With the emergence of digital media, anyone can be a publisher today. However, there has also been a surge in copyright infringement. While there is no guaranteed way to fully protect your content online from improper use, there are a few ways to reduce the likelihood of losing your intellectual property (IP).
Understand Your Intellectual Property: According to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), any content you created online is protected. Nonetheless, it might be in your best interest to register or protect your content through patents, watermarks, time stamps, encryptions, copyright notices and trademarks. You should also consider writing a permission policy on your site, explicitly telling people what they can and cannot do with your content. More individuals and businesses today are purchasing IP insurance policies to cover their costs should they have to take legal action.
Understand Other People’s Intellectual Property: However, if you use content on your online presence that was produced by the someone else, the copyright for that content is owned by that content producer. This includes written material, photographs, graphics, music and videos. In those instances, you must contact the content producer to get permission to use their material and make sure you credit them for their work. If you hire independent contractors (graphic designers, web developers, content strategists etc) to design and develop written, audio and visual material, graphics, digital files, web pages and databases, the copyright is owned by those contractors unless you have them sign a clearly stated, non-disclosure agreement. Keep in mind that just because you paid for content, doesn’t mean you own the copyright on that content without said contract.
It is advisable to contact a lawyer who specializes in intellectual property who can address your particular concerns, as this topic can be overwhelming. Luckily for you, we are hosting a webinar on intellectual property on 10 August. While the course is geared towards creative professionals, anyone who is concerned about their intellectual property online is welcomed to join us. We will have two intellectual property lawyers who will discuss these issues more in-depth.
There is a huge interest in this webinar, as it sold out rather quickly. However, we are going to see if we can up our web server so we can handle more participants for this webinar. We are still accepting those who want to be on our waiting list, and we will try to get as many of you onto this webinar as we can possibly handle. If we cannot get you into the 10 August webinar, we will schedule a second webinar later this year or early 2014.
To get on the waiting list, email info (at) globalwireonline (dot) org.