Are our designs safe online? Research into Intellectual Property, Copyright and the Internet

I’ve been researching the subject of Intellectual Property to help me in my understanding of intellectual property theft, using cross search an online tool offered by the University of Dundee. It enables students to research a specific subject and the results show books, journals and online journals on the subject.  This hasn’t been an easy subject to understand but I wanted to keep going with it as so many artists and designers including myself are putting artwork on line now whether on blogs, Facebook or websites.  Listed below are a number of journals and books who look at the subject and I have tried to summarise the content and whether they will help in the future should I take this further.

Brown, A., Laurie, G. T., MacQueen,H., Walde, C., 2010.  Contemporary intellectual property : law and policy. Oxford  : Oxford University Press

New edition and with the latest in intellectual property law for UK, Europe and internationally. This is more a study book to help students studying law and it has examples, exercises and visual aids.  This is probably a good place to start to help me understand the complexities of the whole subject.

Lane-Rowley, Ulla, V., 1997. Using design protection in the fashion and textile industry. Chichester: John Wiley.

This book looks at design ownership and protection, answers questions about copyright, patents and  trademarks.  It also looks at how efficient the law is and if its worthwhile for a businesses to use it and finally what are the costs in terms of time money and registering designs.
This is quite old in terms of the law but would still be interesting to look at the answers with regard to  copyright etc especially as its aimed at the textile industry.

Lovett, G., 2007. A rocky road to market. Design Week, 22 (18), 9.

This item looks at how designers can manage the costs, complications and legalities around intellectual property to see their ideas through to development. There is also some imput from the design industry.

As this is a journal article Im not expecting too much information here and once again a lot can change in 3 years. The information from the designers would be interesting though to see it from their perspective.

Relph-Knight, L., ed., 2010. Acid Test. Design Week,  25 ( 7),  17.

Introduces a basic history on copyright and with information from ACID and Dare Studio, this article offers advice to designers on how to protect their intellectual property.

This interests me as ACID (Anti Copying In Design) are an organisation who want to educate, prevent, deter and  support, through raising awareness and with its strength of membership are a big deterrent.

Relph-Knight, L., ed.,2010. Creative Barcode software unveiled to protect designers from intellectual property theft. Design Week,  25 (37), 4.

This article from September this year informs about a new piece of software

This is an software application which can be purchased for a small fee, you receive 5 barcodes, file transfer space and the use of the Registered at Barcode logo.  The barcodes are unique to you and once attached to your art work give protection to your work on the internet and from what I understand your images can only be downloaded with your permission.

For students they offer a 50% discount!

Stoke, S., 2003. Art and Copyright. Oxford: Hart Publishing

For the everyday person this book looks in detail at the intellectual property rights for artists and their work.  It looks at the internet and the associated problems arising with copyright, trade marks etc. Comes with recommendations from intellectual property journalists.

From what I’ve read about copyright Stokes is an expert.  This book appeals as its aimed at artists, and copyright regarding the internet.

Stokes, S., 2009. Can the law protect works of art and exactly what does it protect? Art Newspaper, 18 (201), 35.

This article looks at how artists are using the law when copyright has been infringed and at which types of work are protected in both Britain and America.  There are examples of artists whose work has been illegally used and the author puts the case forward for both parties.

This article could be interesting in terms of a real life case, but also to read the arguments for both the artists and the advertiser who wrongly used images.

This is a huge subject and a little daunting but now I’ve started I’m really exited to see if I’m capable of at least understanding the maze of intellectual property.

Informative Links

Below are some of the sites I use when researching they are full of information and can help when you’re stuck for ideas;

The Design Museum in London also has  an online archive of modern and contemporary design which  I’ve used over the last 3 years for researching designers, it’s full of so much information including podcasts of talks from a variety of designers, from Architects to Communication Designers.

One talk which is worth listening to is Sophie Thomas founder of  Thomas Matthews Communication who are designers who want to change the way we think about things.  A lot of what Sophie says echos what we’ve heard in our Design Studies lectures.  One of the things she talks about is the client brief, how its not just about designing a product but researching where the product materials will come from, where the product will end up once  its finished with and then suggesting to the client different sustainable ideas. The companies sustainability booklet is worth looking at;  thomas matthews sustainability booklet.

The Design Museum also lists all of its previous exhibitions and from 2006 each exhibition has a text with bibliography, photographs and further suggested reading and websites. There are videos to watch and conversations to listen too.


Icon is a magazine dedicated to design and architecture.  iconeye is the online version of the magazine and has links to information about many designers.  There’s a gallery showing different designers work and sketchbooks and then further links to their web pages, the architect pages are also an inspiration.


yshlondon is an online magazine aimed at  student, designer or business interested in textiles, fashion and or interiors and offers news, trends and amazing interviews. They feature a designer of the month, look at street fashion, look at what’s hidden away in London shops ( great if you’re heading down to London and don’t know where to start).  They visit trade shows and have images of whats on offer there, inform about exhibitions and visit graduate shows. Its now free to register with yshlondon  too so a great way to keep up to date with current news and information in your chosen topic.


Nuno is a Japanese company founded by Reiko Sudo – worth a visit to see fabric with a big difference. Chemical lace embroidery, origami pleats, woven fabric with glow in the dark thread, they bring something different to everyday fabrics and then have a look at nunoworks where you can see the screen printed and stitched fabrics and pick up great ideas for mixed media.


The Design Council has a great deal of history behind them and have been helping designers since 1944 then known as the Council of Industrial Design.  It offers publications, podcasts, design archives with links to other articles and access to other design blogs which in turn have numerous links again.


The online Tate is one site I cant miss out, go to the tate channel where you can watch videos of exhibitions and artists talking about their work.


The Guardian offers reports on so many subjects e.g. when searching for anthropology it gave me links to their reports all listed by date reported. On the same page are other links relating to your chosen subject some are useful but all will relate in some way to your subject, you  have to be mindful that you don’t get too carried away reading everything!


The Science Society picture library is a great resource when looking for historical images information relating to Britain, it has images from the Science Museum, the National Railway Museum and the National Museum of Photography, Film & Television.


When doing my summer project I came across the following site. Again choosing anthropology as my subject the anthropologie web site offers a wealth of information, I chose Pacific /Australia as a link and came to a list of online resources, then clicking Aboriginal Studies was taken to a another site, again I chose Aboriginal History this took me to list of University web sites, voluntary organisations, Australian Government Archives, Library sites etc. At the anthropologie site you can chose any to look at news, University Courses, Research Institutions, Anthropology by regions, documentations, web directories and museums.


The Texas A & M University Department of Anthropology has a great resource offering a link to all the latest world news on anthropology from the mainstream media.My final link for now is also one I’ve used before and I found this through Joprints its called talk2myShirt, its main purpose is to inform on the latest development in wearable electronics, it looks at new design concepts, developments in technology and research in the subject.



Enjoy the links and hope they help you too

Assignment 3

In assignment 2 I talked about  social networking, through blogs, facebook and twitter as a way in which artists connect with consumers. Because images  are  necessary to allow crafted items and designs to be shown the question should be asked how these artworks are protected from intellectual theft. So where do I start to research this subject, initially my searches have bought up books on law, this scares me a little, however I have reserved them for further perusal.  I also have numerous journals and articles to read through I have listened to my very first spoken journal and have used cross search till I’m totally cross eyed 🙂 time for a break. They’ll be much more to follow on this subject very soon.