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Old 08-22-2009, 12:28 PM   #1
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Default Copyright laws

I recently discovered that there is no such thing as just saying something is copyrighted without the proper application to get it copyrighted.

So, I called the U.S. government Copyright Office and they informed me that even for my original artwork on my blog, each design has to be copyrighted or it is not protected at all. Saying something is copyrighted and cannot be copied doesn't make it copyrighted!

This guy at the copyright office also informed me that although a person may sell for Stampin Up! or Close to My Heart, that does not cover the individual consultants artwork under the copyright law.

They also informed me that there is no such thing as a "blanket" copyright for a blog or website.

Can anybody help me with this? I notice alot of people use the copyright symbol and say something is copyrighted. Does that mean these people pay a fee for each original card they design?

Doesn't this get a bit expensive?
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Old 08-22-2009, 12:37 PM   #2
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I was just looking on line and that guy was totally wrong and I'm wondering why he told me what he did.

I got to further researching this and according to their website, one it's created in "actual" form (like I guess a card or project we create with stamps, etc.) and the object states it's copyrighted, that all it takes.

It says actually registered it will guarantee a copyright but isn't necessary!

HELP!!!!!!
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Old 08-22-2009, 01:43 PM   #3
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See this page from the US Copyright Office website, specifically the questions "When is my work protected?" and "Do I have to register with your office to be protected?" http://www.copyright.gov/help/faq/fa...al.html#mywork
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Old 08-22-2009, 02:01 PM   #4
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I was under the understanding that if you create something it is copyrighted. YOu don't need to register everything you make.

Some things can be copyrighted though...my first blog used a play on the word "stamp" that a popular stamping company uses as it's name....I just had never heard of the company. They were however copyrighted and I had to shut my blog down I just started a new one though!
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Old 08-22-2009, 02:40 PM   #5
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My DH is a musician and we do a lot actual copyrighting and even more "poor man's" copyrighting.

In his industry, a poor man's copyright consists of putting all of his current music on a cd and mailing it to ourselves and not opening the package. This way, if there were every a copyright issue, the CD is sealed in it's original contents, untouched envelope with the postmark date stamped on it. Not that this procedure actually applies to THIS industry but I believe that just because you SAY it's copyrighted, doesn't mean it actually is.

PS - The copyright office is often insanely wrong. I can't tell you how many times we've gotten conflicting information from different "agents". If you're still confused, call again and try to talk to someone else. It would even be worth it to call a 3rd agent at the copyright office if it's that important to you.
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Old 08-23-2009, 01:57 PM   #6
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What is boils down to is that IF you actually register something with the copyright office, you have a better chance for legal repercussions, other wise, if you just do a poor man's copyright, there is no protection at all.

Thanks for all that responded!
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Old 08-23-2009, 02:34 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sew It Seams View Post
I was just looking on line and that guy was totally wrong and I'm wondering why he told me what he did.

I got to further researching this and according to their website, one it's created in "actual" form (like I guess a card or project we create with stamps, etc.) and the object states it's copyrighted, that all it takes.

It says actually registered it will guarantee a copyright but isn't necessary!

HELP!!!!!!
that is right. I used to work at Pudue Univ. obtaining copyrights for professors to use someone else's work in their class packets. What I was told that if your child writes a letter to you, it's copyrighted from the time pen is put to the paper. NOW if you want to get any compensation for someone stealing your material THEN you need to get it done. Just what I've been told.

Also, I worked with a copyright lawyer at the University too. And THEY can be wrong also. Everything depends on human error sometimes.
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Old 06-07-2010, 11:25 AM   #8
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Default what exactly are you copyrighting?

My question has always been this - what are you copyrighting in a card design? You don't "own" anything. The stamp(s) are copyrighted by the artist or company, the designer paper, same thing and the same for all the embellishments. I spoke to one company who designs large dies and wanted to go after another for copying designs. She went to an attorney and was told that you cannot copyright cutting and folding paper. I can see music, writing, etc, because it is your own words or notes, in a specific order. But in this case, unless you drew the image, designed the paper and all embellishments, what exactly are you copyrighting? I have looked at a couple websites about this - and they talk about copyrighting your digital image, but when nothing in the image legally belongs to you, what rights do you have?
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Old 06-07-2010, 11:40 AM   #9
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Old 06-07-2010, 11:43 AM   #10
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I'm not an intellectual property lawyer, but I know just enough to know that much of the info online, including this thread, is partially incorrect.

Very few crafters need to know copyright laws, but for those of you who do, you need to consult a lawyer skilled in this specialty or read the information on the www.copyright.gov website.
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Old 06-07-2010, 12:39 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joan B View Post
I'm not an intellectual property lawyer, but I know just enough to know that much of the info online, including this thread, is partially incorrect.

Very few crafters need to know copyright laws, but for those of you who do, you need to consult a lawyer skilled in this specialty or read the information on the www.copyright.gov website.
Good advice Joan!
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Old 06-07-2010, 12:42 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JnetStamper View Post
I have looked at a couple websites about this - and they talk about copyrighting your digital image, but when nothing in the image legally belongs to you, what rights do you have?
I think the goal of most bloggers is to protect their words and their photographs.

I think the understanding is that yes, we can't copyright someone else's stamp image, but that when we create something with that stamp, photograph it, and then post it online with a description about how the work came about--those words and processes are OURS.

I've seen thread after thread on the Etsy boards about unscrupulous sellers stealing someone else's photograph and then posting the item for sale as their own. When a blogger copyrights her work, or a crafter watermarks her photograph with a copyright notice, there is at least some recourse if images are stolen in this way.

