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Thread: Lamp copyright issue

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
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    Lamp copyright issue

    I built 11 lamps out of Wood magazine and I have been selling 7 of them on ebay. This guy emails me and says I have copyrighted him. He is threatening me with legal actions. What gives. How do you copyright a lamp. His is bigger, doesn't have corbels and someother differences. What would you do.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Central Virginia
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    I'm no lawyer

    Chris,

    I think there was an article in one of the woodworking magazines less than six months ago about this. If I recall correctly, as long as yours has differences then there is no issues.
    Thanks,
    Bobby Hicks
    <mailto:cadman642000@yahoo.com>

  3. #3
    Chris,

    Copyright laws are very complex. However, it sounds to me that you are talking about two totally different lamps.

    I would request that he send you a copy of the copyright so that you can review it and see if you feel you are infringing.
    Jeff Sudmeier

    "It's not the quality of the tool being used, it's the skills of the craftsman using the tool that really matter. Unfortunately, I don't have high quality in either"

  4. #4
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    Feb 2005
    Location
    Bedminster, NJ
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    289
    Chris,
    First, if you bought plans from Wood magazine, check their policy on selling the finished product. They probably have a copyright on the plans but not on the finished product, so you can't resell the plans but the product is yours to do with as you like.

    Second, if you bought plans then you have no obligation to even respond to to the guy sending the e-mail. If the plans were free, then they are in the public domain and you still have no obligation to anyone other than the supplier of the plans.

    Third, my law license expired last week. But I would not respond to the guy unless he has an actual connection to the plan supplier (like a representative of Wood magazine.)

    Ray
    Semper Fi

  5. #5
    Chris,
    I echo what Ray has stated. On top of that, a furniture patent is kind of a loose animal. My father was a furniture designer for 43 years. He had countless patents for designs, but when another designer would take one of his designs, change a small detail, it would pass as a diferent design altogether, and there wasn't anything he could do about it.
    Maurice

  6. #6
    I looked at both listings and the differences are huge. This bozo is bluffing, in my opinion, and I personally wouldn't give him another thought.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
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    Round Rock, TX (near Austin)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Ingraham
    I looked at both listings and the differences are huge. This bozo is bluffing, in my opinion, and I personally wouldn't give him another thought.
    Hear! Hear! I agree with Jerry. No comparison between the two lamps. I think dewy4 is concerned with competition. I'd print copies of both auctions and items for future reference and forget about this guy.

    Good luck with the sales - Your lamps look great.

    -- Kevin

  8. #8
    I have looked at both of them as well. Looks to me that you are selling lamps to what he feels are "his" customers.

    I wouldn't worry until you get papers filed
    Jeff Sudmeier

    "It's not the quality of the tool being used, it's the skills of the craftsman using the tool that really matter. Unfortunately, I don't have high quality in either"

  9. #9
    I too agree with Jerry. The lamps are NOT very similar really. Yours are more to my taste than his. Both lamps are very different. IMHO, yours is a better style and better priced. Dewy is up in the night on this one, just ignore him.

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    Ray's advice is good. Don't even respond...and I suspect that's the same advice you'd get from WOOD if they answer your similar query posted over in their forum site.

    And, BTW, I believe that WOOD Magazine and Meredith Corp (the parent) limit the number of pieces you can sell from their plans. Please check on that accordingly.
    “Never raise your hands to your children, it leaves your groin unprotected.” - Red Buttons

    If you want your spouse to listen and pay strict attention to every word you say -- talk in your sleep...

    Be safety conscious. 80% of people are caused by accidents.

    Equestrian Sports. The most fun you can have with your boots still on...


  11. #11
    Well lookout. It looks like this guy thinks he's copyrighted anything Mission style! I guess we'll all be receiving threatening e-mails from him soon
    Dennis

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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    I agree with Jerry, Kevin, Jeff, and John. Your lamps are different. Just ignore the guy!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
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    Pittsburgh, PA
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    I'd probably ignore the guy.

    But if you wanted to have fun send him this link and let him know that there are a few more dozen people he can pursue:

    http://images.google.com/images?q=mi...s&start=0&sa=N


    In fact some clever thief managed to steal his idea and create an entire web site:

    http://www.lodgecraft.com/mica-lamps.htm

    The audacity of these imposters.

    BTW - I posted the above just for fun. I really would just ignore the guy - no need to get him riled up any more than he already is.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Herndon, VA
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    547
    Threaten him with a counter suit!


    You designed a lamp. Your lamp basically does what all lamps do. The design may be somewhat similar but as long as you did not use his plans to build from then I don't see where he has a claim.

    I've done some work in intellectual property rights for my company. I'm not a lawyer but after having dealt with so many it is hard to really stake a claim on an unregistered pantent or copyright. I also did not stay at a Holiday Inn Express!

    my 2 cents.
    MIke

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Castle Rock, Colorado
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    I talked to the editor of Wood Magazine where I got the plan. He told me that I should reference Wood in my description, not sell more than 25 and that Wood owns the design rights for their lamp. So I feel better now.

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