Frequently Asked Questions - Copyright
Feel free to contact us if you still have questions after reading the information below.
What is a copyright?
Copyright is a form of protection granted by the United States government under Title 17 of the US Code to the “authors” of original works of artistic expression. Many other nations, including Mexico and Canada, either have similar laws or uphold international agreements with the United States regarding copyright. The law grants the author of the work the exclusive right to make copies of that work and prevents others from unfairly profiting by making or selling unauthorized copies. The law allows for designs to be registered with the Library of Congress and provides for legal fees, costs and monetary damages to be collected in United States Federal Court from unscrupulous businesses that to not abide by those laws.
Copyright law does not protect an idea, only the specific expression in a fixed form. In the jewelry industry each jewelry item begins with a design and an original master sample. The original master sample is the “expression in a fixed form” and is protected under copyright law. Nina Designs does not claim the sole right to sell silver or gold plated lotus flowers, but it most certainly does claim protection against unauthorized duplication of its property, the original specific lotus flowers in our catalog and on our website, by others.
Unauthorized duplication and sale of those parts is, essentially, theft. Nina Designs, the original designer of the part, not only receives no money from the unauthorized sales, but also loses the opportunity to sell its legitimate product in the marketplace at a competitive price. While the manufacturers of the counterfeit parts stand to profit most, retail outlets that resell the counterfeit product can also be considered to be selling “stolen goods”. The United States Customs Service helps uphold copyright law in cases where goods are imported into the United States and has the power to inspect and/or seize items that infringe on US copyrights.
America’s best business product is innovation – the ability to constantly develop and introduce new inventions, designs and consumer products for us all to enjoy. Copyright laws help protect the development process behind the innovation by making sure that businesses who have not invested the time and money to develop new products don’t simply steal a product from others and sell it as their own.
Are your designs copyrighted?
All the jewelry parts designs on our website are copyrighted. It is illegal to copy all or any part of a copyrighted piece. We aggressively defend our copyrights. In the past several years the number of illegal copies produced overseas has increased dramatically. With the help of alerts from our vigilant customers we regularly search the web for illegal reproductions of Nina Designs’ styles. We have begun to monitor both Etsy and Ebay to ensure that any Nina Designs styles for sale through those venues are legitimate.
Nina Designs puts a huge amount of time and resources into developing new designs. Copyright law allows us to protect those specific designs from being copied by competitors. We believe that enforcing our copyrights also protects our customers, who have chosen Nina Designs products for their high quality and original designs.
While copying individual jewelry parts is illegal, we encourage you to incorporate our components into your jewelry creations in any way you wish and resell the completed jewelry. Our website offers many Jewelry Design Ideas to get your creativity flowing. You can even purchase the parts to recreate the exact Jewelry Design Idea. However, if you resell the Jewelry Design Idea, we request that you give Nina Designs credit for the design.