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VIC Intellectual Property Law - How to Protect My Art from Copyright Infringement?

Discussion in 'Intellectual Property Law Forum' started by Alunny, 29 March 2016.

  1. Alunny

    Alunny Active Member

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    I make art for coloring purposes and I sell it as PDF documents. There is a lot of piracy and copyright infringement (mostly accidental, but in some cases purposeful) in my specific niche and I would like to know how best to protect myself. 97% of all of my sales are from US citizens, but I am hoping to grow more here at home when I release my book.

    Customers are allowed to print my PDFs, and they're allowed to color in the images and post their colored images online. They are not allowed to modify the digital file, redistribute the file or printouts, and they are not allowed to sell the file or the printouts (even after they have colored it).

    How can I protect my PDF files from piracy under Intellectual Property Law? I've added a stamp that says that it's created by me and has a copyright symbol but I'm not sure if that's worded right. How do I protect it internationally? Do I need to purchase something? If someone takes my work and claims it as their own, I do want the option of pursuing legal action but money is a huge factor so I would really love some help or leads.
     
  2. Alunny

    Alunny Active Member

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  3. Sophea

    Sophea Well-Known Member

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    Hi Alunny,

    Copyright is automatic under Australian law from the moment you create your work in tangible form. A work doesn’t have to be published to be protected by copyright – copyright also protects unpublished works.

    There is no copyright registration system in Australia, so a work does not have to go through a registration process before it can be protected by copyright. In order to receive copyright protection in Australia, the work must meet several criteria including that it is in your case an artwork, and it is made by an Australian resident or citizen and first made or published in Australia.

    Generally, works that are published in Australia would receive copyright protection in overseas countries as well. In some countries, it is necessary to register your work to obtain copyright protection, but this would need to be researched for that specific country.
     
  4. Alunny

    Alunny Active Member

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    Thank you for responding :).

    I need something I can buy to ensure that if someone takes it, I can sue for damages and infringement without it breaking the bank. Additionally to prove when I created the piece.

    Aside from that, I need to know how to label the work to say it is copyrighted.

    I am wondering also, there's a lot of talk that if someone in America infringes on my copyright, I will have to travel to America to press charges. Is this true? I will need some way to either get out of that or have it count as part of the damages or something....if you know what I mean? :)
     
  5. Sophea

    Sophea Well-Known Member

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    Hi Alunny,

    As was noted above copyright vests automatically when your work is created. There is nothing you can buy to create a more legitimate right to sue for copyright. If you want to prove when your work was created. Take a picture of of it with date stamp on.

    Check out this on how to affix the copyright symbol with your name. How and where to place the copyright symbol

    And yes Australian courts have no jurisdiction over people in the US (generally speaking) therefore if there was a breach in teh US of your copyright you would have to institute proceedings there. Engaging a US law firm to do this for you would likely be the most convenient way of doing that.
     
  6. Alunny

    Alunny Active Member

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    Thanks so much for responding and helping me break this down! The copyright link is very helpful!!

    How would I ensure my work is copyrighted there as well as here exactly? What is the point of all these copyright protection services I see if they don't really help?
     
  7. Sophea

    Sophea Well-Known Member

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    Just always make sure your copyright symbol is always affixed to your work and people will know that it belongs to someone. I guess if you wanted to be a little more assertive about it you could write near or under the copyright symbol something like "Use of this image without express permission from the copyright holder is strictly prohibited."
     
  8. Alunny

    Alunny Active Member

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    I'm not sure that would go down well for coloring pages. There are people in this industry who rip other people's logos off their works and put their own on, they buy your book and scan the pages to give out free to others.. Infringement is rampant and they don't give a damn because they are in another country:(.

    They also don't understand fair use or personal use, in most books it says for personal use which means you can make copies for yourself and not others and you cannot post blank versions online because people will try to color them and it constitutes redistributing.

    I need something that will extend to the world and will if nothing else allow me to get some sort of money compensation either by way or fining or by taking them to court should that happen without me needing to jet around the world. I don't know what to do I feel like I am naked here.
     
  9. Sophea

    Sophea Well-Known Member

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    Hi Alunny,

    I don't know that this legal "thing" you are talking about exists. It is the same plight faced by all artists and photographers having their artwork used without licence off the internet.

    Sorry I can't be more helpful.
     
  10. Alunny

    Alunny Active Member

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    Are you sure there's no such thing as copyright insurance?
     

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