Animation Industry and Intellectual Property

The issues / how is the the animation Industry affected by IP:

  • It will protect the animations – Of course the most important reason for IP in the animation industry is to protect the creator’s work – and to prevent others using it in ways which the creator does not like and prevent other using it commercially. The two main Intellectual properties which are used in the animation industry is Copyright and Trademark – copyright protects other from taking the expression and trademark protects and gives value on merchandise created by the animation industry.
  • ownership of idea / profit made to employer / ideas –  The ownership of the IP can be a confusing and important matter for many. As employees in a design world often the employer is the owner of the IP as the have paid for their work. Freelancers must communicate with their clients (best to have it in a contract) which states what will happen with the IP therefore there is no confusion between who has the IP and what can be used – normally for freelancers the use of their work in their own portfolio is expected but this may not be so if not communicated with the client. Larger cooperation may take ideas or similar work to your own but unless their is efficient evidence then there will be nothing to do. Understanding these things and not being so innocent will protect you in this industry.
  • new technology can be patented – if original and can bring innovation into the animation industry.
  • IP creating larger economic revenues / funding  – license: Many large companies use and exploit their IPs by licensing others to use their work worldwide. This way extra profit is given. In the UK broadcasting and programmes do this often to bring more money into the economy. Animation can also sell their IPs globally to gain that extra profit.
  • Need more awareness – copying and sharing online is done by many and often we don’t even realise whose IP we are infringing. Something as simple as using a video or photograph on a blog or website without their permission (or proper credit to the creator). It often is more relaxed for educational reasons. However the need for awareness in this area is vital to insure work from the animation industry is protected – and to let the public know what they are actual doing. It will control and hopefully prevent others from committing IP infringement.
  • Protects a a style –  Copyrights means that a company or designer are able to keep there style without it being stolen. An original style is important for so many designers — so without the copyright law this could be a real problem. Of course there are some which may take a style / steal a design but then the creator has the proper cause for action to ensure their work stays original.
  • Using the work online – It can be a real issue of people taking your work when online. It is too easy for those to take what isn’t theirs – without permission or consent from the creator. Or to steal another persons idea. This is a major fear for all designers as they want to have their work noticed but not taken by others. Furthermore there are very few ways in which this can be stopped. This can affect both small and large companies / and freelancers. Leaking of ideas or series episodes as an eager audience grabs the information. Small business and freelancers without little funds cannot take everyone to court that infringe their IP rights therefore other measures need to be made – such as invisible watermarks which can identify who the original disrupted of their work is – this way they find out who is the offender and can take the proper action.
  • International right? – When registering and receiving automatic rights in the UK they will often only protect that product within the UK – therefore international rights must be brought and protection may become more difficult for covering a worldwide right – extra fiance needed to do so.
  • Terms and conditions – Photo / design sharing websites have become extremely popular over the last 5 years and rise of people registering for accounts on these sites such as Instagram, Pinterest and Tumblr – however the scandal recently about the terms of conditions which express that the website will have the copyright to the work means that members were automatically ticking the terms and condition without reading the fine print (a thing which many people do) these companies with knowledge that most people do not read this, have placed a policy which takes the rights to use images posted on their sites. When some people that did read these terms and conditions made it aware to other members a protest was made. Therefore it is important when creating accounts and uploading software onto these sites that the fine print is read as in any contract as animations could be taken – and the right exploited against the creator’s wishes.
  • Merchandise protect your stuff : Animation has become more than just the animation itself – for many years animated films and series have used the extra profit in selling merchandise, towards target audiences. By using copyright / trademark of these it means that those which counterfeit or use the brand without permission can be prosecuted or taken to court. Merchandise can also be another way to further the brand and reach out to more audiences – by trademarking these products you can make an original and high quality product ( which can add value / more income to the business.)


  • N/A (N/A) ‘Creative Industries Strategy,’ The creative Industry, N/A (Online) Available: (Accessed 31/05/2015)
  • N/A (2011) ‘Response to the independant Review of Intellectual Property and Growth’ Pact, Friday 1st March (Online) Avaliable: (Accessed 01/06/2015)

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