Mommy Needs a Business is all about the joys of running your own business. You never drafted a complete business plan, you couldn't be further from your law school degree and you are now referring to your 12 years of law enforcement as your "former life." But you get to screen print tee shirts in your pajamas while pulling your toddler and preschooler out of vats of ink. What more could a mom want?
Check out Kristen's blog, Mommy Needs a Cocktail.
Copyright/trademark law is a funny thing. Something I read just today said they are basically the same thing. Oh, Internet. You are such a jokester.
There was quite a bit of a broohaa on the internet this week when one person got feisty over another person using the derivative of ANOTHER, very famous blogger’s name who started blogging around the time Al Gore invented the internet. The derivation? Way back when I first read the person with the similar name, I thought that I personally wouldn’t have gone there. I mean, who wants to ever have to say, “No, I’m the OTHER Katherine Heigl.”
I am quite surprised when people with fantastic names don’t file for trademarks. As of this moment, barring any unexpected mail tomorrow or Monday, Mommy Needs a Cocktail (the blog), Mommy Needs a Cocktail (the clothing line) and Baby Brewing (the clothing line) become service marks owned by me. What does that mean? That means that because I came up with this clever idea and I started to sell those things on the internet, I get to keep anyone else from selling anything Mommy Needs a Cocktail. I didn’t need a registered trademark to protect my rights. But with that piece of paper, it’s going to cost someone a LOT of money to fight me.
Copyright is a bit of a different animal. Face it, you are bored already. But I have told you all this to tell you my copyright story. I think we all know that we need to reserve all or at least some of our rights when it comes to our writing. But how about your business when you create a design on, say, a TEE SHIRT? You are cruising the internet and you realize that not only has someone taken your idea, they have just lifted your image and placed it on a tee shirt that they are selling on their website.
I flipped out. They took the image and photoshopped it on a tee being worn by a guy with a lot of hair. It’s not that hairy men were outside of my target audience. It just seemed even MORE offensive. Better yet, in stealing my graphic, they had stolen an image with incorrect punctuation. How are you gonna explain that one to the lawyer. “No, we came up with lovely color scheme with that crappy punctuation all on our own.” I went crazed. I found a boiler plate “cease and desist” letter online and I tailored it to my very needs. And then I sent it with threats of certified letters and screen shots of offenses.
All fired up. 5 minutes later, the reply email advised me that the offending shirt was down. In retrospect, I wasn’t really offended that he had used the words. Those words aren’t trademarked and they most likely never could be. I was pissed off because he took my graphic. He had a chance to fix my punctuation and he didn’t even do it. Now that? That’s just lazy.
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