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Case study: Radwraps Ltd commend copyright protection

Written by Ellis Sweetenham on 23 March 2016

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As copyright protection cannot be registered, many businesses are unaware of the benefits it can give them.

Radwraps Ltd was one of these businesses.

After seeing a gap in the market, father and son John and James Maddocks started their business which provides radiator covers which bear unique designs and colours. Coming in a variety of sizes and giving a guarantee that there is no heat loss, the cover can be customised to compliment any design or décor.

To aid the development of their business, they have an online gallery which contains a large number of images from photographers and artists across the world. This helps customers choose the designs they want.

To ensure they will not be caught by any legal repercussions, they issue a simple form for any photographer or artist to sign to allow them to use their images. They then pay a royalty each time they use the image.

John praises this system for a number of reasons. He says:

“It’s cheaper than buying images for commercial use as they can cost £1000’s per image. It’s also better for us to outsource rather than produce our own images as we can use talented people who have the right skills.

It also has benefits for the artists as they get regular royalty payments from us, but there has to be an element of trust from our artists that we will bill them for the correct amount of images used.”

After finally finding a solution which allows them to control any copyright issues, the father and son give a warning about previous experiences.

“In the early days, we bought a disk of 1000 images from a company who said they owned the rights to them all.

We uploaded a selection to our website and before long a high profile photography agency contacted us. They actually owned one of the images and wanted around £1800 for its use.

We received a cease and desist notice and took the image down straight away. As a precaution, we also removed all the other images we’d taken from the disk. We tried contacting the company we had bought it from but, unsurprisingly, the seller didn’t seem to exist any longer.”

This could have been a disastrous experience for the business. Therefore, you need to be careful that you do have the rights to use an image to prevent any later consequences.

You do not need to be a design business to be caught by copyright action so it is strongly advised to obtain as much information as you can before using the image. If you are unsure, don’t risk it.

For more information, contact Lawdit Solicitors

If you'd like to know more about this article please send an email to Ellis Sweetenham quoting the article title and any questions you might have, alternatively call the office number on 02380 235 979 or send an enquiry through our contact form.

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