WHY DO YOU NEED TO KNOW INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY LAW TO PROTECT YOUR ARTWORKS?
An artist relies on ideas to create a stunning piece of work. Sometimes ideas take longer to trigger in the artist’s mind and creating an impressive piece of art takes time too. For many artists, their creation is their livelihood and anyone who disregards their work threatens their livelihood.
The Intellectual Property Law protects artists’ work from people who might steal their work and use it to benefit themselves. There are guidelines under the Intellectual Property Law and artists need to know them.
Why is the Intellectual Property Law Important?
Artists use their creativity to design an original work, yet their greatest setback is plagiarism in art. Plagiarism is done by people who don’t want to stretch out their creativity beyond the limit and create something that has never been done before.
The Intellectual Property Law protects artists from such people and gives them the right to protect their creativity. When applying the intellectual property law, the artist sets boundaries to their creations and declares the extent or terms within which the creation can be used or accessed. If any person accesses or uses the creation beyond the set limits, the person will have violated property rights and can be sued and penalized.
Without the intellectual property law, artists will be prone to facing losses resulting from the misuse of their original creations. The law, however, does not operate in a vacuum because there are guidelines that the artist must strictly follow; otherwise, they will not be protected by the law.
What rights are protected by the IP Law?
The IP Law protests several artist’s rights that can be classified as follows: copyrights, design rights, moral rights, and ownership rights to the artwork. Let’s look at the example of a manufacturer who manufactures different kinds of products.
The manufacturer has total ownership rights of every product and every right to sell the product is vested in them. If the manufacturer plans to reach a larger market, he may give stockists and wholesalers rights to sell his products. The end-user of the product has the right to use the products but not to create them.
The artist can be linked to the manufacture that produces goods because the artist creates designs. He has every right to his design and is the only one authorized to sell the design. If he wishes to authorize other people to help him sell the design, they will have the right to sell but not to produce and any time they need to sell more, they must request more pieces from the artist. The end-user can only use and not produce or replicate the product.
The copyright law gives rights to the artist to produce his original designs, store them in a place he can retrieve them any time, duplicate the design, sell for a profit or authorize a third party to sell.
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Ownership retention rights of original designs
Having understood the rights and what the Intellectual Property Rights Law is all about, an artist should look for ways to protect his designs and under what conditions the law is exercised. Some conditions must be fulfilled for the artist to enjoy protection by the IP law.
In a situation where an artist produces an original piece of design on behalf of his employer, all rights go to the employer once the design is approved by the employer. If the employer fails to approve the design and rejects it, the artist retains the rights.
Another situation is where an artist creates an original design while working as a freelancer. The client who requested the design has all rights to the design unless the client rejects the work.
Full property rights are only applicable to an artist if he/she independently produced the original design. If the efforts of more than one artist were involved in the creation of the design, the artists would share equal rights to the design.
Use of trademarks in artist’s designs
An artist can use a trademark to brand their designs and the law allows them to do that. A trademark identifies the owner of the property either by their name or business name. It shows goodwill on the side of the design owner. The artist must register their trademark at the local or international level.
The Intellectual Property Law gives rights for artists to design original designs, own the designs, reproduce and distribute them. If any other person accesses the design and uses it, they must acknowledge the owner of the design as part of the observance of IP law guidelines. Failure to acknowledge the owner can result in hefty penalties and/or imprisonment.
This applies to every form of art and also to the latest novelty, namely the NTF art.
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