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About Copyright Collaborative

Over the past decade or so, infringement of artists’ and small businesses’ intellectual property has increased exponentially, developing into a severe problem that an alarming number of artists and small businesses face today. Most artists, including those with established commercial businesses, don’t have the time or inclination to school themselves in intellectual property laws, and aren’t prepared to fight the “whack-a-mole” practice that infringement has become. Moreover, many feel that addressing the problem is not worth the headache, money or time, and those without money and time feel utterly helpless. In short, many artists and small businesses feel powerless against the problem of infringement in the industry, and have found that the easiest way to deal with it is to turn a blind eye.

While hiring an attorney to litigate infringement on a case-by-case basis is oftentimes a worthwhile endeavor, artists without significant financial resources can’t afford the costs. More importantly, hiring an attorney to resolve one instance of infringement leaves the larger problem of this wholesale practice intact. It’s like trying to take down an elephant with a toothpick.

Copyright Collaborative has not been established to solicit clients or to make billable hours. Copyright Collaborative has been established to address the enormous (toothpicked) elephant in the room that is intellectual property infringement, and to provide artists and small businesses with the capacity and confidence to combat infringement as a unionized front. Copyright Collaborative does not offer a quick fix for intellectual property infringement, but instead offers a platform and various tools for artists and creative businesses to stand up together against the toxic practice of creative theft.

Copyright Collaborative is a membership-based company that has a serious and sincere passion for helping artists in the intellectual property arena. Copyright Collaborative will help artists and creative businesses to understand their intellectual property rights and the importance of these rights. Additionally, Copyright Collaborative aims to ignite a movement against the prevalent problem of infringement with the help and voices of Copyright Collaborative members. Finally, Copyright Collaborative will offer programs consisting of management and protection tools to provide members with proactive ways to deter intellectual property infringement.

Our Goals

  • To educate artists and creative businesses about their intellectual property rights
  • To help artists and creative businesses to understand the importance of their intellectual property rights
  • To assist artists and creative businesses in proactively protecting and managing their intellectual property rights
  • To assist artists and creative businesses to incorporate practices into their businesses which will deter infringement
  • To create a movement with the assistance and voices of its members to condemn intellectual property theft
  • To do all of the above at reasonable cost to its members

ABOUT EMILY DANCHUK

I am an intellectual property attorney and I’ve spent most of my legal career representing small businesses and artists. And I’ve had it up to here (pointing to forehead) with infringement practices taking over the livelihood and spirit of the artistic community.

Let me back up. At the ripe age of eight, I attended Carlow College Elementary School, a Catholic school in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. For my birthday, my Uncle Dave gave me a teeny-tiny roulette wheel and a slot machine, about the size of a cell phone. Without much deliberation, I got two shoeboxes, filled one with candy, took my roulette and slot-machine to school and started up a sort of gambling ring. Kids gathered in the cloakroom and paid to play, winning a piece of candy if they got lucky. After a time, and, of course, once my empty shoebox was filled with nickels and dimes, I got caught. My mom and dad were called in, and, while my dad tried to look stern, he also couldn’t help but smile at my early endeavors at entrepreneurship.

Fast forward 13 years to law school. I went to law school — basically because my dad was a lawyer and with an “I will save the world” spirit. While in law school classes, the thought kept creeping into my head that all of these rights and laws that we, as future lawyers, were being taught, were not understood by the general public. That is to say, the rights of “the people” were only as valuable as the paper they were written on, unless people could fully understand their rights in the first place. After all, what good are these rights if you don’t know that they’re yours? We had failed, as the legal community, to foster understanding of these rights, unless and until we were paid. A lot.

As an attorney, I have strived to explain the concepts and rights related to intellectual property to my clients and artists in general, as I believe that a solid understanding of these rights is the bedrock of any good business venture. Without a healthy understanding of what a copyright, what a trademark, what a patent is, it’s quite difficult to enforce and protect these rights.

Once I began to handle infringement matters for my clients, I realized several things: one, that there was no better way to get my blood pressure up, and two, that the trend of infringement by businesses, large and small, was bigger than I had previously thought.

Upon receiving client emails with comparisons of original and knock-off designs, I couldn’t keep my anger and shock (and high blood pressure) out of the mix. How dare Company XYZ steal so blatantly and openly?? While I handled these infringement matters to the best of my legal ability, and often achieved the desired outcome, the larger issue really bothered me. These artists were hardworking individuals who put their blood, sweat, tears and passion into their works, and for another company to come along and act like the design or work was theirs for the taking was simply inexcusable. And I had to charge my client to help them deal with this injustice. Because I had to eat too. But it made me feel guilty and powerless, because I was only helping one artist fight one instance of infringement, and I was making money from their misfortune.

So, once I combined my entrepreneurial spirit with my anger at the infringement culture growing up around me, Copyright Collaborative was born.

Transparency Statement

As mentioned on Copyright Collaborative’s ‘About Us’ page, we are not out to solicit clients or make billable hours (although, for total transparency’s sake, that would be nice!). Copyright Collaborative has been in the works for over four years, and we’ve been tinkering with programs to make them practical, relevant and useful, and as simple as possible.

Feedback

We hope that the programs offered by Copyright Collaborative can help you to understand and manage your intellectual property rights, but if they can’t, we want to know why. If there’s anything about Copyright Collaborative that you don’t like, please tell us. While we can’t please everyone, we want to know what you like and what doesn’t work. Please send us feedback at feedback@copyrightcollaborative.com.

Solicitation

We know that you’re smart enough to know what you want, and we therefore assume that you’ll ask for what you need. Therefore, we won’t solicit you, try to “uplevel” you, or otherwise bother, harass or intimidate you into becoming a member or upgrading your membership. We hope that our services and programs speak for themselves, and if they don’t, see our Feedback section above.

Membership and Service Rates

While Copyright Collaborative aims to be a sustainable business, our main goal is to help our members to understand intellectual property and get armed against infringement. Therefore, Copyright Collaborative has done its best to determine costs of membership and services, balancing its desire to be a sustainable and successful business with its sincere desire to offer accessible and affordable services.

Questions and Concerns

Copyright Collaborative understands that a lot of this is new territory, and therefore welcomes questions. Please understand that, as of now, we’re a small, growing company, so while we want to answer all questions as quickly as possible, it may take a day or so for us to respond to you. It is our hope to develop a healthy and strong workforce in the near future. In the meantime, please submit any general questions about Copyright Collaborative to help@copyrightcollaborative.com, and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can!