Another issue is hotlinking and claiming someone else's work as one's own. I'll bet not too many people would try this with a watermarked image.
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Old 06-07-2010, 06:21 PM   #13
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I started this thread 10 months ago, NOW people are posting to it?????

JnetStamper (her very first post ever): Keeping in mind that it's been 10 months since the original post, I have to ask:

When was the last time you paid a retainer for an attorney specializing in copyright law to get the answer to questions like the one you posted above? Well, I have and I can tell you that according to my attorney, there ARE things that can be copyrighted on a person's blog and yes, even a papercraft design.

To answer the question about WHAT I want to copyright - Well, start checking the challenges and see how upset YOU get when you see that somebody has claimed, as their own design (in a contest for a prize), an exact duplicate of something you spent hours designing. The person is question even copied the sentiment I put together on the inside of the project that was not a single stamp but printed off my computer. Further, when I originally posted it, I gave credit for everything for which I knew the manufacturer, including my printer! This person claimed it as her original design. It was NOT a greeting card.

I give credit on my blog (in the recipe for the project) as much as I am capable of if I borrow a design, and I would not DREAM of entering somebody else's design in a contest. I also make the statement on my blog that I have not purposely left out a company name.

So before somebody jumps all over me about previous posts, they are 10 months old and since the original posts, I've gotten legal advice and maybe you all should, too. I sure wouldn't trust a government website, especially the copyright website, which DOES contain inaccurate information. (My attorney pulled out the U.S. Code and showed me the mistakes).

I spent 8 years as a state licensed paralegal doing research. I spent hours and hours of research to find answers after my original plunge into the copyright website. I finally decided I needed an attorney to find my answers.

My Blog is now copyrighted and although the site I use can be used for free, with the advice of my attorney, I chose a different option.
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Old 06-07-2010, 07:35 PM   #14
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BTW, I just checked out your blog. Your cards are very nice, I can see why you would want to protect them.
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Old 06-07-2010, 07:52 PM   #15
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Thank you for your compliment, Jan!

As for the rest, my part of the conversation has drawn to a close.
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Old 06-08-2010, 03:28 PM   #16
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Default copyrighting

I did not post that stuff to imflame anyone! I have a blog and don't post other's pictures, nor have I ever used someone's else's work as my own! I did a little looking at the "online copyright services" and I think most of them are bunk and are making money off other's lack of knowledge. I am not advocating that people steal other people's anything. I just don't see how anyone can copyright something that is not uniquely theirs. Yes, you can say that it is "your design", but how many "elements" of that design were derived from something else you saw? And you are using other people's copyrighted material to create it. I am not an attorney either, but I don't think you can copyright a picture of something like a card. I could well be wrong.

As for people using other's work as their own - it is plain wrong. Do people do it? Yes, and it is probably easier than ever with the digital world we live in. However, the issue I brought up is not that. I have always been under the impression that to "copyright" something requires a lot of legal paperwork and proof that it is uniquely yours. I see a lot of "this material is copyrighted" and I don't think people have done anything to truly and legally establish a copyright. So, are they then guilty of false representation?
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Old 06-09-2010, 06:38 PM   #17
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C'mon...

I don't think there is any false representation involved. I think it is likely that they are just trying to protect their ideas and to make people think before the "borrow" an idea. My blog says the same thing and that's really all it is. However I am posting unique fine are pieces and some of my cards have large portions of them hand drawn by me so those things are uniquely mine and therefore can be copyrighted.
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Old 06-09-2010, 07:04 PM   #18
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just a note, even if something is "copyrighted" (however it was done), if you change eve just 10% of it (a different ribbon for instance) the "copyright" doesn't apply
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Old 06-16-2010, 05:46 AM   #19
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Not exactly. He's right. I'm an author. For my work to be legally protected, it has to have been filed with the US copyright office. I self publish and Amazon publishing won't even accept it unless it is copyritten which means filing with the copyright office. Now, people do put their work up even if it hasn't been copyritten, but they don't have a leg to stand on if someone pilfers their work. Also, it isn't true about the changing 10%. All you legally have to do, once you've filed copyright, is prove intent. Now of course who'd want to do that with a stamp idea unless you are creating a book and then you'd not share your ideas until the book was done and copyritten.

I had to legally copyright my novel and my cover artwork before I could publish the book.
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Old 06-16-2010, 11:35 AM   #20
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Hi, Thanks. That is exactly what I thought - that to really be "copyrighted" you need to do the paper work. What my 10% was referring to is that unless you "copy exactly" (referring to art work in this case) you don't need to worry about copyrights. But I admit I am just going on what I have heard.
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Old 06-16-2010, 12:03 PM   #21
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Just a note:
Remember that copyright rules are different in different countries. (And I know that a lot of ours are changing right now)
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Old 06-16-2010, 12:36 PM   #22
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Just adding a watermark across your image with your blog address or information prevents someone from stealing it and using it without attributing it to you.

As for the text, nothing is going to stop someone from stealing your words. They can always retype it manually, even if you make it a gif/jpeg.

There are also coding steps that you can take so that your graphics cannot be "right clicked" on your blog which prevents someone from stealing the graphic.
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Old 06-16-2010, 09:17 PM   #23
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As a person who has had their photographs moved from their blog to online stores for their newsletters of how to do something. It was suggested to me to start watermarking the photographs with Stacy Sheldon (year) as a deterant from this happening in the future.

My own thought is It is my photograph, I shot it. (regardless if its an card or something growing in my yard) if someone wants to right click move it to some other web site it has my name on it.

I have no intentions of calling the lawyer and fighting to defend it. Nor will i spend money to copyright it on paper. its an "the principal of the thing" in my mind. Why make it easy on the people who are too lazy to do it for themselves?
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