Register artwork definition

To register a piece of artwork means to register it with a copyright office.  The registration of a piece of artwork can happen at any point once the artwork is finished.  The registration does not include copyright protection.  Rather, registration is a legal formality ensuring the work is on public record.  Regardless, this legal formality is essential to an artist if he hopes to license his work or show his work in any way that may put the artwork at risk of possible infringement.  There is little cost in registering pieces of artwork and a savy artist does it to basically protect the work from another person copying it.

In order to register a piece of artwork, an artist completes an application and sends it to the copyright office.  The application includes a filing fee, a deposit of copies of the artwork, and a visual arts application form.  Registration of the artwork may take a number of months.  However, the copyright leverage becomes effective starting from the date the application is received by the copyright office.  An artist may obtain copies of the application form online from the United States Copyright Office.