GD212 Copyright Issues
This week we'll start by looking at a case between an artist and her
client. Try to imagine yourself in the position of an employer, an
employee and an independent contractor. This will help us in our examination
of copyright and trademark registration. Finally, we'll learn about protecting
your copyright, as well as how to allow others to use your material.
Unless noted, the subjects listed below are briefly covered in
Chapters 5, 6, 7, 9, 10 and several appendices of
How to Register Your Own Copyright
by Mark Warda.
(Hot-link items are resources on the Web. LRC items are in the
Learning Resource Center, on reserve.)
Legal Eagle Activity:
Read the two "For Hire" sections in Fieldís "Copyright
in Visual Arts," then study "Eva
Mudd v. Gimmix. Inc.". Notice that there are more than two figurine designs under discussion and
Who manufactured the first sets of black fly figurines (through 1995)?
What prompted Eva Mudd to seek relief?
How did Gimmix respond to Eva Mudd filing an action?
What did the courtís determine was the status
of the work relationship?
Why did Eva Mudd possess all rights to her figurine designs
even though Porter had provided a drawing?
What are the benefits of remaining an independent contractor who assigns rights to the client?
What should Eva Mudd have done in the first place? Why?
Why Register Your Copyright?
Ch. 5 (2 pages)
Name the eight reasons why you should register your copyrights and trademarks.
Which are the most important to you?
Those Who Can Claim and Register a Copyright
Heirs: Who is the decedent?
Spouses: Is California a community property state? What does that mean?
Employers: See the next section on how an "employee" (including "for-hire")
is defined. According to a 1989 Supreme Court ruling, what determines whether
you are an employee rather than an independent contractor? Also look at Eva
Mudd's case (above) for an example of "other things which employers typically
Buyers of Creative Works: If you are buying artwork for your online magazine,
what relationship would you prefer to have with the creators of those works?
Name two artistic media that are specifically allowed to be made up of
What is an assignment of copyright?
See the sample agreements in Appendix I: Useful Written Agreements
What is the difference between the For-Hire Agreement and the
Assignment of Copyright Agreement?
Registering Your Copyright
Application: Which form are you likely to use someday?
Filing Fee: Update this fee amount.
Copies of the Work: Return to the Field article above and
read the "The Registration/Deposit Process" section.
What rule contains an exception for visual artists? Explain.
Study Sample Filled-In Form VA (Appendix A) and the
Blank Forms and Instructions for Form VA and Short Form VA (Appendix H).
Looking at the sample form, could Jose Santiago have filled out the
Short Form VA instead?
What are some of the issues that determine whether you fill out the long
form or the short form?
If you publish a revised version of your registered work, what should you
do to protect the revised work?
Transferring a Copyright: Licensing Use of a Work
Define Non-exclusive License
Define Exclusive License
What is Recordation?
What is Revocation?
How does license differ from assignment?
See the sample license agreement at the end of Appendix I
In class we'll read the PDN article (in LRC):
Madlin, Nancy. "Five Cases that Made History," PDN Sept.
What is the significance of each to any artist working as an independent