Do you know how many times I had to type “copyright” in that title box before I actually spelled it correctly? The number is shameful. SHAMEFUL, I TELL YOU. Just like the amount of copyright fraud that happens every day.
Copyright is, basically, that nice friend in the same class as you who makes extra sure everyone pronounces your name right – all my dudes with uncommon names, this one is for you guys. You don’t have to ask them to do it, they just do. Copyright is the same. It guards all your stuff without you ever having to apply or fill out any official government forms. Which is wonderful for all of us in the creative industry because we have too much fluffing around to do to be worrying about MORE paperwork, right?
Ahem, I mean, work ethic! Yeah!
With all this in mind, copyright can only go so far. There are loopholes, big ones, and people will jump through them, there’s nothing can be done about that. Because while all the physical work you do is immediately protected, and you can take down the lil shits who try to steal it, copyright can’t protect ideas. So as long as someone else’s work has no direct correlations with yours, they can use the same ideas as much as they want. It’s a bit shitty but, hey, them’s the facts.
Of course, even if it’s not technically illegal to take an idea, chances are someone out there still has your back. Take deviantART for example. There aren’t many places like it when it comes to tackling plagiarism.
I mean, they’re not perfect. The site itself was slammed by thousands of people about a year ago, for revealing their new logo – only to then have it pointed out that it looked eerily similar to an existing logo used by a German company. At the time, it was impossible to find any information about this that wasn’t an essay-length “I hate deviantART” speech, never you mind these were all POSTED on deviantART.
In any case, the dA community has (usually) got your back. Take those silly people down, guys. Heck yeah. And if they fail you, you can always take it to court.