The visual arts category consists of pictorial, graphic, or sculptural works, including two- and three-dimensional works of fine, graphic, and applied art. Examples of such works include photographs; original prints; art reproductions; cartographic works, such as maps, globes, and relief models; technical and mechanical drawings; and architectural drawings, plans, blueprints, or diagrams.
Copyright protects an author’s specific expression in literary, artistic, or musical form. Copyright protection does not extend to any idea, system, method, device, name, or title.
The back side of this form letter describes the options for applying to register works of the visual arts. The deposit requirements will vary, depending on the nature of the work and whether it has been published prior to registration. For more information, see Circular 40a, Deposit Requirements for Registration of Claims to Copyright in Visual Arts Material. If the visual art is published, the proper deposit is generally two complete copies. Identifying material can be deposited in some cases.
If the visual art is unpublished, one complete copy is generally required. This copy must represent the entire copyrightable content of the work for which registration is sought.
Identifying material deposited to represent the visual art shall usually consist of photographs, photostats, slides, drawings, or other two-dimensional representations of the work. The identifying material shall include as many pieces as necessary to show the entire copyrightable content of the work, including any copyright notice on the work. All pieces of identifying material other than transparencies must be no less than 3" x 3" in size, and not more than 9" x 12", but preferably 8" x 10". At least one piece of identifying material must, on its front, back, or mount, indicate the title of the work and an exact measurement of one or more dimensions of the work.
For more information, see Circular 40, Copyright Registration for Works of the Visual Arts.
FL-115, Revised September 2009