How can traditional Celtic designs be copyrighted?

November 28, 2014

Firstly a distinction should be made between historic designs, which are copied from antique sources and traditional designs that follow the rules and conventions of Celtic Art. New designs can be traditionally authentic without being copied from old sources when the designer is faithful to the cultural style. Original graphic designs of this kind may be protected by copyright.  The Josephine knot is an historic knot that has been used for centuries and falls in the public domain. However, the handmade carvings that these rings are cast from are unique renderings of the Josephine knot and are thus protected as original works. Reproducing this jewelry by digitally scanning it or by any other method of mechanically or electronically reproducing it is strictly prohibited. Unlike the Josephine's knot, most other jewelry designs by Stephen Walker are unique and original designs.

 Do feel free to copy any of the JPEGs on this site if you wish to e-mail them to friends, lovers or family in the process of shopping and comparing. Please obtain permission before publishing any of our JPEGs to a web page.

When the design is original, as with the Ceol mo Chridhe ring (R2), both the design and the carving are protected by copyright. The original knot work pattern of this ring may not be copied without permission in any media. 

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