If you’re an entrepreneur or anyone else starting a new small business, then you need to be wary of copyright infringements. This is especially true if content – either written or visual – plays a big part in your business, because copyright infringements can dramatically reduce your profitability.
There are numerous ways to protect your business from copyright infringement, including by engaging the services of a commercial lawyer who has experience with copyright law. With this in mind, I’ve outlined a few of the simplest things that you can do.
Note that this isn’t a complete list, and that it’s not designed to take the place of professional advice.
Use A Copyright Lawyer
The most important thing to do when it comes to protecting your business from copyright infringement – which, by the way, occurs when someone else uses your intellectual property without permission – is to hire a commercial lawyer with copyright experience.
There are a number of ways a copyright lawyer can help you remain protected, including:
- They will advise you on the best course of action to ensure long term protection of your intellectual assets.
- They can follow up potential copyright infringements, catching them before they escalate.
- They will advise you on the best course of action if you want to prosecute someone for copyright infringement.
Ultimately, I’d never try and start a new business without speaking to a lawyer with copyright experience, even if the business wasn’t heavily dependant on intellectual material.
Register A Copyright
Short of hiring a lawyer, the best thing that you can do to protect your work is register a copyright. It’s never too early to do so, and I’d recommend doing it as soon as you’ve finished your work. Just because someone else hasn’t created something similar yet doesn’t mean that they won’t in the near future.
Registering a copyright will help identify your works as your own and yours alone. This means that, if someone else comes up with something similar in the future, they will be in violation of your copyright.
Make Sure People Know Your Work Is Copyright
It’s absolutely essential to make sure that it’s obvious that your work is copyrighted. There are numerous ways to do this, essentially any copyright notice has to include three elements:
The copyright symbol, ©, or the words “copyright” or “copr”.
A year of publication of the work in question.
Your name or the name of the copyright owner (if it’s not you).
Displaying a copyright symbol next to every piece of work that you publicly display will help make sure that people don’t replicate it without permission.
Copyright infringement is a major problem in the modern world. The increasing popularity of the internet and social media means that people can share digital information rapidly and without really having to think about it.
If you want to protect yourself and your business from copyright infringement, then consider hiring a commercial lawyer, submitting copyright applications for all of your best works, and publicly displaying the copyright logo next to each piece of work.