Jeph Jacques's comics discussion forums

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Author Topic: Keeping your work legally intact.  (Read 1889 times)


  • Guest
Keeping your work legally intact.
« on: 21 Nov 2005, 14:06 »

Hey Jeph, and everyone else, that I have been lurking around for the past few days. First off, I want to make a quick note that I love QC. My buddy turned me on to it, and I got caught up to the current comic in one afternoon. Thanks for the great stuff so far!

But to my point.

I have worked as a solo musician in the past and I know what it takes to copyright a piece or collection of musical work, but it took me a while to find the right version of the copyright process (I didn't use a service, I filled out the government forms in house... ....  ...  yeah).

I am starting a couple of webcomics in the upcoming year, that I won't dare mention, being an uber-newbie to this forum, and I would like to copyright my work before giving it to the world. So that, like no one can sell a graphic novel format or anything and I'll have rights to my intellectual properties.

I know this is a downer post, about legalities, but I was wondering if anyone had the system of comic copyright down to a science?

I will do the research independently, but I thought this was a good way to finally join all of you in this forum.

I am glad to be here, and thanks again for the great past comics and all those to come!

Long live QC.


Stifled Dreams

  • Guest
Keeping your work legally intact.
« Reply #1 on: 21 Nov 2005, 14:50 »

I've seen so many comics (including QC) yanked without credit, and it does upset me. It takes time to create something, and to have your name ripped right off of your finished product? Ouch.

Which is why, without further ado, I present to you... (dun dun da dun!) What is Copyright Protection?

I actually had a cuter website, but I can't find it now. I will love someone if they have any idea what I'm talking about and send me the link.

If you read it over, it is pretty clear, and I think it should be helpful. Basically, if you created it, you can copyright it. Put the little "c" thing on the bottom of your comics (like Jeph does) to show people that they can't steal it!

(Yeah I had a good time writing this post, so what? Haha.)

Also: Welcome to the forum! If you want, you can make a thread in the newbie forum so we can all get to know you a little better!


  • Guest
Keeping your work legally intact.
« Reply #2 on: 21 Nov 2005, 17:01 »

It's a little more than that, actually.

As soon as you set something down in "tangible" form, it is *automatically* copyrighted. You put the notice there to tell people who it is that has the copyright (and what the date on it is), not to "make" it copyrighted. This has been the case under US law since 1978 (and applied retroactively to works created since 1976).

After that, it's up to you to specify any other terms under which you would like to allow people to copy it from you, and/or if they may then make more copies and distribute them to other people.

You can do this implicitly, of course, by (for example) instructing your web server to make a copy of your image whenever someone's browser requests it and to serve that copy to that person over the internet for the purposes of displaying it in their browser. (This, of course, does not grant them the license to make further copies.)

You can also do this explicitly: on my web page, for example, I have some software that I have written. It comes with a copyright notice and a copy of the GNU General Public License, which explains in legal language that anyone may copy and modify it if they want as long as their changes are also open source and under the same license. Creative Commons provides similar licenses for non-software works.

All of this is of course entirely up to the discretion of the copyright holder, based on what he or she wishes to permit.

While registering your copyright with the LOC is not strictly necessary, it does help if you plan on suing someone over a copyright violation, or if it is a musical/performance work and you plan on collecting royalties.


  • Guest
« Reply #3 on: 22 Nov 2005, 06:02 »

Great information!

When I was copyrighting my music, I found that it can take up to 5 months to process with the Federal government. During that time, when I gave out demo CD's or established web offerings, I always placed the date of creation within a copyright notice, even though it was still in the processing phase with the government.

Thanks for the help, and I will be posting in the newbie section, just to say hi to everyone.

You folks are great.

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