Have you ever wondered how your creations are protected once they are posted on the internet?
Many of my readers have their own blogs. A majority of these blogs are creative blogs in which the blog owner posts her (or his) paper craft creations. Here is a great article on copyrights that I happened upon on CNNmoney.com. To see the original post and the article in its entirety, click here.
Q: Do I have to patent greeting cards?
A: A patent is for an invention. According to Brent Routman, a Minneapolis attorney for Merchant & Gould, an intellectual property law firm: “Unless your greeting card has a functional or mechanical aspect to it, what you’re looking for is a copyright.”
Of course, if you’re using someone else’s artwork, you’d have to get their permission to include it on your greeting cards, and you are also barred from registering a copyright.
If your cards are entirely self-created, you have the option of registering a copyright. Registration is voluntary: Copyright is automatic under U.S. law, and your work is inherently protected the moment it is created and put in tangible form.
You will want to register, however, if you wish to file a lawsuit alleging a copyright infringement. “In doing so you’re potentially entitled to greater damages - up to triple - if and when you go to court,” Routman says.
For more copyright information, go to the US Copyright Office.