Is your great idea copyrightable?

With entrepreneurship at an all time high, people are buzzing about with ideas. Inventors, idea-makers (custom iron on sticker for personalized t shirts), programmers and artists all have different means of expressing their concepts for a new company, new product, new clothing design and even new software. But, which of these concepts are actually protected under Copyright law?
So much of the time it can feel like you need a decoder book just to figure out what Copyright law is saying. And, when you are bursting at the seams with an idea you really want to protect, the last thing you want to do is wait. Everyone has heard about those terrible lawsuits between giant companies that spend tons of money trying to establish who was first to copyright an idea. Do you want to look back on the early days and lament that you waited too long because you didn’t know if your idea or work was something you should have protected? Of course not.

So let’s take a moment and figure this out.

Copyright Basics
A copyright protects an idea that is fixed or tangible. If you have ever gone onto the uspto.gov website, you have certainly read that portion of the law that reads: Copyright law protects an “original work of authorship that is fixed in a tangible medium of expression.” Ok, wait, before you start wondering if that applies to your idea, let’s translate it.

You don’t actually need to be a literal book author to qualify – although books do qualify. An original work of authorship is a work that a person creates that is not verbatim copied from something else and it can include books but it can also include a dramatic or comedic play, a musical work, a sculpture, a painting, a photograph, or even a choreographed dance piece. These however are just some of the more traditional categories of copyright.

The part of the law that seems to confuse and bewilder so many of us is portion that reads “fixed in a tangible medium of expression.” All this portion means is that you have to put your idea down in a tangible way which includes writing it down on paper, filming a scene you wrote or filming a dance you choreographed, or even creating language for your software.

Copyrights do not protect ideas

Unfortunately, copyright protection does not extend to a basic idea. In other words, if you are looking to write a love song about a lost love, you cannot prevent another person from writing a love song about lost love. What you protect when you write the song is the particular words, phrases and the musical notes you use to convey your ideas in your music.

Or what about that film idea you had about the tragic death of your favorite singer? Well, copyright does not protect the underlying facts of your favorite singer’s death. It is the unique way you express the narrative either in a screenplay or on film that is protected.

Some things you may not know about protecting your copyright from infringement
Authors, and yes even if you are a painter or songwriter this includes you, don’t realize that a work is protected the minute you put it into a fixed medium of tangible expression. You own the rights to that piece. In fact, you own the right to copy it, distribute it to friends or anyone else, change it or create derivate form of that work and even display it or broadcast it.

Filing the copyright with the federal government however let’s you actually sue if someone uses your work without your permission. Yes, that means that you cannot file a lawsuit to stop the copying or infringement in federal court without that basic copyright registration.

Protected Works You Might Not Have Considered

What many people don’t understand is that nowadays, copyright extends beyond just traditional forms of authorship to new forms of expression like video games, CD-Roms and even software.
More and more young entrepreneurs are embarking on cool new projects in the field of computer software coding and design, yet so many do not know that a copyright might be available to them. Yes, that means your computer’s RAM is just like the novel your neighbor has been slaving over for the last five years. Or what about that video game you just programmed for cell phone use – have you made sure it is protected under Copyright? Before you go taking that meeting with one of the big names in that field you will want to make certain your cool new concept is written down and registered with the USPTO.

Another cool area of copyright protection that you may not have considered is textile design. You may have heard about designers starting to sue copycat clothing companies to prevent them from using replicas of textile designs or artwork screened on clothing. Again, you cannot prevent another company from making a T-shirt out of soft cotton like you have been doing for years but you may prevent them from taking that fabric pattern you just designed for throw pillows and producing an exact replica to use on dresses, furniture, or other accessories without your permission.

What can you do if copyright doesn’t apply to your idea?
Even if a copyrights doesn’t apply to your exact idea, you may want to take a look at other forms of protection like trademarks or design patents. A trademark can protect everything from that cool company logo or company name you just whipped up for your new eBay store to the catchy tagline you use began using to brand your new products on your hang tags. On the other hand, a design patent may be helpful in protecting a particular process in software that you just thought up and started programming or even an improvement you originated that may not qualify under copyright.

