T-Shirt Forums banner

1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

I just wanted to know if it is standard to put a 'copyright' type notice, albeit small, on each printed shirt? Or is that not necessary?

Thanks
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
10,512 Posts
Some people do it, most don't. As a customer it really, really annoys me (to the point that it will almost always stop me from buying a shirt if I notice in advance).

In my opinion it almost always gets in the way of the design.

If you really want to put a copyright notice on the shirt I would recommend putting it inside - either screenprint your own label, or get a woven one, with a copyright notice in it.

Not only do you not need to register a work to be protected by copyright (only to prove when you created it), it is my understanding you don't even need to display a copyright notice. Things are only in the public domain if they are explicitly released into it. That said, I am not a lawyer and could be wrong - so I'd look into that if it would affect you in any way.

Copyright notices on websites are harmless anyway, so I'd always include that in the footer (and a few other places, like the FAQ or contact page).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
324 Posts
I also "think" that you don't need to register to be protected by copyright, I sure hope that is correct! But you could copyright each design - yes, who is going to spend that amount of money?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
27,698 Posts
I also "think" that you don't need to register to be protected by copyright, I sure hope that is correct! But you could copyright each design - yes, who is going to spend that amount of money
It is true that as soon as you create an original work, it is protected by copyright.

The benefit of officially registering a copyrighted work is that you now have PROOF to show if someone does infringe on your original work.

Without the registration as proof, you will have a much harder time proving that you are the original creator of the artwork. Mailing yourself a copy of the design isn't a valid way of proving creation date.

I also *think* you can only get damages for a proved case of copyright infringement if your design is actually officially registered with the copyright office.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
28 Posts
You can sue for damages as long as you can show proof that the design is yours. A dated reciept of a sale can serve as proof. If you can show that you sold the shirt before they did then that is proof that it was yours before it was theirs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
51 Posts
Okay, if someone uses your design, you'll have copyright. But; what happens if somebody uses your design and changes it just a little bit? I'm afraid copyright will not be valid anymore then ...
There should be a black list orso for people /t-shirtwebstores without own ideas. Maybe an idea for this forum?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
10,512 Posts
Vinci said:
But; what happens if somebody uses your design and changes it just a little bit? I'm afraid copyright will not be valid anymore then ...
This is a common myth, and you can put those fears aside.

Copyright law is incredibly clear on this issue - derivitive works are not allowed.

Parody is protected (under the US constitution as I understand it - I believe it's an extension of the right to free speech) as a means of political comment, so there is some leeway. But you would have to prove your design was a parody and had artistic or political merit - harder to do in a commercial context.

Granted this won't stop people doing it because they think they can get away with it (or are under the gross misconception that it's legal), but hey... you can always sue them ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
180 Posts
My company slogan is:

Humor Without Prejudice
(offend everyone)

If you are familiar with the Muzik Mafia you know their motto is "Music without prejudice". I believe my saying is significantly different in meaning. I am not using their font either. I hope it won't be a problem with them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
86 Posts
Hi Spaceman,

It is my understanding that if a piece or work is not registered with the copyright office, that in the event of a copyright problem, damages can only be collected from the date the infringement was first noticed.

If a piece of work was registered, then the damages can be collected right from the very beginning when your work was being copied.

It is my opinion that your saying should not be a problem as far as infringement as your wording is different. Sorta like "Beechnut Gum" versus "Beachnut Gum" is very close to copyright violation (probably is). Your wording has a different theme, text designs, etc. so it may bot be a problem.

However, be aware that if the design(s) are hot, that somewhere along the line, they may be picked up.

Fred
Melbourne FL
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
156 Posts
This is a very interesting discussion considering my husband and I are just starting our own little EBAY business. We have not yet printed our first set of shirts yet, but here is my question/s. If two people have the same great idea, how will I know if I am taking someone else's idea? I don't think any of our ideas are protected but I really don't know. Also, I understand you can use actual pictures of gov officials. Is this true? what about other people in the public eye. What about products but changed a little bit? This issue of protection and what is protected, is a complicated one. We don't want to get sued nor do we want to be shut down in our first week. How can I make sense of it all in a painless way??? Lastly, what about sayings you hear on T.v. or movies or songs? For example if I make a tee that says, "you are fired!" would it be protected? Any help to understand this complicated issue would be appreciated.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
Per Circular 34 of US Copyright Office These can't be copyrighted: "Titles, names, short phrases, and slogans; familiar symbols or designs; mere variations of typographic ornamentation, lettering, or coloring; mere listings of ingredients or contents." Even if it is unique. About the only way to protect something like 'Humor Without Prejudice' is to trademark it.

So 'You're Fired' can not be copyrighted. It is copyrighted if you use Donald's face along with 'You're Fired".
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
156 Posts
what is a phrase (number of words?? ect). Thank you all for your replies. It is starting to make more sense now.
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top