Somebody takes a brilliant piece of content that you had worked really hard on, puts it up on their socials, and somehow they are getting the fruit of your efforts. This happens with every creator. But you can still control how your content is redistributed if not maintain complete ownership. But to do that you need to first understand what are digital intellectual properties- Intellectual property or IP refers to any unique creation of the mind. And when in a digital capacity, these assets are called a digital IP. As creators you are bound to have IPs even in things that you might not realise. This is why every creator needs to pair up with a lawyer who can help them figure out these nitty gritties. In conversation with Priyanka Khimani, we learnt 3 strategies in which we can protect out digital IPs-
1. Know your rights
Today the phrase digital IP is thrown around loosely and often used in incorrect contexts. People get confused and either label everything as their digital IP or put emphasis on the wrong things. The protection of your IP starts with you as the creator knowing what are the different ways you can prevent someone stealing or misusing your IPs. For example, there’s a trademark on the name of my podcast Figuring Out. However, the conversations I have with my guests here can not be considered as my own IP. So sit with your lawyer and just be in the know of how your IP is structured out.
2. Understand trademark laws
Continuing with the above example- If my podcast name is trademarked, what if someone puts a smart spin and just tweaks the name a bit to use ‘Figuring It Out’? Well, you’d think this as passable but good news is, even this can be prevented. In trademark laws tehre are different criterias for different situation. As a lot of IP theft can be subjective, the preventive measures also provides protection in case there is a lot of phonetic overlap. Sometimes even a slight overlap can meaning them stealing your brand value, something you have built over time, and capitalising on that. So it’s not just one simple thing that will determine if there’s theft. The parameters under which your IP has been created will protect your voice, not just a piece of content that you create.
3. Corrective course of action
There will always be people who rip off of other’s works. But if that’s something happening to you, the first thing that the law needs you to do is initiate a line of communication. Recognizing the infringement is the first step in this process. A multitude fo things can be considered as infringement. Maybe a company used your brand and hasn’t paid you your due, someone stole a piece of content you have created or there is a lot of miscommunication and things went off track. Second, think of what is it that you want- do you want to strike the infringement or do you want to monetize it. Sometimes all a creator wants is acknowledgement other times, people want to make money out of it.
At the end of the day, most works are not original per say. Art comes form a series of people recreating the same ideas. You might have made a cover of an original song but still own copyright for the cover version. Geting things laid out legally will help you understand and protect your hard work.
For such tips, head to the full episode of Figuring Out and share it among friends too!