Category: Helpful Hints
As a graphic artist, you’ve probably come across an instance of your work having been duplicated and used on another website without your permission.
There are some important things you should be doing to protect your work:
1. If you are working with a client and you haven’t reached a final decision, your work still needs to be protected. We recommend purchasing a credit on Write Vault and uploading all of your initial drafts and sketches that were a part of these discussions. 1 Credit will hold a 10 megabyte zip file of sketches, initial mock ups and more. This is just as important as registering a final copyright on your work because theft does occur in the early stages of a design.
Peruse Clients From Hell for ten minutes and you’ll realize that unscrupulous companies prey upon designers to provide free work and it doesn’t even have to be finished yet.
2. Reduce the screen size (dpi) to 72 when sharing your work with clients or online. 72 dpi does not upscale well, but is perfectly visible for inspection.
3. For online sharing/portfolios, consider adding watermarks to your work. True, it destroys the beauty of your work to some degree, but it makes theft less appealing, (unless you’re a former client of mine that doesn’t give a hoot that there’s a big transparent logo over their online brochure).
4. If you own a Write Vault registration and/or copyright, place the Write Vault registration number and/or the copyright notice (© 2013 Your Name Here) in small type on every single photo or illustration you post online.
5. Prevent Hot Linking. Hot linking is when another website references your work using your image on your hosting account/server. It uses your bandwidth and costs you money, and it’s a violation of your registrations. For more information about how to prevent hot linking, see your web host or email us, we’d be happy to help. Most web hosts have a control panel from which you turn on hot linking protection.
6. Finally, if you haven’t already, when your work is finished and you can afford the registration, register your work with the U.S. Copyright Office. Artwork is registered on copyright Form VA, available from the U.S. Copyright Office by calling the Copyright Forms number at (202) 707-9100 or by visiting http://www.copyright.gov. The cost to register a work is $35- $45.
What other things have you done to protect your work? Let us know.
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