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Can't someone take your idea and then copyright it themselves. Then sell it?
Not legally, but you have to prove you were the original creator and how would you do that? Dates on computers, emails, and etc can be easily modified, so they wouldn't help.

In the movie (and the short story I'm sure, but I didn't read it) Secret Window, the protagonist requests an old magazine article that proved he had created a story that the antagonist claimed he had written and the protagonist had stolen. The magazine article was prior to the date the antagonist claimed he wrote the story, so it would be considered proof that he hadn't written the story. Just thought I'd toss that out there, the movie was kinda bleh and should've just remained a short story (or been an hour long made for tv movie, but then it wouldn't have Johnny Depp, who did a good job, just movie didn't have that much substance).
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Is it okay to take someone elses idea but totally change the idea into your own way. Meaning a totally different style, color and even words. Just wondering...:)
 

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Trouble with copyright even when registered, is you can always have someone whose entire extended family will claim that theirs was in existence years before yours was. Proving your copyright in court is not as easy as just registering it. Think of all the variations of the American flag with an eagle in the picture. How many thousands of those must there be in existence?

If you find your product is being produced in another country, would the average small business actually have the financial resources to pursue that?
 

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In the movie (and the short story I'm sure, but I didn't read it) Secret Window, the protagonist requests an old magazine article that proved he had created a story that the antagonist claimed he had written and the protagonist had stolen. The magazine article was prior to the date the antagonist claimed he wrote the story, so it would be considered proof that he hadn't written the story. Just thought I'd toss that out there, the movie was kinda bleh and should've just remained a short story (or been an hour long made for tv movie, but then it wouldn't have Johnny Depp, who did a good job, just movie didn't have that much substance).
That makes a good point! So I definitely need to keep a filing system to prove when i started and so on.

Also your post reminded me of the movie Rear Window which is a very old movie. If you like old movies I recommend it. The whole film is created in one room..lol.
 

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Do you HAVE to copyright your artwork that you have printed on your companies t-shirts?
In a way, yes, you do. Copyright is not created by filing a form. Here's what the copyright office says:

"Copyright is secured automatically when the work is created, and a work is “created” when it is fixed in a copy or phonorecord for the first time."

So everything you create is automatically copyrighted. Whether you want to register that copyright with the copyright office is up to you. However, if you want to pursue legal action against an infringer, the work will need to be registered.
 

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Can't someone take your idea and then copyright it themselves. Then sell it?
Ideas are not copyright protected. Only the actual work, art, play, book, etc. resulting from that idea is copyrightable. So yes, anyone can take an idea and use it. For instance, Einstein's E=mc2 came out of the ideas of other people. Einstein put it together in a way that hadn't been seen before (he made it simple).

But, they can not take your actual physical design or a reasonable likeness and copyright it without a fight.
 
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