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#211225 - 11/20/03 03:19 PM copyrighting
3rdi Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/20/03
Posts: 1
Loc: Oakland, Ca
Can anyone offer an overview of the copyrighting process for comics print and publishing?

#211226 - 11/20/03 04:04 PM Re: copyrighting
TRaik Offline

Registered: 05/18/01
Posts: 299
Assuming you're located in the United States, no resource is better than the source: The United States Library of Congress Copyright Office website.

If you're looking for information (on copyright and other matters) more specicially tailored to comics publishing, you might want to check out the book How to Self-Publish Your Own Comic Book (published 3 or 4 years ago, but still providing relevant information) or the resources listed on David A. Law\'s Creating Comics site.

#211227 - 11/21/03 09:54 AM Re: copyrighting
ATKokmen Offline

Registered: 05/22/00
Posts: 1170
Loc: New York, NY
Originally posted by 3rdi:
Can anyone offer an overview of the copyrighting process for comics print and publishing?

In addition to the links posted earlier, it should probably be noted that in the United States (and in some other territories, in accordance with local law) you actually don't have to do anything to obtain a copyright. You own the copyright on your creation the moment you create it, the moment you out it in fixed form.

You can certainly formally register that copyright through the Library of Congress, through the process outlined on their site. Formal registration does have some real advantages, which is why almost everybody does it. But it's not necessary to secure the basic protections that copyright affords.
"[T]hough goodness without knowledge is weak and feeble, yet knowledge without goodness is dangerous, and that both united form the noblest character, and lay the surest foundation of usefulness to mankind." --John Phillips

#211228 - 12/03/03 09:59 AM Re: copyrighting
Michael McNeil Offline

Registered: 04/11/99
Posts: 37
Loc: Annapolis, MD USA
Do yourself a favor. Spend the $35. Having your work officially registered with the Register of Copyrights grants you a great deal more legal rights than the common law copyright.

For instance, say you write this great comic and you don't file the copyright paperwork. You then give them away at the San Diego Comic Con for promotional purposes. Two years later you find out that a large Hollywood Studio has started to make your comic into a movie. Because you didn't file the copyright paperwork the most that you can do is have the studio cease and desist. ie. You can probably make them stop infringing after spending LOTS OF YOUR OWN MONEY on an Intellectual Property lawyer.

Here's the point. YOU CANNOT SUE THEM FOR DAMAGES. What that means is that although you may be in the right you probably won't have the money to go out and get a lawyer to make them stop. If you do, great. If you don't then because you don't have the right to sue for damages, then you won't be able to get the laywer to work on contingency.
ie, sue for damages and lawyer's fees.

So if you publish anything, do yourself a big favor and copyright your work. Besides, it should be worth the $35 just knowing that your work will be in the Library of Congress. (You send two copies when registering, one for the Copyright Office and one for the Library of Congress.)

Spend the money.


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