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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I had a client bring me a coin to scan, we scanned it cleaned it up then made many additions to it. The client used us for thier first t-shirt order, and raved about the quality and design work. We never charged a design fee of signed over rights for this new design. The client came back to us for changes to the design for a new order. Now I find out they may be taking this design to a different printer. Can I copyright protect these two new designs? I have read much on this forum about this but am not sure if I can do this or not. What do i need to do to start the copyright process on all my wifes designs. She has also started her own clothing line with her own designs. I would like to try to protect them if I can.
Pat
 

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Copyright is your upon creation, filing it gives you a stronger legal position in court, and copyright doesn't prevent someone from stealing your design, or walking off to another printer with them. If that happens, it is up to you to enforce your legal right to stop them. IE: Spend money on first a cease and desist letter, followed by suing if that does now work.

You can file for the official copyright office. The link is on the left. You can file it right on the site. To save money, you can file more than one design at a time, it is the same price to file many as it is one. Okay, once you file the copyright, you have a stronger legal leg to stand on in court.

I am not a lawyer, I did not sleep in a Holiday Inn Express, I have read the good and bad stories of the copyright experiences of others on the forum, and copyright articles on the net.

This is my version of what I've gathered. Hopefully others will chime in to help round out the view, and give you more insight. If you search copyright on the forum, you'll find those threads, and if you read the copyright.gov website, you will find alot of valuable information as well.

In the future, whether or not you charge for the artwork, you may want to have the customer sign a artwork agreement stating they understand that unless your wife specifically transfers copyright ownership to them in writing, she remains the copyright holder. There are designers who charge for designs without signing over copyright along with the sale of design.

For the best advice on copyright questions, it really is best to consult a lawyer who handles copyright issues. I hope this helps give you some direction on this. Everything I've written can be found somewhere here on the forum, on the copywrite.gov site, or other educational sites on the net... Best wishes..
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank-you very much Kelly that does help. Sp poor smucks like me who really can't afford a lawyer can't do much to enforce the copyright issue?
Pat
 

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You can read around the threads, that seems to be the story on the street... sadly. I was really disappointed as I was reading the stories from others experiences with these things, but have come to terms with the reality of it. If you have money, you'll be able to protect your work, if it comes to that... otherwise... unless the cheapy cease and desist letter works, it goes up $$ from there. :(
 
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