the_cleof 6:04pm, 19 February 2009
I am a little confused about something as I am new to this whole copyright thing, If some one could help me understand what it all means I would be grateful.

1. When some one posts an old design (I am particularly talking about vintage embroidery designs on a group called Hoop Love Vintage Transfers) for free use for all (the images are not from any company which is still in business or from books that are protected by copyright) yet the person posting them states on the image that they are not for commercial/profit reuse. This confuses me as I thought that no one any longer owns the rights to them; so if you want to use the design for something that is being sold after this should be okay? Yes/no?

2. I have seen people post original patterns, images, artworks etc. for use in a non profit way. They have stated that the item may NOT be used for profit or commercial resale, as they are copyright(ed). This confuses me, as I have always understood that It cost money to copy right something, as you have a legal process that you need to apply to the relevant item? (a process similar to a patent?) Is this so? As it seems to me that everyone has everything copyright protected on Flickr - well actually on the web in general. I had no idea that it was so easy or cheap to do and that it was a commercially viable thing to do for every single item that you post. Because if it is NOT necessary to apply a legal process and I post an original art work, can I just say that it is copyrighted and therefore it is so? If some one uses it on an item that is sold, what is my legal recourse then?

3. If there is a legal procedure to copyright something, how does one go about it? Also if I copyright something here in South Africa, is it relevant to the rest of the world? As I do know with patents, if you want to hold the patent that keeps you legally protected in every country in the world - not just country of application - it is a whole additional process and at a far greater cost. Is it the same for items that are copyrighted?

4. I see that people put All Rights Reserved on their posts, but would that stand up legally - I mean we are posting our items on a shared site on the web for anyone and every one to see. How can saying All Rights Reserved really legally stop some one using your product commercially?

I fully agree that it sucks when someone uses your item without offering to pay you or even something as simple as asking permission (as this has happened to me), but if your item is NOT legally copyrighted (if the answer to my previous questions is that you DO have to legally copyright something) can you actually do anything about it? Other than ask for them to remove it or pay you for it?

I have read the flickr page on Copyright and it states that "In most parts of the world, including the U.S., Canada, EU countries, and Japan, you are automatically granted copyrights to your photos." but what about artwork?

I really would appreciate any clarification on this, as this is all very confusing and my head hurts just trying to figure it all out ... any brave souls what to take up the call and help me?
1) No

2) you have to sue the person that used your works without permission of curse

3) it depent if you need to patent a process or only to have the right on some images or artwork ( for example a paintng) . in the first case you have to apply for the protection of the process you use to produce your work; in the second case it's automatically granted the protection of your rights.

4) it's only to avoid confusion. flickr is not such clear in such matter, in fact ait's a sharing palce but this is not, automatically allow flickr, third parties or other people, even if you don't put " copyright" to use your images or pics.

for arwork, usually you have 50 years of copyrights: if you die before your right will be "automatically" transferred to your husband/wife/sons

all your work, please remember are covered by copyright, accordingly to the Berne Convention ( we have only to make some small

for atwork it's the same...Berne Convention

sorry for my english/f.
joepphoto 9 years ago
This is an old thread but...
Do not make decisions based on what people post on these threads. Go to an authority, and find out what the law says. The appropriate authority here, is the U.S. Copyright Office:
The info in the earlier post is NOT completely accurate with regards to US copyright law.
For your reference only, (please verify this at the US Copyright Office website):
You own the copyrights to any intellectual property, from the moment it is "set". This means once it is in some way recorded, whether on paper, digitally, on film, or audio recording. No copyright exists for an idea, (poem, song, or plan for some creation), until it is in some way "set".
While your copyright is effective from the moment your "art" is set, your ability to enforce your rights are dependent on the REGISTRATION of the copyright on the "art" with the U.S. Copyright Office. This is because the venue for copyright disputes is in Federal Court and in order to recover lawyer fees, (you need a lawyer in Federal Court), and anything but actual damages, the "art" must be registered.
AGAIN: Get the official government copyright information, from the government, in the country or countries where your work will be seen. And remember, copyright laws vary from country to country and not all countries honor the others' copyright law.
k long 9 years ago
By the way, while it currently costs $35 to register something with the US Copyright Office, you can register a collection of photos, for example, at the same time and it only costs $35 for the entire collection.

Last month I registered 140 photos at the same time, for one fee.

As joepphoto said, don't take my word for it, or anyone else's. If your are in the US, checkout the Copyright Office web site,
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