If you run a blog then congratulations – you’re a property owner! Intellectual property mind, but then in many ways this is often the best kind of property there is, and certainly the most potentially profitable!
Don’t believe me? Then what would you rather own, a nice property in your neighbourhood, or the intellectual rights to Facebook? Now you’re getting it…
But the problem is, that intellectual property – like physical property – comes with a vast number of complicated laws and concepts that you’re going to need to get your head around if you want to manage what you own well. At the same time, it’s also important that you understand these laws so that you can avoid encroaching onto the intellectual property of others online which could land you in trouble. Read on and we’ll look at how to manage your intellectual property well and avoid legal pitfalls.
Protecting Your Ideas and Content
If you create a blog then you’ll be putting your ideas and your artistic creations up for the entire world to see. This is right away a rather dangerous seeming thing to do if you’re the kind of person who worries that people will steel or copy what they’ve done.
So how do you protect yourself? Well technically you’ll already be protected against anyone steeling your images or your writing: this falls under copyright law which doesn’t require any registration. As soon as you create an image or write an article, that is technically yours and you can fine anyone who uses those creations without your consent.
At the same time though, it will be difficult to prove this if you need to which will make it hard to go through with that fine. A scary, legal sounding letter will often be enough though – or if you’re the paranoid kind you can always use watermarks to protect your images. Bear in mind though that even watermarks can be removed by someone who is keen enough to use those images.
The real best defence? Be the best – and make your images and your content so well known as yours that people stealing it will only end up tarnishing their own reputation.
Now that you have considered how to protect your own ideas, you should recognise just how important it is to give others the same courtesy. What this means, is making sure under all circumstances that you are able to use the images you are putting on your site and the content you are publishing there.
Does this mean you have to create every single image you use from scratch? No of course not – but what it does mean is that you have to be careful. This can mean asking a law group for advice on whether you can use particular elements, or it can mean tracking down whoever owns the intellectual rights to the images or the content that you are hoping to use. Send a friendly e-mail, agree to include a link back to their site, and you should be good to go.
Better yet though, there are a ton of images on the web that you can use for free or at least very cheaply. ‘Royalty free’ images are images that you can use without paying a percentage of your royalties to the creator, and while you may still need to pay a small fee up-front in some cases, at least that way you can use the images knowing that you aren’t upsetting any other artists/bloggers, and at least you know you won’t be on the wrong side of the law.
Intellectual property is a complex subject, but as long as you are careful you shouldn’t have anything to worry about. Play fair, and let your talent speak for itself.
Author Bio: Warren Brown is a freelance blogger and an ace creative write with many years of experience writing for top blogs. Warren has written on a myriad of topics and has written several posts for us.