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Art Fairs, Craft Shows, Music Festivals, and More
Festival Network Online Newsletter Artist/Crafter Edition -  April 2007
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How to be your Own Booking Agent
By Jeri Goldstein

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Hello FNO Artists and Craftspeople,

Copyrighting your arts and crafts is a great idea.  In this month's article, James Dillehay explains five copyright misconceptions.

Also, do you know about the Fest Biz Directory?  It's an opt-in database of businesses like yours.  It allows promoters and booking agents to find and contact you for their event.  To be listed in the directory (or to edit your company description and categories), log in and click 'My Account.  Be sure to let us know if you need your log in information:Email

Finally, enjoy the works of FNO member Jeffrey Hall for April's Artist of the Month.


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5 Things Every Craft Artist Must Know About Copyright to Avoid Lawsuits and Protect Your Designs

Crafts Business Resourcesby James Dillehay

Simply put, copyright is the legal exclusive right of the artist of a creative work to control the copying of that work.

It’s highly recommend you register your designs. We live in a litigious society.

It can actually happen where you have not registered your copyright; another artist steals your design; they then register a copyright in their own name first, and then sue you for infringement, even though you were the originator.

Here are five misconceptions regarding copyright about which every craft artist needs to get clear.

#1 “Someone buys my original art and now has the right to reproduce it.”

False. Even if you sell an original, you control the rights to reproduce and sell or distribute copies, not the purchaser. The exception being when they specifically buy the copyright from you, which you should not do without careful consideration and large remuneration.

#2 “If a craft item doesn't show a copyright notice, it is not legally copyrighted.”

False now but was true in the past. Almost everything created privately and originally after April 1, 1989 is copyrighted and protected whether the piece contains a notice or not. You should assume for other artist's works that they are copyrighted and may not be copied unless you have permission or you know otherwise. It is true that a notice strengthens the protection, but it is not necessary. If it looks copyrighted, you should assume it is. This applies to pictures, too. You may not scan pictures from magazines and use them in your work without permission.

#3 “The work is in the public domain, so I don't have to get permission to use it.”

Don’t count on it. Public domain refers to the lack of copyright protection. A design or piece of work may have become trademarked or identified as a logo for its originator. Works not registered or protected under copyright, may enjoy protection by trademark or some other form of contract law. Also, identifiable people such as celebrities may have rights as to the manner in which their name or likeness is used.

#4 “If I don't make money from the sale, I'm not in violation of an artist's copyright.”

False. Whether you ask money or not may affect the damages awarded in a lawsuit, but it's still a violation if you take control of someone else’s design and give it away. You may be found guilty of causing the originator damages by hurting the commercial value of the piece.

#5 “The design / artwork I plan to copy was in an out-of-print book. Therefore, the design is in the public domain and I don’t need permission.”

Don’t count on it. A book can go out-of-print while still being covered by copyright. A book that is out-of-print is considered in a temporary state. The copyrights usually go back to the author or illustrator, which means the underlying copyright protection is still in effect.

Craft artisan, author, and business educator, James Dillehay specializes in helping craft persons improve their sales and marketing skills.
For more info vist

Featured FNO Artist

Jeffrey Hall of New Brookland Craftsman is FNO's Artist of the Month.

Handmade in the USA, New Brookland Craftsman birdhouses and bird feeders are fully functional, attracting a variety of garden birds such as bluebirds, chickadees, finches, and wrens.

New Brookland Craftsman builds each birdhouse and bird feeder out of quality materials that will last under all types of weather conditions.  The company is from West Columbia, South Carolina.  Contact: New Brookland Craftsman

Email Julie Cochrane if you are interested in appearing here.
Put "FNO Artist Feature" in subject line.

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