my invisible text
Categories
  • TIMELINE

Just won my second copyright case

<<

User avatar

5 Star Contributor

Posts: 1327

Joined: Fri Nov 09, 2007 11:40 am





Post Mon Jun 22, 2009 9:45 am

Just won my second copyright case

I get incensed at people getting quotes and designs then hawking them around.
I try to sound them out and not do any design work without a deposit but sometimes visuals are needed in order to sell up the job.
I've taken a customer to Court before for using a copyrighted design.
In that case the idiot went all the way to County Court and got short shrift from the registrar. This was just over an a-board design.
This time a nail salon used my complete design.
I spent 15 minutes online filling in the claim details (HM Gov Claims Online)and right on the deadline she's coughed up my full copyright fee and costs of £197.50.
So it does work, just make sure all artwork is marked "copyright" and you have clear before and after photographs.
<<

User avatar

5 Star Contributor

Posts: 1922

Joined: Wed Aug 27, 2003 10:13 am





Post Mon Jun 22, 2009 9:57 am

Excellent Peter :D
<<

User avatar

Premium Member
Premium Member

Posts: 2819

Joined: Mon Sep 25, 2006 6:47 pm

Country: United Kingdom (uk)




Post Mon Jun 22, 2009 9:57 am

excellent...well done...I will bear it in mind. thanks for the tip.
Cheryl
<<

User avatar

Premium Member
Premium Member

Posts: 11113

Joined: Tue Apr 30, 2002 11:04 pm





Post Mon Jun 22, 2009 10:20 am

Good news Peter and well done. It just goes to show it is worthwhile pursuing these people that think they can take liberties like this. :appl: :appl:
<<

User avatar

*****
*****

Posts: 27089

Joined: Wed Dec 12, 2001 1:00 am

Country: United Kingdom (uk)




Post Mon Jun 22, 2009 11:22 am

great stuff peter, well done mate. :wink:
<<

User avatar

5 Star Contributor

Posts: 8043

Joined: Tue Oct 28, 2003 1:22 am





Post Mon Jun 22, 2009 11:42 am

Yeehaw!
That is great news.
Again, as mentioned, do try to get a deposit before ever showing anybody anything.
Very pleased you won your case.
And that'll teach people to think we just do this for fun.
Love....Jill
<<

User avatar

5 Star Contributor

Posts: 11416

Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2004 12:22 pm





Post Mon Jun 22, 2009 11:43 am

Great Work. You need to get some press coverage now, so the general public know too.
<<

1 Star Contributor

Posts: 19

Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2009 3:14 pm





Post Mon Jul 06, 2009 3:49 pm

Great idea including the copyright, I'll do that on my own proofs from now on (hot)

Nice one mate :D

Would it be just as feasible to include 'SAMPLE' across a proof as a watermark?

Rick.
<<

5 Star Contributor

Posts: 4225

Joined: Thu Dec 07, 2006 9:31 pm





Post Mon Jul 06, 2009 3:54 pm

Nice one mate! :wink:
<<

User avatar

Premium Member
Premium Member

Posts: 8592

Joined: Fri Jun 17, 2005 10:43 am

Country: United Kingdom (uk)




Post Mon Jul 06, 2009 5:58 pm

nice one.

what do you mean by 'take photographs' ?
<<

User avatar

5 Star Contributor

Posts: 1284

Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2003 4:30 pm





Post Mon Jul 06, 2009 6:21 pm

Nice one Peter I'm chuffed for you.

I'm in the middle of something right now that involves breach of copyright - it will probably got to court as the guy that is breaching my copyright keeps doing it, wont go into all the details here but how did you put a value on your copyright? I have had wildly different ways of valuing this - whats your experience.


Richard.Smith wrote:Great idea including the copyright, I'll do that on my own proofs from now on (hot)

Nice one mate :D

Would it be just as feasible to include 'SAMPLE' across a proof as a watermark?

Rick.


Whilst it might make things easier putting copyright on legally I don't think you have to any design is automatically copyright of the company that designed it? does it not?

Nigel
<<

User avatar

5 Star Contributor

Posts: 1694

Joined: Tue Dec 23, 2003 11:11 pm





Post Mon Jul 06, 2009 7:39 pm

Well done Peter gives us all hope.

I have just found out that a new company in my old area has copied a logo I did but changed it slightly to avoid copyright. Also another well established company has copied two logos exactly as I had done so I was thinking of doing something about it. The cost of the court case and the fact that I am now not local to the companies is putting me off, so any help in this matter would be great.

Cheers

Dave
<<

User avatar

5 Star Contributor

Posts: 793

Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2008 11:07 pm





Post Mon Jul 06, 2009 7:51 pm

Good on ya M8 :wink:


Paul
<<

User avatar

L-Gold Member
L-Gold Member

Posts: 5194

Joined: Fri Jan 20, 2006 12:01 pm





Post Mon Jul 06, 2009 9:37 pm

Just being devil's advocate for a second:

Herein lies the problem when copying work...and the inherent hypocrisy within the signage industry.

