Where do you enter the specifics for protecting your artwork?

Is there a specific place to write rules on copyright and general protection issues, or do you just type it in the description area? So far I have never seen anyone write any rules for copyright issues on DPW.

I was much more concerned about copyright, terms of usage, etc. when writing contracts for commercial work. For these little paintings, life’s too short–I don’t worry about it. I don’t think most buyers are looking to profit from reproduction or usage of the images. If doing that was easy, I’d do it myself. :smile:

If I were going to explain copyright, I guess I’d Include a small notice on a receipt or certificate of authenticity enclosed with the art, stating that the artist retains sole copyright and that sale of the original does not constitute any grant of license or transfer of copyright–something generic that doesn’t sound like I think my lovely buyers are planning to rip me off.


I agree Connie…life is too short to worry. I would rather be painting the next one and growing as a painter.

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That said, I am intimately familiar with copyright infringement. A few years ago, an organization in NYC lifted a small painting from my blog, were using it on their own website’s fundraising page, and had even published it in a brochure. When confronted, they actually argued that I should be flattered! (Photo & a few more details here, older blog.)
I occasionally do an image search now; but especially with all the overseas stuff, once you put something online–warnings & watermarks aside–the cat is pretty much out of the bag, and I just don’t have the energy for a lot of policing–or even following the universal advice of mass-registering everything with the copyright office. I still think it’s a bigger problem for illustators/designers and for-profit types of usage.

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I’m really surprised at these replies. Do you really want to be victims of theft of your images and just accept it like it’s normal? I also would rather just paint and be oblivious to theft of my images as if it doesn’t happen but I can’t give up that easily.
The only thing I did so far is to limit the size of the images to 500 px so that if someone needs a larger image, it will be pixelated and hopefully not very printable. My next step is to watermark trying to find the right balance as to not destroy the image, and make it hard enough for someone to photoshop out the watermark.
I’m really not at all talking about getting an official copyright on every piece I make, but to let people know by writing in the description the c in the circle.
I’m not trying to spend a lot of time mass-registering or policing my artwork…just to write in some area a little warning to maybe deter a would-be thief.


All I’m saying is that I want to say something like Artwork by Robert Kimball ©. All rights reserved 2015. Or something similar to that.
I guess I’ll just put it in the description. I don’t think there’s a specified place for it.

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So do it, you have nothing to lose. Put it on your blog, put it in each description, and write it on the back of your artworks. But the only way it carries any legal weight (for enforcement or collection of damages, if you ever even find the infringement) is if they are actually registered with the U.S. Copyright Office. That doesn’t have to be done individually–you can register an entire year’s worth of paintings or more (as a “Collection” of unpublished images), for a single fee. Here’s a link with all the info.
Copyright, however, is all about money and whether or not you can demonstrate that someone is profiting from infringement–selling prints, applying it to products, using it for promotion, etc. If not, your recourse is about zero, anyway. If someone is just using your image in their blog or something, about all you can do is ask them to stop. A copyright line might educate a few of the uninitiated, but those who don’t care about infringing (about 90% of the under-35 population?) won’t be deterred by a mere notice. Anyway, that’s my take.


Why bother. Someone would have to copy your work, providing that it is highly desirable and unique, then sell their copy for more than you can sell the originals. How likely is that. Even if this somehow occurred would you really energetically pursue litigation. Ultimately it is the name recognition of an established artist that sells. Just make art.


Ditto ditto. Time too short to worry…especially at my age!!! :smile:

So someone can just click “save image”, then print copy’s of any of out images and sell them online for 5 bucks each and make a lot of money and get away with it then, right? I guess we can all be victims of that and probably are.

I wish I had a printer that can print quality prints so I can make sales from my own artwork like someone else could be doing right now.Oh well I’ll just drop it then.

Good for you Anne. Most aspects of selling art are beyond the artist’s control anyway so we might as well do what we can and enjoy the making.


I think you’re scared of a market that doesn’t exist. Anyone with a decent printer and some photo paper can print them out on their own, for free, without spending 5 bucks plus shipping for someone else to do it for them.

So far as I can tell, people buy prints when they’re something like a giclee reproduction of a highly successful artist whose originals are out of their price range, but they still want something of special quality. For example, the people who used to buy Thomas Kinkade or Thomas McKnight prints in the art-print stores they used to have in every mall.

No one’s making a dime off of cheap reproductions of daily painters who most people are unaware of, so don’t worry about it. Now, images stolen to be used on another product in the way licensed images are usually used, well, that would be a different story, but even that depends on the artist in question having pictures highly desirable for that specific purpose.

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Ok, David you misunderstood what I said about the paragraph you quoted me on. But like I said, I just want to drop the subject. I don’t think I can explain what I mean, correctly.

Check out imagerights.com if you have the type of images that are suseptible to copyright infringement-- and I have seen that happen with a certain type of art.

We talked about that on our art forum on facebook. Several of the artists, who typically paint large works are copyrighting them. I think the most I’ve had to worry about are the paint and wine sessions that are so popular now. A lot of those places will simply take your work and make use of it in their paint classes without even giving you credit for the painting. I caught a couple of them and they were nice enough to simply stop using my work. Others will at least agree to giving you credit for the original. If anyone wants to pursue the copyright protection, I’ll ask some of the artists about it and post it here. I just don’t make enough with my work to make pursuing these thieves worthwhile and I think you would find the worst offenders are from China.