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RE: [Marbling] Pricing & Ethical Guideline & ©registration

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  • Drees, Dedree
    Dear Group I highly encourage you to register your work. You can do it cheaply in unpublished groups before it starts floating around. At some point I shall
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 15, 2008
      Dear Group

      I highly encourage you to register your work. You can do it cheaply in unpublished groups before it starts floating around. At some point I shall describe my © infringement complaint on my new art blog http://ddreesart.wordpress.com/ .
      As I understand it from my Copyright Law class teacher at U of Baltimore, Jim Astrachan, Esq. who has done some fairly big deal cases, the difference between registering and not registering copyrights is that when you register you get not just actual damages when you win a law suit but statutory damages of between $750 and $30,000 per count plus attorneys fees. If you hadn’t noticed, most people can’t afford to sue without registering. Astrachan handled the case of an artist I know, Dave Phillips, who makes maze books. Someone had posted his mazes on line, a lot of them, and then did not respond to cease and desist. I think he won the full $30000 per count for quite a number of designs. And then of course Jim Astrachan is pretty good.

      Below some of the law;

      The current law in the USA requires neither a notice of copyright (e.g., "Copyright 1997 Ronald B. Standler") nor registration of the work with the U.S. Copyright Office. 17 USC §§ 401(a), 407(a), 408(a). However, if a work does have a notice, then an infringer can not claim a "defense based on innocent infringement in mitigation of actual or statutory damages". 17 USC §401(d). And if a work is registered, then:
      the registration is prima facie evidence of the validity of the copyright in litigation for copyright infringement. 17 USC §410(c).
      the author may file suit for infringement of the copyright. 17 USC §411(a).
      the author may seek an award of statutory damages between US$ 750 and US$ 30 000 (i.e., the author is entitled to money from the infringer, without the author needing to show financial loss from the infringement). If the infringement was "willful", the statutory damages can go as high as US$ 150 000. 17 USC §§412, 504(c).
      a court may require the infringer to pay all of the attorney's fees of the author. 17 USC §§412, 505.

      This from the copyright office
      In general, copyright registration is a legal formality intended
      to make a public record of the basic facts of a particular copyright.
      However, registration is not a condition of copyright
      protection. Even though registration is not a requirement for
      protection, the copyright law provides several inducements
      or advantages to encourage copyright owners to make registration.
      Among these advantages are the following:
      • Registration establishes a public record of the copyright
      • Before an infringement suit may be filed in court, registration
      is necessary for works of U. S. origin.
      • If made before or within five years of publication, registration
      will establish prima facie evidence in court of
      the validity of the copyright and of the facts stated in
      the certificate.
      • If registration is made within three months after publication
      of the work or prior to an infringement of the work,
      statutory damages and attorney’s fees will be available to
      the copyright owner in court actions. Otherwise, only an
      award of actual damages and profits is available to the
      copyright owner.
      • Registration allows the owner of the copyright to record
      the registration with the U. S. Customs Service for protection
      against the importation of infringing copies. For
      additional information, go to the U. S. Customs and
      Border Protection website at www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/import.
      Click on “Intellectual Property Rights.”
      Registration may be made at any time within the life of
      the copyright. Unlike the law before 1978, when a work has
      been registered in unpublished form, it is not necessary to
      make another registration when the work becomes published,
      although the copyright owner may register the published
      edition, if desired.


      -----Original Message-----
      From: Marbling@yahoogroups.com on behalf of irisnevins
      Sent: Fri 8/15/2008 9:56 AM
      To: Marbling@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Re: [Marbling] Pricing & Ethical Guideline

      Hi Jake...I had written the original blurb for it way back.... can't remember when, very long ago. Don't remember if I got credited or not, but they asked me to write it, which I did. I never bought the book, oddly enough. And they never offered one!

      I don't expect a rash of thievings though, but we all should still very much watch out for each other as we always have. I do not think it especially gives any message that marbling is now copyright free or anything, but it is annoying to not be considered a "graphic art" anymore by them.

      Copyright is given as a common law copyright just by the creation of a piece of art. You do need to be able to somehow prove you did it though. You can, as we got set up years ago, send a group of styles in for registration under one number. Color doesn't matter, color is not copyrightable, so a Bouquet sent in with orange and green suffices for all the Bouquet papers you make in any color theme. You can even send the styles in as greyscale and it covers any possible color you may use.

      I spoke about the problem at length to a copyright attorney decades ago, that it is impossible to copyright every sheet individually and send each in when you might make thousands per year, and he implemented a plan to do it by sample book or groups of styles, a nice man named Bruce Levy, to where we can send in for example a sample book of our work with one fee, and receive a registration number that covers everything we will ever do. This doesn't mean that one person owns bouquet or peacock etc. we can all do it, but each of our papers are our expression of that design, thus copyrightable. The patterns are public domain, no one gets to own a pattern, not allowing others to create their own artwork using it.

      Keep in mind too, the copyright office is extremely pro- artist. they have made it easier and easier over the years. You do not need to register any longer in order to collect legal fees, you do not even need to use the copyright symbol, you do not even need to sign the darned thing, and most of us who churn out book papers, our customers don't want us signing them, they want to chop them up and use them, every available inch. Still it is wise to at least stamp your work on the back and use the copyright symbol, if for no other reason than to make people contact you prior to using them in print somewhere. It doesn't stop everyone of course, but these things have a way of finding their way home, and I have made quite a few stinks over unauthorized use and gotten paid every time. I have also reported many marbles I see used on book covers, ads etc. to the people I know who did them, and this is what we need to do, be alert.

      Marbling comes and goes, fad like, like moon phases though lasting longer. I have worked in the field for over 30 years and believe me, there are some way low spots, when I wonder if I will ever get another order... other years, or even a decade, can be amazing, so busy I have had to hire help. So I don't know why they would have cut marbling from the book, but the big worry is they carry a lot of weight and people think them a big deal, and if they consider marbling so insignificant or a has-been, it's not good for us in general, it takes attention away from us who work at it, people listen to what others think is "in". Then again, we do have our own world and underworld, network of people who know we are here to stay, and it's pretty big and the internet has been the best thing ever for marbling and keeping it alive.

      Has anyone contacted them to ask why, Jake? I am too swamped with too much stuff now to deal with it, I am not even a member, and have no reason to join, maybe someone here who might be a member could ask and let us know? Feel free to use anything in this post if it might help.

      Iris Nevins

      Thanks Jake!
      I wont be needing a copy then.
      Perhaps Marbling was just a fad.
      With no guidelines, I will expecting a rash of thievings on the works for
      hire front or of orignals.
      Copyrighting is easy with documentation and organization.

      On Thu, Aug 14, 2008 at 4:15 PM, Jake Benson <jemiljan@...<mailto:jemiljan@...>> wrote:

      > Hi everyone,
      > I finally got my hands on a copy of the most recent edition of the
      > Handbook for Pricing and Ethical Guidelines from the Graphic Artists
      > guild. It's the 12th ed. published in 2007. There are no longer any
      > specific guidelines, nor any other mention of marbling that I can
      > find. I'm not sure what the reason would be for this, but I thought I
      > should you know that if you are looking for such standards, you'll
      > have to reply on the previous edition, the text of which I previously
      > posted. If anyone on this list is a professional graphic designer, I
      > would love to know of any other current references for reproducing
      > marbled or other decorative patterns that can be substituted.
      > Jake Benson

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