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copyrighting my work - how do i do it?

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  • copyrighting my work - how do i do it?

    I have recently starting making my own jewellery out of porcelain and ceramics and I was thinking it might be a good ideas to copyright/register my designs before I start to go to craft fairs/exhibits etc. Has anyone else ever registered their work before - and if so, what's the best way to do it.


  • #2
    Ive never found a solid answer to theis question.
    The way I see it at present is that your work has immediate copyright as soon as it is made.That copyright then goes on for about 70 years.
    Ive read that copyrighting work *isnt* a definate way of making sure that people dont copy your work.
    Sorry for being wishy washy, but copyright seems a lot of money to spend on something that is not a definate.

    Poisoned Apple Theatre - Handmade Crafts on Facebook


    • #3
      The only advice I can give is that somebody only has to change your design by one tiny element and then it's not your "pattern" they've made. It's the same for dressmaking patterns.
      Blog Website Flickr


      • #4
        Have a chat to ACID, you'll see their sign on quite a few crafters stands at shows.... soory can't post URLs yet but its www . acid . uk . com
        Craftville: Free Craft Downloads
        No Membership just visit & Browse


        • #5
          I did hear that once you have made an item, take a picture, date the back of it and post it to yourself (never open the envelope unless needed to). I think I heard that it could be a help but don't quote me.

          Personalised Wedding Cake Toppers


          • #6
            This is not an easy one, but...

            Copyright exists as soon as you've created it, and lasts for your lifetime, plus 70 years after your death. That's it in theory.

            The problem comes in defending your copyright. You can register with companies such as 'ACID' who will hold photo's with dates on them, which will give some type of proof, but they will charge a fee for this, and then they will also charge solicitor letter fees or mitigation fees if you need to defend your copyright. And at the end of all this, if your design is classed as 'generic' rather than 'unique' the copyright will not hold regardless.

            If you're making component jewellery, then copyright means nothing. If you are making your own ceramic beads with unique designs, then a copyright defence may hold up.

            As a small business, you would find it difficult to sustain the cost of defending your copyright, so my advice (although others may dissagree) is to forget about it, and just go ahead and sell your work without worries. If you find anyone directly copying, then a sharp letter to them with a threat would usually do the trick.

            On-line bead supplier and bead lover


            • #7
              I've heard the same as Pauline. Any design you want to safeguard, take a picture, date it and send it to yourself but don't open the envelope, you need it with the date stamp. How effective this all is i don't know.

              Good luck


              • #8
                I have just been on a Business Link course and the subject of copyright came up. Again, the photo option was suggested and it seems that this would suffice but as mentioned earlier copyright is quite a complex business and even if you did take someone to court backed up by your dated unopened envelope, it would prove extremely costly so whether it's worth the photo paper it's printed on ?




                • #9
                  i've heard of the posting a picture to yourself and keeping the unopened envelope idea, but have also heard that in practice, ie, if there was an issue and you wanted to take someone to court, it counts for nothing.

                  copyright is such a grey area, i think about the only thing you can do as a small business, that is also free, is go here, creativecommons dot org dot uk (sorry, not posted enough to do links yet!), but even then, all it really does is act as a deterrent, but it's better than nothing!

                  you can add a logo to your blog/website, and there are different levels of copyright. i have level 3, which means that people can take images and use them online, as long as they link back to me (covers sites like cuteable, sew mama sew etc), but images/designs cannot be changed in any way or used commercially.

                  this covers any tutorials i may offer on my blog, anyone can make from it, for themselves or as a gift, as long as they are not mass producing and then selling claiming it as their own.
                  lucykate crafts... blog

                  lucykate crafts... on etsy


                  • #10
                    As the some of the others have said, it is copyright as soon as you produce it - you don't have to do anything. As far as anyone infringing your copyright is concerned I would just forget about it unless you have sufficient cash to take it to court & risk losing the case. I have taken thousands of photographs over the years & occasionally see them turning up in books, articles or even the National Press, some credited to me, some not, but I can't say it bothers me. I don't know why they can't standardise copyright to simply end on the death of the original owner. Once it was death of owner plus 50 years, then after a lot of things came into the public domain, they altered it to 70 years. No doubt it will be extended to 100 years in due course! In many cases, it is impossible to determine when the original owner died. It is a very complex subject.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by JBJB View Post
                      The only advice I can give is that somebody only has to change your design by one tiny element and then it's not your "pattern" they've made. It's the same for dressmaking patterns.
                      I agree - I think that is the simple fact of the matter. Protecting any idea or creation is virtually impossible - just look at the fashion industry as an example; as soon as something is on the catwalk someone is making a cheaper version with just one or two slight changes. You could put some sort of 'warning' message at the front of your stall that says 'All Designs Strictly Copyrighted' etc but it may seem a little pompous to those reading it and many people will look around at craft fairs for inspiration anyway...... I suppose apart from being annoying, in some ways copying is a form of flattery and as a designer you just have to stay one step ahead


                      • #12
                        I have had someone copy one of my own designs and to say im a bit miffed is an understatement !!!

                        I have spoken to the Business link and they put me in touch with the intellectual property office and they were brilliant and gave me loads of info and even a direct number to contact the women i spoke to again if im not sure on anything !!

                        Sara x
                        allabouteden blog


                        my folksy shop