Thursday, 23 May 2013

Warning - a rant!

Guess what? 

Copyright and design right are not the same!

 Whoda thunk it eh?

For my sins, I'm a regular contributor to a certain UK-based crafts forum.
There are endless, often-ridiculous discussions and questions about copyright, design right and other forms of IP.  Some aspects of IP law are, to say the least, fluid, as it is a growing and fast-flowing area of law. However, some aspects of it are stable, have remained stable and will remain stable. Copyright is automatic, free and lasts for many years in all forms of publication or broadcast. Design Right is also automatic and free, but doesn't last for as long. No one can protect a mere idea or concept, and to gain protection, a 'work' must have a high degree of originality. 

It is really not at all difficult to understand the four basic types of protection available for what is known as Intellectual Property, and the types of work to which they apply. However, some people seem to have brains made of barium concrete ...

A recent example started with a member who was genuinely ignorant of such matters, and concerned because someone had accused her of 'breaching copyright' - apparently some of the member's designs were similar to those of the accuser's. The design being referred to was a wooden plaque which is commercially available and is decorated with commercially-available transfers and stylised, generic designs. 

It was perfectly clear that the accuser did not know what s/he was talking about, as s/he was referring to 'copyright' and not 'design right', although in relation to the plaque, not to any wording or illustration thereon.

A brief discussion ensued; links to the plaques were provided. Some sensible and pertinent advice was given, together with a brief explanation of the different types of IP, and links to authoritative sites were posted . The member who originally posed the question was reassured that she was not, in fact, in breach of anything at all. 

Then the odd-bods started coming out of the woodwork with their bizarre  claims about IP law in the UK, and even opinions based on foreign laws  from far-off lands. 

It's an indication of intellectual laziness and lack of curiosity about the world which I fear affects all too many people. It also demonstrates a profound and disturbing arrogance when people prefer to disseminate their misguided opinions as if they were fact, despite being provided with clear and indisputable evidence to the contrary.

My cat has more common-sense than that. No wonder I prefer my cat to a great many people ...

End of rant!

1 comment:

  1. Eena, I'm going to vote for you to be our next PM because everything you say is sensible, down-to-earth, understandable and in Queen's English. Keep up the good work