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Thread: Copyright Arms

  1. #1
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    Copyright Arms

    I am curious, who here so far has their arms registered at the US copyright office, (or equivalent in your country), instead of a registry? I would like to, at some point, have arms granted from the College of Arms, but the cost is prohibitive for many years, whereas a copyright in the US is 45 dollars.

  2. #2
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    As I understand it, blazons/descriptions of arms (the sine qua non of hereditary arms) cannot be copyrighted in the US. One could theoretically apply and perhaps receive a copyright for a depiction of arms, but it would only cover that specific rendering (some US colleges and universities do this). Say your arms are an silver armor-clad arm holding a golden axe on a blue ground. There's nothing stopping someone from making a slightly different arm holding a slightly different axe and using it as theirs, as long as the two are visibly different. Also, despite Congress's continual extensions of copyright, they do expire eventually, leaving your later heirs with no legal protection for their continued use. Likewise, a trademark is exactly that: a marking used in trade or business. It would be very hard to get protection for one's personal arms in this manner, unless you were using them in business (a very odd state of affairs).

  3. #3
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    Well said, BadenochWolf. Copyright is not the way to go when laying claim to a coat of arms.
    There are a number of private registries in the US which will be glad to register your arms.
    Many here would favour going through the Lord Lyon in Scotland, but it is an expensive route. The College of Arms in England is even more so.
    My own arms are registered with the (South African) Bureau of Heraldry in Pretoria. I chose this because I am South African, but a great many foreigners (many of them American, but also including a Thai citizen) have also taken the Pretoria route.
    The fees are inexpensive when converted into US dollars and the officials at the Bureau will give you expert advice without charge.
    Regards,
    Mike
    Last edited by Mike_Oettle; 8th February 15 at 01:41 PM.
    The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life.
    [Proverbs 14:27]

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  5. #4
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    Perhaps I will use the U.S. Heraldic Registry.

    Is anyone able to check the blazon to see what its emblazonment would look like? I have an idea in mind, and I want to be sure it's written correctly.

  6. #5
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    Where did you post the blazon?
    Mark Anthony Henderson
    Virtus et Victoria - Virtue and Victory
    "I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be." - Douglas Adams

  7. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by MacEanruig View Post
    Where did you post the blazon?
    I haven't yet. The idea I had is Ermine, quarter sable, an owl or, in the quarter a lion sejant regardant or.

    If that makes sense anyway.

  8. #7
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    Firstly, if what you want is a black square in the upper dexter corner (left-hand side at the top as you face it), that should read a quarter sable.
    Secondly, if the shield is filled with an owl, but a full quarter defaces it, there is not much owl left to see. Perhaps the black area should be a canton, rather than a quarter, which will give the owl more room.
    Regards,
    Mike
    The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life.
    [Proverbs 14:27]

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  10. #8
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    If I used a canton with the blazon, how would that read then, keeping the or owl and lion sejant?
    Aut Viam Inveniam Aut Faciam
    Proud Member of Clan Macpherson!
    "Touch not the cat bot a glove"

  11. #9
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    Can you post a picture of what you are describing?
    Mark Anthony Henderson
    Virtus et Victoria - Virtue and Victory
    "I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be." - Douglas Adams

  12. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by MacEanruig View Post
    Can you post a picture of what you are describing?
    I haven't found a good site for rendering it yet, I have the picture in my head though, and it is an ermine shield with a gold owl as a charge. There is a black canton with a gold seated lion looking back.
    Aut Viam Inveniam Aut Faciam
    Proud Member of Clan Macpherson!
    "Touch not the cat bot a glove"

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