Going through a small business Audit

There are a lot of myths about what is a tax write off and what is not. I just got done being audited so I thought I would write a small article of my experience in the hopes to help others (MOQ, custom t shirt iron on transfers).

When I received the letter from the IRS I knew I had a lot of work to do to prepare. There are 2 different type of audits. The first is the one where they send you a list of items they would like to see, and you send them in, they then review them. The second type is the one I received. It is a very detailed audit. They send you several pages of items they would like to see, and you have to bring all of them in person. They then scheduled 4 hours for our audit, to review every little thing, and decide whether the deductions were acceptable or not.

Now I want to say here, do not ever try to get out of an audit. It doesn’t work and only makes them pay closer attention to your case. We were scheduled for our audit to be held quite a distance from our house, so we requested a closer location. This was denied and we moved on to prepare.

We went through all of our records till we felt we had everything in order and headed down with our tax attorney to our appt.. Now I had thought there were rules that had to be followed and that your deductions fit into the categories and those rules are followed. This is not really the case. It is up to each auditor to decide what is expectable or not. If they do not feel that a deduction is ok, they will deny it. Then your tax attorney will negotiate an amount that is acceptable to the agent.

This is pretty much how each record is gone through, with negotiations back and forth, till a some what common ground it met. I will list some things that I thought were perfectly legitimate, that I found were not.

I had written off a portion of my rent, since I am a home based business. The auditor accepted part of that deduction but not all of it. He advised that if I would have taken pictured of my space I was using, he would have given my the full amount I had written off. But because I did not and I was no longer at that location, he would only give me a small portion of that deduction. I only got the lower amount because my attorney negotiated to get it.

So tip #1 : Take pictured of your work space, all of your equipment and all of your stock.

Another one that was not fully excepted ( and I read about this issue on a regular basis in the forum) is charitable donation. I donate items on a regular basis to charities. I will be honest and say that I didn’t keep the best records of this, but I felt by showing receipts of things purchased and receipt from the person I was donating to, I would have no problem proving this. Long story short, unless my donations were made to a registered non profit, with a receipt showing their registration number, a signature from the person running that org. and a detailed list and value, they were not tax deductible. I had receipts from non profits that were not signed so they were denied.

Tip #2: Always when making a donation, make sure it is a registered non-profit org, with registration number. and you get a detailed receipt showing what you donated, what the value was and make sure it has a signature from a representative of that organization (professional t shirt iron on transfer shop).

Then we moved on to utilities. Most of what I wrote off for utilities was accepted, except a portion of the phone bill. If you use your business phone for any calls that do not have to do with business, they can choose to not accept that write off. Another negotiation by my attorney got me a portion of the phone bill deduction. The reason he reduced the amount was that while my daughter was on vacation, she had called my business phone and talked to me, and the IRS agent caught these calls, because they do look at all of your phone bills and the calls that are made, and asked why they were on my business phone.

Tip #3 Try to keep all business calls on business phones, and personal calls on personal phones. It really would have made it less complicated for me if I had done this.

With my business mileage, I was good I got the complete deduction on this one. There are 2 different ways you can write off your gas. One is to keep all gas receipts and then they give you a portion of what you put in gas. The other is to keep track of your mileage per day, and log where you drive. I did the second method as it is just easier for me to log it each day. This was very important that I had this info for the agent.

Tip #4 Log all travel expense with a mileage and destination.

Also I thought my lease for my vehicle was totally deductible but according to my IRS agent, only a percentage was acceptable, again my attorney negotiated that amount. But that was fine.

All of my business supplies were accepted as I had kept detailed records of every little thing I had bought for my business. So I had no problem there.

Every deduction that was reduced was done by a percentage, like if it 100%, he would reduce it to 20% or 30%. He never reduced a deduction by an actual dollar value, only by percentage.