Say I designed a van and the person has moved 500miles into your neck of the woods...they ask you to change the phone numbers...cool.

Then it's involved in a bit of a collision and it needs a whole side re-doing.

What's the chances of you saying "NO...go back to where you had it done I'm not doing it" (as you are his new helpful signmaker). Of course not - you'll replicate MY work to keep YOUR client happy, maybe even charging a regeneration fee to rip-off my work...or, if a potential customer is well hacked-off at the poor service / quality / price of their existing company and you get the job to do all of their new work - vans, shops, banners, T-shirts BUT it HAS to be EXACTLY the same as the last supplier...you get my drift.

And honestly, the number of logo requests, regenerations, brands of the world referrals etc that we (as an industry/community) do daily without even the SLIGHTEST thought for the original artist or owning company - never mind paying royalties or filling in a 50 page 'terms of use' document at a cost of sometimes tens of THOUSANDS per logo / design to use them with full legal authorisation.

I'm NOT saying that I don't applaud your actions for standing up for yourselves and the theft of your ideas & time but that shoe may well be on the other foot someday when somebody gets a summons for selling boy-racer logo tat, doing comedy 'intel' badges or innocently using a load of designer brand logos on a banner for a local store...

Dave
<<

User avatar

5 Star Contributor

Posts: 1922

Joined: Wed Aug 27, 2003 10:13 am





Post Mon Jul 06, 2009 9:48 pm

Interesting thought David.

We would all be better off in the graphics industry if everyone charged for artwork. Selling the rights for origination to the customer.

Alas many litho print companies have been doing free artwork for a good few years now just to get orders, starting a trend I feel throughout the whole industry.

It's funny how large business expects to pay for brand creation and small business seems to think it's a free part of the service.

Tim.
<<

User avatar

5 Star Contributor

Posts: 1694

Joined: Tue Dec 23, 2003 11:11 pm





Post Mon Jul 06, 2009 11:37 pm

I know where you are coming from David, but I have said no to at least two companies that wanted me to do their work but I knew another company had done the design. My reply was, " if you can buy the copyright from the other company, I will do the work if not sorry I can't help". Yes I lost the work, but one came back a year later and asked me to change the design so that I could do his vans. I can honestly say I have never copied another companies design without their permission.

Cheers

Dave
<<

User avatar

5 Star Contributor

Posts: 1284

Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2003 4:30 pm





Post Mon Jul 06, 2009 11:47 pm

David Rogers wrote:Just being devil's advocate for a second:

Herein lies the problem when copying work...and the inherent hypocrisy within the signage industry.

Say I designed a van and the person has moved 500miles into your neck of the woods...they ask you to change the phone numbers...cool.

Then it's involved in a bit of a collision and it needs a whole side re-doing.

What's the chances of you saying "NO...go back to where you had it done I'm not doing it" (as you are his new helpful signmaker). Of course not - you'll replicate MY work to keep YOUR client happy, maybe even charging a regeneration fee to rip-off my work...or, if a potential customer is well hacked-off at the poor service / quality / price of their existing company and you get the job to do all of their new work - vans, shops, banners, T-shirts BUT it HAS to be EXACTLY the same as the last supplier...you get my drift.

And honestly, the number of logo requests, regenerations, brands of the world referrals etc that we (as an industry/community) do daily without even the SLIGHTEST thought for the original artist or owning company - never mind paying royalties or filling in a 50 page 'terms of use' document at a cost of sometimes tens of THOUSANDS per logo / design to use them with full legal authorisation.

I'm NOT saying that I don't applaud your actions for standing up for yourselves and the theft of your ideas & time but that shoe may well be on the other foot someday when somebody gets a summons for selling boy-racer logo tat, doing comedy 'intel' badges or innocently using a load of designer brand logos on a banner for a local store...

Dave



I know here you are coming David from and understand the scenarios you mention perhaps the answer is to educate the customer. What annoys me is when folk do it maliciously ie knowing they are breaking the law and when its a smaller business it can be taking a large chunk of their income if done regularly. There is no easy answer.

Nigel
<<

User avatar

5 Star Contributor

Posts: 14354

Joined: Tue Sep 21, 2004 2:36 pm





Post Mon Jul 06, 2009 11:58 pm

Minefield as usual, if the design is done and already on a van or letterhead, then has the client already bought the copyright? I would say he has or should have,

I do agree with Dave, we do suffer from hypocrisy,
as an example, this site has a link to brands of the world, which is no different than buying a logo cd from ebay,

Peter
<<

User avatar

Premium Member
Premium Member

Posts: 8329

Joined: Sun Mar 31, 2002 1:00 am





Post Tue Jul 07, 2009 12:10 am

I have always thought it was as Peter N has just mentioned, if the customer has a vehicle or sign that has already been completed then they owned that design and if they wanted another company to letter another sign for them then that was their choice. Think Peters original post is a bit different though, the way I had read it he had done a design which had been copied without Peter completing any work at all.
<<

User avatar

5 Star Contributor

Posts: 14354

Joined: Tue Sep 21, 2004 2:36 pm





Post Tue Jul 07, 2009 12:16 am

Martin wrote:I have always thought it was as Peter N has just mentioned, if the customer has a vehicle or sign that has already been completed then they owned that design and if they wanted another company to letter another sign for them then that was their choice. Think Peters original post is a bit different though, the way I had read it he had done a design which had been copied without Peter completing any work at all.


