You might not think of it this way, but if you run a website, then you’re probably an artist. Most of what you do will likely entail writing articles and designing graphics and these are artistic works that need to be protected.
And as this is an artistic creation, that therefore means that you have a right to protect it. You created this work, so it’s up to you to make sure that no one else profits from it or distributes it without your say so.
Understanding how to do this and the laws(Digital Rights) that are on your side is very important as that’s the only way you’ll be able to defend what you create. Here we will look at the laws that you should thus familiarize yourself with and what you can and can’t lay claim to.
Types of Intellectual Property Protection: Digital Rights
First of all it’s important to understand the difference between copyright, patent and trademark.
Copyright – Digital Rights
For most of what you do online a copyright will suffice to give you protection. A copyright is a type of protection that applies to any artistic creation so that means any content you’ve written, any drawings you’ve made, or any design work.
- The great thing about a copyright too is that it comes into effect as soon as you create the image. This then means that if you draw something right now on a piece of paper, then the copyright is yours and will be yours until after you die.
- No one else can make money from that image and you don’t have to pay to ensure this is the case.
However where things do get more complicated is when it comes to proof – you have to be able to prove that the image, writing, design work etc. was created by you first in order to pursue the matter.
To do this you might want to get the copyright registered which means someone has verified it, or you might try mailing the image to yourself, or even just keeping a diary of your work on the project all of which can help. Note that copyright also applies to code.
Trademarks – Digital Rights
Trademarks meanwhile might also come in handy, which have to be registered but are relatively cheap and long lasting.
- Trademark essentially applies to a name – normally a brand name, but also potentially another word associated with your product such as a character in a story or a term you use to describe your website.
Registering your trademark means protecting your website name essentially, and in a world where Google is more and more emphasizing the importance of brands this is something that you should consider doing.
Patents – Digital Rights
Finally there are patents which are much more complicated and expensive to look accomplish. A patent doesn’t often apply to a website because they describe mechanical functions and the design of products.
- In other words you can’t patent content, and you wouldn’t want to anyway as it’s an expensive and lengthy process.
The only thing you might want a patent for is a product such as a Shapeways gadget you might be selling from your site but this is rare.
These three factors or digital right you should know for protecting your online work and securing your online data in-short.