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Re: Collaged Covers and copyright

> This, too, is not correct.  You do *not* buy the copyright/license fees when you
> buy a magazine.  A person can only get permission to use someone else's work
> through a contractual transfer of those rights.  When you, as an artist, create a
> work and sell it, unless specified in the bill of sale, the person who purchases
> your work does not own the copyright.  You, the artist, retain copyright of your
> work until you sign a contract to transfer that right to someone else.  This
> protects you.  If the new owner of your artwork takes that artwork and puts it on
> a t-shirt without obtaining legal ownership of the copyright from you, and makes
> millions of dollars (this is only an example, not necessarily realistic), he has
> committed copyright infringement and you can sue him for the profits of which you
> were deprived.

I'd add that you can only sue for these profits IF you have properly
registered the material with the copyright office. Without this step,
with what is known as statutory copyright, you may only stop the person
from infringing your copyright and destroy all illegal copies. WITH
proper registration you may sue for damages X 3. There is a big
difference as you can see.

this is my understanding of the law as of 4-5 years ago, I hope it
hasn't changed...it seems to constantly move in one direction or its

Darryl Baird
Assistant Professor of Art
Photography & Graphic Design
University of Michigan-Flint

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