Whether you write books, articles, web content, blogs, movies, shorts, screenplays, choreographic works, take pictures, or shoot videos—you should always be thinking how best to protect your copyrights, your business brand, and any creative content that you upload to the Internet. Your creative content, your trademarks, your business collectively are your assets, and your kids’ future. PROTECT them!
ASSET PROTECTION should be your #1 concern. If you don’t take care of your assets, whether through copyright registration, trademark registration, patent registration, contracts, or LLCs, trusts, offshore trusts, and other asset protection strategies, you will be sorry later. It’s your job to protect your assets—not someone else’s.
Let’s look at a few more strategies that will help you protect your work, make it harder for someone to steal from you, and if they do—to make it easier for you to sue them.
- ALWAYS, place the copyright notice symbol—in the proper format—on all your work (e.g., Copyright 2017 Marion Doe). It sends the message that you claim ownership of your work, PLUS in the event you ever need to sue someone for copyright infringement, your case is stronger.
- Register your work with the US copyright office. A common myth floating around the creative community is that you can protect your copyrighted work by use of the so-called “poor man’s copyright”. This is a dangerous piece of information in the hands of a content creator. It erroneously suggests that the security you seek through copyright protection, will be had by you mailing a copy of your work to yourself. WRONG!Here’s why: Even though you have a copyright the moment you reduce your original idea to a tangible form, without the benefit of registration it means nothing. One benefit of copyright registration is that you can sue someone for copyright infringement. Without a registration, you cannot sue.Copyright registration is not hard to do, and you can submit an online copyright registration. It’s one of the cheapest and most effective ways to ensure that you get the copyright protection your desire.
Until next time, I’m Attorney Francine Ward helping you protect what’s yours. Join my conversation on Facebook, Twitter, or in one of my LinkedIn groups, Google+ Circles. Feel free to subscribe to my newsletter.