Compendium of U.S. Copyright Practices, 3rd Edition

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1006.2 Visual Art Works


1006.2 Visual Art Works


Websites typically contain visual art works, such as photographs, graphic designs, drawings, illustrations, and other two-dimensional works. This type of website content may be registered if it is sufficiently original.


A visual art work may be registered on an individual basis if the claimant is the author of that website content or owns all the exclusive rights in that content. In the alternative, the two-dimensional visual arts content contained in a website may be registered as a collective work if the author selected, coordinated, and/or arranged that content and if the claimant is the author of the collective work or owns all the exclusive rights in that work.


Creative pictorial authorship that is contained in a standard design feature, such as a background, button, banner, or template may be copyrightable if it is sufficiently creative. However, a claim in the pictorial authorship contained on a website does not extend to the standard placement of features on the webpages, such as elements that are part of the template, including mere coloration, the use of borders, or the selection of typeface and font.




• Mighty Oak Insurance creates an original logo design featuring the image of an oak tree and incorporates the logo into the template for its website. The logo may be registrable as two-dimensional artwork.


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