Martin. Yes you are correct, I would certainly agree, the original design,
is owned by the designer, sorry got a little off topic,
Peter
<<

User avatar

5 Star Contributor

Posts: 1922

Joined: Wed Aug 27, 2003 10:13 am





Post Tue Jul 07, 2009 12:20 am

In theory we all should have some form of paperwork passing title to the customer of designs purchased........ :-?

Just a thought.

If you did various designs and an invoice purely states 'Design work' design of what which design..............just thinking aloud here........
<<

User avatar

Premium Member
Premium Member

Posts: 8329

Joined: Sun Mar 31, 2002 1:00 am





Post Tue Jul 07, 2009 12:20 am

I don't think you went off topic Peter, I think everyone has their own ideas on the subject and if you read through the replies i think some feel that that design should stay with the designer for life.
<<

User avatar

5 Star Contributor

Posts: 2463

Joined: Thu Dec 22, 2005 12:15 am





Post Tue Jul 07, 2009 12:24 am

If I buy a painting am I able to go and make copies of the painting and resell them?

Isn't as clear as that. Who owns the RIGHTS to the ARTWORK in question will determine if you are able or not.

I've licensed heaps of artwork. I use it in my work. The client isn't allowed to use that artwork for their own purposes. They've paid to have the work produced but if they go use that element in any shape or form for things I don't produce they are breaching copyright. I paid for the artwork and my license doesn't extend to them.

You are naive to assume that by paying to have something produced you now own the copyright.

In our industry the safest bet if you want to repair a van or use any customer supplied artwork is to have a waiver stating the client owns the copyright to the artwork and get them to sign it. That's what we do.
<<

User avatar

5 Star Contributor

Posts: 1922

Joined: Wed Aug 27, 2003 10:13 am





Post Tue Jul 07, 2009 12:25 am

Martin I think the final design a customer plumps for should be sold with the rights to use as they see fit.

Just designers should be paid a sensible amount for creativity and originating the design as it's a skill no different to a chippy or a sparky.

Sites like Getty seem to have different license options for using artwork.
<<

User avatar

5 Star Contributor

Posts: 2463

Joined: Thu Dec 22, 2005 12:15 am





Post Tue Jul 07, 2009 12:31 am

Tim Painter wrote:Martin I think the final design a customer plumps for should be sold with the rights to use as they see fit.

Just designers should be paid a sensible amount for creativity and originating the design as it's a skill no different to a chippy or a sparky.

Sites like Getty seem to have different license options for using artwork.


Should and are aren't the same. You basically need an agreement written up by a lawyer /solicitor stating what rights you are giving the end user. If you don't if will basically be decided by the court.

It's the same thing I said about the painting. If I go by a poster of the Mona Lisa am I feel to now go and sell replicated paintings of the Mona Lisa because I bought the poster?

Honestly if anyone says you can then I'd like to see you doing it. The only way around it I can see is to take a photograph of the Mona Lisa and then start to sell your photograph. But that's the reason they encased it in that box that makes taking photos pretty hard :D
<<

User avatar

Premium Member
Premium Member

Posts: 8329

Joined: Sun Mar 31, 2002 1:00 am





Post Tue Jul 07, 2009 12:51 am

Jason, I don't think you can make that sort of comparison. I can't see it as being that black and white.
Yes you are right I am naive, sorry i doubt that will never change but surely the customer has some sort of rights as well. If I design and apply a livery to a customers van and then at some point in the future that customer buys another van and gets another signmaker to put the same livery on the second van then surely that is his choice ? There may be loads of reasons why he didn't come back to me to get the second van done.
<<

User avatar

5 Star Contributor

Posts: 1694

Joined: Tue Dec 23, 2003 11:11 pm





Post Tue Jul 07, 2009 1:06 am

I agree with Jason on this. The thing that you have to consider is, the customer paying you to design a logo, or paying you to put graphics on his van? There is a designer near me who does not do graphics of any sort just designs logos and he sells that design for £500 so then the customer comes to me to have the design put on his van, I charge him £275 (for example). If the customer came to me and said, I need a logo to go on my van with what I do and phone number, I will design the logo and layout, then apply to the van, I charge him £275, and theerfore he hasn't in effect paid for the design aspect. Now when he comes back and has another van done I still charge him £275 so over time he will eventually pay for the design (unknowingly).

Can you imagine charging £775 for designing and applying graphics to your customers vehicle! :o

I have had customers ask me for their design because they want to get stationery printed or put it on their website etc, I tell them that I actually have the copyright and would have to charge them to allow them to use it elsewhere, this has not been a problem to them or me. What I charge depends on how much work they have had done by me.

