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How Creatives Can Protect Intellectual Property & How to Act when Itโ€™s Stolen

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December 20, 2021 March 17, 2022 10 min
Anastasia photoAuthor by:Anastasia

The work of graphic designers, writers, and web designers is in high demand all over the world. Nevertheless, it is necessary to know what product design copyright is and how to be aware of certain pitfalls of the creative industry.

Copyright infringement is, unfortunately, extremely widespread. Whether you work from home or go into the office, there is always the risk of having your work stolen. In addition, there are situations when clients do not pay for your services or use of your content, but continue to publish it or use intellectual property directly from authors’ portfolios without their permission.

We have already discussed the basics of copyrights and now, will delve deeper into the topic.

This article is based on the MasterBundles free webinar on which our friend, Arsen Buchkovskyi (The Best Lawyer in Intellectual Property Law in 2020) spoke about the Design (and other IP) Protection Action Plan and shared some helpful insights on how to protect copyright.

Free Webinar: Design Protection Action Plan

You’re very welcome to join Arsen Buchkovskyi (Best Lawyer in Intellectual Property Law in 2020) with his live webinar! We’re going to talk about the Design (&other IP) Protection Action Plan. Our friendly speaker will share a bunch of insights on how to protect copyright.

Let’s not hesitate any further to find out what you can do to protect yourself and your creative works, as well as how to restore your rights if your work has already been stolen.

How to Protect My Design

Copyright of graphic design products is part of intellectual property law. It is intended to protect creators of digital media, books, articles, art, and music from theft or misuse of their content. If you don’t protect your creative works with copyright, anyone with access can use or distribute your content as they wish. So here are some basic rules you need to follow for design protection.

six important things to remember when publishing intellectual property.

Rule #1. Know What You Have

So the first thing is knowing how to protect yourself. You need to know what you have. What copyright objects and things do you have within your control? Also, you must know what things you created are copyright protected, and which ones are not.

Rule #2. Know Where You Have It

If you are using different marketplaces you need to know that all of them have their own rights regarding how they take content from creators and sell it. You should take time to learn this information before posting on the sites. Of course, it is necessary to remember where you post your creative works and how a particular site or marketplace protects them.

you owe the copywrite at the moment when you create something.

Rule #3. Record Evidence of Your Creation

There could be different ways to show evidence of ownership. Even publication in the marketplace could be evidence of your original creative work. You could assume that everyone would count you the author if you were first to publish it. Therefore, try to keep the source files so you can show creation dates.

Rule #4. Time Stamp Your Content

This rule is connected with the previous one. If you have the evidence of creation, you can prove when it was created by noting the date and time when you created it. For example, when you upload something on a marketplace, you get a timestamp when you publish it to the site. For a lot of different reasons, in the digital world, it’s much easier because you have data when any file is created. For your original creative physical work you need to do that too. You need to write down when it was created. You can take a photo or something similar that will help to identify the timestamp of your creation.

It is a really important thing to do.

Rule #5. Keep An Eye On Violations (and Collect the Evidence)

The thing is that it’s really hard to protect your copyright when you are alone and when you don’t know that your copyright has been violated and someone stole your content. There are lots of different instruments that can help you keep an eye on things. For example, Google Alerts can help you if someone publishes your content and there are lots of different options for different purposes. It’s a good idea to try to make that kind of audit regularly (once per month). Try to figure out if everything is okay, that nobody has stolen your content, and so on. Keep an eye on everything.

Rule #6. Guard Your IP

When you see that someone has stolen your IP you have to try to fight against it. It won’t take you much time but the more abuse you can avoid the better. Different websites, domain holders, and so on will react to that so if you’re protecting your copyright well enough that’s better for the future if somebody steals any really important stuff.

a free checklist on what to do to protect intellectual property.

Defend Your Copyrights if Infringed

If this has already happened to you there are a few steps to act on.

defend your copyrights if infringed.

  1. Use the form provided by the service provider. Lots of marketplaces have their own abuse form or at least they have a contact form to start the process of reporting a copyright issue. So if you notice that your content has been stolen, use the form from the provider and immediately write to them about it.
  2. Send a cease and desist letter. That means you should send a letter directly to the abuser and let them know that your content is being used illegally. This may seem to be a strange step; however, there are many cases when people use stolen content without understanding that it is illegal. They may think that they purchased it not for only a one-time use, but for any purposes, and so on. The cease and desist letter can help them to understand this and delete your content from different sources where they are using it illegally.
  3. Use a takedown notice (DMCA). This is the notice sent to the service provider. It could be the website holder, hosting company, mobile app provider, registrar, or even a VPN provider. You can find a domain holder or anyone alike to send this form to.
  4. Complain to Google. Google has a special form for DMCA that can be found on the site at With the help of this form, you can have them delete your content that was infringed from various Google services (Google Search, Google Images, Google Ad, YouTube, Google Drive…).

a free checklist on what to do if intellectual property was stolen.

What Should Be on a Notice

  • The signature of the copyright owner (physical or digital signature).
  • Identification that the copyrighted work is being infringed.
  • Your contact information.
  • A statement that the notification is made “in good faith” with the belief that the use of .
  • the content was not authorized by the owner.
  • A statement that the information contained in the notification is true.
  • A statement that you are the copyright owner and did not authorize such use.

By the way, MasterBundles also has a free guide with a notice template to contact an owner, a hosting’s provider, or a registar of the website where plagiarism was detected, as well as DMCA removal request template. All these templates are free, so you just need to download them and use them in case your copyright is infringed.

Just click on the banner and go to the download page!

free guide for protecting your intellectual property

Please, share this article to make your fellow creatives feel safer in this digital world and sure that they can fight in the case their design rights and intellectual property are infringed.

How to Upload Your Designs to MasterBundles and Feel Protected

You may easily sell your designs on MasterBundles and be sure that your copyright is safe and sound! Our attentive CPO carefully moderates each product, and in case of duplicate or plagiarism, we immediately start an investigation and look for the real author. Besides, adding a product to our marketplace is as easy as shelling pears – just use this form 🙂

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      Product Design Copyright FAQ

      How to copyright a design idea?

      The key is to put the idea into a physical or digital form that illustrates the design elements you create and when you created it.

      How to protect your designs from being stolen?

      There are three main options you can use to officially protect your Intellectual Property (IP): registering a Trademark, registering your designs, and applying for a patent.

      What can be protected under design protection?

      Design rights protect everything that has physical and tangible form; is manufactured or handmade; and is produced on a commercial scale.

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      As a CCO of MasterBundles and an author of some posts, Anastasia writes and โ€œpolishesโ€ texts subtly and with love. Just like Bernini carved The Rape of Proserpina. Obsessed with learning languages and other cultures. In love with ballet and Lenny Kravitz's music. Another hobby โ€“ observing masterpieces of architecture with a glass of natural wine.
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