On 12/10/02 1:40:20 AM, Michiko Stehrenberger wrote:
>Quick question to clarify - is
>putting one's unpublished work
>on one's own portfolio website
>publication of the work, or
>Sorry, the two replies to my
>excerpts below seem a little
>confusing - thanks in advance
>for the re-clarification.
>On 12/9/02 12:25:29 PM, Michiko
>>>I read on the Copyright Office site >>(http://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ1.html#pub
) that the 'display of a work' does not constitute
>>>publication in itself. As
>>>such, if my portfolio website
>>>is displaying works of mine
>>>which have not been published
>>>elsewhere, then they continue
>>>to be considered
The above answers your question.
>>> It would seem that one's own
>>>portfolio website would be
>>>considered 'a display of the
>>>work' since no form of the
>>>work as a 'material object'
>>>has been created/published...
>>"Material object" has nothing to do with
>>it. The "material object" is the
>>original--whether as flat art or a scan.
>>The issue regarding a portfolio website
>>is publication, not the existence of a
>Question - the Copyright Office website,
>in referring to publication, seems to
>define publication as the distribution
>of a 'material object' though -
>therefore, posting it on my own website
>(assuming it hasn't been published
>elsewhere) is a 'public display' of my
>own work but not publication, right? I
>think this is what you've said above,
>but I just want to be sure since you've
>mentioned that a (real world) material
>object has nothing to do with it...
The Copyright Office refers to distribution for money
, or an offering of distribution for money
, not to distribution of a material object as such. Offering stock images
via a website, with no material object being produced or changing hands, is publication. Display of portfolio images, which are not being offered for money, is not.
>To be absolutely clear - does the
>Copyright Office consider use of images
>on a website to be publication
>(affecting the rights and eligiblity of
>statutory damages, legal fees, counting
>as unpublished registration vs. group
>registration after publication, etc.) or
>merely 'public display'? (which does not
>affect any elibigility for statutory
>damages, legal fees, etc., etc.)
- if you make up your
>own t-shirts bearing your copyrighted
>images, and leave them in the
>safekeeping of a 'friend' and some way
>or another those t-shirts end up getting
>sold and the that person keeps the
>profits and/or refuses to return the
>property to you...is that merely a
>breach of contract (assuming there's a
>verbal contract that can be proved) or
>is that a copyright infringement? One
>would be taken up in local small claims
>courts vs. one that would be eligible
>for protection under federal courts,
>able to cross state lines etc. right? I
>know it seems far-fetched, but I just
>thought I'd ask. Since I created and
>produced the t-shirts, I transferred
>physical inventory to the person, not
>source art so she didn't manufacture the
>images into t-shirts, merely sold
>physical property of mine that she
>wasn't supposed to -- so I previously
>assumed this wouldn't fall under any
>sort of copyright protection?
>I only bring this up because the
>unauthorized displaying of the t-shirts
>in a retail store etc. etc. (with
>copyright registered imagery on it) was
>something I didn't think could be
>protected under federal copyright law,
>but now I'm curious. If this confuses
>the above matter too much then never
>mind, but your comment sparked the other
>thought - thanks!
There is probably a breach of contract action here--provided, of course, you can prove the terms of the contract. There may also be a basis for a copyright action--but again, the question will come back to what the terms of the agreement were (did you give permission?) and whether you can prove them.
Daniel Abraham, Esq.
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