Let’s talk a bit more about protecting your marketed magic creations. I’m amazed at how many creators and magic companies don’t take the most basic step of copyrighting the art and ad copy for the magic tricks that they release.
Before we go any further, let me say that I do understand that technically you have the copyright to whatever art/ad copy as soon as it’s created, but you can’t enforce that without registering it with the copyright office. It costs about $65 to register a copyright, so it’s not a huge hurdle.
Once you have that copyright registration number, you can actually enforce it.
It’s been a while since I’ve gone onto AliExpress to have knock off products removed. I did a search and there were five knock off products.
There’s one listing that was blatantly using my copyright protected Evaporation artwork, so I filed a claim and that was taken down the next day. That left these four knock offs of my Evaporation trick.
All four of them use “Louie Foxx” and I own the trademark to that. Trademarks are like copyrights in that you technically have a trademark when you start using it in business, however you can’t really enforce it until you have it registered with the government. This cost about $300 and took some time to be approved, but it wasn’t difficult for me to do by myself without a lawyer.
My next step was to file a trademark violation with AliExpress and they immediately took down three of the four listings, and a new one popped up.
The new one that used my Evaporation artwork was pulled the next day, but there was still one listing left.
I’m not sure why this one wasn’t taken down by AliExpress with the rest of them as it’s a clear cut infringement on my trademark. I took a peek at the listing and noticed that in the listing they show my copyright protected instruction sheet.
That let me file a copyright claim as well as the trademark claim on the listing. The next day that listing was taken down and as of this morning there were no more products on AliExpress that I could find that used my trademark or copyrights!
It’s an easy process, I had probably 30 minutes total put into getting the listings pulled. It’s not hard to do, and I’m really surprised more magicians don’t take the very basic step of copyrighting their artwork. Sure you shouldn’t have to do this, but actually doing something is better than just whining about it!