So in the end, I ended up owing $4305.00 above what I had filed on my taxes. Now I had the right to appeal this decision and was told that it would not be a problem if I did not agree with it. I was then told that if I appealed it, they had the choice also to request my last seven years to also be audited. Now this is where I what I stated above comes into play, If you appeal it, then they will apply the rules as they are written, but do you want to go through seven more years? My outcome? I just paid them and it was over with I have no doubt that I would not have a problem with doing the seven years, but the time it would take would be too much for me.

What I can say after this experience is that to always make sure you have detailed records. In fact you cannot be too detailed as far I am concerned. Make sure when you are taking a deduction that it can be backed up 100%.

When I left my appointment and we were done, I was told to expect to see them again within the next couple of years. The reason for this is that audits are being increased where small business is concerned, and that it will be increased more within the next couple of years. They said that if you are a small business, you can be expected to be audited every 2 to 5 years.

I was not audited for any reason, its like a lottery the way it works. The way it works now is that their system randomly selects audits every certain amounts of filings. So it was the luck of the draw that I was picked. There was no trigger that called me to their attention. It just works the way it does, randomly So be prepared every year as it will protect you.

5 Steps To Safely Buy Apparel From Bangladesh Suppliers

Bangladesh is the 2nd largest apparel & textiles exporter in the world, second to China. And the trend is growing, mainly because of how cheap the wages are in Bangladesh. Another trend that got the big western brands moving away their main production facilities to Bangladesh is the commitment to quality. Bangladesh government and the BGMEA (Bangladesh Garments Manufacturers & Exporters Association) have been investing heavily since 2007 to compete with quality and cost at the same time ( tee shirt iron on transfer).

Here are 5 steps that will save you time and money by making sure you get the right product with the right quality:

1. Find Authentic Suppliers

This is probably the toughest part. Your options are limited to trade fairs, online directories or hiring a specialist agency that takes care of this part. Which ever you go for, it is important to verify the identity and the credentials of the suppliers.

2. Clearly Define Expectations

This includes quality and testing metrics, production lead time, worker & workplace ethics, shipment date, payment terms and as much detailed as you can possibly get. This will help you make your case if incase something goes wrong. These expectations should be well documented before transactions begin (canada iron on transfer).

3. Making Sure Terms Are Being Followed

It’s not always possible to go and monitor the factories by yourself or your team. A trusted supplier wouldn’t normally need monitoring. However, if you’re working with a supplier for the first time, it’s best to set perimeters. One such way is to hire 3rd party inspectors such as Asia Inspection to make sure the agreed expectations are being met. More than just quality.

4. Negotiate Sensible Payment Terms

If you’re working on T/T (telegraphic transfer), basically wire transfers, the industry standard term are 30% to 50% payment has to be made on advance to cover material and accessories cost because these are bought from either international or local suppliers by the factory. Keep the advance payment % as low as possible to minimize your risk.

If you’re working on L/C (letter of credit), usually used for large orders, the bank will make sure that the supplier ships your products because the supplier would have to submit the bill of lading to the bank in order to withdraw their payment.

5. Formalize & Documentize Everything

Have a contract with your supplier before you get into business. This contract should clearly state all previous 4 points and additional clauses that your brand / organization may require such as liability, intellectual property rights to your designs, consequences if terms are not met etc.

Choosing the Correct Vinyl for Your Jersey

Selecting the material that will be the best fit for your jersey is very important to ensure a great look, and durability.

There are a few factors that you need to consider

Fabric content of the jersey
Does it need to be stretchable?
Is the decoration 1-color or multi-color?

Most jerseys will be Poly, Nylon, or a Blend.  Nylon typically requires a different adhesive than a material that you may commonly use for your cotton or cotton/poly blend t-shirts.  Be sure to confirm the material you may have stocked will be compatible on a Nylon!

Not all materials will be ideal for decoration on a jersey that needs stretchability, like a dance uniform or volleyball jersey.  Be sure to choose a material that will adhere to the content of the jersey, and also offer the stretchability that you’ll need.  Our ® Perform Cut is a great option!

