When you post content online to promote your business, you need to be aware of the potential copyright issues you could face.
Digital content is any content that exists in the form of digital data. Also known as digital media, digital content is stored on digital or analogue storage in specific formats. Forms of digital content include information that is digitally broadcast, streamed, or contained in computer files.
Here are five issues and solutions you need to know about:
1. Using Copyrighted Material
Digital content copyright issues fall into two broad categories.
Firstly, it is imperative that you do not infringe on another individual or company’s copyright by using their intellectual property without permission.
Secondly, it is just as crucial that your content is protected by copyright to help prevent others from stealing or misusing your digital intellectual property.
Before we look at issues related to the latter, it is worth noting just how important the former is. If you post copyrighted content like brand names, logos and images on your website and social media accounts, or anywhere else on the web, without permission, you can run into lots of legal issues.
Not only could you end up paying hefty fines. Your actions could also mean that your business’s reputation becomes ruined.
Always check whether you can legally use a photograph, logo, and so on, before you use content that you have not created.
2. Posting Unprotected Content
While you gain copyright privileges as soon as you create a creative work, like an image or logo, without the need to formally register the copyright, it is highly recommended that you do register the copyright.
In cases where litigation becomes necessary, having registered copyright for digital works can help you affirm and solidify your rights.
You should seek advice from an experienced lawyer before registering a copyright. He or she can help ensure everything is correct and aid you in understanding things like what are moral rights; which consist of rights of integrity and rights of attribution.
If you post content that you have not copyright-registered, it could be more difficult to bring those who steal or misuse your digital content to account and stop them using your content.
3. Not Using the Copyright Symbol
Even when your digital content is protected with a registered copyright, if you do not use the copyright symbol next to your copyrighted works, you are more likely to see more thefts and misuses of your content.
On the other hand, when the © symbol is clearly visible next to, say, your logo or brand imagery, people will think twice about stealing or misusing the content.
In addition, using the copyright symbol adds an additional layer of trust and respectability to a company, thus enabling your business to gain more sales.
4. Not Making it Clear About How Your Digital Content Can Be Used
You may be more than happy for some people to use some of your copyrighted digital content, but it is vital that you give them permission to do so first.
By being transparent about the protection and potential permissions of your copyrighted digital content, you can help to prevent people from stealing or misusing your content.
5. Not Actively Searching for Stolen Digital Content
It is all good and well having copyright in place to protect your digital content, but at the end of the day, it does not stop it from being stolen.
Therefore, you need to actively perform online searches to see if your digital content has been stolen or misused.
Doing that manually is nearly impossible, though. Instead use something like Google Alerts, which scans the internet based on certain criteria to find copied content.