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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
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    37

    WebDesign Copyright

    Hi..

    Just wondering how do I ensure that people won't rip our design ? Do we actually need to register a copyright for our design ?

    Example: How can we claim that the design is ours? They rip our design, then claim that it is theirs and next, say that we rip theirs.

    So, I am just here asking for a solution from everyone. Please post possible solutions Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Aug 2000
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    Well either you, or your designer will have the original PSD files (or whatever native format your graphic software uses). If you have those, and someone who claims to have built the design doesn't have them it's pretty clear cut who's the original. The files should be date stamped so even if they go to all the trouble of recreating the PSD file it's unlikely to have the earlier date.

    (yes I can think of a few ways around it too)

    People who rip designs off other people are inherently lazy and feel hard work is something other people should be doing so I don't think they'll go to much trouble. If they do have a stroke of enthusiasm, then one would wonder why they didn't spend their time doing something original. Most rips I've seen amount to little more than then replacing the name in the title with their poor efforts in MS Paint.

    Greg Moore
    Former Webhost... now, just a guy.

  3. #3
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    hmm.. what is "PSD"?

  4. #4
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    well I just used them for the sake of arguement as I use photoshop myself.

    PSD is a file extension - as in homepage.psd, and as opposed to homepage.jpg. PSD files are layered image files that are native to Adobe Photoshop. If you used Fireworks, or Illustrator they have different native formats.

    Greg Moore
    Former Webhost... now, just a guy.

  5. #5
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    Re: WebDesign Copyright

    Originally posted by hostboynerd
    Hi..

    Just wondering how do I ensure that people won't rip our design ? Do we actually need to register a copyright for our design ?
    It wouldn't really assure that someone wouldn't rip off your design, but yes that's what copyright registration is for. If you're really worried about how to later prove you did it first, it may be the best way. Kind of a hassle, so you have to decide if it's worth it.

    The psd ownership idea is often valid, but only for those developers and designs for which it applies. For simple designs that are put together without original graphics it wouldn't help much... unless you do a preliminary photoshop mockup of the page, which is a common approach.

    Another approach to consider is digital watermarking. Of course, this will only help to identify and prove ownership of your graphics (and it can be defeated, but as Greg implied someone so lazy as to simply rip off your site probably isn't going to go through the trouble) -- but it can also help to locate unauthorized copies.
    Specializing in SEO and PPC management.

  6. #6
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    Jan 2002
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    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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    Possible cheap copyright?

    I have no idea if this actually works...it's only something I heard about from one of my business teachers a few years ago and never have bothered to try myself.

    Apparently you can get anything that you want copyrighted by mailing it to yourself with an attached, dated letter in the presence of a copyright attorney and one other witness for $60. You, the witness, and the attorney all sign and date a letter attached to whatever you want copyrighted and then you mail it to yourself at your home address. I'm not sure how exactly, or even if, this copyrights the item so you may want to contact one of those law--talking--guys.

    So my suggestion to you would be this: take all of your files and burn them onto a CD (or a diskette). Take the whole lot to a copyright attorney and go from there.
    Is Canada the best? Noo Doot Aboot It!
    "And on the eighth...day...God...created...Mankind. WHY WAS HE HAVING SUCH A BAD DAY?" -- Mick Foley

  7. #7
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    San Diego, CA
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    Re: Possible cheap copyright?

    Originally posted by TheGAME1264
    Apparently you can get anything that you want copyrighted by mailing it to yourself with an attached, dated letter in the presence of a copyright attorney and one other witness for $60. You, the witness, and the attorney all sign and date a letter attached to whatever you want copyrighted and then you mail it to yourself at your home address. I'm not sure how exactly, or even if, this copyrights the item so you may want to contact one of those law--talking--guys.
    The presence of a copyright attorney is not required. The intent is to prove prior existence of the original intellectual property vs. the stolen ip by way of the postmark. Furthermore, it'll only help you if you remember not to open the envelope. I've seen many fail to realize that.

  8. #8
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    Re: Possible cheap copyright?

    Originally posted by TheGAME1264
    I'm not sure how exactly, or even if, this copyrights the item so you may want to contact one of those law--talking--guys.
    In the US, and most countries, copyright is "automatic" upon publication of the item. So that act doesn't "copyright" it, it only provides evidence of the date at which the item exists; and that evidence could be useful in court.

    But you can formally file for copyright for $30... so that itself is "cheap copyright," if you do it yourself.
    Specializing in SEO and PPC management.

  9. #9
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    Apr 2002
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    I wonder if copyright is "International" or "Locally".

    How do I obtain the copyright? From USA or from my country (Singapore)? Lets say I am able to obtain copyright from my country, and a person from US (for example) rip my design, how is it possible that my country deal with them?

  10. #10
    Originally posted by hostboynerd
    I wonder if copyright is "International" or "Locally".

    How do I obtain the copyright? From USA or from my country (Singapore)? Lets say I am able to obtain copyright from my country, and a person from US (for example) rip my design, how is it possible that my country deal with them?
    IIRC, copyright is automatically granted internationally, regardless of your country of origin. I could be mistaken though.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
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    Sydney, Australia
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    Originally posted by Sastan


    IIRC, copyright is automatically granted internationally, regardless of your country of origin. I could be mistaken though.
    From what I understand, copyright is automatic once a work is created however in order to sue for copyright violation you need to register the work with a local authority that oversees copyright (who you register with depends on the country).

    From what I also understand you can register the copyright after the violation takes place, but you would need to prove the work was created beforehand.

    Copyright is protected internationally through treaties and conventions (forget the exact name though). There was a site with a lot of valuable information on copyright I read through a while back so I'll try and dig it up.

    --Shaun.

  12. #12
    The previous posters re "automatic" copyright are correct.

    From the World Intellectual Property Office:

    "Copyright itself does not depend on official procedures. A created work is considered protected by copyright as soon as it exists. According to the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works, literary and artistic works are protected without any formalities in the countries party to that Convention. Thus, WIPO does not offer any kind of copyright registration system.

    "However, many countries have a national copyright office and some laws allow for registration of works for the purposes of, for example, identifying and distinguishing titles of works. In certain countries, registration can also serve as prima facie evidence in a court of law with reference to disputes relating to copyright."


    There are 149 signatories to the Berne Convention (including Singapore and the US) and your "automatic" copyright is enforceable in each of them.

    In Singapore, I'd suggest that if you need more information or want to formalize any possible national copyright registration, get in contact with ECMS: http://www.ecms-asia.com

    Good luck!

    Jason
    Jason Phillips : Hand Crafted Technology
    hand crafted web hosting and internet application development

    http://www.handcraftedtechnology.com.au

  13. #13
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    Apr 2002
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    thanks jason for your information

  14. #14
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    Originally posted by shaunewing
    From what I understand, copyright is automatic once a work is created however in order to sue for copyright violation you need to register the work with a local authority
    most of Shaun's post is accurate, but that statement isn't. Registration would make it easier for you to prove that a given work was originally yours, but it isn't the case that you can't take legal action without having formally registered your copyright.
    Specializing in SEO and PPC management.

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