ACID Anti Copying in Design & Protecting your Business with the relevant Associations
Welcome to the latest Tigerlily Makes blog post. Todays post is to help and support all independent designer makers, working hard to make a living out of their particular field, medium or skill set.
One of the first lessons’ I learnt as an independent designer maker, was to understand the power of knowledge, industry knowledge and knowledge about design and IP (Intellectual Property) rights.
Before I launched my business in 2010 over 9 years ago, I had been a freelance, accredited and trained demonstrator for a leading craft company at the time under the name of Craftbugs. This was between the period of 2007-2010. Before that I had been running my own Wedding Invitations and personalised cards website called Tigerlily Cards. I have also been a Stamping UP demonstrator in my time. I started sewing when I was a child and my mum used to knit and crochet some of our clothes, so my history in textiles and creative arts has been a long and well established one. I loved making things with my hands, so much so that I did GCSE Needlework and textile arts and have been making most of my life. I even went on a City n Guilds Course in Feltmaking, to further explore this as a medium.
Up until 2010 I had become aware of copyright and infringement issues and had always registered my creations with “FREE” copyright registering services, however I hadn’t fully understood the importance of having the correct organisation behind you until I launched Tigerlily Makes. It was then I joined as an ACID Member.
ACID short for Anti Copying in Design, is probably and most fundamentally “THE” best organisation to be a member of. ACID not only acts as a database for you to register and effectively date stamp your designs, but its membership will offer you a whole host of other benefits. They can and have tackled many copyright infringement cases, you have only to follow their social media pages to see some of the biggest names in the industry, that they have successful resolved copyright infringement issues on behalf of their members. They have a whole host of anti-copying deterrent products and as well as offering support, advice they offer mediation services. Many of these services are covered by the membership fee. In addition to this there are a host of additional products that you can choose to invest in such as up to date confidentiality agreements, that are ready for you to use with your own business details and have access to Solicitors for more pressing issues.
The second recommendation I would make, particularly in the creative industry sector is to become a Member of the AFCI which stands for the Association for Creative Industries. This company will be your power house for advice on all aspects of your creative journey, from issues of copyright to manufacturing and everything in between. I regularly speak to my representative Craig De Souza on a whole plethora of subjects, anything from getting your product on TV for the first time, to kit manufacturing and so much more. Craig’s knowledge of the industry and the bumps in the road that sometimes occur, will help guide you to making informed decisions and resolving any issues.
Both of these organisations can not run with out cost and therefore there are membership fees associated with both, but in my opinion the value of that membership is priceless.
Surround yourself with the right information, know your own rights, the rights of your industry counter parts and what is and isn’t infringement or design theft. There are of course the moral and ethical infringements which will not tend carry much weight in law, but it is again useful to arm yourself with industry knowledge and keep up to date with the ever changing tide of the creative world.
It is not okay that someone else gains from your designs, your design ideas and design concepts. So I cannot express enough how important it is to get the right support behind you.
For now though, happy creating.