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Protecting a design on a t-shirt

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My son has been creating hand painted designs on t-shirts and has now attracted enough attention with them that he has a commercial offer to produce them on a slightly larger scale - as his Dad I'm concerned that anyone can take these designs, copy them and market them themselves. Does anyone know if there is an easy and economic method of protecting designs in Germany?

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2 hours ago, RedMidge said:

Same thing!

 

If you don't know what you're talking about, you shouldn't be so certain.

 

The Difference Between Copyright and Patent. Patents refer to an invention, whereas copyrights refer to the expression of an idea, such as an artistic work. They are governed by different rules, so it is important to know which is applicable to your works.

 

They're not even spelled the same...

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6 hours ago, RedMidge said:

Same thing!

Apart from what catjones wrote, patents have very limited duration to prevent people from being screwed with high prices of everything.

 

In contrast, copyright is valid 70 years after creator's death, so even grandparents of grollox will be able to earn money from their son's T-Shirts.

 

AFAIK you do not need anything to do to protect the design, it is protected automatically, you just hire a lawyer and sue if someone else uses this design. However, I have only a vague idea of the copyright in Germany, you better ask this question on https://www.frag-einen-anwalt.de/

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In Germany contents are protected since the moment of creation, this is called "Urheberrecht", which is confusing because the translation would be "Copyright" but it is not the same as what we know as copyright.

 

So, you do not need to register your creations in order to be protected.  However you have to document somehow your creation and be able to prove it.   The easiest was I guess is to email your creation to yourself and/or someone.  And or to publish it somehow if possible.

 

More info:

 

https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urheberrecht_(Deutschland)

 

And a shorter explanation of what you need to know:

 

https://www.advocado.de/ratgeber/medien-und-urheberrecht/urhebergesetz/copyright-beantragen-anmelden.html

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9 hours ago, yourkeau said:

you do not need anything to do to protect the design,

 

9 hours ago, Krieg said:

you do not need to register your creations in order to be protected

 

This advice contradicts the purpose of copyright law.  If the OP is as concerned as he says he is, not copyrighting his design would be a foolish mistake.

 

 

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53 minutes ago, catjones said:

 

 

This advice contradicts the purpose of copyright law.  If the OP is as concerned as he says he is, not copyrighting his design would be a foolish mistake.

 

 

 

What the heck are you talking about?  Germany protects creations from the beginning, so things ARE already protected from the beginning without any extra thing.     I even provided the links explaining it.

 

And something more, Germany DOES NOT have any copyright registration system.

 

My conclusion is that you have ZERO idea about copyright laws in Germany.

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5 hours ago, catjones said:

 

 

This advice contradicts the purpose of copyright law.  If the OP is as concerned as he says he is, not copyrighting his design would be a foolish mistake.

 

 

I second the question of Krieg, what are you talking about?

 

Action is required from the creator if they want to un-copyright their work, e.g. to put it under Creative Commons license, it is legal in Germany. But if no action has been done, all the work is considered as copyrighted.

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14 hours ago, slammer said:

These people may be a good place to start.

https://copyright.com.de

 

 

This service looks worthless to me. I get that depositing your work with someone (they offer a notary) can provide proof of a creation time that could thwart a third party stealing your work and claiming it's theirs, but you can achieve the same thing for free by just posting an image of your work in social media. If no one can prove they published it before you did that's evidence of you having created it.

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5 minutes ago, yourkeau said:

what are you talking about?

 

4 hours ago, Krieg said:

Germany DOES NOT have any copyright registration system.

 

Personally, I could care less whether the OP takes my advice or not.  Print a T-shirt.  Send yourself an email.  See the shirt in some German street market.  Sue.

Good luck.

See the shirt in New York...fucked.

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10 hours ago, Smaug said:

 

This service looks worthless to me. I get that depositing your work with someone (they offer a notary) can provide proof of a creation time that could thwart a third party stealing your work and claiming it's theirs, but you can achieve the same thing for free by just posting an image of your work in social media. If no one can prove they published it before you did that's evidence of you having created it.

That could work too, even to the bit where a copy only gives you a 72 ppi image however, if somebody is half way capable in one or two of Adobes finest and they use the design as a template and change the slightest part a lawyer won´t take a look at it.

At the end of the day if a designers designs are good then they will be copied and then the designer will simply have to make more.

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The design is only a very small part of the success of a product.  Worrying about it being copied is much less of a problem than worrying about it being ignored.  If someone in China starts copying it, there is little you can do than have a better product and better advertisement and marketing.  However most of the people making fakes are more interested in the big name brands, not necessarily better designs.

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