Message - Re: Another "World" Trade Center

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Posted by  B. A. C. on October 28, 2002 at 10:36:18:

In Reply to:  Re: Another "World" Trade Center posted by d on October 25, 2002 at 22:12:04:

Mr. D:

Graphics such as those displayed on the Scrapbook page are protected under existing copyright laws provided they are original works of authorship - or design in this case - regardless of whether they are registered copyrights or not.

So as a practical matter, registration isn’t absolutely necessary. However, there are definitely advantages to registering your work with the Copyright Office in Washington, D.C. (1) Registration is a prerequisite for filing a copyright infringement action (for works originating in the U.S.); (2) It is also necessary in order to recover damages and attorney’s fees sought/awarded in an infringement action. While simply posting a graphic is - as someone put it - “published in fact”, non-registration will provide less effective prima facie evidence of ownership in a lawsuit.

On a personal note, I encourage both professional and amateur designers/architects to consider registration when they believe they are on to something. Do not be intimidated by copyright law or the process of registering your work. It is a reasonably simple process that allows even the crudest drawing to be registered. There is, unlike patent applications, no real “originality” or “novelty” test for your designs or architectural renderings.

In fact, Congress addressed architectural works specifically in a 1990 amendment that permits architectural plans and the building itself to be copyrighted. Whether an artistic graphic constitutes a architectural plan is another question for another time as I am have tried to speak generally on the matter of copyrighting works like those displayed on the Scrapbook page.

~B. A. C.

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