Part two of my article the Artist Entrepreneur My Thoughts and Philosophy
The First being found here for inquiring minds
This is a compilation of research and references for anyone embarking on this path or currently in it. A little background of why I have delved into this research was due to the fact that a competitor of mine was trying to threaten and bully me into stopping my creations which by the way is not a good way to go about things. I played by the book of code on respect for a fellow designer but when a line was crossed all bets and respect was taken off the table. Your biggest tool as an artist designer or entrepreneur will be be your passion and drive which leads you to a mass crash course in education of all aspects of business and laws your rights and things you can do to protect them. Especially when you feel the need to protect them, and yourself. As stated in the first article fashion, art, and design are a non proprietary business so there will be variations of your work more so if it is good and worth replicating with a twist or improvement. This is not an encouragement to go out and copy someone else's designs, but let's face it there are a lot of people making a comfortable living out there doing this. If you are doing something new and interesting it's only a matter of time before someone somewhere will be doing something similar. You can be taken to court if the items are completely identical, as in one person could not tell the difference between the two items,making that an infringement on someone's intellectual design property. The world of intellectual design and property including copyrights trademarks from writings to music to graphic design is vast and deep. In my reference link these will be added if you need further info on those I am primarily going to discuss art and fashion design.
Help With Fashion Design Law
''Fashion designers in the United States, unlike those in many foreign jurisdictions, enjoy only limited intellectual property protection for their creative endeavors. The American patent, copyright, and trademark systems each present obstacles to obtaining protection for fashion designs. Copyright and trademark law protect certain elements of fashion designs, such as unique fabrics and logos, but the protections do not extend to the general shape and appearance of a fashion design. Moreover, copyright and trademark law do not grant protection to products and features that serve a utilitarian purpose. On the other hand, patent law presents difficult statutory barriers; a design must be novel and nonobvious, and can only gain protection after a lengthy litigation process. The result is a gap in intellectual property protection that leaves fashion designers vulnerable to a stitch-by-stitch, seam-by-seam replication of the designs they labor to create. While the duplication of fashion designs is not a new phenomenon, the practice has recently received increased attention due to high-profile lawsuits by famous designers including Anna Sui and Diane von Furstenberg against low-end, mass retailers such as Forever21. The defendants in these cases are known as “fast-fashion” firms for their ability to replicate original designs at alarming speed, on a large scale, and at low cost.1 Many fashion designers disapprove, claiming that fast-fashion firms’ capabilities of quickly copying original designs and bringing those copies to market deprive original designers of profits and stifle design firm creativity. The fashion industry, represented by the industry group Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA), has sought Congress’s assistance to rectify the longstanding dearth of intellectual property protection for fashion designs. The Senate introduced a proposal to amend the copyright statute known as the Innovative Design Protection and Piracy Prevention Act (IDPPPA) last session, and the House of Representatives recently introduced the same proposal.''
Now I have an opposite view of this than most probably. I feel original ideas are harder to come by and they are just not freely floating about out there. Everything originates and is inspired from somewhere or someone or something. Anytime anyone does anything remotely new and interesting, even being a landscapes or portrait, they come in droves to imitate and improve upon your recipe. And that was usually inspired by something else. As an artist I see what can be and could be if only by seeing something inspiring I may as well want to create it with my spin my improvement my version. Now I am not talking about complete knockoffs. If I actually did buy name brands and was into that image with having the modest income background I have had, I will not lie, as bad as it sounds as being a designer I probably would have gone down to Chinatown and bought a knockoff. Now I am not picky if someone does my designs but with their spin more power to them, it's not rocket science and we are not saving lives exactly. Had I spent a decade designing this really out of the box intricate pationable design yes I would be annoyed, but when fashioning things such as accessories it's a completely different animal. It goes with the territory.
If you spend all of your time worrying about them, it's far less time you get to spend on you, and improving what you should be doing.
Protect Your Designs With Metadata
Now there are some things you can do, like most independent new small retailers getting trademarks or copyright is costly and not really something you can do right off the get go not to mention that most of it probably is not even copyrightable due to current laws and utilitarian classifications. So there is this little thing called meta data, this article was extremely helpful and has some great tips and tools found on
''When I mention metadata to my clients, I can often see their eyes glaze over. I can understand why; it’s a bit geeky and not an exceptionally creative or exciting topic. Even the definition from the Merriam Webster Dictionary scream boring: meta·da·ta noun plural but singular or plural in construction -ˈdā-tə, -ˈda- also -ˈdä- – data that provides information about other data
That is not helpful. Let’s try a more useful definition. Metadata is a secondary, hidden, layer of descriptive information embedded into a digital file. Metadata can be attached to any file, and have extra information that is specific to that type of file. So a Word document may have a company or organization name, the network server name or document versions and revisions, while an mp3 music file may have the band information, song name, and even the CD cover image. Photographers may be aware of metadata under the name EXIF, which is embedded into most digital photos. EXIF data provides extensive information on camera hardware, and camera settings such aslens aperture and shutter speed.
I doubt there are many artists or musicians today that don’t have digital versions of their work, whether on their own website, Flickr, or Facebook. Even sculptors and architects will photograph their work and place those digital photos on the web. Unfortunately, once the digital version of any work makes it to the Internet, it is available for the public to use.
Metadata is a secondary, hidden, layer of descriptive information embedded into a digital file.
Metadata can help protect a creative works by putting potential infringers on notice providing all the necessary information about the author and copyright. It is important that the author adds as much information as possible into the metadata file, but at a minimum, it should include the author’s name, copyright notice, copyright registration number (if the work has been registered), contacts information including telephone and email. Now, it is true that most people don’t know what metadata is and even how to look at it. But I would guess that this is less true for many businesses that have more technical people, such as graphic and web designers working on their products. Regardless, it still is available for those that want to know the information.
Metadata also has advantages from a legal perspective. While copyright infringers can’t get out of an infringement suit by saying they didn’t know it was copyrighted, the metadata does provide notice to the infringer and ignoring the notice can affect the damage awards in some cases. Also, metadata functions much the same as a © line watermark on an image in that removal invokes the same statutory penalties (up to $25,000 per offense) under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, (DMCA). (for more on the DMCA and circumventing copyright management information, see this article). So it does make sense to have informative metadata.
So how can metadata be read, changed or added to a file? I am not aware of any universal metadata tool that can handle every type of file, but for every file type, there is an abundance of software packages available that makes the process easy. Just Google “metadata software” or something similar and you will find more than enough tools for your needs. I use Photoshop for adding metadata to my photos; other people I know use Lightroom or Aperture, which both work very well. For music, metadata can be added through GarageBand, Logic, or even iTunes.
Here are two free pieces of software that may help get you get started
The first is for audio files: Metadigger is a Free Metadata Management Software is an easy to use program designed to display, search and export metadata details from broadcast wav and mp3 sound effects audio files.
For photos, try Exif Pilot Editor which supports a host of file formats.
Also, since most of your metadata will be the same for every file, such as name, address, and copyright information, most software will allow you to create a template that you can apply to batches of files.''
For more on the above article go to the link at the top.
Now one of my personal favorite and easyest to use is Adobe Lightroom. It is by far of the best photo editors I found that is simplest to learn. If you have ever used Photoshop or Illustrator before picking it up will be a breeze.
Here are a couple other source articles to check out