I was asked recently about my products being copyrighted.
"How can you copyright something written and printed before they invented Copyright Laws?"
Just so you know, I am not copyrighting the actual text. What I am copyrighting is the art work I have done to that text. If you have ever found a digital copy of an 18th century text, you will note that it is not very crooked, distorted and covered in clutter. Pretty ugly stuff. But with hours and hours of work, I straighten, eliminate distortion and clean, clean, clean the clutter. I am copyrighting my art work done to the scan.
Unfortunately, many reenactors will pay a small price for my products, then dash to the local copy shop and start cranking out imitations of my work. Oddly enough, I may charge $6.00 for the pamphlet, but they think it is gold and charge $9.00.
One such person did just that, flooding Ebay with very poor replicas of my work. They even used a stapler on crappy 'parchment' type paper and they charged 60% of my price. But, they promptly stopped once they received a cease and desist letter. Not that I relish doing that, but it is not fair that they reap profits of my labor.
Here is an example: A 32 page pamphlet may take 4 hours of cleaning and art work to make it presentable. Even if I were to get paid a measly $15.00/hour, that is a cost of $60.00 to transform a crappy digital to a readable piece. Now, depending on the pamphlet, I may not sell thousands. So, the cost of the piece has may include some money to recoup the artwork. Maybe $0.25 in each. So, I would have to sell 240 pamphlets to ONLY recoup the cost of the clean up. If Mr. Rip Off sells 50 on his own, I may never fully recoup my costs.
Is that fair? I don't think so. How would you feel if you wrote a book and the first book off the press was scanned and emailed to a million people .... you'd never make a dollar for your labor.
Thus the letters.
Never taking myself too seriously, I am always fascinated by history. Be it my own craft or that of our forefathers. My life goal is to replicate what they knew.
Copyright 2017 by The Colonial Printer & Bookbindery
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