Clear as mud :D

Dave
<<

User avatar

5 Star Contributor

Posts: 2463

Joined: Thu Dec 22, 2005 12:15 am





Post Tue Jul 07, 2009 1:45 am

Martin wrote:Jason, I don't think you can make that sort of comparison. I can't see it as being that black and white.
Yes you are right I am naive, sorry i doubt that will never change but surely the customer has some sort of rights as well. If I design and apply a livery to a customers van and then at some point in the future that customer buys another van and gets another signmaker to put the same livery on the second van then surely that is his choice ? There may be loads of reasons why he didn't come back to me to get the second van done.


Choices, assumptions, whats wrong or right don't matter.

It is a case of whats legal and whats not.

The law doesn't restrict the choices you have. It does apply consequences to certain choices we make.
<<

User avatar

5 Star Contributor

Posts: 14354

Joined: Tue Sep 21, 2004 2:36 pm





Post Tue Jul 07, 2009 7:50 am

if you can spare a few hours,

http://www.opsi.gov.uk/acts/acts1988/uk ... 80048_en_1
Peter
<<

User avatar

4 Star Contributor

Posts: 444

Joined: Wed Jan 03, 2007 7:14 pm

Country: Western Sahara (eh)




Post Tue Jul 07, 2009 9:25 am

I agree with Jason on this.

scenario
I have been here designing for 3 hours, made up 3 different logos and 3 different van designs. The customer comes in "the designs look grate can i take them" I say no " i need to show my business partner though" so i say you can take them but the designs belong to me. Customer rings me next day " we are going to have the van done next week, can we have 1000 business cards to get us going" so i say ok no problem (customer seems very genuine by the way) comes and pick his business cards up and says "i will ring you some time next week to book the van in" ok and i invoice him, on the invoice i put design and supply 1000 business cards anyway week later he came flying past with my design on his van :P

Dose this mean to say he has the right to do so as i have supplied him with business cards and stated on the invoice design and supply 1000 business cards

Really gets under my skin when i spend a lot of time on a customer and he dose that.

Iam glad to here you won you're Cort case :lol1:
<<

User avatar

L-Gold Member
L-Gold Member

Posts: 5194

Joined: Fri Jan 20, 2006 12:01 pm





Post Tue Jul 07, 2009 9:39 am

Dave I see what you are saying about 'designers' and 'sign makers'.

But sorry, I see myself as part 'vinyl monkey' and part 'designer'...so do I entitle myself to an extra £500 for coming up with a logo for a local painter? No...that for me is part of being a good signmaker...the abilty to do more than choose a font & a colour. Sure I may not be as slick as a 'proper' designer or own a £5k Mac and Adobe verion 5 million or spend 10 hours to come up with a 'concept that conveys the essence of the core business medium visually', but I design around what I think will work for the time I allow unless I'm being specifically paid to do logo work then it's sold to them directly.

I don't retain my design copyright once it's (the job) is paid for. I was charged to DESIGN a vehicle livery and apply it - that was the original brief no matter how you look at it. Unless a customer comes in with the whole layout on disk...I design it...that's my job...and I sell it. At the extreme end - you could pull a 'Microsoft' and license the applied vinyl and the design so that they never actually own it - but you simply allow them to drive around with it for a fee. Even something as simple as changing the tittle on a 'i' to be a contrasting colour IS design work, or underlining a word ie. anything that alters the layout from a standard 'type it in a standard font'.

I'm not devaluing designers or design work, but feel that on the whole we need to be careful of laying claim to 'our' (paid for) designs once it's out there in the public domain...it'll be up to the 'new owner' to file any claims for 'passing off' / 'identity theft' or whatever.
Not so much with the OP where the designs were used BEFORE anybody paid for them...claim away if you think the benefits outweigh the costs.

Scott - you yourself said it - you were asked to DESIGN, you invoiced him for a DESIGN...he paid for the DESIGN...his to do with as he pleased regardless of any promises of work you may have got. If you want design protection you HAVE to state that you retain the copyright or it can be taken that the design element formed part of the job.

Dave
<<

User avatar

5 Star Contributor

Posts: 1327

Joined: Fri Nov 09, 2007 11:40 am





Post Tue Jul 07, 2009 9:52 am

Right, there are quite a few points which have been brought up but to clarify matters on this particular instance.
Case: A design was produced which was individual in overall design, colour, layout and use of materials, and was produced with minimal instruction from the client.
Hugh, this case was for a shopfront for which I always produce a graphic overlay using a photograph of the current shop front.
Therefore, any case taken to Court will require a "before" photo and an "after" photo. The after photo relates to the use of your design as installed by another sign company.

Nigel, you can value it how you like but too high and the customer won't pay anyway and you might have trouble justifying it to a registrar.
I took in to account every minute spent on site and travelling. The on-site time was charged at £50 per hour. I had a cost breakdown ready in case I was asked to detail it.
As regards to marking your work as Copyright. How else are you going to prove it was done by you if it doesn't have your name and date on it? All you need is the standard "C" in a circle, your name and date. Otherwise in this case my design would have nothing on it to show that it was designed BEFORE the same design was used by the customer.

