A general response to design theft comments

"Think of your own ideas" available from Reform School
and is by Anthony Burrill
It's pretty interesting to read all of the comments from the Drawing the Line post. Word got out pretty quickly about the shameful attitudes some people have toward copyright and design infringement. I haven't responded much in the comments because I don't want to come across as some sort of expert.

I would like to point everyone toward the US Copyright office's FAQ page and correct any misinformation that work must be registered with them to be under copyright protection.

From my understanding of what I've read, if you do find yourself in a situation where litigation is the answer, you will have to register your copyright.

I am not a lawyer and I am not prepared to give legal advice in any manner, I do think it's important that artists prepare themselves in regards to copyright. There is a lot of bad advice and the perpetuation of the "well, there's nothing I can do about it" attitude has given passive permission to others to take advantage of our hard work and creativity.  I'm not talking about "inspired by" design--that's a hairy issue and one I'm really not prepared to address.

But PLEASE read the copyright laws (the FAQs at least) before you think it's okay to rip off a design by someone else.

I'd love to hear what an actual copyright lawyer has to say about this. Anyone out there reading?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm not a lawyer either, but I thought these links would be helpful too:

Copyright for Crafters

Copyright, Patent, Protect?

You Thought We Wouldn't Notice