- free download of ‘يوميات فكرة مسروقة’ the copyright handbook for creative people (PDF)
- sample contract in arabic (word document)
- a checklist of required items when negotiating a contract (PDF)
- detailed design & printing specifications of this project (PDF). we’ll try to include a spec sheet with every new project we share
in this post:
the complete process, photos of the final product, the invitation for the launching event of the book, a newspaper article about the event, useful links, and the creative commons license governing ‘يوميات فكرة مسروقة’.
What it’s about, and who was involved
Alright, this is a handbook in arabic, about the copyright law in Lebanon for illustrators, writers, and all creative people. Yet it’s written, designed, and illustrated to be so friendly that you will never feel you’re reading law material. The book is distributed free of charge in both it’s print-based version, & digital version. Get your soft-copy here, or contact Rania Zaghir for a hard-copy.
The project was initiated by Rania Zaghir founder of Al Khayyat Al Saghir, a publisher of quality children’s books, in arabic. The book is an initiative to educate the creative community, hoping for it to be a catalyst for illustrators and writers to stand up together for theirs rights. Let this be a forum to do just that; Leave a comment about all the cases where you had your ideas stolen, and all the projects that were left unpaid. We can all learn from each other and find ways to prevent things like that from happening.
Below you’ll find the people who worked hard on this project (this project was funded by the Anna Lindh Foundation, illustrations by David Habchy, Sada font by Pascal Zoghbi and Martin Major -now FF Seria Arabic)
Process & design
We aimed for making a practical handbook people would keep keep with them all the time, instead of having it sit on a bookshelf. This is why we questioned everything, and did a lot of things differently.
Something that illustrators and writers always keep with them is a sketchbook, this is why the end product (below) looks like a sketchbook, with black hardcover, red bookmark, and moleskine proportions. Even the title (custom-made) is not printed on the cover, but embossed to be as subtle as possible, and to allow a margin for each one to personalize his own.
Since this is a sketchbook, we couldn’t have the sketch area integrated between the content, because creativity needs it’s space. We also couldn’t have the content in the beginning and then the sketch area (the way it’s usually done), as this makes it a book with a sketch area. What it needs to be is a sketchbook with a reference at the end dealing with the copyright law; and this is what we did! the book starts with 106 blank pages of ‘sketchbook material’ cartridge paper. (below)
The beginning of the reference area starts with a red spread (separator), and the red bookmark comes pre-set at this position for easy navigation.
A sample spread from the final product with type & illustrations hand in hand :). next we’ll see how this came to be.
The biggest challenge was to have a book for illustrators and writers of children’s books, without it being too rigid and intimidating like the ‘law’ (below)
Or too childish (below) that people won’t take seriously.
For budget requirements we aimed to have one color printing, but soon enough this proved to be giving dull results, especially partnered with the type of content we’re dealing with, and so an additional color to our monotone palette gave much more value, and didn’t break the bank at all.
While the sketch area can be used horizontally and vertically, you’ll notice the content area is in landscape format, which is unusual for a book. But after countless trials with layout of type and image, a portrait format with the narrow width of the book proved to be inflexible, and too structured to the point of being boring. We also couldn’t change the proportions, as these are what creative people are most comfortable with. Rotating it horizontally proved to be a more than ideal solution, and flipping the pages was not cumbersome like we originally though it would be.
The landscape format allowed for a grid of 9 columns, comfortable gutters between the columns, and ample margins on the edges. These columns could be joined and used as a single text column in any combination possible (seen below), which made the layout extremely dynamic with much variations, while not seeming chaotic. The lack of a horizontal grid added further flexibility, while a hanging line at the bottom of each page grounded all content together.
Illustrations played a vital part and provided ‘2 in 1’ functionality especially for the Q&A section:
- Lots of thought went into each illustration to give it slight pun and humor to lighten up the mood visually and intellectually.
- Illustrations were also indicative of the meaning of the content on each page, and thus played a very important role in helping the reader find again the content he once read; like a table of content within the content. So if you were looking for whether you can use a ‘stage’ name instead of your real name while flipping the pages, you’ll find that answer easier when you meet lambina! (below)
In the section explaining the vital parts of a contract, we provided a sample contract as an image next to the content, and labeled those vital parts on that image. The reader would find it much easier to understand something he’s looking at, rather than words in the air. 🙂 (see below)
A checklist is included in the book to make sure you cover all your bases when negotiating a contract. Since this is a practical handbook, people need to use this checklist, not just look at it! You’ll notice below that there are blank columns where you could write the name of each contract you’re negotiating, and check/uncheck all that apply right on the handbook.
If you still didn’t get your copy of the detailed design & printing specifications of this project get it here in PDF (snapshot below)
We also illustrated and designed the invitation card (below) for the launching event which took place in Assabil Public Library, Mono Street.
There was lots of great positive feedback from the event, people loved the book, free copies were distributed for everyone, and an article about it got published in Al Hayat newspaper! 🙂
(the article below has been reformatted to fit this blog post)
- Abu-Ghazaleh Intellectual Property (www.agip.com)
- aquire an ISSN (International Standard Serial Number) (www.issn.org)
- aquire an ISBN (International) (www.isbn.org)
- The Lebanese Intellectual Property Association (LIPA)
- Find resources about the Intellectual Property (www.findlaw.com)
- Ministry of Economy and Trade to register creative works (www.economy.gov.lb)
- The World Intellectual Property Organization (www.wipo.int)
- Saba & Co. Intellectual Property (www.sabaip.com)
- free licenses and other legal tools to mark creative work (www.creativecommons.org)
If you have a question, a story, or would like to let us know what you think, leave a comment below!