5 Ways to Protect Your Copyright
Copyright protects intellectual property: web content, software, video and audio records, articles, art and scholarly works.
Copyright doesn’t allow other people to use your creative product without your permission. It allows you to take fee for using your product.
- Ideas (e.g. a plot for a novel);
- True facts;
- Unrecorded material (information in other people’s heads and unsaved on data storage devices);
- Short names: names, titles and marketing slogans.
In order to protect your copyright there’s no need in long-term preparations as in a case of obtaining a patent. All you have to do is to save your original work on any material object and use the following signature after any of your work:
Copyright your name/date or date/your name.
It seems to be easy, doesn’t it? But the other side of the coin is that it’s extremely difficult to prove your copyright in this case.
Here are some helpful tips:
1. Simple yet Undeniable Proof
This technique is rather simple and works in almost every corner of the world, wherever you can find a state post. Note that a private company won’t give you strong evidence.
Take a piece of your intellectual work, specify with correct symbols of copyright protection and take it to a post office using any information carrier. It should be long-lived one. Buy an envelope and send it to yourself.
Your envelope will be stamped with the date by the post service.
The envelope will become an undeniable proof of your copyright in any part of the world, while the litigation connected with stealing objects of intellectual property from websites may take years.
2. An Influential Person
Authority sometimes means more in our society than any evidence. If you work with a big client or have some connections in Washington, you can count on their testimony and support in your case against lawbreakers. You can have anyone with good connections and who’s well-informed about your involvement in intellectual creation as such an influential person.
What is ISBN? It is the International Standard Book Number. It is official internationally accepted registration form that is used by publishers, booksellers and libraries for ordering, compiling lists and stock bookkeeping. In fact, it’s just an inventory number. But I know some of the self-published novelists who used this number to protect their work.
4. Companies that Offer Copyright Registration
There are no state or semi-state bodies that provide copyright registration in most of the countries. The US is an exception. It has website - www.copyright.gov.
There is Intellectual Property Office in UK (www.ipo.gov.uk). The website is incredibly useful but it doesn’t have a registration option.
There are many independent business companies which can be found on the Internet that offer to act as a registrar of your copyright for a small fee. Some of the organizations call themselves official and use ‘Authority’ word in their name. Other institutions won’t ask you to send them a copy of your work. All you have to do is to register and pay for service. I would not trust the last one.
If you decided to gain support of the online registrar, I would advise checking the guarantees they offer. The service costs approximately $50-60 for a five-year registration. In fact, their task is about taking actions in case of first two above-mentioned items upon your first request.
5. Special Purpose Online Services
A number of the companies appeared due to the growing popularity and importance of music industry. They offer services of removing pirated content. Companies have become so popular and successful that even publishers extensively use their services.
Unlike other companies offering copyright registration that we’ve mentioned earlier, these ones provide you with more active protection of your creative products. Rather than just registering your copyright, they fight energetically to prevent spreading of your content on the Internet. Some of them have gone even further. They monitor the possible infringement of your rights day and night even without your direct involvement. One can find huge variety of such companies using search engines.
I can recommend only one company because I’ve written its detailed review and talked to its managers. It’s called Link-Busters. They claim to remove 99% of pirated content from sharing services and 70% from torrent websites. You can check their work, but before making a decision analyze other companies that provide the same services.
Read also "How Can We Affect Plagiarists?"