Biz Tuesdays with Kara

Intellectual property--something that you may not think twice about until it’s too late. In the world of economics, intellectual property is more frequently becoming some of the greatest assets of companies and people. It is difficult to put a value on it because it doesn’t take a physical form, it can’t be traded or saved and it’s not a line item on the accounting ledger. It just exists: in people’s minds, brilliance, capabilities and knowledge.

A growing problem no matter if you are your own business or if there are companies with hundreds of employees, intellectual property can be violated. In the handmade communities this is particularly a growing issue with the great web presence of all things handmade on Etsy, blogs, twitter, and even at craft markets. In some cases, because of the growing popularity of the craft industry, people will capitalize on others ingenuity and basically recreate the same work and sell it as their own.

It sounds awful, right? Exactly. Among the many stories that circulate about copies, it happened to Ink & Spindle, a fabulous textiles company based in Melbourne. Thanks to some faithful customers and friends of their company, they were alerted. You can read more about this here.

Ink and Spindle's beautiful wall decals and the rip off-on the right.

It’s also our duty to let the original designers/artists/crafters know if you spot a rip-off. But, as a seller, don’t expect that someone will let you know each time someone else is making money off your hard work. It’s best to protect you and your lovely goods before something happens that you never thought could. Check out this great video from Creative Commons, a great site with all sorts of resources for protecting you or letting you know how to share, too!

Add a visit to Creative Commons and the other resources listed below to your to-do list as you are getting ready for the Horseshoe Craft and Flea Market or before you launch your Etsy store and post your work on your blog. It will be a good bit of insurance for you and your intellectual property.

Additional Resources:
U.S. Copyright Office
Nolo Press
Design*Sponge's Biz Ladies series feature on copyrights
Colorado Small Business Resource Guide

Also, don't forget our up-coming GIVEAWAY at the end of the week. There will be options for multiple entries so it will be a fun way to wrap up the week!

Kara Lundquist is a Colorado native that made her way back to Denver after some time in sunny Santa Barbara, CA and rainy Seattle, WA. She lives here with her husband and little yorkie pup, Mochi. She's currently working on her MBA in Marketing at Regis University but also enjoys time outside of schoolwork with embroidery, quilting and collecting fabric.

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