In this era of technology and advancement, great ideas are born. Unfortunately, high-end tools and software create a comfortable and tempting environment for the stealing of these mind creations.
What Is Intellectual Property?
Intellectual property is often referred to as “products of the brain” or “creations of the mind.” It includes scientific breakthroughs, inventions, discoveries, designs, artworks, and more. Its concept was established in 1624 when the Statute of Monopolies originated the patent laws. However, it was not until 1769 when the term was first used.
Intellectual property is protected by the law in the form of patents, copyrights and trademarks, and other intellectual property rights. Intellectual property rights are exclusive legal rights granted to the owner for the use of his/her creations over a certain period of time.
Why Protect Your Intellectual Property?
Intellectual property rights are important because in this digital age, it’s easy to steal someone else’s work or idea. One can simply download, save, and even edit an image uploaded in the social media. One can effortlessly copy and paste blog content or an article, without citing the writer or inserting a reference. And one can readily reproduce someone else’s templates, logos and designs, and claim them to be their own.
If you want to prevent your creations from being stolen, or you want to be properly accredited for your hard work, then intellectual property rights are yours to take advantage of.
How to Protect Your Intellectual Property
Unlike industrial products that are secured by patents, online works are difficult to protect. It’s difficult to avoid your work being reproduced on a global scale. However, these preventive measures are still helpful for creators in thwarting thieves:
- Use watermarks, and disable right click for photos to be uploaded on social media. Watermarks help in deterring thieves, because your ownership was already made visible, especially with your name signature or website logo located in the bottom of the image. They’re easy to do, but may appear to be somewhat distracting. But it’s definitely better than posting a low-resolution file online just to discourage thieves. Disabling right click can also prevent people from saving your uploaded image immediately. However, it cannot protect you from screen captures. Here’s a great way to add watermarks to your videos.
- Use a copyright notice on blogs, and explicitly state your own policies. Most thieves are actually unaware that what they’re doing is illegal. Using a copyright warning will serve as an effective indicator that what they’re reading or viewing is yours, and that they have to cite your work or refer to you if ever they plan to borrow and develop your idea. Also, creating your own policies will guide people on what they may or may not do with your web content.
Going through a copyright infringement is expensive, and time and energy consuming. Hence, it’s better to protect your own intellectual properties before having to exercise this last resort.