May 2, 2011
New Organization Aims Fight Copyright Infringement
The Guild of Original Designers (GOOD), a new membership organization focused on helping designers and other creative professionals such as bloggers and photographers protect their original work from copyright infringement, has been launched.
Founded by Holly Bretschneider, owner of Salutations, a fine stationery and gift boutique, and Shelly Kennedy, owner and designer behind Drooz Studio, GOOD will address the increasingly hot-button issue of copying in design.
“In the Wild West of the digital age, the lines of copyright rules have become very blurred,” said Bretschneider, president and founder of GOOD. “It’s often tough for people to know what constitutes copying and what constitutes ‘fair use,’ or how to tell the difference between inspiration and plagiarism.”
“While one designer may find herself feeling powerless trying to sort it all out, a whole community of designers tackling this serious and complex issue together can make a real impact,” said co-founder Shelly Kennedy. “After all, there is strength in numbers and by harnessing that collective power, we can go a long way toward the day when design piracy is no longer a profitable business.”
The GOOD model takes a three-pronged approach toward ending copyright infringement:
Inform – Provide information that is easily understood and easily distributed to designers and other creative professionals, resellers, consumers and the media, in the hopes that a more informed and aware industry and consuming public will reduce the incidence of innocent infringement and empower creative professionals to exercise their copyrights.
Protect – Provide members with access to legal resources, at discounted rates, offered by experts who not only understand intellectual property law, but know the design industry and its unique issues. Services include registration of designs for copyright protection, cease-and-desist letters, advice about potential infringement and mediation, arbitration or litigation should the need arise.
Deter – Provide members with use of the GOOD logo, a powerful deterrent to would-be copiers who see tangible evidence that the owner of the design has taken steps to protect their original designs and knows how to exercise their intellectual property rights.
In addition, the team has developed the Greater GOOD program as a core part of the business model. Ten percents of all membership dues will automatically be donated to the members’ selection of Room to Read, increasing literacy and education in developing countries; Wine to Water, providing access to clean water in developing countries, or both.
“These two charitable organizations are extremely efficient and effective at making a sustainable difference in the lives of so many people,” Bretschneider said. “We are proud to use our business platform as a way to help spread awareness of the organizations and the issues they are tackling, as well as to help fund their efforts.”
Subscriptions to GOOD are $197 per year, plus a one-time joining fee of $25. For a limited time, you can join GOOD for 50 percent off the subscription fee (only $97 for the first year, plus the $25 joining fee). The Charter Member discount is only available through Wednesday, May 18.
GOOD will be exhibiting at the National Stationery Show May 15-18 in New York at Booth 3113.
For more information, visit www.goodesigners.com.