Naomie Christensen: Portfolio Protection

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Portfolio Protection

The main reason for why artists are inhibited in sharing their work is plagiarists. A new writer has to gain a reputation, while pursuing bigger prospects. However, fear of plagiarism might keep all of your work hidden in a folder. If you enjoy being creative and do not want to perfect other people's layouts, then registrations and copyrights are the only way to build a portfolio.

Many people have differing opinions on how this works. Registration and copyright are completely separate ways of protecting intellectual property. Registering ideas identifies you as the original artist. Copyright involves someone else gaining rights to publish your work. People often over-estimate copyrights.

Registration protects the artist. I have an account with nrs-online.com. After a low upfront payment and I can register my work before anyone sees it. Patents give the artist ownership of their own work, protects them 50 years after death, even if they don't sell anything. Copyrights can be bought and sold. A company buying copyright has to sell the work or it is transferable. With patents, the original artist is involved in negotiations.

Copyrights seem daunting. Publishers, who pay well, want the first sale rights. However, when building a portfolio there are several on-line magazine that only pay for copyright. Since they do not offer a gratuity the original artist or author retains rights. Often publishers have standards, so being published does represent a level of prestige. The Writer's Market, Poet's Market or Novel and Short Story Writer's Market provide information on publishers looking for new writers; including, websites.

When pursuing writing, it was important to test myself. Most of my writing was copyrighted through other websites. My work is dually protected, while retaining rights. This usually takes place on free websites. Sometimes they reject an entry because of grammatical errors. Sometimes they are offering a service to struggling artists. People are confused by this and devalue a brand because they will accept anything. However, it usually costs $35 to copyright on-line with www.copyright.gov. Therefore, they are paying to have the work copyrighted for artists. Submit a finished product because anything with your name on it is your portfolio.

Aspiring to be a songwriter, I wanted to protect my work in a way that it was usable later. Everything I wrote is protected. I retain all rights, so now blogging is easy. Some people already recognize my name. Though new to the situation, I already have over 10,000 page impressions, not including videos. Now Amazon or another publisher might discover me. My chances of selling a novel have significantly improved. Even if I don't ever sell a book I am making money on the internet and have limitless opportunity in gaining fame with having to comply with a publisher's vision of perfection.

People focus on selling their work to an art gallery or publisher; however, it takes a lot of time to develop a reputation. This is a big step in being a successful artist, so protect yourself and be exorbitantly flamboyant.

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