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Copyright Myths

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Copyright Basics and Common Misconceptions Debunked

The Graphic Artists Guild, publisher of The Graphic Artists Guild Handbook: Pricing & Ethical Guidelines, is a non-profit membership organization whose mission is to promote and protect the social, economic and professional interests of its members.  Members receive the book, a broad range of discounts on design-oriented businesses, and the Guild promotes its members to hundreds or art buyers throughout the United States and Canada.  Additionally, the Guild holds practical illustration and design business webinars throughout the year to ensure its members remain empowered to secure and maintain a strong professional career.

One of our most popular white papers, Copyright Basics and Common Misconceptions Debunked, is available for free download below. In it you will find answers to the most popular copyright-related questions.

Topics Include:

  • Infringement
  • Using Works without a Credit or Copyright Notice
  • Fair Use
  • The Internet, Web Sites and Blogs
  • Public Domain and Public Access
  • Use by Religions Entities, Educational Institutions and Non-Profit
  • Organizations
  • Liability for Copyright Infringement
  • Willful Infringement
  • Usage Issues: Who Owns What?
  • Where to Report Infringement
  • Registering Copyright

To receive a link where you may download a copy of may download a copy of may download a copy of Copyright Myths: Copyright Basics and Common Misconceptions Debunked, kindly provide your email address below.

Copyright Myths: Copyright Basics and Common Misconceptions Debunked
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Attention Illustrators and Photographers: Do You Have Money Coming to You?

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Authors Coalition of America, LLC (“ACA”), has identified a number of American illustrators and Photographers who may be due royalty payments from non-U.S. sources. These royalties have been received to compensate authors for the foreign reprographic use of U.S. copyrighted materials. Please visit the ACA website at and click on the Individual Author Distributions link to learn more about the program and find if ACA is looking for you. ACA was founded in 1994 and today is a coalition of 22 American Author Member Organizations. ACA is an Associate Member of the International Federation of Reprographic Rights Organizations. The Graphic Artists Guild has been a member of ACA since 2002.

Guild Executive Director Interviewed on Business Ethics

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Design blog Notes on Design recently interviewed the Guild’s Executive Director Tricia McKiernan on Creative Professionals and Ethics. The interview was a follow up to NoD’s earlier interview with IP attorney Jean Perwin on work on speculation. NoD questioned Tricia on the legal and ethical concerns with work on speculation. While crowdsourcing websites which are built on a work on speculation model are not illegal, Tricia reiterated the Guild’s stance that such practices are unethical and damaging to the participating artists. Tricia also covered the Code of Fair Practice, which attempts to define ethical standards for conducting business in the commercial arts. You can read the full text of Tricia’s interview on the Notes on Design blog.

Senate Takes Aim at Website Trafficking in Unlicensed Copyrighted Works

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On May 12, 2011, the Senate introduced The PROTECT IP Act, which would give law enforcement more tools to go after web sites dedicated to infringing and counterfeit products. This bipartisan legislation was introduced by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Judiciary Ranking Member Charles Grassley (R-IA), Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Sen. Christopher Coons (D-DE), Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-CA), Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Sen. Herb Kohl (D-WI), Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI).

“If website operators who deliberately mislead and defraud consumers are allowed to engage in this behavior unhindered, the entire Internet marketplace is at risk,” said Sandra Aistars, the Executive Director of the Copyright Alliance. “We applaud legislative efforts to support millions of American jobs; protect consumers from misleading, fraudulent schemes; and defend legitimate online commerce. These are principles every economic sector and every consumer should be able to agree on.”

Will 10 Be the Lucky Number?

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The Artist-Museum Partnership Act has been reintroduced as H.R. 1190, “The Artist-Museum Partnership Act of 2011,” this time sponsored by Rep. John Lewis [D-GA]. If passed, the act would “amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide that a deduction equal to fair market value shall be allowed for charitable contributions of literary, musical, artistic, or scholarly compositions created by the donor.”

The Graphic Artists Guild wholeheartedly supports this legislation and has supported all nine previous versions in the House and Senate since its first introduction in 1999. Please visit the Advocacy Alerts page on the Guild web site for information on how you can support this bill.

Potential Paperwork Nightmare for Small Businesses Averted

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On April 5, 2011, the Senate voted to pass H.R. 4 (Comprehensive 1099 Taxpayer Protection and Repayment of Exchange Subsidy Overpayments Act of 2011 ), and President Obama signed the bill into law on April 14, 2011. The law repealed IRS Notice 2010-51, hidden in “The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010.” That’s the zinger that would have created a paperwork nightmare for small businesses by requiring them to file a 1099 form for purchases totaling or exceeding $600 from each vendor.

Thank you to everyone who contacted your Representatives in the House and then your Senators, as well as Senate Committee members regarding this tax issue. Your concerns have been heard and your voice does make a difference!

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