People that imitate your work, seek your clients, and claim credit for your ideas are always going to be in your rear-view. You hold the power in this circumstance, as you choose whether or not to fuel their entitlement, because they can’t advance without you.
If you’re excellent at what you do, other people will plagiarise your work. The expression “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery” and such clichés don’t help you feel better. Why should they, too?
Here are the three measures you need to take to defend yourself and your work if someone is stealing your ideas or style:
1. Determine the Seriousness of The Matter
Is your imitator a new kid on the block who might easily cease imitating you with a fast email? Or have you already brought up this significant issue with the imitator?
Sometimes, individuals actually are unaware that what they are doing is improper or even prohibited. In whatever universe they reside in, they might even believe they are assisting you. Sending a considerate email to beg them to cease is appropriate in this situation.
It is advisable to speak with an attorney who specialises in intellectual property law who can help you navigate the current problem or even take it off your hands to deal with the copycat if it is a more serious issue or if it has happened previously.
2. Do Something
Understanding intellectual property is one of the finest strategies to safeguard your work. It’s crucial to have a fundamental understanding of what it is, how it functions, and when you may use it to your advantage, if necessary, as a clever business owner.
It’s also crucial to be aware of how to defend yourself prior to issues developing.
The biggest error that most companies make is to freak out once someone has already duplicated your work. It may seem practically impossible at this point to stop them, or at the very least extremely challenging to take action.
For instance, if someone uses your logo without your permission and you have registered your logo as a trademark, you can claim infringement and request that social media platforms like Facebook, Pinterest, and Etsy take down the offending material.
It’s not that difficult, is it?
3. Be the Trailblazer
Being the most innovative player in your field makes it practically impossible for the competitors to catch up, which is the ideal answer in our opinion.
Here are some additional options to consider in your situation:
Innovation Can Take Many Different Shapes
You can distinguish yourself from the competitors and copycats by establishing yourself as an innovator in a specific market segment. This will make you the go-to source for any goods or services you offer. They will only come out as pitiful and inferior if they attempt to imitate you, and the majority of your clientele or customer base will be able to see right through their ruse.
Strategies to Keep Copycats at Bay
Understand your rights with regard to patents, copyrights, and trademarks. Knowing your legal rights will make it simpler for you to react when you encounter a copycat.
Assemble images, screenshots, and links for both your original work and the imitation, then store them in a secure location. You don’t want to directly purchase the item in question out of concern for privacy and to avoid changing it while you plan; you don’t want someone you might sue to have access to your personal and financial information.
Make an effort to identify the precise offender. Can you locate the name of the business or its details? Where was this made widely known? Think about the usage and platform. For instance, the firm that makes the T-shirt is likely to have its own infringement policy if someone has exploited your image on one. This could be more convincing evidence to urge the violator to quit.
Is it Time to Hire Counsel?
Consider your ideal outcome once you’ve gathered all the evidence that someone is stealing your work. Do you merely want them to remove a picture from the internet? Or have goods sold that bear your name or design and might mislead consumers? Do you have a claim for compensation?
Having your work stolen can be a frustrating experience, but taking the right steps can help you protect your creative endeavours and assert your rights as a content creator. By documenting and gathering evidence, contacting the offender professionally, and implementing strategies to protect your work going forward, you can turn this unfortunate situation into an opportunity for growth and increased vigilance in preserving your creative assets. Remember, the digital world is vast, but with the right approach, you can ensure that your work remains yours and yours alone.