How Entrepreneurs Can Prevent Copyright Infringement
Launching a small business is no easy task. There are many risks and obstacles you’ll have to overcome, such as copyright infringement.
Even if your business isn’t creative, someone could still use your intellectual property without your permission for financial gain otherwise known as copyright infringement. Keep reading to learn more about how you protect your small business from copyright infringement.
Prevent Copyright Infringement By Registering A Copyright
The safest way to protect your work is to register a copyright either through the mail or online. Even if your business is just an idea, it’s never too early to do this.
You might think there’s no way anyone has created work similar to yours before, but you could be wrong. Which is why you want to register sooner than later, so you can not only protect your work but also make sure that you aren’t infringing on any existing copyright.
To file a copyright with the U.S. Copyright Office, you need to have a non-returnable copy of your work, along with the filing fee, and your filled out application form. You can also file more than one work on the same application.
Just so you know, when you register a copyright, this isn’t the same as registering a trademark. Trademarks are meant to protect slogans, business names, phrases, logos, and symbols. This kind of intellectual property protection is much different than copyrights.
Use The Copyright Symbol
Once you filed for a copyright, you can protect your work using a copyright notice. This notice is made up of three elements. The word “copyright,” the copyright symbol, or the abbreviation “copr.”
It should also include the year of the first publication of the work as well as the copyright owner. When you use the copyright symbol with these elements, your business is publically showing to the world that your work is copyrighted.
Consult With A Copyright Attorney
If you have registered your copyright and see that your work has still been infringed by someone else, you’ll need to connect with a copyright attorney. A copyright attorney can help answer any questions that are related to copyright law, and they can tell you what your legal options are.
You’ll want to check with your local or state bar association if you’re not sure where to find a copyright attorney. Or if you’re in the Houston, Texas area, we might be able to help you, so contact us today.
You should also review the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 (DMCA). This act protects the owners of online copyrights.
For example, your business sees its copyrighted photos on another website without credit or permission. You should be able to submit a takedown notice, and you’ll want a legal professional to help you draft it properly.
Protect Your Copyright Today
Now that you know all about copyright infringement, and how you as an entrepreneur can prevent, take the necessary actions today. The first step is to register your copyright, use the symbol, and if needed, hire a copyright attorney.
For more business law resources, be sure to check out our blog.