The ABCs of Copyright Protection

Copyright protects original works of authorship, which means original designs. An original design is something one creates from his or her mind using whatever tools are available. For jewelry, tools include implements to carve waxes and create renderings as well as computers and software. An original design eligible for copyright protection need not be the first. So long as a design is created from the mind and not copied from a preexisting piece, it is original. In court, when a design protected by copyright appears similar to prior designs, the defendant will often claim that the plaintiff did not create anything original but merely copied preexisting designs. The copyright holder claims the design was created solely from the mind. In my experience, it's rare for two independently created designs to be identical, and copyists mostly copy successful designs. Generally, a judge will lo
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