Dave, it's not expensive to do this. You can look up the charges on the website and as you would only start proceedings with a watertight case, you will get the fees back providing 1/ you win, and 2/ they have the means to pay. The Court will be on your side once Judgement is made and can be pretty heavy handed. You don't have to be local as long as you have your oiginal design as a printout (marked as copyright), and a photograph of the design where it has been used.
The use of any design can be deemed to be breach of Copyright even though the reproduction is not exact.
For instance, a hair salon opened in London called Hairrods. The sign was in exactly the same style and colour as the famous Harrods.
Harrods took them to Court and won their case.
I did work for a Ford used car specialist who called themselves "Affordable Fords" (I didn't produce them). The "ford" part in each word was as the Ford logo.
I got a frantic call from them to go and remove all their signs by midday or they would be penalised under a massive injunction.

David R, if you produce a design and subsequently install it for the customer, there is an "implied copyright" passed over where the customer now has the implied right to use it now and henceforth, so a repair or addition by another sign firm is OK. Tim mentioned some form of paperwork for this. It might help in a legal wrangle but it's not actually needed.
In this case I gave them 2 choices; remove all the signs where they related in any way to my design, or pay me for a "limited use licence" at £150 + vat.
"Limited use" (a legal definition) allows them to use the design for that premises only and any stationery used at that premises.
If for instance they should develop and end up with a chain of shops 9take Bodyshop as an example, then they would have to pay separate fees for each additional shop.
Note that you can not SELL a copyright. The copyright ALWAYS stays with the creator, (as Martin commented) who either gives a licence or limited licence for a particular use (such as a software UELA), or gives unlimited licence with specifics on use and reproduction.
The Copyright lasts until 70 years after the death of the creator.
You cannot register copyright. It arises automatically upon the creation of a work that qualifies for copyright protection. Under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, the author will need to show that he is a qualifying person or that the work was first published in a convention country. A convention country is any country that is a signatory to either the Universal Copyright Convention or the Berne Copyrights Convention. In practice, this covers most countries of the world.

As far as going to Court, this is easier than you think. In fact you don't actually have to go to Court.
Go to this Government website to instigate your claim https://www.moneyclaim.gov.uk/csmco2/index.jsp
All small claims are handled by Northampton County Court. If the customer disputes the claim, it will get passed to the nearest Court in their area.
Bear in mind you must show that you have given the customer every chance to pay.
I sent to the customer:
1/ a "signed for" letter detailing the matter and the required outcome. This had a 7 day limit for reply. This was tracked and delivered.
No reply was received.
2/ a 2nd "signed for" letter with a notice of legal action within 7 days. This was tracked but presumably refused by the recipient.
3/ The same letter 7 days later in an informal envelope and handwritten address, posted by hand at the premises.
After a further 7 days commenced proceedings on the website. The fee was £25 which gets paid back by the Customer if they are found liable.
From thereon it's automatic, the Court sends out the documents to both parties with a deadline for the defendant to reply.
In this case I was sent a cheque for the whole amount by the customer.
Easy. I would like to think that the customer will go on to open many more shops as now the precedent is set I can charge a licence fee for each additional use!
Scott, it would appear that you gave an "implied licence" for the designs which means he has the right to use that design anywhere else.
You would have needed to supply them with a "limited use" copyright for the cards only.

Please remember that this particular case related to an individual design produced together with a quote.
No deposit was paid (not always the case).
No designs were given on paper, they were all done on a laptop in front of the customer.
The first time I smelt a rat was when she asked me to send it on email.
The email was clearly copyrighted, and her reply kept on file and quoted in Court details.
Following phone calls were fobbed off, so biding my time I just waited to see what happened!

Thanks for all your comments.
<<

User avatar

Premium Member
Premium Member

Posts: 6584

Joined: Tue Nov 05, 2002 11:19 pm





Post Tue Jul 07, 2009 12:30 pm

Interesting and informative post Peter. Thanks.

Peter Dee wrote:If the customer disputes the claim, it will get passed to the nearest Court in their area.

Is that right? It's been a long time since I did anything with the County Court but, back then, it was dealt with by the court closest to the claimant, rather than the defendant.
<<

User avatar

4 Star Contributor

Posts: 444

Joined: Wed Jan 03, 2007 7:14 pm

Country: Western Sahara (eh)




Post Tue Jul 07, 2009 12:51 pm

Thanks for the information Peter.
That makes it quite clear.
<<

User avatar

Premium Member
Premium Member

Posts: 8592

Joined: Fri Jun 17, 2005 10:43 am

Country: United Kingdom (uk)




Post Tue Jul 07, 2009 12:55 pm

thank you Peter,

with regards my own designs and customer requests, my small print stipulates that the customer requires the copyright to use the designs (if we're reproducing old) and that by accepting the quote, they are saying this is the case and, will be liable for any discrepancies or prosecutions which might arise. i guess most don't read it but, i'm not falling foul of their laziness, it's not exactly easy for us, as signmakers, to tramp across the country getting permission from each original designers and therefore, the copyright issues should rest on the shoulders of the customer.

