While speaking to a group of visual arts students recently, a recurring theme was to FLAUNT YOUR ORIGINALITY and savor using your original work. We had a heart to heart moment that went something like this:
Y’all are an incredibly talented group of people. You wouldn’t be sitting here in this room, in a prestigious art school, if you hadn’t already proven how talented and artistically creative you are. When you create a montage or a creative work, make every bit of it original. You want your work to show every person who sees it how talented YOU are. Use your gifts. Pitch your genius. Tap into your creative talents and let your originality shine.
This heart to heart moment arose spontaneously in response to a question about originality being a fundamental element of copyright and the fair use exceptions to copyright. (In my opinion, original work created by talented folks is always best. Don’t even think about how or when a fair use exception may apply. Just flaunt your original work).
Originality is key to securing copyright protection under U.S. Copyright Law. Section 102 of the U.S. Copyright Law includes “original works” within the general definition of copyrightable materials. Here is the text of Section 102(a):
(a) Copyright protection subsists, in accordance with this title, in original works of authorship fixed in any tangible medium of expression, now known or later developed, from which they can be perceived, reproduced, or otherwise communicated, either directly or with the aid of a machine or device. Works of authorship include the following categories: (1) literary works; (2) musical works, including any accompanying words; (3) dramatic works, including any accompanying music; (4) pantomimes and choreographic works; (5) pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works; (6) motion pictures and other audiovisual works; (7) sound recordings; and (8) architectural works. [Full text of U.S. Copyright Law is available at www.copyright.gov/title17/circ92.pdf].
Today I am flaunting my originality with a flower arrangement of daffodils and parsley on my desk. (Pictured above).
BY: Vanessa Kaster, Esq., LL.M.
See also: “How to write a © Copyright Notice and Why to Use it” at http://wp.me/p10nNq-18; An outline of the topics covered in my discussion with art students on copyright is available at http://www.kasterlegal.com/iplegalfreebies/2015/4/6/copyright-contracts-outline.html ; U.S. Copyright Office Circular 1 on Copyright Basics at http://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ01.pdf; #valueyou, #valueyourart, #letyourIPshine @iplegalfreebies and www.kasterlegal.com.