Last week I spoke about the copyright infringement I was experiencing, and it has been resolved! My work and the work of others that were being exploited has been taken down, though the account is still active. I do hope that they have learned from the experience and will take our profession much more seriously. This has brought on then need for me to explore the what copyright is and share with you. The more information we have as design and creative professionals the better.

 

Discussion Points

What is copyright?

Copyright is basically the right to stop someone from copying, publishing or adapting your creative work without your permission. It’s a form of protection.To add to this, the owner of the copyright in an original work has the exclusive right to copy it, publish it, display it, distribute it, and/or make new works from it.

What cannot fall under copyright?

  • titles, names, short phrases, and slogans (ie. Movie titles, names of books)
  • familiar symbols or designs (ie. Stops signs, or the wet floor graphic stickman)
  • variations of typographic ornamentation, lettering, or coloring
  • simple listings of ingredients or contents (ie. the back of a chip bag)
  • Ideas, procedures, methods, systems, processes, concepts, principles, discoveries, or devices (ie. Walmarts inventory system, hence it being such a big secret)
  • Common information such as calendars, measurement charts, TV guides
  • Government or legal documents

These can be protected by trademarks, but it will be the client, and not the designer, who will have to apply for the trademark protection.

When does copyright apply?

As soon as you have taken the idea from your mind and turned it into something that has been drawn, typed on a computer, written by hand, carved in stone, sculpted of clay, in short once you have brought your idea to life, copyright applies.

The length of the copyright varies from country to country, but in general it’s while you are alive, plus 50 years after your death.

What about copyright registration?

It is not required that you register your work to be copyrighted since the moment you took the idea and made something with it, it has already been under copyright.

Registering allows you to sue somebody for damages, with this registration comes the use of the encircled C.

How do I know that my copyright has been infringed upon?

There’s two ways in which this occurs:

  1. Someone copies or adapts a substantial part of your designs without your authority.
  2. Someone distributes copies of your work for sale or rent/license without your authority.

Article Links:
10 Copyright Laws to Know | Design Copyright Law Usage

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