The Official Kunvay Blog

Learn how to navigate copyright and intellectual property ownership smartly so you own your work, and own your future.

5 Important Facts You Need to Know about Graphic Design, Copyright & IP that Design School Didn’t Teach You

Photo Credit: 5 Mosaic by Leo Reynolds used under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Photo Credit: 5 Mosaic by Leo Reynolds used under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

For most graphics designers, it’s hard enough juggling the rigors of running a business or staying on top of a hectic freelance schedule.

Add to that the mountain of confusing information surrounding intellectual property (IP) rights, and a vast sea of frustration, and even borderline apathy, might quickly ensue.

However, graphic designers have good reason to get to know the specifics about their IP rights.

Once work is created and made available to the public, the chances of someone claiming the work as their own or reproducing it without giving proper credit can skyrocket in today’s technologically advanced, share-friendly culture. Nothing is more infuriating than discovering that your creative ability is being exploited by someone who has neither the permission nor the right to do so.

Quality Work Needs Quality Protection

Getting the facts about intellectual property laws and how they affect your design work is something that simply cannot be put off.

That’s because just about all the work that designers produce falls under the category of intellectual property, and the wisest thing to do with intellectual property is to protect it.

Remember, just because there is no tangible product involved in your creative process does not mean your work deserves any less protection, or compensation, than other valuable business assets.

Graphics designers also must be prepared to go beyond simply protecting their own work. They also need to make sure they don’t end up infringing someone else’s work as well.

In the design field, as in any other, it’s considered extremely disrespectful and ethically inconsiderate to use someone else design without permission.

It’s imperative that designers stay abreast of what is and is not allowed when it comes to using the images, photos and design elements of other artists and creators.

Fact 1. The Difference Between a Copyright and a Trademark is Use

Several types of intellectual property rule the graphics design world.

There are differences here that are essential to know for interactions with clients as well as for protecting your ideas and creative work.

The two most important IP rights for graphics designers are copyrights and trademarks.

Copyright. A copyright protects any completed graphic element whether registered or not. Even though you Continue reading

Copyright 101 for eBook Self-Publishing: What You Need to Know about Copyright & Intellectual Property Before You Self Publish

Photo Credit: To lay this book in my lap by Marina Noordegraaf used under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Photo Credit: To lay this book in my lap by Marina Noordegraaf used under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

A Bundle of Rights: Traditional Publishing vs Self Publishing

The Copyright Act of 1976 grants to the author of a copyrightable work a “bundle of rights.”

This “bundle of rights” as provided by federal copyright law invests the creator of a work with exclusive rights to control the reproduction, adaptation, publication, performance and display of his work.

Historically authors would transfer their “bundle of rights” to a publisher under some sort of contract in order to allow that publisher to “publish” or to reproduce and distribute the copyrighted material.

Today authors are able to retain their bundle of rights and full control of the publication of their work by opting to “self publish.” Self publication allows the author to regulate all aspects of the reproduction, marketing and distribution of his creative work.

How to Navigate the Copyright Minefield

It is important that a self publishing author fully understand Continue reading