For many of us, some of the very first thoughts that pop into our head when thinking of copyright might be the famous copyright symbol, ©.
When a copyright symbol is present among distinct works, we know that there is an owner who holds the legal rights to the specific material. This person, or company, owns all the legal rights to sell, copy or distribute their own work.
One of the biggest issues with copyright results when there is a copyright infringement. This occurs when someone distributes, copies or remakes a copyrighted product without the permission of the owner. Essentially, stealing somebody else’s work without giving them credit, this occurs among books, art, websites, and other creative.
Why Does Copyright Affect Businesses?
We live in the era of technology where our society revolves around cell phones, laptops and other technological devices. Therefore, the fastest way to reach out to our society is by incorporating technology. Many businesses have already adapted to this change by creating websites, apps or different products that advertise their company through social media.
Many issues can result from creating a website in order to advertise such as the risk of infringement. It is important to protect your work since the equipment or merchandise being advertised is your stock-in-trade. These are thing that you have created, even minimal details can also become part of infringement such as text, logos, web design and videos. But how does this affect a business?
First off, someone is copying your products, ideas and advertising forms. This means that you are trying to sell is also being sold by others resulting in a lack of revenue and more competition within other businesses.
How To Find Out If You Are Being Infringed?
Many tools have been created to facilitate how to find out if your work is being copied by others. Sites such as Copyscape, Plagium, and Google Alerts, can all help you detect whether your work is being used by others, generally based off written pieces of work.
When we speak of websites, there is a bigger issue, its not easy to control what people copy and paste and cannot be tracked as easily. Although websites are one of the most likely to experience copyright infringement, the tools are still developing in how to track down what is original and what isn’t.
The most reliable form is to conduct your own searches specifying what you sell among similar websites and comparing what could be your original work.
Tips on How to Protect Yourself from Copyright Infringement
The most important tip is to keep up with competitors and your own website, don’t assume that by creating a website and never keeping up with it your job is done. Install RSS scraping tools that show when someone is copying and pasting your pictures, videos or text.
Further, you may get consultation from a copyright lawyer who knows how how handle such cases.
These are your individualized ideas, don’t let someone take credit for what you’ve done. Protect your work!
This post is written by Mari Figueroa, a second year International Development Studies student at UCLA who frequently writes about business law.