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    Hi, I am just starting up my own wedding invitation business and its such a minefield. I have been going to wedding fairs and have noticed a lot of people have similar ideas although not exactly the same, how do the copyright laws affect me if my ideas are similar. Thanks

  • #2
    It will depend on if they have registered there designs, i have just found someone has copeid all my designs exactly on ebay and they wont do anything unless i register each design which costs £40 per design and i have around 400 designs, really annoied as i took months creating designs and some scumbag has just copied the picture and traced them
    http://www.facebook.com/vinylgraphicsonline
    https://twitter.com/vinylgraphicsaf
    www.vinylgraphics-wallart.com

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    • #3
      An easy way to copyright any designs is to put them in an envelope and post them to yourself, there will be a date on the postmark which stands up as being legal.

      Just remember NOT to open the package when you get it!!

      You can, if you can afford it, deposit the said package with your bank, though there is a charge for this and it can be quite high.

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      • #4
        Hi, I don't think any of the copyright laws are applicable on your situation. Most copyright laws protect (brand)names, names of products and new inventions.... It is almost impossible to claim a certain format or a certain way of doing things.... And as you say yourself; it is a minefield, especially the laws about intellectual property
        Last edited by Richmond Crystal; 27-04-2013, 11:08 AM.
        http://www.richmondcrystal.co.uk/

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        • #5
          Yes, the designs will be copyrighted as to the content and look..but obviously no-one can claim copyright on the exact wording since it is pretty formulaic. As to the designs, it is only the exact designs which are protected, so do something slightly differently and you are clear - different typeface, spacing, layout etc.
          As with most copyright rights in these cut and paste days the problem is not in having or claiming the right, it is in enforcing it.
          Clearly it is unprofessional to copy obviously original work, but unless you have come up with something so massively new and original, never before seen or even dreamt of anywhere in the world, then there isn't really much point in over fretting the question.
          Your original pictures of your products are a different matter - easy to prove that you own them and easier to stop someone else using them.

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          • #6
            Posting your original designs to yourself doesn't give you the copyright it just protects your design or intellectual property rights. As Pearlescence says the problem for the small fish is in enforcing those rights. Mostly you just have to take it on the chin and move on.

            Registering your design rights, not copyright which is a different thing alltogether, is costly, but if you have been able to do that you can bring a case against the perpetrator but you need to be darned sure you are in the right.

            It's a misconception that you only have to change a tiny bit to make it legal. I was involved with the very first court case brought against anyone for infringing our companies registered design right and the law says if you produce an item purporting to replicate anothers work and to look substantially the same you are infringing their registered design right. Took us a year and quarter of a million pounds to win the case, but win we did, with costs and damages awarded. Designers have sussessfully taken companies like M&S to court for items infringing their design rights and they have had to remove the items and pay damages. Unfortunately there is so much copying about and a lot of companies get away with it by using the cop out that says they are following a trend which is allowed, hence ASOS and the like.

            Mo.XX
            Mo. Bodrighy Wood.
            Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage..Lao Tzu.
            www.bodrighy.co.uk
            https://twitter.com/#!/AuntieMornie

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Richmond Crystal View Post
              Most copyright laws protect (brand)names, names of products and new inventions....
              I think you meant to say that 'Most IP (intellectual property) laws protect ...etc etc' as actual copyright law has vanishingly little, if anything, to do with things such as trademarks/brand names and new inventions.

              The Intellectual Property Office http://www.ipo.gov.uk/ gives clear overviews of the different types of IP protection and enforcement.


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              • #8
                was that the swimsuit case MornieG Jewellery?
                Intellectual property does indeed encompass such things as copyright, trade marks, brand names and patents. Even granted patents get infringed - remember Dyson's battle against all the other vacuum cleaner manufacturers? There are Acts of Parliament, European Laws, international conventions. there are also such torts as passing off...and myths. (The putting in an envelope thing is one - although now it would be easier and cheaper simply to prove the date a photo etc was uploaded to a website) The Americans have a totally different system which is why you see all those circled Rs and Cs etc (you do not have to do all that to claim your copyright on something here)
                Copyright is the right to make copies - so no-one has the right (but me) to reproduce this post (unless there is something which I missed in the rules)
                Intellectual property law is simple in theory yet expensive and complex in application.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by tina1955 View Post
                  Hi, I am just starting up my own wedding invitation business and its such a minefield. I have been going to wedding fairs and have noticed a lot of people have similar ideas although not exactly the same, how do the copyright laws affect me if my ideas are similar. Thanks
                  Here is your difficulty. As hard as it may be to hear there are no startlingly original or unique ideas within this market place or many others.

                  You can copyright original art but even a design you may think of as unique would not guarantee protection.
                  Check out my stuff on:
                  Etsy and Folksy

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