EDITIONS

Requisites to copyright law for designers

The article provides an insight into the world of Copyright and the many powers it offers to its holder.

Tanya Sharma
13th Jun 2018
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Designers bring to life their imagination and ideas through distinct designs and visual features. It may contain different shapes, patterns, colors or even trimmings. Many designers often opt to copyright their artistic work so that they can have exclusive rights for its use or distribution. The copyright law has specific terms and conditions which should be considered before applying for the protection of the design. There are several classes of work protected under the Copyright Law which differentiates one from the other.

What is a Copyright Law?

This legal right provides individual access to a particular design or any artistic work for a limited period. It includes control over similar work, territory, moral rights and many other things. Before applying for copyright, these are a few points that should be kept in mind.

• It should be an artistic work {i.e. any painting, drawing, sculpture, design etc}.

• The work should have a material form with 100% originality.

• The copyright breaks if a part of the work protected is copied or used elsewhere.

Under The Copyright Act 1957, the Government of India gives protection to all sorts of creative works like music, paintings, photographs, designs, movies etc. to protect their originality and the efforts put in by the developer. However, there are specific exemptions made in case of academic research, case studies, review, legal proceedings or news reporting which does not require any permission from the copyright holder.

Copyright Law for Designers

Several designers, nowadays, copyright their work to protect its distinctiveness, appearance, features or shape. The copyright process is straightforward, does not require much time and the protection usually lasts for a lifetime. The person should be meticulous while registering any design and must be aware of all the trademark issues that might come up. For a design to get registered, it should consist of a new idea with distinct shapes, configuration or pattern of any particular product.

Perks of having a copyright

There are different benefits that a designer is entitled to once he/she gets his/her work registered under the copyright law. A few of them are listed below -

• The person can enjoy a monopoly for ten years.

• Make a product which images the design.

• Sell, hire or import the product similar to that design.

• Can authorise others to do the above.

• He/ She can sell or license the right to utilise the design.

What to do in case of infringement?

Sometimes, it happens that few people copy or use parts of the work protected by the copyright law. In such a case, the registered holder can take that person to court and a licensing agreement can be made to settle everything between the two. If a legal agreement is not possible, both public and civil sanctions are generated for the violators along with financial compensation for the copyright holder. Public Law Sanctions include criminal penalties, legal mandate or even destruction of the products. It is important to be aware of the different rights a copyright holder is entitled to in any such case.

Summing Up

Copyright provides several rights to the designers and helps them to protect their creativity and efforts. There are different terms and conditions in the copyright law which might differ according to various countries in the world. The designers need to be aware of all the legal proceedings in case of any infringement from outsider so that his/her design can be protected for a more extended period. Designers can always take the help of a professional in case of any queries or before getting into any legal proceedings. 

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