with my own designs, the smallprint clearly says that we own the copyright to the design and it cannot be reproduced in whole or in part, if they wish to use our design with another signmaker then the full licence can be purchased from us for the time spent on the design (i'm not greedy!).

all my artwork, whether emailed (now only as relatively low res bitmap in a pdf) or paper copy is marked as ©me-date. i don't often charge for proofs, though i should!

while I (and i imagine many on here) regularly reproduce work, usually from a photo i take rather than proper artwork, I have never to my recollection, used a design which someone has walked in with, particularly if it looks like another signmaker has given it out as a proof. I explain why i won't do it - if indeed it turns out to be someone elses work- but, i will do either my own take on a similar design or completely move away from it with something (imho) better.

twice i've given artwork to a customer only to see it driving past or on a shop, neither were really worth the hassle, one was a skint chip shop owner -or so he'd have me believe if he couldn't spend £160 on a nice 3 colour 6x4' dibond sign- and the other i didn't see until a year or so after i quoted it.

anyways,

thanks again for the detailed reply.
HUgh
<<

User avatar

5 Star Contributor

Posts: 1327

Joined: Fri Nov 09, 2007 11:40 am





Post Tue Jul 07, 2009 1:06 pm

John Childs wrote:Interesting and informative post Peter. Thanks.

Peter Dee wrote:If the customer disputes the claim, it will get passed to the nearest Court in their area.

Is that right? It's been a long time since I did anything with the County Court but, back then, it was dealt with by the court closest to the claimant, rather than the defendant.


John, you can choose a preferred Court initially but the Defendant can apply to have a Court nearer to their location.
In this case you would add costs to your claim.

BTW, I belong to the FSB and their free legal advice on this matter helped greatly.
<<

User avatar

Premium Member
Premium Member

Posts: 3212

Joined: Mon Feb 10, 2003 11:30 am

Country: United Kingdom (uk)




Post Tue Jul 07, 2009 2:45 pm

Peter,
excellent info, i use Money Claim Online for bad debts i have put 2 cases through now & won both & got the money i'm owed plus interest & costs all for 10 minutes work.

Kev
<<

User avatar

Premium Member
Premium Member

Posts: 6584

Joined: Tue Nov 05, 2002 11:19 pm





Post Tue Jul 07, 2009 4:20 pm

Peter Dee wrote:John, you can choose a preferred Court initially but the Defendant can apply to have a Court nearer to their location.

It's probably the same these days then Peter. When I was doing it the defendant could always apply for a change of venue, but the court would be unlikely to grant it unless there was a very good reason indeed.

They considered that the deal had been struck on the suppliers business premises and that their local court was the correct place to hear it. A rare instance of the dice being loaded in our favour. :D
<<

4 Star Contributor

Posts: 495

Joined: Tue Oct 24, 2006 6:25 pm





Post Tue Jul 07, 2009 6:13 pm

Interesting topic, this one. It seems you guys are "lawed to death" in the EU.

With us, it is simple. If you paid for it, it is yours, wether what you paid for is stipulated or not. If a "reasonable man" can assume that the dough he forked out to have his company logo designed and applied to a van, then copyright resides with him.

What is considered illegal is for a sign company to charge a design fee, then refuse to hand over soft copy to his client. I have had a few clients who were charged silly money for logo design by a rival company, and when they want to bring their work to me the rival sign company claims they own copyright. The client PAID for dsign, therefore owns it. A simple phonecall normally solves the problem.

In our system, I do have a leg to stand on if artwork was created as part of a quote or tender process. Then, if I am not succesfull in my bid, neither the successful bidder nor client can use my artwork without concent. The reality is unfortunately that if you take someone to court for ANYTHING, the trial date will be set for 6 to 12 months later, and postponed 3 or more times by 6 to 12 months. Can take up to 5 years for a simple case to follow its course!

Had one case where my design was used by a rival company to paint a 20 x 8 metre wall mural about 7 stories up, requiring the use of a crane for 3 days. I made a spelling mistake (!!) on my proposal, which was faithfully reproduced by the rival company. I innocently rang the client up to inform him of this, who then promptly asked the rival sign co. to rectify. Crane hire for another 5 hours, and a hefty bill followed. The rival sign co. demanded payment from the client, because he "worked from suppled artwork" and could not be held liable for spelling mistakes.....!
<<

User avatar

5 Star Contributor

Posts: 1327

Joined: Fri Nov 09, 2007 11:40 am





Post Tue Jul 07, 2009 6:48 pm

Interesting case you have quoted there Gert.

