Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Anti Copying In Design

For some time I have noticed makers in certain fields using the work of others for reference, from which they then produce a piece of work that is obviously created from and so close to the original makers design.

There is a difference between reference work and copying. Changing a few parts or even many does not under UK and EU IP law mean that the new piece is the IP of the new maker. On the contrary if the initial source is original be it through all of its seperate parts and or design then changing a few parts of it to try to get around the law is a dangerous route to take.

This is not acceptable and the law on IP "Interllectual Property"  clearly states that taking a design of another and changing a few or more parts does not change the IP design ownership with the new maker breaching UK and EU IP laws.

I have seen this happen with makers within woodturning. There is a difference in making for non profit purposes but when profit is involved then the original makers lively hood is being eroded and their IP attacked it becomes unacceptable.

Therefore today I have joined an organisation call ACID, which stands for Anti Copyright In Design. This organisation is very large and is an official support and legal network for designers and makers who can register their interlectual property/designs with ACID, if any infringment does then occur the original maker can obtain the support of the ACID legal services for any breaches of IP which may be dealt with if not sucessfully resolved.

But more than this the organisation gives makers access to various member benefits and resources

The design that I previously posted and my Chilli form have now been registered with ACID as will any other unique designs that have been made or that I make in the future.

For more information on ACID go here 

This does not refer to the work that I demostrate or have given people permission to actively copy but this will have been clearly stated with regards to which designs.

Of course most of the time people are not aware of IP let alone the problems that breaching it could cause them. So this is another good reason for joining ACID as the organisation is very much about awareness as much as a deterent or solution.


George Foweraker said...

Hi Mark.
I think with the unique designs you are now creating it is very wise to protect yourself.

Lee Robert Sneddon said...

Hi Mark,

I agree with George.

For a long time now you have been setting design standards within the woodturning community and people have been generally respectfull of others IP in design. However, as a leader in this area you have given freely to the community for many a year and it's about time you started to protect your work in this way.

So many times I have spoken with other turners who have genuine difficulty in coming up with 'ideas'. I feel that this same group do not appreciate the time and effort that it put into design concepts and exploring ideas and new ways of working. Although it may be recived in a negative way, I believe that these are the sort of people you should be protecting your deisgns and ideas from. It's about time they put some time and effort in working some out for themselves, let's see how they would like ti if people where to abuse there hard work and efforts when it comes to design.

Having said all that mate, you owe nothing to nobody, you've made a massive contribution and anyone who has issue or umbridge with your change in direction and IP protection can, quite frankly, F**K O**!!!!

I for one have always enjoyed your work irrespective of our Friendship. I have learnt so much about so many aspetcs of woodturning and design that even I wouldn't dare copy your designs, that in my book is called professional respect never mind repsect between friends.

I will continue to support you in any way I can and if that means being behind you to add support and defence to anyone who thinks you are being big headed, conceated or above yourself then so be it. I'll quite happily give the whole community the middle finger in support of my Friend. End of!



Mark said...

Hi George and Lee

Thank you for your interest.


As you know I have been making in wood for around twelve years now. Starting with sculptures, then onto turning and now moving back to more sculptural work.

The path that I have trodden is obviously a hard one from the point of view of being creative.

It is not easy to realise new ideas and techniques without hours upon hours and on occassions weeks and even months of work to arrive at a design.

Many people have helped me along the way and continue to do so and I very much appreciate what they do for me, as such I have also past on as much knowledge as I can and still do through demo's to help others. I will always help people where I can as this is how I believe the craft continues to develope.

However now from a commercial point of view I am changing direction and as such, so must my business methods, one of which is that I have been advised to protect my IP with regards to some of my designs and to stop giving so much away so freely or I may get bitten.

This advice has been taken on board and as such I decided to recieve support and advice from ACID and as such have joined the organisation.

I have not done this as I am turning (excuse the pun) my back on the community that I have enjoyed so much but purely due to the change in direction and methods/enviroments in which I am now moving into.

Everyone else within the creative industry protects their ideas so why not me. The last piece took me around four days solid work and propably the same finishing the design concept and techniques to make it.

We all have the benefit as you previously put of having the capacity to research and develop ourselves through hard work and the use of our brain. I am just protecting my business like any other company.

I am not concerned how this is taken as it is my business and I will develop it any way I choose for my benefit and that of my family.

There are also some misconceptions in relation to people thinking that they can change a few items of an idea and then call it their own.

So this link on this may be of interest to you.

Thanks again for your interest, now get inside and sharpen your Claymore as the English are coming over the boarder at some stage in the future, once that cold weather has gone of course. :-)

Mark said...

umm you'll have to copy and past that link until I work out how to add a link to a reply/comment. :-)