Did you know that your art, novel, building design or piece of music is automatically copyright protected just because you have authored the work? You probably did already know this, but what you probably didn’t know is that this may not necessarily stop somebody from using your work or copying it. How does this happen? And when should you question the actions of others or even yourself?
Having just completed a Copyright exam I know just how tricky this part of the law can be. Working with writers, designers and other creative people also makes it clear to me how important it is for an author to protect their work from being copied or used without their consent, particularly for economic benefit. Protecting your own work is just one part of this minefield, however, and with digital communication at a peak and pics and words so easy to access you have to be careful that you are also not taking and using something that you shouldn’t. Owning It – A Creative’s Guide to Copyright, Contracts and the Law by Sharon Givoni and published by Tess McCabe from Creative Minds Publishing is a godsend for those who are a little vague on what they can and can’t do and how to protect their own work. It’s not only the law in layman’s terms, it’s also full of loads of gorgeous pics and a layout that is just so lovely to flip through you could do it in an afternoon over a pot of tea. This hardback gem is a stunning production with a dark matt cover and beautiful binding strong enough that the book can be used frequently as you need it. It’s also very thorough and you will have a basic understanding of ownership, works (from jewellery to architecture to music), trade marks, social media, contracts and moral rights by the time you’ve finished page to page.
While Copyright law legislation is quite dry and convoluted (believe me, I should know), the cases both here and overseas are absolutely fascinating and the arguments for and against worth reading about in case you assumed Copyright was a cut and dried process. Thankfully, Owning It is filled with these cases and Sharon Givoni takes the reader through the main points of each case as it relates to the content. You will not believe some of things that people think they can get away with, or the things they actually did get away with! These discussions are not only fascinating, but give a practical reference to the legislation.
There is also information on when to seek help about contracts and about registering your business and when further protection for your work is needed. I highly recommend this book for anyone who is starting or has started a creative business. There is just too much that is being shared right now and you can’t afford to turn a blind eye to Copyright issues. Make it your go-to bible – a checklist and a valuable resource forever.
Owning It is sold for $75.00 in select boutique stores and bookshops. For more information or to purchase online visit: www.creativemindshq.com
While you are there, check out the other amazing books published by the very clever Tess McCabe, who also runs the Creative Women’s Circle, which is a not-for-profit organisation that runs events and offers information for creative women running their own business. Not only that, Tess also hosts a podcast on iTunes for working parents called the New Normal Podcast with fellow creative Emma Clark Gratton of Gratton Design furniture. Their details can be found at the following links: