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Copyright FAQ

Copyright FAQ

What is Copyright?

Copyright is an automatic legal form of protection for creators of “original works of authorship.”  Copyright owners have the exclusive right to:

  •     Reproduce the work in copies (includes enlargements)
  •     Prepare derivative works based upon the work
  •     Distribute copies of the work to the public
  •     Display the copyrighted work publicly

What Materials Does Copyright Apply to?

Copyright is an automatic legal form of protection, and so the work does not need to bear the copyright symbol (©) to be protected. As soon as a work is “fixed in a medium,” it is protected. The medium can be print, recording or otherwise. Copyrighted materials are often marked by the symbol (©) and usually by the date and the company or person who owns the copyright.

Commonly copyrighted materials include:

  • Cross stitch and sewing patterns
  • Artwork (original and reproductions)
  • Characters from films, books and TV series
  • Literary works (includes computer software)
  • Sheet music & song lyrics
  • Professional photographs (includes school photos - buy their CD if you want to make reproductions). Ask your photographer about their copyright policy before the photoshoot.
  • Posters (includes educational posters)
  • Many images you see on Google or other search engines, and even images you see on Social Media.

What is Brand Hijacking?

Brand Hijacking refers to when a brand uses another entity's intellectual property without permission. Brand hijacking is trying to exploit another brand's IP to increase the value of your own brand or product. Doing so can result in a cease and desist, or much more severe legal action. You have probably heard of IP litigation in the news. To learn more about brand hijacking and see some examples, click here.

What does that mean at CW Creative?

At CW Creative, we cannot and will not make copies of or print copyrighted works without prior permission from the copyright owner. IT IS ILLEGAL TO REPRODUCE COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL.

Are there any exceptions?

The “Fair Use” doctrine allows LIMITED copying of copyrighted works for purposes such as criticism, news reporting, teaching and research. Copying of a small portion of a large work (such as a few pages from a book) is generally permitted under the fair use doctrine.

Still Not Sure?

If you have questions about whether or not your material can be copied, please contact us. We are happy to look at the project and we'll use our best discretion to determine if your project is able to be copied. 



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