Tuesday, August 4, 2009

MYOWs and My Sweet Lord

The Importance of Becoming Savvy—Copyright and You

Before I launch into this posting let me explain that I am not an expert on the ins and outs of copyright law. But I have read enough and been in the business of design long enough (please don't ask how long) to know that if you value your creations, they are worth copyrighting.

The most fundamental points of law in copyright, are establishing the uniqueness and point of time of a creation. Very often the first point may come down to a court decision.

Chances are slim that two people will come up with the exact same design. Music is another thing, then it comes down to who came up with the unique combination of chord progressions that make up “My Sweet Lord” by George Harrison first.

In the famous lawsuit George Harrison was found to have unintentionally copied the tune “He’s So Fine” by The Chiffons, he later bought the rights. George had lawyers, and other business acumen to draw from to navigate these choppy legal waters. The Chiffons simply made hay while the sun shined down upon them by recording “My Sweet Lord” and made some money.

What would you do if you had to go to court over something you created and claimed ownership to but was now in dispute?

A guy in South Africa, Max Guedy, has come up with a simple way to register a creative piece online, for free. He calls this service MYOWs (My Own Works). Intellectual property, once registered there on your account is “time-stamped” to identify the latter point of law named, the time of creation.

According to an interview Max Guedy gave to the Frisk Design blog the new service should be up and running this month—August 2009. He says in the interview:

“So MYOWs guides its users, step by step, to have copies of their work removed according to the DMCA and Berne convention guidelines.While doing that, MYOWs builds a case history so that in the event that your case goes to court, you are fully prepared to win.”

That seems like a great deal to offer to the creative community for free. If this takes off and becomes a service that is scaleable in the entertainment industry, Max Guedy may just have something here. I have gone to his website and logged in to be kept abreast of developments as they happen.

With my experience with startups I know things can take longer than expected, but this is one idea, is not only new, but a bright spot in my recent coverage of the business of design. Keep Max Guedy and MYOWs on your radar, you may need a service like this someday soon.


My thanks to Matt Hill of Frisk Design, cheers mate!

© Copyright 2009 Guy Arceneaux All rights reserved


  1. As a blogger my articles get copied and pasted elsewhere all the time - I think MYOWS will be an interesting way to protect the copyright on my restaurant reviews. Thanks very much for writing about MYOWS, it sure seems like it will meet my needs. Well written post too!

  2. Hi, thanks for spreading the word about MyOws.

    I think it's a really valuable service and have been helping Max promote it around the web, so thanks for picking up the baton and doing the same. I know that Max will be thrilled to see the buzz spreading.

  3. I'm just dropping by to announce that myows is LIVE and in Beta testing.

    Your feedback and comments would be very appreciated.


Leave me a comment, I'd like to know what you think!