Design Theft Prevention
Let's talk about design theft okay so what happens when someone steals your work number one always make sure that you're making it harder for people to steal your work in the first place right so we don't want to always be dealing with things after the fact we want to be more proactive on dh protect yourself ahead of time so they're here a couple of different ways that you can do that you can encrypt your source code so use technology whenever possible to protect your content and make it harder for people to steal your stuff and bed information and the maid of data like your name copyright information like maybe the name of your company or your name plus the copyright symbol plus the year that you've created it um if that's in the maid of data then that makes it more trackable so that if you do a search especially using certain search tools you'll be able to find it and see who's misusing your work use an unobtrusive but visible watermark on designs that you post on lines if you've got...
your portfolio online and you've got a bunch of illustrations or designs in there water market so that you're protecting that that work and so making it harder for people to steal from you another option two is make your website not right clickable so that someone can't right click and just easily copy it honestly you'd be surprised at how many? Would be infringers are deterred just because they're lazy, they're too lazy to, like, find another way around it in to steal your work. So if you just do that one thing that will deter half the people that are probably tried to steal from you and then of course, make copyright information and policies available on your website, so, you know, make it easy for people who could potentially be thieves to just purchased from you instead and become a customer. You may want to have information about, you know, not only ways to hire you for your services, but ways to license you're designed. You know you can give them the option to purchase a license to one of your designs are actually purchased the copyright, tell them how to do that put fees on the website if that makes sense, but just give them an idea of how to go about that process. And a lot of people just choose to do that instead of steel from you, because it's easier. So another aspect of this right is to know, you know, in order to police your work and teo, you know, not allow people to just steal from you and be a victim, you've also got to take steps to hunt down the people who steal from you. So there are a lot of great search tools nowadays that you can use to find out where your designs are appearing without your permission. So here's a couple of them there's digimarc ten I in google search by image um some of these air free and some of these air paid services I've actually heard from designers that ghoul search by images a lot better than tonight or did you mark? But of course, you know you can try the different ones and see what makes sense for you do not think that this is optional, ok, you have to police your work like we said, your intellectual property is the most important asset in your business, so the same way that you're going to have a contract with your clients, you're going to have a contract with your subcontractors, you're also going to take steps to make sure that the way your designs air used, you are in control of it, okay? And this is how you do that you track people down and then, you know, you take steps once you find them too, you know, prevent them from continuing to misuse your work and here the steps you want to take there's a lot of different ways and these sort of escalate from the nice version to the I'm not having it, I'll kick your ass version, okay? So step one is contact the infringer and asked them to stop now there are a lot of people out there who just borrow stuff and use things and don't realize that that's actually other people's intellectual property is their livelihood and it's actually really nasty and not a good thing to steal from them in that way. Some people just are clueless. So for the innocent infringers who are really sort of clueless, you might just send them an email. Find out if that's the case, you send them an email, you give them the benefit of the doubt. You asked him to take it down. Give them a specific date by which they must take it down on dh. You know, nine times out of ten for the innocent infringers, they will take it down. Okay, so this is often step one, so step two would be to file a dmca takedown notice. All right, the dmz a is the digital millennium copyright act on dh. This law is designed to protect entrepreneurs and artists and inventors like yourself who are posting work online. So if someone takes your work and it shows up on their website, this is a method that you can use toe, have their host actually take that website down, or at least take down the pages of their website that contain your work unlawfully right this is a really effective tool that I've used a lot and I also teach my clients how to use it so that they can do it on their own ok s so this is this is there's actually a e book called take him down that goes through this whole process and gives you the actual template there's a specific way that the letter has to be written to the host so the language is super specific so it's something that you know if you could get a template that would be the best way so I check out advanced I p for entrepreneurs there's actually the book is included in there I go through how to do a digital millennium copyright act take down and give you the templates and all the tools you need to make that happen and so you can sort of see the value of that I charge about a thousand dollars to do a take down notice okay and there's a lot of times where you know you might discover that a bunch of people have your web site have your illustrations or artwork or designs on their website so then you'd be paying a thousand dollars for instance, right? So instead check out advanced I p for entrepreneurs you get the e book you know how to do it and then you can use that for every instance of copyright infringement that you deal with so the next step is have them black listed on google so the digital millennium copyright I'm sorry takedown notices almost incredibly effective and usually will work but if for some instance it doesn't or you know if you're dealing with a host that's overseas there are some funky situations where maybe that doesn't work um if that happens or you know there are times when really you know, jerky people who are insistent on stealing your work will put up another web site so maybe their host takes down their website and they just put up another web site with the content appearing again s o then you have to keep doing this so one way to deal with them is to just escalate and have them black listed on google now this is just a simple form on google's website that you fill out and making google aware of the copyright infringement that's happening. The great thing about this is that some it's hard to have people blacklisted for one instance of copyright infringement but if they're doing this to a lot of people and they're getting reported multiple times their website probably entire website will either come down or they'll just stop showing up in google searches so you know obviously for all of us entrepreneurs anyone with a website the way your your people find you is through google so if you're blacklisted on google no one is going to find you that isn't a very effective tool to prevent copyright infringement and it doesn't require hiring a lawyer to do it so these air tools you can use feel empower you don't need a whole legal team to take care of yourself these are some of the things that you can do without that the other option is to hire an attorney to send a cease and desist letter so there might be some circumstances well, maybe you're dealing with a bigger company maybe the person was really aggressive maybe for some reason some of these other tools aren't working you escalated and hire an attorney to send a cease and desist to give an example of what that would cost I think we charge about eight fifty to send a cease and desist letter ok? Most people will you know if they get a letter from a lawyer that is a big return for them they don't want to deal with legal issues and so a lot of times you know they see that you're standing up for yourself on dh so they'll stop just from getting the letter sometimes that doesn't work and so far there's truly stubborn infringers you might have to file a complaint but of course you cannot file a complaint for copyright infringement unless you have registered the copyright so that's why it's so important to take that step and make sure you're protecting your work on a regular basis
Your designs are just that – yours. Do you have the legal knowledge and skill to protect your intellectual property, copyright, and trademarks?
Join Rachel Rodgers for a deep dive into the intellectual property concepts every designer should know. You’ll learn about properly copyrighting your work, creating client service agreements, preventing infringement, and much more.
No matter what kind of design you do, you’ll leave this class equipped and inspired to protect your unique work.
bonus material with purchase
Rachel Rodgers - Copyright Cheat Sheet.pdf
Rachel Rodgers - CreativeLive Handout.pdf
Rachel Rodgers - Designer Clauses.docx