If you are a handmade business owner you have most likely encountered the words “Copyright Infringement”.

What-Is-Copyright-Infringement-And-Why-You-Should-CareSo what really is copyright infringement and why you should care.

Copyright protects creative expression which has been transformed into a piece of work such as a photo; book; a song; a video; a website; and a blog. It arises automatically, and in the UK there is no need for registration.

Just because these things are openly available on the internet doesn’t mean you can download and use it freely. Because of copyright law, you need the copyright owner’s permission to copy their work.

Most craft sellers are vulnerable to this issue when it comes to getting images for their blog and website. There are many resources for free images, whether public domain, licensed creative commons or inexpensive stock images, so you really shouldn’t need to use copyright-protected works.

If you have copyright issues with handmade products, you should understand the copyright and licenses of a craft business.

In order to set copyright in a context, you should know that:

  1. Trademarks protect brand names, helping to protect consumers by promoting confidence in the ‘pedigree’ of the goods. An example is that if you choose a jewelry manufactured by a company with a well-known brand, you can be relatively confident that it will be reliable, and that if it isn’t, the company will work hard to put matters right.
  2. Patents protect the ideas and innovations of people and organizations, that haven’t yet been turned into a tangible piece of work, giving them the opportunity to profit from their ideas.

Please check the infographic below to learn more about copyright infringement:

Understanding-Copyright-Infringement-for-Your-Craft-Business-Infographic

Image credit to Legal 123

So what if you violate the copyrighted works of others? The law requires copyright holders to give you and the host of your site an official notification. Take these seriously and act quickly to remove what they want if you are in the wrong. That should be the end of it.

If you caught someone copying your handmade works, send them an email and see how respond.

Copyright Infringement Legal Penalties

Penalties for committing copyright infringement can result in the following charges and sentence.

  • Pay the dollar amount of incurred damages and profits.
  • Penalized $200 to $150,000 for each work infringed.
  • Pay all attorney fees and court costs.
  • Issue an injunction to stop the infringing act.
  • Impound the illegal works.
  • Go to jail.

That’s the basic things you need to know about copyright infringement. This article is not intended to constitute legal advice or to take the place of conferring with your own attorney.

Gary Capps

I live in the one of the most beautiful places in the world on the Sunshine Coast in Australia with my wife and our 2 dogs, Poppy and Mia. Since 2009 I have helped over 15,000 handmade business owners to grow their business with our software and free tools designed for todays entrepreneurial artisan.

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