How to Save Your Art from Copyright Theft


The internet is a fabulous place. It has brought the world together and allows us to showcase our work and approach buyers all over the globe. However the internet also poses a potential threat as it can facilitate easy theft, especially if you are talented. Artists who put their work online are at higher risk of copyright infringement. That is why it is essential that you learn how to copyright artwork so other people are unable to take credit for what you have created, nor profit from your hard work. If you copyright your artwork, you can safeguard it.

Here we have a handy breakdown of all you need to know about copyrighting art.

Intellectual property

Before we go into the copyright process, let’s talk about intellectual property. Any time you create tangible artwork, it is automatically classified as your intellectual property. This means that you hold all the rights to your work and nobody can do anything with it without your consent. This includes reprinting, sharing, publishing, or profiting from your work in any way or form. However even though the art legally belongs to you, people can still abuse it. Avoiding copyright infringement is just one of several reasons to copyright art.

Copyright Infringement- What is it?

Copyright infringement is when someone infringes on your intellectual property, which can be relatively harmless but can also be all-out theft. Copyright infringement includes instances where your work is shared online without giving you the requisite credit and ranges up to someone using your creation on a product to sell without your approval or consent. Artists have their work stolen a lot on the internet and it is a long and difficult battle sometimes to get their due credit and re-compensation.

Get the right help!

You must get all the right information when it comes to the legal aspects of copyrighting. To avoid any legal woes, it is advisable that you contact a solicitor who specialises in art copyright. They can provide all the pertinent information and help you protect what is your in the most simple way possible. Refer to a copyright solicitors database to select a person who specializes in your form of art.

What type of Artwork can be copyrighted?

Any artwork is applicable for copyright as long as it meets the following two criteria

  • Art must be original, created by you.
  • It must within a tangible medium, like paper, canvas, or digital mediums. It cannot be an intangible idea or concept.

If your art is copyrighted to you, you have the exclusive right to make copies, distribute, sell prepare offshoot works based on the artwork. You may copyright any artwork including but not limited to prints, cartoons, collages, greeting cards, jewellery designs, decals, sculpture, paintings, digital art etc.

Other ways to protect your art

While copyrighting your artwork is essential to demonstrate legal ownership of your intellectual property, here are a few tips to protect your work from being stolen and misused while you showcase it on the internet.

  • Don’t allow downloads if possible
  • Don’t use High resolution images
  • Do sign your work
  • Do include copyright symbols
  • Do add watermarks to your images
  • Be careful of the Terms and Conditions of Social Media Platforms