Ask call replay - US Copyright OfficeIn our call we had attorney John Asley, Esq – also a photographer! – of the US Copyright Office on the line. He is the chief manager and supervisor, visual arts division, which is a part of the Office’s Registration Program.  All copyright claims based on visual arts are examined and decided in his Division. John manages a staff of about 30 experts on visual arts copyright.  His entire federal career has been with the Copyright Office’s Visual Arts.  He teaches copyright law.

It was an amazing and information packed hour! I came away with a much better and clearer understanding of the copyright process and why we need to register our work.

In a nutshell, get your free copy and listen to it. It will be the best hour you invest in your business.

If you want more than that “trust me” recommendation, here is what we covered.

Mr Ashley mentions the Compendium of U.S. Copyright Office Practices, Third Edition frequently in the call and is very helpful in giving us chapters and page numbers to reference for certain topics. Here is the link to the page with the document: I will put chapter and page numbers in parentheses after subjects, when applicable.

  • WHY do we need to register with the Copyright Office – don’t we “own” the copyright by simply creating the art? (Compendium,Ch 200 pages 5-6.)
  • Do you recommend people register copyrights under their name or under their business name?
  • Dispelled the myth of “if you change something 15%, 25% etc it’s ok to use someone else’s work” – NOT TRUE.
  • Is it ok for an artist to have their agent register their copyrights? What should we be aware of if they want to do the registrations?
  • Do artists from other countries need to register with the US Copyright Office?
    • CORRECTION to the info if you listened live: one mistake – the Foreign copyright owner does not have to register in Office in order to get into federal court; a US copyright owner is subject to this requirement, but not the foreign author. Why difference? Because a major treaty we joined in 1989 (Berne Treaty) forbids applying this requirement to foreign-Berne copyright owners.
  • Do you recommend people register copyrights under their name or under their business name?
  • How important is it that a copyright notice be placed on all work – if the notice isn’t there, does it lessen our claim if someone infringes on our work? (Compendium ch 2200 p 5&6)
  • Can you clarify what makes a work “published” or “unpublished”? (Compendium, ch 1900, p. 4 / ch. 1000 p 18-23)
  • Can you help clear up confusion about what constitutes a “collection” of art for group or bulk registration purposes? What types of registrations are available for visual works of art? (Compendium ch 900)
  • Does registering in a collection affect statutory damages that could be awarded during a lawsuit?

If you didn’t get an email with the links to download the audio or to listen online, register below to claim your free copy.

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Ask Maria Brophy and Tara Reed about art licensingNext Up…

You get two for one!  Maria Brophy and I will be teaming up to answer your questions on Wednesday, January 21, 2015.  Submit your questions as soon as you think of them so I don’t have to beg when it gets closer, ok?  🙂

Go to to submit your questions.

Here’s to your creative success!

– Tara Reed