Are slogans created for t-shirts and bumper stickers protected under US copyright law?
State/Country relating to question: United States
Thank you for coming to JA. These slogans can be copyrighted if they are unique and one person has written down the slogan or printed it "first" and it is clear who it belongs to. For instance, if I make up a new slogan like "Pearls for Peace" that could be considered copyrighted because I just made it up. As long as it is in a form like writing, printing, website, something tangible, it is copyrighted.
The problem is unless a person registers that, no one might ever know who owns the copyright for "Pearls for Peace". It is still copyrighted, but probably best to register it with the copyright office. Also, it would be difficult to "run down" the people that might be having their T-shirt printed with my slogan on it.
It's like a song is copyrighted. But, if I go to a wedding and sing a Beatles' song, who is going to know? the T-shirt thing would be tough, but registering it would make keeping it to yourself easier. Hope this makes sense.
Thanks. So what is the process for 1)finding out whether the slogan has been copyrighted already and 2).. .Got it. Thank you.
You would check with the copyright office in Washington
15+ years of practice, including intellectual property--primarily copyright law
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