Should there be a uniform copyright system for designers worldwide?

mrgraphics's picture

I'm curious what the view is within this community regarding copyright.

How long should it stand as yours, and nobody can use your work without paying for it or gaining written consent? How long are economic benefits ethically able to be gained from the work?

The main question I want to see responses to- We are all designers in one way or another, we are those making the content that is needing protection- why are we not the ones making the rules around how it can be re-used for the greater good- and to this end would a worldwide and uniform system that designers can subscribe to and feel protected by be worth looking into?

If there are any resources or interesting articles and examples you have come across, this is the place to put it to add to the discussion.

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My view is I ought to be able to benefit from the work financially for 10 to 15 years, after which point the work is available to all free of charge to be adapted and copied for whatever use. I personally don't like the idea of holding back others' creativity with my work just because I can. I'll never truly see the fruits of my labours unless I allow it to grow.

Cristobal Henestrosa's picture

why are we not the ones making the rules around how it can be re-used for the greater good- and to this end would a worldwide and uniform system that designers can subscribe to and feel protected by be worth looking into?

Design is just one of the creative activities that need to be protected among many others (painting, writing, sculpting, etc.), and most of them are covered by the law in different grades in many countries. If some special “worldwide and uniform system” is required specifically for designers, it should not be something you “can subscribe”, but something you MUST follow, whether you like it or not, so it can be “worldwide” and “uniform”. But that is pretty close to something called “law”, and it already exists. Of course the law is perfectible and actually it is feasible to change it, but first you must convince everybody that your system is better than the existing one, and to achieve this is not an easy task: to begin with, IMHO 10 to 15 years is a really short time. I feel more protected by the laws in my country (100 years after my death) and the Berne convention.

Cristobal Henestrosa's picture

But yes, the copyright system would be better if someday it is “worldwide” and “uniform”, so type design can be protected in USA, for example.

mrgraphics's picture

Interesting... and valid. You must be very guarding of your work if 15 years isn't enough, or, conversely, need it to be guarded for this extended period of time. Calling it a Law wouldn't be a bad thing, and making say, type designers works longer protected would be acceptable to some, but not to others. Why would a graphic designer (non type designer) want to have less of a copyright period... this is where the ruccus starts up...

butterick's picture

My view is I ought to be able to benefit from the work financially for 10 to 15 years, after which point the work is available to all free of charge to be adapted and copied for whatever use.

Nothing prevents you from offering your own work under these terms. Why do you care what others do?

mrgraphics's picture

Never thought of that butterick!

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