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I am curious, do other artists post copyright notices in their booths?

This is an extensive subject, we're not going to cover it in depth here; there is much valuable advice for artists elsewhere on this forum. 

As a salesperson, and as an artist, will a notice affect customers one way or the other?

Post or not? What do you do?

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Not for jurying but there's no reason not to have a sign explaining the creating of your art and the fact that, if you live in the US, it's automatically copyrighted upon creating.

Larry Berman


Is there a reason that you think you shouldn't ? Just curious.

I have an actual copyright for one of my designs and I have the copyright on the bottom of a tag that goes with each piece. I got my copyright in 1988, and I don't see any reason to not post it, but reasons that I do.

Good for you, since 1988, that is great. I am curious to see what other artists are doing, and in a day or so I will elaborate on my own approach.

If you want to take the time and pay the fees associated with registering your copyrights with the US Copyright Office, go ahead and do it. It's not difficult to do. And once the copyright office has determined that your work is registerable and can fall under the protection of that law, you can then bring enforceable cases to court. Bringing cases to court costs a lot more money, of course.

I have little time for these kinds of pursuits.

Trandmarks are a different matter. Judy, are you talking about trademarks? Or patents?

Copyright. It is actually registered, 1988.

Having the little copyright symbol and "copyright" or whatever I have at the very bottom of my tags in small print is all that I have done, and I feel that it has been worth it for me. I feel that I did my job in protecting my work and have long forgot about it. 

I don't have a sign to that effect. I don't have one stating "No Photography" either.

On the No photo sign, the wording would be a little more elaborate as my medium is Photography. Hence it would cause some confusion. Hmmm, a Photography booth with a  sign stating "No Photography"  :-)

The idea of stating Copyrighted or No photos, is a bit tricky. It would only aid in dissuading the very honest people.

All the customers know, it is our artwork and making copies of it, without our express permission, is wrong.

However I still catch them trying to take pictures of my work. Sometimes they get angry at me for stopping them.

My wall space is at a premium. To use more of it for signage that does not enhance sales is not favorable.

I do not think having extra signs to blatantly state the fact is very helpful.

Instead I engage everyone that comes into my booth. Or, at the least I am aware of them and what they are doing. Therefore I can prevent most of it. Of course the ones using a telephoto from afar or sneaking one without my knowledge, will happen. Those people would not have been avoided through signage. 

In speaking with prospective customers it is broached. In speaking with buying customers, it is always stated as I give them the attached "Certificate of Authenticity" which states the copyright also. As well as the signature and if applicable, edition number, hand printed, on the art work.

I like Larry Berman's idea about explaining the creative process and incorporating into that.

All of my original carved art work on leather belts, holsters, canteens, etc. is stamped copyright with signature into the leather. 

I wouldn't obsess about this. I never tell someone that I own the copyright even though they are taking home the artwork. I write the copyright symbol on the art, the year, and my signature. I also write all the pertinent info on the back of the artwork, and that includes the copyright symbol, date, and my name. And when I print limited editions, I have the copyright information on the Certificate of Authenticity along with all other relevant information. In addition to that, I also have a statement at the bottom of the CoA that reads COPYRIGHT PROTECTED. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Posting big signs in the booth about copyright seems obsessive and ridiculous. I have never posted a no photos sign, either. When someone asks if they can take a photo, I usually answer "Yes."

I love what Rudyard Kipling said: They copied all they could follow, but they couldn't copy my mind, And I left 'em sweating and stealing a year and a half behind.

The shows I do, have signs saying "No Photography"-- at the entrance, and on the back wall. Large, in day-glo colors. Copyright notices are on the show-provided bid sheets (and print artists usually have them on the back of prints/originals). One of the shows has a secure bag check, and people with large cameras are encouraged to use it, and whether or not they do, are "reminded" that no photography is allowed without staff and artist permission (written and/or accompanied).

Despite all this, people whip out cameras/phones to snap pictures (they "didn't see" the 2'x3' sign with 4" high bold lettering at the entrance).... If caught, digital cameras/phones are confiscated until pictures are removed, and film cameras get the film confiscated. Any problems with such people not cooperating-- security is called.

No copyright notices for us, just no photography icons. This does not stop the people that really want to take the picture. I have seen someone put copyright elastic bands across their paintings and it is very annoying to look at. I think this is greatly decreasing their sales.

As to Kaytee, you cant confiscate/delete photos legally. You need a warrant for that. Just because they take a picture, it doesn't mean it will be used for infringement purposes. If someone did that to me, the cops would need to be called.

I'm with Steve all the way on this one regarding the confescation of photos. I still don't agree with the No Photograph signs. In fact, I have a merchant credit card sign showing all the plastic we take, and just about every person who uses plastic asks if I take plastic. Not that that's why I don't have a "No Photography" sign. I don't mind if someone asks me to take a photo.

Years ago, I prominently placed signs stating "Do Not Photograph These Copyrighted Photographs" and "Do Not Touch" in English, Spanish, Chinese, and with visual graphics.  And I was having jerks ignore those about (no joke) 50-100 times per day, making me constantly stressed and angry.  One show I forgot to bring my bag of price tags and signs, and noticed the number of rude touchers and copyright-violating photographers decreased to about 5-10 per day.  And I've never put the signs up since. 

I feel it was an odd experiment in psychology.  Its either, they saw the signs and exhibited the "don't put your hand in the cookie jar" syndrome, making the rebellious part of their psyche force them to do it, or, my best theory, they saw the sign out of their peripheral vision, and it didn't consciously register in their brains.  This caused them to unconsciously register the words "photograph" or "touch", and then their hands or cameras did the rest. 

Add to that the previously stated arguments against that I agree with:

1) takes up valuable wall real estate

2) starts off a relationship with a negative "don't" or "no"

3) everyone already knows its wrong, so a sign won't stop them

All that being said, for the 5-10 per day who do the "bad touch" or photograph my work at a show, I still confront every one of them.  And I'm not polite when I do it. 

I'd appreciate more show directors putting up prominent signs at the show entrances, though. 


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