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Topic Review (Newest First)
August 17th, 2018 10:30 AM
kanihoncho
Re: T Shirt Design Copyright Info

"work for hire" means the client owns the design . . .
October 28th, 2017 10:27 AM
dwork
Re: T Shirt Design Copyright Info

I'm no lawyer, but years of digital printing gives me this: every creative work is copywritten the moment it is created. If you don't register your work, the most you can get is a "cease and desist" from using your work. If you register your work, you can be awarded fees, costs, loss of income, and punitive damages. "Fair Use" of someone else's work generally means including a part of their work in a larger work -- for example, it might include quoting a line from a song or a paragraph from a book in another literary work. I can't imagine how using part of someone else's graphic design would be "fair use". "Parody" (c.f. Weird Al) is a possible defense, but that might be seriously iffy with graphic reproductions. You might be able to license part or all of a design, slogan or title, but you have to contact the copyright owner or license holder for clarification. If you can make money after licensing, go for it. Anyway, if in doubt, get a legal opinion.
October 11th, 2015 07:17 PM
bachi123
Re: T Shirt Design Copyright Info

Can I ask for samples of pepsi, coca cola , adidas, nike with out permission? Can any printer send me samples of heat transfers of those companies?
November 6th, 2014 09:08 AM
lifeculturecafe
Re: T Shirt Design Copyright Info

Quote:
Originally Posted by Basikboy
After being in the "Novelty T-Shirt" business for almost a decade now I have found Trademarking your slogans Is the most sure way to protect yourself and your works. However, you have to be selling for a while before you know which slogans you produce are winners and losers so you are not just throwing money out the window on Trademarking. Copyrighting works too but only if you are just specifically looking to protect artwork not a slogan incorporated in your artwork.
Just curious on how you are using the slogans you are trademarking? Slogans themselves are generally not protected by trademarks unless they are being used as a brand identifier.
September 22nd, 2014 04:01 PM
Basikboy
Re: T Shirt Design Copyright Info

After being in the "Novelty T-Shirt" business for almost a decade now I have found Trademarking your slogans Is the most sure way to protect yourself and your works. However, you have to be selling for a while before you know which slogans you produce are winners and losers so you are not just throwing money out the window on Trademarking. Copyrighting works too but only if you are just specifically looking to protect artwork not a slogan incorporated in your artwork.
July 1st, 2014 03:10 PM
kimura-mma
Re: T Shirt Design Copyright Info

But the notary isn't going to perform a copyright search. You can steal a design, print it out and get it notarized. How does that prove you had it first? All it does is time stamp your claim to the design. Which could be valuable. But could also be worth nothing. You're better off with the copyright registration.
June 30th, 2014 08:02 PM
shanetw
Re: T Shirt Design Copyright Info

Maybe even just get a copy of the artwork noterized to show you had it before anyone else ... that's like 2 bucks at any bank.
October 17th, 2012 12:21 PM
kimura-mma
Re: T Shirt Design Copyright Info

Your t-shirt designs are eligible for copyright protection. Technically, copyright exists the moment the design is in fixed form. However, for official registration, you would need to submit them to the US Copyright Office. Each design needs to be submitted, but you can submit multiple designs at one time and pay one application fee. Each application fee is $35.

Your brand name and/or logo is eligible for trademark protection. You can apply for a federal trademark registration through the US Patent and Trademark Office. This costs $325 per application.
October 17th, 2012 12:08 PM
armedinstilettos
Re: T Shirt Design Copyright Info

Hi everyone- I am confused on the copyright/trademark ordeal...

I print different designs on my t-shirts and put my company name somewhere on the shirt (usually bottom hem). I know my company name is protected from another company using the same name in my state, but is there a way to protect every design that I create (which would all have my company name on them)?

Would I have to copyright/trademark each design? Or would everything I create be protected?

Thanks in advance!
September 25th, 2012 11:12 AM
kimura-mma
Re: T Shirt Design Copyright Info

You should file the copyright registration in the jurisdiction where you want the copyright protection.
September 25th, 2012 11:03 AM
lilterra
Re: T Shirt Design Copyright Info

I'm Canadian, can I file a US copyright or do I have to have a Canadian one, or does it even matter?
Looks like the basic copyright (canadian is $115) seems a bit much? Should I copyright a contact sheet like the previous post - is that legitimate?
Thanks,
Glenn
August 3rd, 2011 11:25 AM
Aplusclothes09
Re: T Shirt Design Copyright Info

hi there,at the moment i am looking to purchase some very good tshirt designs to add to my stocks. i would very much like t if i can be ponted in that direction of who to approach and what to look out for.
thank you
February 13th, 2011 01:19 PM
frightrags
Re: T Shirt Design Copyright Info

I didn't deal with any corps when I first started out. I just sort of winged it and tried to do things I thought were ok. But again, it's a roll of the dice when you do that and two years later, i received my first cease and desist letter.

You can read more about that in an article I wrote on copyright here: The truth about copyrights and licensing |

In the article, I talk about a particular experience that went well after getting a letter. And I also talk about another time that did not go so well... Hopefully it helps and you can learn from my experience.
February 13th, 2011 11:04 AM
rahboogz
Re: T Shirt Design Copyright Info

If I may ask, did you run into any of those type of problems when you first started designing your shirts? Did you have to deal with big corps over any of your shirts? And if so, what steps did you have to take in order to feel safe about your shirt designs?
February 12th, 2011 07:43 PM
frightrags
Re: T Shirt Design Copyright Info

Honestly, it's up to you whether or not you want to take the risk. Some people get by for years without ever being sued - sometimes because they just fly under the radar, or sometimes because the companies that control the rights know about it but just don't care. Then again, some people get caught right away. I know someone who put a basic image of Godzilla on a shirt (a silhouette with no words) and within a week they were sent a cease and desist letter. And they had just started their site...

The problem is, you never really know which scenario will play out in any given situation. It's up to you to decide whether it's worth the risk.
This thread has more than 15 replies. Click here to review the whole thread.

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