorney could provide the proper guidance on whether someone’s work qualifies under this definition.

Obtaining Copyright Protection

Copyrights are a unique form of intellectual property protection filed at the U.S. Copyright Office. Creating a work and fixing it into a tangible medium is sufficient for filing for a copyright registration.

Filing a formal application with the U.S. Copyright Office is the recommended path for protection. This formal registration informs other individuals of the owner’s right to the property and allows the copyright holder to seek compensation through a civil lawsuit in the event of an infringement. A visual arts lawyer in Boca Raton could ensure that content creators have properly registered their work in order to prevent future disputes.

Seeking Compensation in the Event of Infringement

The main benefit involved in seeking formal copyright protection is the ability to demand compensation in the event of an infringement. According to 17 United States Code § 501, an infringement occurs whenever any other person violates the exclusive rights of the copyright holder. This may include an unauthorized distribution of images, the copying of a physical work, or an unauthorized display of a movie.

A party that commits an infringement may sustain significant legal liability. 17 U.S.C. § 504 states that a copyright holder may pursue actual damages related to the infringement. Alternatively, they may opt for statutory damage of between $750 and $30,000. The court will determine which award is appropriate in the case. In the most extreme examples of willful infringement, the award may rise to as much as $150,000. These court filings can be difficult to navigate, which is why it is in a copyright holder’s best interest to work with the attorneys at Lomnitzer Law to aggressively pursue justice for a copyright violation.

Contact a Boca Raton Visual Arts Attorney to Protect Your Work

Visual artists have the sole authority to profit from their creations. Whether these are digital images, traditional paintings, or sculptures in a variety of mediums, the mere creation of these pieces means that they are your intellectual property. Even so, registering those items with the USPTO grants additional protection under the law and empowers you to seek out compensation in the event that someone illegally reproduces your work.

A Boca Raton visual arts lawyer can provide further information about the steps you need to take after creating a piece of art that requires legal protection; including the registration of the creative work and what to do if infringement occurs. Fill out a contact form or call us to set up a consultation.