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What should I do if someone ignored my design's copyright?

Jun 30, 2015

    1. I have been selling BJD wigs for around 2 years. Although the wigs are made by the factory, not handmade by me, most of the styles are designed by myself (except some basic styles which the factory claimed designed by their own designers)
      Recently, I was told by my friend that they received messages from the factory directly. The factory used my doll’s photos to promote wigs without my permission. The factory has taken my designs as their own designs just because they are the producer of the wigs. The factory pointed out that wig style cannot register copyright. However , they had promised me before that they would not use my photos for any promotion or business issue, but now it turned out they did it. They breach the promise. There are many web stores in China selling the wigs designed by me. Every time when I see those designs being used by other sellers, I just don’t know what I can do to stop this happening.
      Today, my friend informed me,the multinational corporation, Code Noir sell my designed wigs under their brand name. What I can say is I am really disappointed. I put so much effort and time on those designs and now they are widely used by many sellers .
      Here are some original design photos for your reference. I am stuck at this problem now, is there anything I can do to at least protect some of my designs which I really like?

      This is the style i promoted and sold in last year's HKDP 9
      And this is the photo of code Noir uploaded recently

      I have also seen wigs below sold in other unknown web stores . I have no idea whether the sellers contacted the factory to copy my style, nor the factory directly use my dolls' photo to promote to the sellers


      Thank you for viewing
    2. It's not a problem of design. The photos, not matter what they represent, are taken by you and are your property. They are not allowed, by law, to use them without your permission. I don't know what exactly you must do, but they are in the wrong and those pictures are yours.
    3. Not only is it wrong for them to use your photos, but also the fact they are taking your designs is theft as well!!
    4. Your designs are really pretty. I am so sorry they are doing this too you. Have you taken screen caps of the websites selling wigs using pictures of your dolls? You might want to contact a lawyer to go over the contract with you and document EVERYTHING! That way things are timestamped and all the messages are together so you can present your case. Also did you post pictures of your own on other sites before they did? If so that is proof that you have the original design.

      Good luck to you!
    5. Yes, my friend told me that the factory use my photo to promote their products. When I discovered that, the factory claimed they will not do it anymore, however, who knows if they will do or not? If they send my photo via PM, I will not know that

      I think they are not directly sell products using my photos directly on webstore, but via private messages to potential customers. We didn't sign any contract as it is not really a huge trade. I had posted all products on my FB fan page , there will be date of uploading photos.

      I am not going to discuss why Code Noir is selling the same product as my design, maybe Code Noir was just told by the factory that this is their original design. I think the factory was not honest sometime. I just want to proof that I am the original designer of the above products, but not intend to blame those who are selling the same items as the sellers may not know the factory was not the designer of these styles. I think those sellers may not sell these styles if they realize that they are the requested order from me.
    6. Well, always get guarantees in writing. Contracts, even for small things, are protection for both you and the company.

      It is true that you cannot copyright a hair style, meaning even if you designed the wig they could produce and sell it on their own. I've actually seen wigs identical to a few of your examples as far back as 2005 or so.

      That said, you own the rights to your images and they cannot use them without permission. Unfortunately there is little you can do as international law is tricky and pursuing legal actions would most likely cost more than the case was worth from a financial standpoint.

      All you can really do (short of taking legal action) would be to request they stop using your images and then refuse to do business with them in the future.
    7. Yes, I think what I can do is stop trading with them.
      Stop designing any new styles until I can find a reliable factory. (Seems difficult to do so

    8. You should always insist on a written contract to lay out all the terms. It doesn't matter if it's a big order or a small one, you have to handle it in a businesslike manner or you leave yourself no recourse. Someone's informal "promise" doesn't mean squat legally.