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Methods to prevent products online from being ripped

Posted: Sun Jul 05, 2015 12:50 am
by Sidewinder

What is the best way to prevent a third party from ripping of images from a website. I understand that water marking is a key concept but how will the watermark actually prevent them from ripping the image and being able to manipulate the design to a point where their version would be enough to be copyrighted based on their modifications.

Ideally the aim is to prevent the third party from ripping the design in the first place but how would you counter someone who would infringe a design.

Also I noticed a lot of sellers on Marketplaces such as eBay and Etsy who sell designs which are obviously trademarked. So say for example sake, I seen a Homer Simpson design, it may or may not been designed by the original makers but could have been designed by someone who was was inspired by it. How would this work out?

I also noticed some Chinese wholesale sites that have copyrighted designs. If I saw a design on their webpages which I had designed, would I be able to notify them about the infringement? Hows successful would you be in achieving the take downs instead of taking things to a more serious matter i.e solicitors, legal proceedings.


Posted: Sun Jul 05, 2015 9:26 am
by AndyJ
There are several separate issues to consider here.
If you don't want someone to take your images from an internet site and re-use them, then you should certainly consider watermarking them. This can be done overtly as a form of deterrence, and covertly as a means of detecting copies. Neither of course will totally prevent copying and that is when you have to be pro-active in chasing others who appropriate your work. In many jurisdictions there are fairly easy-to-use take-down procedures you can follow to get the hosting service to remove infringing copies. Another tip where photographs are concerned, is to only use fairly low-resolution files which cannot easily be blown-up in size without incurring unacceptable loss of detail.

You then mention infringement of designs, that is, where someone has made some object or product by copying your design. This has less to do with copyright and more to do with design right. This is quite a complicated area of law and the details vary from country to country (for instance the USA does not recognise design right in the same way as in the EU). You can read up on design right on the IPO website, and also about how to deal with suspected infringement of your designs.

You can use the same take-down procedures for designs as for copyright, when dealing with hosting sites such as ebay or etsy. Trying to take action against the source of copies if they originate in China may be more difficult. China does have adequate laws about such things, but getting them enforced may be expensive and time-consuming. However if you feel you are suffering enough financial loss to make this worth pursuing, contact the IPO as they have an economic attaché based in the British Embassy in Beijing who is there to help protect British commercial IP interests.

More generally there are international schemes for registering designs, but it can work quite an expensive option. More details here.

Posted: Thu Jul 16, 2015 4:19 pm
by Sidewinder
Thank you for the advice, I will most certainly look more in-depth to this!