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Re: copyright

  Last year the New England chapter of the Guild of BookWorkers mounted a
show of members' work which travelled to several locations in the
northeast in the course of the year.  For the show, the chapter produced
a small catalog and a logo.  As the coordinator of the exhibit committee,
I applied for a formal registration of the catalog for the chapter, and
the logo on behalf of the chapter member who gave us free use of it, but
wished to retain the copyright herself.  The use of the copyright symbol
will give limited protection, but full damages and court costs require
formal registration to secure.  While the chapter did not (and does not)
consider it likely that some clandestine chop shop was planning to flood
the market with bootleg copies of our catalog, the ease with which images
can be electronically copied and circulated was and is a concern, I
think, which every artist should bear in mind.  If some one uses your
work, and then gives the item away, it is true he or she has made no
profit, but it is also possible that he or she has denied you a potential
sale or customer or valuable contact.  I think most artists are genuinely
torn between a deep belief in the necessity of creative freedom, the
generous wish to share their work and interests with others, and the hard
necessity to earn a living.  At the very least, I should think most artists
are inclined to contact a person whose work they wish to include in their
own if it is a single piece. The problem is clearly much more difficult
in the case of massed visual images.  The Copyright Office will send you
lots of information about copyright law and how to register your work
upon request.  I will be happy to post the address to the list if people
are interested.
  Dorothy Africa

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