Multi-color decoration can be time consuming if you use the wrong Heat Transfer Vinyl.  Choosing one of our TST (Two Second Tack) materials saves you valuable time.

Once you confirm that the material that you choose will be the best to use for the jersey, you’ll feel confident in offering your customers a jersey featuring a quality and durable decoration.

Interested in learning more about decorating jerseys? Enter your email below to receive our new, free eBook “7 Tips for Decorating Jerseys Confidently”.

How to Reattach Plastic Lettering to a Jersey

So you’ve got a team jersey that needs some TLC? Are those great looking plasticized letters starting to curl up and peel off? Not a problem. Keep reading for instructions on how you can re-attach them neatly and easily.

1. Launder the jersey on gentle cycle to remove any debris. Allow it to dry. Turn your jersey inside out when laundering it to avoid additional loosening of the lettering.custom NHL lettering

2. Lay the jersey on the ironing board with numbers smoothed out.

3. Set your iron to the hottest setting and turn the steam feature off.

4. Position the number carefully, and place the edge of a sheet of plain paper over it.

5. Press the edge (not the whole bottom!) of the iron to the edge of the letter.

  • Notes:
    • Place the edge of the paper even with the edge of the plastic number so that you can see what you are doing more easily.
    • Use only the edge of the iron, not the entire flat surface. The object is to seal the two layers of plastic to each other along their edges. Using the entire flat part of the iron will place too much heat over too much surface area at once.
    • You will need to experiment with heat, time, and pressure applied to find the best combination. Start with very short pressing time… almost a “tap” and gradually increase it until you come to a (few seconds) time period which will adhere the plastic layers without melting them so much that they stick to the paper.

6. Gently press down and slide the edge of the iron slowly along the edge of the paper.

  • You do not want the iron to actually touch the plastic, as this will melt the plastic and leave ugly goo on your iron. See “Tips” below.

7. Continue until every edge is tacked back down into place.

8. Leave the jersey on the ironing board until everything has cooled down.

9. Pat yourself on the back and prepare for your kid to say “Hey! You fixed it! Thanks!”

Tips

  • Keep the paper between the plastic and your iron to prevent the melted plastic sticking to the iron. The object is to melt the plastic layers together, not melt the plastic to the iron.
  • Waxed paper can be substituted for regular paper, but will leave a wax residue which must then be cleaned off the iron and lettering.
  • You do not want the iron to actually touch the plastic, as this will melt the plastic and leave ugly goo on your iron.
  • If you don’t want to risk further damaging your garment, lots of small sporting goods stores have an iron specially made for adhering numbers to fabric. They can repair your jersey most of the time free of charge.

Warnings

  • This process is specifically for heat transfer lettering and will not work on silk-screened or sublimated designs. Attempting these steps on such a garment may further damage your product.
  • Irons can get very hot. Handle with appropriate care.

How to Remove Stickers from a Laptop-popdecal.com

Did you just buy a new laptop or other device, only to find it covered in unattractive stickers?. Time to remove those stickers and free your hardware from its role as a traveling advertisement.

1. Make sure this laptop isn’t too old. The stickers will dry up, and over time, the glue backing will separate from the printed material. If you decide to remove the stickers, do it quickly. The stickers are not going to stay fresh for more than a year or two, depending upon its quality. If your laptop is a relic, skip to the very last step to use a chemical removal method.

2. Decide which stickers to remove. Some stickers are useful, such as OEM licensing stickers that will be void when removed. Others may contain serial numbers, service tags, support information, or systems specifications. Commonly removed stickers include ones promoting the Windows operating system (ie: “Designed for Windows XP” and “Windows Vista Capable”), as well as Intel and AMD CPU stickers.nhl stickers

3. Remember to do this slowly. If you rush it and try to pull the whole thing off at once, you run the risk of tearing the sticker or separating the glue backing.

4. Start from the edges. Use your fingernails or a non-abrasive abrasive putty knife. Be careful not to scratch or damage any plastic or aluminum surfaces in the process.

