How Copyright Affects Your Business
Subjects to copyright and how this affects your business can be confusing if you do not understand and you are unaware of copyright laws. Copyright is a subject that a lot of business owners attempt to keep away from if possible and they know that it has an effect on them.
However, understanding the copyright laws is important to avoid any violation with regards to this.
Copyright protection pertains to ‘original works of authorship’ which usually means the music, artwork, written words and some intellectual properties. Different states have their different copyright protections which apply to the works made in those states.
Copyright vs Trademark
Copyright must not be bemused with trademark. A trademark covers logos, designs, names, words as well as other elements employed by a particular business and are meant to symbolize identification. It is a branding form that pertains to a certain business. Although trademarks can include phrases or words, they’re not similar to works that copyrights protect. Trademarks are not given automatic protection. Unlike copyrights, a trademark needs to be registered for it to become protected. A trademark has no effect on copyright.
Things affected by copyright in your business
Understanding copyright is important even though your business does not concern creating or writing ‘works of authorship’. Copyright protects the text in your business brochure, copy written for the site you own as well as other advertising collateral that contain text. If another business or person employs your marketing copy with no proper attribution, knowledge or permission coming from yours, it is considered as copyright violation. Copyright infringement can and often does result to costly court cases.
How to own copyrights
Even though you are not the one who wrote the marketing materials for your site, you can still have the copyrights. If you hired someone to specifically write a text for your site or marketing materials, this is regarded as work-for-hire which includes graphics, recordings, words and other things that would usually contain copyright protection. They are made during employment or a contractual agreement for a business’s own use or for another person. Generally, if you hire a contractor or employee to make your marketing campaign, you have the copyright.
Importance of Understanding Copyright
Understanding copyright is necessary for every business. It is not only for the purpose of protecting things such as marketing campaigns, text in brochures that belongs to your business but also protecting yourself from costly litigation due to not understanding the copyright law. Educating yourself about the copyright laws in your state can clarify the things that are subjected to copyright and those which are not.