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How do we Copyright (right term?) a piece?

Hi All! I do not know if “Copyright” is the correct term for what we
would like to do but, Shawn makes a beautiful egyptian bracelet and
we would like to be sure that the design remains ours! How do we go
about that? And yes, we realise, that some where, there is the
unethical person who will copy it anyhow, but we would like to
proteect it as much as possible. I thank all of you for the help you
have been for us! This is a Fantastic forum! Lydia, Mistress Jewelry


In general, any original designs by an artist are considered
"Copyrighted". Adding a circle c on the item helps identify it as such
to anyone who sees the piece. But, in order to prosecute anyone for
copying your work, the copyright must be registered. See the patent
and copyright web site: Click on the copyright
link. Hope this helps, Ellen

But, in order to prosecute anyone for copying your work, the
copyright must be registered. See the patent and copyright web
site:http://www.uspto.govThanks, Have it Bookmarked now! Lydia,

There is a federal site to get the forms for copyrights … yes you
can get copyright protection.; it will not stop anyone from copying
but will give you an avenue of recourse if they do.; you must send
your submission by registered-return receipt;mail.; as soon as you get
that-- you can add the notation of “copyright pending”;.; to have
final copyright takes 6-12 months… ; good luck… email me if you have
additional questions about… i have done it without lawyers

Hi Lydia, If UK law is at all relevant. A finished piece of work (a
drawing, a photograph etc.) automatically is copyright as soon as it
is finished. As to three dimensional objects, a design can be
registered. Personally, I think there is little point in registering a
design, partly because of the cost and secondly because a design can
be copied and altered slightly. Then there are no grounds for legal
action, and who is going to bother anyway. They say that copying is
the sincerest form of flattery.


copyrights can be obtained by filling out short form va (visual arts)
through the copyright office. you can download the form from the
united states copyright office. it’s an easy process but it does take
a little time to obtain the registration.

I heard somewhere that if you place your drawing or reasonable
facsimile with all the necessary details enclosed and mail it. Mail it
to yourself, and “leave it sealed” then that item will be "copywrited"
by way of the gov’t handling and postal system. Its almost free, and
very secure! and usable in the court system. Heck, even the “postal
service” even date it for you also! …gerry, the cyber-setter

In addition to filling out form… you must submit adequate drawings-
pictures, descriptionsto depict the design you are copyrighting… Yes,
it takes 6- 12 months to receive final official copyright

I don’t want to seem a sourpuss but to copyright something is easy,
but in reality copyright belongs to the guys with the biggest
checkbooks. I have direct experience with this. I’m a career graphic
designer or at least I used to be until all these dot com companies
died and left those of us that it supported penniless in the wake.
(You can blame the current recession on 20 year old kids who sold
companies that make no money to dumb investors…).

Back to the point…my wife and I designed a multitude of websites
for a client. We were independent contractors and they tried to tie us
hand and foot with a tough contract that basically wasn’t really
legal. We never signed a contract with them except for individual
website jobs. Our individual job contracts are all the same…we own
the work and sign over ONLY the rights for them to use the site as we
designed it, they can’t alter it and they cannot reuse the work to
sell to other clients. Copyright law says that the creator of the work
owns ALL rights to the work except for USE of the artwork and any
other rights that you sign away. If there is NO contract the artist
owns ALL rights except the uses that the client paid for. Translating
to jewelry work, if you do a custom designed ring for a customer that
customer cannot go out and have duplicates made and sell those

OK, this is where the REAL WORLD comes into the picture with lots of
bottom feeding lawyers. Our client after we had a falling out with
them because they were idiots to begin with sued us to get our working
files so they could resell our work and change our designs. You would
think this action is one of idiocy but it isn’t. Clients can sue over
copyright ownership and they can BEAT YOU by playing long legal delays
until you run out of money trying to defend your rights. Thats HOW THE
GAME IS PLAYED. The lawyers know that the individual artist can’t
afford the substantial legal bills and the long months of game playing
to win the case. The most you can do is maybe stop a company from
using your work, but unless you are rich to begin with you will never
win a legal judgement against them and collect damages. This is
eventually what happened to us. We had a two million dollar
countersuit for illegal harrassment and damages and we ran out of
money and time. We stopped them, they can’t have our files but they
drained us of money fighting them.

So should you copyright your work? Your work is copyrighted when its
created, just document that you created it with a circle “C” on the
piece, keep all your molds and photos etc. but if some big company
rips you off all I can say is good luck. Good design of any kind no
matter what industry is full of copiers, and overseas forgers, if
someone copies your work, change your style and keep your sanity and
your bank account intact…Dave

Dave, You are right on. Copyright and trademark laws are tested one
way, in the courts. In the courts money talks. Justice is dispensed
by the amount of money you can afford to pay to buy justice. Courts
are still basically blind, but to get through the courts and obtain
justice you must be able to afford the legal process of lawyers. I
maintain that the only way to stay ahead of the game is through
constant innovation. Keep your secrets to yourself. Create small
lines of jewelry and innovate. Always be the one they are copying
and never the copier.

Gerry Galarneau