Trademark and Copyright - It Could be You

by Tanya McCarthy on July 24, 2019

We have written about how to use TESS search to determine if you're dealing with a trademark. I am always constantly learning and growing when it comes to this. Etsy is one of those sites that does NOT actively take down listing unless they are reported. Design Bundles however does, and will kindly remove a listing if it is infringing on Trademark. 

Most people would be upset about this, but I welcome it with open arms because DB is protecting me. Trademarks are being added daily and if you have a lot of designs, and a lot of old ones, you could be infringing and don't know it.

Thankfully my friend Missy Meyer (plug for her AWESOME FONTS) has created a google sheets that has some commonly used trademarks. Some I was VERY surprised about. You can check that out HERE. I recommend you bookmark that one, she is kind enough to update it regularly as new ones pop up. Keep in mind these are only related to Class 025 trademarks which is specific to clothing. Some include other classes. Since our SVGs are used a lot on clothing, this is a critical class for us to understand. You can find the full list of Trademark Classes here.

I'm going to share a post that went viral on Facebook in the crafting community. This is HUGE because of the following reasons that some new people fall trap to:

  1. They didn't think it would happen to them
  2. They were a small business
  3. Someone reported their business - anyone can do this to you

With 8 photos in total it's a bit to read, but to give you the skinny on it, if the person did not provide all of the information requested (how much was sold, giving up the already purchased/created merch, etc) then they would have to pay upwards of 100K PLUS to resolve the matter. Not to mention paying back all of Chanel's legal fees.

For those of you who see other shops selling Disney, Marvel, WHATEVER IT IS... don't just think Oh well other people are doing it so I can too, they'll never catch me.  THEY WILL and you could lose EVERYTHING. 

Also, thanks to Kathy, (a fellow designer Check out her work here) she has shared a VERY important point that just recently passed:

"On May 1, the Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement Act of 2019 (CASE Act) was introduced in the House (H.R. 2426) by Representatives Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) and Doug Collins (R-GA), and in the Senate (S. 1273) by Senators John Kennedy (R-LA), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Dick Durbin (D-IL), and Mazie Hirono (D-HI). Original House co-sponsors include: HJC Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) and HJC IP Subcommittee Chairman Hank Johnson (D-GA), as well as Martha Roby (R-AL), Judy Chu (D-CA), Ben Cline (R-VA), Ted Lieu (D-CA), and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA). The legislation creates a voluntary small claims board within the Copyright Office that will provide copyright owners with an alternative to the expensive process of bringing copyright claims, including infringement and misrepresentation under 512(f), in federal court. This new board, called the Copyright Claims Board (CCB), would allow recovery in each case of up to $30,000 in damages total, with a cap of $15,000 in statutory damages per work infringed."

THAT MEANS PEOPLE CAN SUE YOU IF YOU TRACE THEIR SVG OFF OF GOOGLE SO STAY VIGILANT PEOPLE.

There are plenty of places to get free SVGs for commercial use one of the larger ones being design bundles. DO NOT take images off of google and share them PLEASE. Find truly free SVGs and share the links to those. These small designers, like myself, have the liberty due to the CASE Act mentioned above, to sue you up to 45K. So what's better? Spending $5 and supporting a single mom or spending $45,000 and ruining your life?

 


I am constantly looking for new information regarding this so please join my Facebook group for updates. I want everyone to sell safely and happily to help supplement their lives. 


Please comment below if you have questions

Cheers
Tanya

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