As a prospective designer, understanding copyright law is very important to insure that my hard work will be used fairly by my customers. Copyright is the exclusive right to control the reproduction and commercialization of any creative artwork. Copyright can protect any creative work including everything from photography to novels. These laws were put into place to protect all designers and make sure they are compensated for their work.
But protecting your designs is only half respecting copyright. It is also important to respect other designers by not stealing their work. If we wish to use work created by another designer, we should always ask for permission before doing so. When somebody uses a design without getting the creators permission, it is considered piracy and they can be fined for each piece stolen.
All copyrighted work is considered Intellectual Property (IP). IP refers to creations of the mind. When creating a new design or writing a story, we are creating new IP. Luckily as creators, we have laws in place to make sure that new and exciting work is being supported and protected.