I am nearing completion of law school, and I am beginning to look at how I can have a lasting career doing something I love. Right now I am working with one of my professors, who also manages a small record label in areas of copyright, helping the older folks navigate the all online copyright system.
This has gotten me thinking about the web, content on the web, how we all are creators in some capacity; and how few people understand or enjoy copyright registration or protections. Most people grasp that when they put pen to paper, audio on a disc, etc. they had a copyrighted work there that they own. A flaw of my field is that it can take a long time for truth to work its way to justice. And our copyright system is woefully behind the times.
Artists often find people selling printed comics of their web series, or shirts at conventions. Instances of wholesale copying of characters or comics happens often. Creators and copiers have even gotten into nasty lawsuits over this. Sometimes the copiers win. There are the scary agreements that aggregation sites like Facebook or Deviant Art do to lay claim on works people create and are posted.
I have an interest in getting more web creators to register their comics, art, podcasts with the copyright office.
I am gauging interests in this as I start selling myself to firms, or striking off on my own when I am a full grown lawyer. I want more web creators registering their works with the copyright office. And I see many benefits to this.
1. More web creators registering, makes the voice heard and change happen. The government is full of old men and women, with little web savvy. Our copyright system is still stuck in a world of discs and UHF signals.
2. Registration gives creators protection and presumptions that make possible lawsuits simpler, faster, cheaper. So often creators chose giving up over pursuing a lawsuit because the money is not worth it. When works are registered, you can stay out of court and get your return or get the other party to stop cheaply.
3. You an self register copyright, and you may not know something was wrong until months or years later. Having a professional do this means you know it is done properly. I also think international artists and podcasters need help.
4. Copyright does not need to remain the area of big labels and publishers. You do not need a major deal with Image Comics or BMI.
5. I am young enough and dumb enough to think that I can make a change, and get in the ground floor of something wonderful to help the creators whose works I love.
I have details to hammer out, namely price. How do I make it cheap enough to get the most creators on board, while still making sure I can pay the bills.
As a creator who makes various content for a living or a hobby, is this something that might interest you? I am not asking for a customer, I am testing the waters. And do you think your creative friends might also be interested?