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KAREN LEÓN

Updates from the Central Gulf Coast on News, Technology, and Education.

Copyrighting Protects What Is Rightfully Yours

STS Fine Art, “Painting Tomorrow’s Memories Today” by S. Thomas Sierak creates figurative pastel works of art, featuring originals, open editions, limited editions and giclee’s. When the artwork is complete, a title is then given. Cindi Sierak, of Spring Hill, Fla., stated, “With technology today, one can now go on-line, submit a form with a description and image of the artwork, and a $35.00 fee to the copyright office. Soon after they will mail a Certificate of Registration to the rightful owner to keep on file. It is important to copyright each image, song, or artwork of any kind.  Anyone who wants to use that image for their own personal gain or licensing product, would draw up a contract on a fee that would mutually be agreed upon. The company will pay you an advance towards the royalties for a licensing product being sold.”

Original pastel painting “New Discoveries” (Photo taken by Karen León)

Original pastel painting “New Discoveries”
(Photo/Karen León)

Sierak expressed that, “It is important to copyright your digital images, artwork and/or music, because you as the artist, have created that piece of work that no one should have the right to steal and use for profit.”

This is the Certificate of Registration for the puzzle.   Originally, it was titled “I’ll Give You 3 Dollars”  but the name was changed from the makers of Gibsons Puzzle. (Photo taken by Karen León)

This is the Certificate of Registration for the puzzle.
Originally, it was titled “I’ll Give You 3 Dollars”
but the name was changed from the makers of Gibsons Puzzles.
(Photo/Karen León)

By copyrighting their products it has helped the reputation and growth of their business. Sierak expressed, “When you have your works copyrighted and licensing companies want to use that image, they temporarily buy the rights to the image and create a product to sell, which has your name and contact information for potential customers to buy more products and prints of images.”

Sierak seemed very enthused when she said, “We have had the opportunity to work with licensing companies in other countries where they create products and distribute them internationally. This allows us to promote the name of our business as well as our images to be sold all around the world.”

“No Stone Unturned” puzzle is only  sold in the United Kingdom (Photo taken by Karen León)

“No Stone Unturned” puzzle is only
sold in the United Kingdom
(Photo/Karen León)

Unfortunately, there have been some instances where someone has used one of our products without permission stated Sierak. “This happens every so often, where I find a product on-line or in a store with one of our images.  I then realize that the company had never asked for permission to use that specific image.  When that occurs, I need to either buy that product from the store or order that product on-line so I have proof the company is selling our product and/or image.  Once I receive the product with the image, I then contact the company and question the use of the image without my permission.  If I don’t have proof of the product, they can easily, and quickly take the product off of their website and/or the shelves and claim they never sold or had it,” Sierak further explained.

Sierak expressed, “As a business, we have also been very fortunate to have displayed our work at trade shows across the country.  People from all over the world attend those shows.  We’ve had people from China approach us wanting our images so they can mass-produce them overseas without a contract.  You need to be very careful of who uses your images and for what purpose.”

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