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  • Alison Haley

Protect the work you're proud of

Updated: Jan 13, 2022

A few years ago, I discovered that a competitor, to the company I was working for, had copied (word for word!) a marketing flyer, I had created, and they were using it as their own. Naturally, I was none-too-pleased (maybe a little flattered) but I had absolutely no come back as I didn't even think to copyright my work back then.

When I started up my freelance business, last year, one of the first things I did was copyright my logo and offer, as an optional service, the arrangement of copyright on my client's behalf, if I design a logo for them. However, it's also possible to copyright all manner of marketing materials, music, literature, software, training materials and even dramatic work.

Copyright arrangement generates a digital certificate with a unique reference number and the date it was registered providing independent, credible proof of your copyright under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, and is backed by a team of professionals who are dedicated to making copyright stick. Ideally, registration is most effective before releasing your work into the public domain and on social media, although it should still be registered and protected even if your work has already been published.

Issues of copyright may not occur on a day-to-day basis but, even in the short time I've been running Tangerine Design & PR, I have had an occasion to point the official certificate in the direction of one of my client's local competitors, when my client discovered the competitor's new logo bore an uncanny resemblance to their own. Simply by proving copyright exists is often enough to deter copy-cats and did just that in the case of my client's competitor. It's definitely food for thought if you want to keep your brand and unique work from being copied.

There is a whole raft of information about copyright. Here is some advice from the national Intellectual Property Office but please feel free to contact me if you would like to discuss any aspect so your marketing that could require copyrighting.

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