In the UK we have a special Small Claims procedure which makes it much easier for an individual or business to make this sort of claim.
In fact it is so easy there really is no excuse for people putting up with design theft.
<<

User avatar

5 Star Contributor

Posts: 1694

Joined: Tue Dec 23, 2003 11:11 pm





Post Tue Jul 07, 2009 10:34 pm

I see the Money Claim site only works in England and Wales, no use in Scotland :(

Cheers

Dave
<<

User avatar

5 Star Contributor

Posts: 14354

Joined: Tue Sep 21, 2004 2:36 pm





Post Tue Jul 07, 2009 10:54 pm

Dave Bruce wrote:I see the Money Claim site only works in England and Wales, no use in Scotland :(

Cheers

Dave

But thats what comes with self rule, you do have other benefits that we english dont have....
<<

User avatar

5 Star Contributor

Posts: 1284

Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2003 4:30 pm





Post Tue Jul 07, 2009 11:01 pm

Peter Dee wrote:Nigel, you can value it how you like but too high and the customer won't pay anyway and you might have trouble justifying it to a registrar.
I took in to account every minute spent on site and travelling. The on-site time was charged at £50 per hour. I had a cost breakdown ready in case I was asked to detail it.
As regards to marking your work as Copyright. How else are you going to prove it was done by you if it doesn't have your name and date on it? All you need is the standard "C" in a circle, your name and date. Otherwise in this case my design would have nothing on it to show that it was designed BEFORE the same design was used by the customer.


Hi Peter,

I haven't read all the posts so please forgive me if I have repeated anything.

Some interesting stuff - the reason why I ask is (as I say im just about to go to court for copyright theft) my solicitor has advised a variety of ways of valuation and I was curious what your method was. My advice was do not undervalue he suggested that the value depends of the loss of revenue caused by the theft not the time to create but as you say to get it over quick and get your money then its a winning formula.

Scott - what happened with your card layout is a sickener - I never put design on an invoice for his reason so the customer cant claim he paid for the design. I would send the guy an invoice for unauthorized use of artwork for at least £200 and continue to do say every time you see it used or offer him the chance to buy the copyright for a few hundred.

We clearly state on our invoices that all artwork copyright belongs to us and any authorized use will result in a charge.

The law is quite clear the company designing the logo automatically has the copyright. As you say though Peter you need to prove this but each file you create on your computer is dated which cant be changed, not sure if this is enough.

Interesting though how everyone is touched by this.

Nigel
<<

User avatar

L-Gold Member
L-Gold Member

Posts: 5194

Joined: Fri Jan 20, 2006 12:01 pm





Post Tue Jul 07, 2009 11:20 pm

Nigel Hindley wrote:...The law is quite clear the company designing the logo automatically has the copyright. As you say though Peter you need to prove this but each file you create on your computer is dated which cant be changed, not sure if this is enough.
Interesting though how everyone is touched by this.

Nigel
PC file dates can be faked, changed and generally tampered with in a matter of seconds...i could make a file 10 years ago...or 10 years in the future with a few simple clicks. The ONLY thing that date stamps 'OFF SYSTEM' is email - you can't fake the time on emails...yet. Simply CC'ing or sending the artwork to yourself via internet email will date stamp it from the server / mail handler.


Slightly off topic...yet staying with the copyright of design concepts & layouts.

Say your customer says (random if anything!) "I want red text in times roman, a cartoon picture of a car and a tree behind it all on a yellow background". Who's design is it...yours or his?
<<

User avatar

5 Star Contributor

Posts: 1922

Joined: Wed Aug 27, 2003 10:13 am





Post Tue Jul 07, 2009 11:38 pm

and you thought the Mac / PC debate would never end.... :lol1:

You are prompting thought with your replies David, I'm sure there is a lot of legal grey area on this topic.
<<

User avatar

L-Gold Member
L-Gold Member

Posts: 7043

Joined: Sat Dec 13, 2003 4:02 pm





Post Tue Jul 07, 2009 11:46 pm

peter thank you for your time.

Say your customer says (random if anything!) "I want red text in times roman, a cartoon picture of a car and a tree behind it all on a yellow background". Who's design is it...yours or his?


similar happened lately so charged for obtaining the separate images and my time to arrange them to his liking and creating the disk. which luckily he thought was fare.

chris
<<

User avatar

5 Star Contributor

Posts: 1284

Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2003 4:30 pm





Post Tue Jul 07, 2009 11:50 pm

Chris Wool wrote:peter thank you for your time.

Say your customer says (random if anything!) "I want red text in times roman, a cartoon picture of a car and a tree behind it all on a yellow background". Who's design is it...yours or his?


similar happened lately so charged for obtaining the separate images and my time to arrange them to his liking and creating the disk. which luckily he thought was fare.

chris


Hi Chris

The law on what is design is considered to be is when someone has used their skill to arrange things in a certain way which is what you did your skill is in knowing what will look good together.Some logos are age old fonts in certain colours so don't know how the would fare if copied

Nigel
<<

User avatar

5 Star Contributor

Posts: 1284

Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2003 4:30 pm





Post Tue Jul 07, 2009 11:53 pm

David Rogers wrote:
Nigel Hindley wrote:...The law is quite clear the company designing the logo automatically has the copyright. As you say though Peter you need to prove this but each file you create on your computer is dated which cant be changed, not sure if this is enough.
Interesting though how everyone is touched by this.

