Like a company name, a t-shirt design cannot be copyrighted. However, whether for a book, song or video, names are sometimes protected by copyright law. How can copyright a t-shirt design? If a design contains a work of originality, copyright protection can apply.
Like a company name, a t-shirt design cannot be copyrighted. However, whether for a book, song or video, names are sometimes protected by copyright law. How can copyright a t-shirt design? If a design contains a work of originality, copyright protection can apply. Many businesses have begun to use copyrightable designs to create an intellectual property portfolio and/or business model. This practice is becoming increasingly popular with multi-national companies that seek to protect their interests in international markets. However, many small businesses have started to do the same thing and see the benefits. For example, an individual can copyright a t-shirt design if she owns the rights to the design. However, even if she does not own the copyright, she can still use the design for her benefit from its protection under the law. The fact that the design is protected under copyright does not mean that the end result will necessarily be less than her business could create without the protection.
As previously stated, copyright law only protects works of original authorship, which is what a t-shirt design is. Therefore, even if someone else creates a commercial product using parts of an original author’s work, they will not be entitled to statutory damages or attorneys’ fees under the law. This is because t-shirt artwork does not fall under the area of copyright or patent law. Therefore, the owner of the copyright can sue another person for infringement of copyright but not for breach of contract or plagiarism.
While t-shirts can fall into the area of copyright law, it’s important to understand that registration isn’t required. Therefore, you may choose to simply have your design copyright registered so that should the situation ever arise where you do use a copyrighted image, you can seek damages from whoever uses it. In addition, when you register a copyright, you become the legal owner of the design.
Unfortunately, there are many situations where a copyright is violated, whether it is wilful copyright infringement or not. For instance, many people use images of people or celebrities without giving proper credit. Often times, graphic designers do not know the first place to draw the line between allowed and what is not. In these cases, it is always best for the copyright holder to file legal paperwork to pursue the offending party.
If you have purchased a piece of clothing that uses a photograph, graphic designer, or song lyrics as part of its design, you are probably not going to be reproduce it in the future without the copyright holder’s permission. If you are a photographer, graphic designer, or song writer, however, you are pretty much stuck. The same applies if you are the original copyright holder for an original song or artwork. As hard as it can be, it is often better to face the issue head-on and protect your own intellectual property from copyright infringement than to try to save a few Pounds and get in trouble later. While you are at it, be sure not to infringe on the copyright of others, as doing so could lead to massive fines and even jail time.