----- Original Message -----
From: "hardcasecrime" <email@example.com>
Sent: Saturday, July 24, 2010 8:01 AM
Subject: Re: RARA-AVIS: paperbacks to poster
> when a painter paints a painting or a
> photographer takes a photo, that work is protected by copyright just as
> much as it is when a writer writes a novel.
Agreed. The images themselves are covered by copyright, as visual art, separate from the copyright of the book. If it's work for hire then you hold the copyright, unless otherwise agreed upon by you and the artist. In order to copyright the cover, you would have to file a separate copyright even if it's your own book and you contracted the artwork for the cover.
I'm assuming from my knowledge of copyright law that you don't file a separate copyright on the cover itself. Maybe you or the artist do for the image, but not the cover. Am I right? This may seem to be a question of semanics, but we're talking about the law and the possiblility of someone claiming damages and legal fees, etc.
> If an apparel company decided that they like my covers and created a
> line of clothing that displayed my covers on the front of shirts or the
> backs of hoodies or whatever, I could sue them.
Yes, but not because you have a copyright to the cover or even the image. Even the image itself is now part of another work of art, which they are repurposing but not as a book cover. You could sue only for trademark infringement of your logo. Only you have the right to license your trademark.
Bottom line is that any use other than as a book cover could be argued as fair use unless someone is making a profit selling images that containing your trademark and you can argue that these items are selling because of the use of your trademark.
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