5. Pull the sticker up slowly from the edge you just started. Try to pull it up using an angle between 45 and 90 degrees. Never bend the sticker back further than a 90 degree angle, as this will promote the separation of the glue backing and printed material.

6. Clean the surface. Some sticker residue may be rubbed off easily, while some require additional help. As always, avoid scratching the surface.

First, try rubbing off the remaining residue by hand. Many forms of glue, even when mixed with a little paper, will curl up onto itself when moved over a surface.

Second, if rubbing doesn’t help, try using duct tape or other very sticky tape to remove the remaining residue. Break or cut off a piece of tape, apply it to the surface, then remove it or, if possible, simply rub the sticky surface of the tape over the residue. Repeat this until all of the residue has been removed, and attached to the tape instead.

Third, apply a small amount of cooking oil, such as canola or olive oils to the adhesive with a paper towel. Allow the oil to sit on the adhesive for site 2-5 minutes. The adhesive should now easily scrape off with your finger or a soft plastic tool. Using window cleaner, such as Windex, and a clean paper towel clean the remaining oil and adhesive off.

Fourth, if all previous attempts fail, use chemicals. A popular and extremely useful method is to use a citric-acid based cleaner such as “Goo-Gone”. These types of cleaners will not harm metal or harder plastics, but may dry the surface of softer plastics, leaving a white, frosted appearance. Test this on a small, hidden area first. Another liquid to try is alcohol (try spraying a small amount of your deodorant or perfume, if that is handy). Aerosol furniture polish, like Old English, can be very effective. Another is WD-40 which won’t hurt the surface and can be cleaned off the computer’s surface with a dish rag and a little soap.

7. A product called “Odor Assassin” (Lemon-Lime Scent) that is available at most “dollar” and discount stores will dissolve most adhesives instantly and can be removed with a clean cotton face cloth.

Tips

  • If your laptop sticker has one or more rounded corners, start peeling it from a rounded corner. If you come to an area where it starts to separate, start over from another edge.
  • Patience conquers all stickers. Always go slow and steady on sticker removal. If it’s not working and you’re getting frustrated, leave it for another day when you have more patience.
  • Try to use tools that won’t damage your laptop. Your fingernails, erasers, plastic putty knives, plastic guitar picks, no-stick spatula/pancake flipper, and even tweezers (used carefully) will pose the smallest threat to your laptop’s surfaces.

Warnings

  • Heat from a laptop increases the bond of some glue backings over time. This bond may etch into painted surfaces or even stain some plastics and brushed aluminum.
  • Don’t remove any stickers with OEM license information, as it will void some OEM licenses.
  • Sharp or hard objects will damage laptop surfaces if used to scrape off stickers. car art stickers
  • Avoid spilling any liquid into the cracks or exposed area of a laptop, such as the keyboard. Some liquid is conductive and may cause electrical shorts.
  • Before following this process, ensure that the laptop power is turned off, and unplugged from any electrical source. If possible, remove the laptop battery from the case as well.

Things You’ll Need

  • Tweezers for stickers that are difficult to start.

  • Cleaning solution such as alcohol or “Goo-Gone”.

  • Paper towels, napkins, or rags to use with the cleaning solution.

  • Tape, such as duct tape, to help remove residue.

why are irononlogo.com’s window clings different?

Clear Static Clings are custom die-cut to any shape you need and printed full color. Our Clear Static Clings do not use adhesive, so they can be removed and re-used again and again, and won’t leave a mess on your windows, mirrors or glass surface, as well as plastic and baked enamel finishes.

Perfect for store front windows, car windows, mirrors and more! Add you company information, logo, contact number and adhere them to your vehicle when you are working. Remove the static cling when you are not working, and reapply again later for fast, easy branding of your personal vehicle. Apply Clear Static Clings to mirrors in change rooms, bathrooms or in your salon to promote short-terms events or sales. Give Clear Static Clings away to members of your club, community, or school as fundraiser materials or to show your support for a cause. For a flexible, adhesive-free solution, Irononlogo.com’s Clear Static Clings are a great choice.

