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Owning It: A Creative’s Guide to Copyright, Contracts and the Law is a 560-page full-colour hardcover book written by renowned Melbourne intellectual property lawyer Sharon Givoni. The book aims to demystify copyright, contracts and intellectual property law for Australians working in creative industries and running their own businesses. Comprising expert insight and explanation of intellectual property law in ‘plain English’, Owning It drives home key legal concepts through enlightening and entertaining real-life case studies. The book also contains user-friendly flowcharts and tables that simplify legal terms, processes and procedures that creatives regularly encounter.
The book aims to point Australians in the creative sector in the right direction regarding: the protection of their designs, trade marks, copyright, reputation, confidential information and other intellectual property (IP); how to reduce the risk of inadvertently infringing someone else’s rights; contract basics; licensing; how the law applies online and to certain aspects of social media; how to better achieve positive legal outcomes and much more.
Owning It is targeted at a range of creative and business professionals, including:
“Misinformation regarding copyright and intellectual property amongst creative professionals is rife. I see examples of it every day in my legal practice”, Sharon explains. “Until now, what was missing from the Australian creative’s toolbox was a single, user-friendly resource that empowered this sector with knowledge about their rights and responsibilities.”
With 20 years experience in IP law, Sharon Givoni represents clients in all sectors and industries, including the creative industries. A strong believer in empowering people about their IP rights, Sharon frequently presents seminars and practical workshops across Australia to businesses, industry associations, professionals and students in the creative sector. In early 2013, Sharon felt the time was right to approach independent publisher, Creative Minds Publishing Pty Ltd and develop a book simplifying intellectual property law. After almost two years of consultation with the creative community, writing, editing and sourcing over 140 original works from practising creatives to feature amongst its pages, the widely-anticipated book is almost here.
“For many designers, copying is part of everyday life.” says Cristina Re, illustrator, photographer and founder of stationery and home wares brand Cristina Re. “This book will be an invaluable companion to designers who want to get an overview of where they stand and steps they need to take to protect themselves legally” she adds. Artist, designer and author Beci Orpin agrees, concluding her foreword to the book with a lighthearted musing: “I just have one complaint about this book—why was it not released sixteen years ago, at the start of my career? It could have saved me endless worry and wondering.”
A recent online survey conducted by Creative Minds amongst Australian creative professionals and small business owners revealed that they are largely misinformed or unsure about their rights and which elements of their work are protectable under Australian copyright law. One in three respondents are under the false impression that copyright must be registered in Australia, and over 50% of respondents aren't aware that copyright law does not protect an artistic style, technique, distinctive colour palette or use of specific materials. 40% of creatives are unsure what their moral rights are and almost 80% of creatives are unaware of the specifics of trade mark registration, one of the strongest forms of brand protection available. Owning It hopes to change this situation, shedding some much needed light on copyright, trade marks, moral rights and related areas of the law.
Read about the author of Owning It, Sharon Givoni.