1. What kind of attorney can help me protect my work?
An intellectual property attorney licensed to practice in your state is the best bet.
2. What do I do if I see my artwork featured in a commercial without my permission?
Your best course of action is to document the appearance of your work and contact an attorney.
3. What rights do I have?
As the creative behind a piece of art (film, music, photograph, painting, written work, etc.), you have a right to determine how that work is used and/or distributed. An attorney can be a great resource in explaining your rights in specific situations.
4. My work is in public spaces, so do I have any legal rights to it?
The location of the work does not limit your rights under copyright law. You not only have exclusive rights to copy, distribute, display, or alter your work but as a creator a work of visual art—like paintings, drawings, or sculptures— you may also have the right to claim authorship of the work and to prevent distortion, mutilation, or modification of the work that could be harmful to your reputation as an artist. A copyright attorney or legal clinic can help you determine if your artwork is eligible for these additional rights. This article might also be helpful.
5. Do I have any rights if the artwork is not sanctioned?
If the artwork is original to you and not infringing of someone else’s work you will have rights under copyright law. But there may also be other several laws that could also affect those rights. The best course of action is to consult an attorney regarding unsanctioned street art.
6. How do I determine the value of my work?
Only you can determine the value of your work. It can be appraised, but ultimately value is assigned by the artist and then determined by the market – meaning who is willing to pay what amount.
7. Can I copyright my work?
Absolutely. Visit Copyright.gov to learn more.
8. Should I copyright my work if producing prints, t-shirts, or other merchandise?
Absolutely. The best course of action to protect your work, whatever it may be, is to register a copyright.