Nigel
PC file dates can be faked, changed and generally tampered with in a matter of seconds...i could make a file 10 years ago...or 10 years in the future with a few simple clicks. The ONLY thing that date stamps 'OFF SYSTEM' is email - you can't fake the time on emails...yet. Simply CC'ing or sending the artwork to yourself via internet email will date stamp it from the server / mail handler.

Thanks Dave,

I wasnt aware of that may come in handy!

Nigel

Last edited by Nigel Hindley on Tue Jul 07, 2009 11:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
<<

User avatar

5 Star Contributor

Posts: 1284

Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2003 4:30 pm





Post Tue Jul 07, 2009 11:54 pm

Another thought is though unless you actually designed something and owned the copyright its unlikely you were consider going to court to protect your copyright?

Nigel
<<

User avatar

5 Star Contributor

Posts: 1327

Joined: Fri Nov 09, 2007 11:40 am





Post Wed Jul 08, 2009 8:26 am

David Rogers wrote:
Nigel Hindley wrote:Slightly off topic...yet staying with the copyright of design concepts & layouts.

Say your customer says (random if anything!) "I want red text in times roman, a cartoon picture of a car and a tree behind it all on a yellow background". Who's design is it...yours or his?


David, despite the design brief, if these instructions were given to several designers, they would all come up with a design which would be individual to them.
This is where an original of the design would show whether it was individual to yourself and had possibly been copied by someone else.
In my first case at Court it was for a design on an a-board.
Hardly worth going to Court over? Well I was so incensed at the exact copy of my design and the fact that I had already done all the shop fascia to the customers great satisfaction, that I used it as a test case.
His defence (yes this actually ended up in Court) was that he had given the same brief to several people and by chance someone else had come up with the same design.
He even produced a letter from the other sign company saying that they had worked solely on his instructions.
Now these registrars aren't daft and on comparing my original artwork to a photo of the supplied sign he was in absolutely no doubt that the design had been lifted.
This proves that there is always something which makes a design original to the creator, since design encompasses colour, layout, styles and materials, which no two people are ever going to exactly match.
The stupid customer saved a paltry £20 on shopping around for an a-board but this was only because he bought the cheapest board on the market, compared to my better quality model. He just couldn't see beyond the price tag.
Anyway, by the time he and his wife took half a day off work and he paid the Court fee and my design costs, he was well out of pocket.

It was this test case for me which made me realise that letting customers get away with design theft is just not an option.

Incidentally John, this was a case where he had the case moved to another Court, probably just to be awkward as it was no nearer than the original Court.
<<

User avatar

L-Gold Member
L-Gold Member

Posts: 5194

Joined: Fri Jan 20, 2006 12:01 pm





Post Wed Jul 08, 2009 9:58 am

Peter, I'm very thankful that you are taking the time to explain the intricacies of copyright & that great service for those that can make use of the online service.

It might seem that I'm being facetious with some of scenarios (and to be honest some are a little on the 'out there' side) but I do appreciate you covering all the bases.

Because I can't use that service, I've always considered making a claim to NOT be in my best interests although sorely tempted at times for the hell of it. Due to time factors - the few hours maybe spent on a design, the site visit etc. may amount to a claim of around £100 providing 'evidence' as to the attached design value. The 4-5 hours of pursuing a claim, between registered letters, small claims file, check the evidence etc is better spent on new customers - or tweaking the design for somebody else - so I get paid for it anyway.

Like I said - I applaud you for standing up for your legal & moral rights but for me, at present & monetarily, I'd be breaking even at best rather than profiting from an award.

Dave
<<

User avatar

5 Star Contributor

Posts: 1327

Joined: Fri Nov 09, 2007 11:40 am





Post Wed Jul 08, 2009 10:38 am

There you go you see. It's not just about the money.
Let me tell you that after each case I felt great!

My first case was for a paltry sum but was done as a tester for anything bigger which might crop up. The second was for 3 times the amount.
Who knows how much the next one might be but at least I am prepared in the procedures and likely outcomes.
Also, it is possible to add in damages with a claim such as loss of profit etc. but then the outcome could be more chancy.

I am certainly no expert in the law of Copyright, all comments and replies are based purely on experience and knowledge gained in not letting the ******** grind me down!

Return to General Sign Topics



Who is online

Registered users:
No registered users

 

About
Contact
Board Rules
Membership
Terms & Conditions

 

Signapp - iPhone & iPad
Signapp - Android
Vehicle Wrap Training
Vinyl Application Training
Vehicle Wrap Accreditation
UK Sign Group
Site Membership
Advertising
Videos
ISA-UK

 

 

Who is Online

In total there are 51 users online ::
2 registered, 0 hidden and 49 guests
[based on past 5 minutes]

Most users ever online was
378 on Wed Oct 23, 2019 11:51 pm

Registered users:
No registered users

Copyright © 2000 - 2020 Robert Lambie