New! Hockey Puck Labels on TeeTransfers.com

Hockey season is fast approaching, and to commemorate one of our favorite sports, we have added a new line of custom stickers to teetransfers.com. We call these our Hockey Puck Stickers. 

The hockey puck labels are made with our regular white vinyl material. This means they will have great colour reproduction, and a great adhesive. They are waterproof and UV resistant so you can continue to use the puck in games. The templates are pre-set to fit perfectly on a regulation size hockey puck, so all you need to do is choose from our various artwork or design your own labels.

We are sure the possibilities and creative ideas are already flowing through your head, but here are some other great ideas on what you can do with hockey puck labels:

1) Party favours. Hosting a birthday party for your hockey playing kid? These make great party favours that guests can use again and again.

2) Groomsmen gifts. Are all of your groomsmen hockey players too? Customize the pucks with each groomsman’s name and the date of your bachelor party. 

3) Team Pucks. Part of a community hockey team, or a player for the school team? You can design your team pucks with your name and mascot on them. Perfect for home games.

4) Prizes or awards. Running an awards ceremony and need a cool (yet affordable) item you can give away? Design your own puck labels specific to the awards ceremony or event and then buy a pack of blank pucks. Its fast and easy.

5) Special gift. Make a set of labels that each say something different, such as “First Game”, “First Goal”, “First Championship”, and any other firsts you may want to include. Stick these labels on the pucks from each game when that first occurred. Get the set of pucks mounted and framed and give them to your child years later. Super sentimental.

What’re iron-on-transfers.com’s decals different from others’

Make clear stickers for your next big company event, to promote your latest product, to stick around the office, stick on cars, or just for fun! If you’re in a band, make band stickers, and use them to promote your upcoming album or tour. For easy promotion, include bumper stickers, or stickers for free giveaways to fans. Use stickers to stick on free gifts for clients, for company events, to promote your latest product, or to promote sales.

With our high quality, glossy vinyl material, they will stick strong on most material, and apply smoothly. With using white ink, our clear stickers will have that extra pop to your images. You can make them just about any shape, from round stickers, to heart shaped, or have them die cut to the image. When it comes time to change your stickers, they will come off clean leaving no messy residue behind to harm your products.

How to Make a 80s Style Tee Shirt

Cut up an old tee shirt to look like you just stepped out of the 80s!

First, the Neck : Mark 2–3 inches (5.1–7.6 cm) from the neckline all around the neck, following its natural shape.iron on transfers for t shirts

With sharp scissors, follow the basic neckline shape and cut a new, larger hole, using your marks and guidelines. (Remember to cut on the outside of your marks so those don’t remain on the shirt)

Next, the Sleeves : Fold the shirt perfectly in half, matching up the sleeve stitching both on top and bottom.

Holding both sleeves together, follow the angle of the sleeve edge, cutting off 2–4 inches (5.1–10.2 cm), depending on desired sleeve length.

Finally, the details : For a short shirt, in true “Flash Dance” style, feel free to cut an additional 6–8 inches (15.2–20.3 cm) off the length of the tee OR…

Instead of making it short, create some custom fringe. Lay the shirt out perfectly flat. Cut the side of the tee up each edge, stopping where the sleeve meets the body of the tee. Biker Flames iron on decals

Then snip small 2″ cuts (about 0.5″ apart from each other) down both the front and back of each side edge. Make sure there are the same number of snips on each side.

Tie the pieces together to create a side fringe on the shirt. Now repeat on the other side.

Now ROCK ON in your totally rad custom 80s-tee-shirts

Warnings

  • Make sure not to cut too much up the shirt to the sleeve, because the shirt will rip if you do so.
  • Be careful with scissors!

Things You’ll Need

  • A ruler

  • A silver Sharpie or chalk

  • Sharp scissors

  • Your Journey album

  • An oversized shirt (especially if you do the fringe because you will be taking in the waist at least four inches)