Intellectual Property Protect Your Online Work, Too
People sometimes tend to think that almost anything they see or read online is free for the taking, a fact that has caused grief for both creators and the takers. In actuality, most of the same intellectual property laws apply to writing, photographs and other material online, as well as offline. While you still can’t really copyright an idea, for instance, the words you write about that idea are your property. Beyond a small amount for “fair use” purposes, no one else should be able to simply lift your words and put them on their site, and even then they should credit you in some way.
This is just one of the issues facing online creators, which is what makes the Asian American Personalities Morgan Chu interview so timely. Morgan Chu is one of the top intellectual property attorneys in the United States, and has over 35 years of experience as an intellectual property and trial lawyer. With advances in technology coming at an ever-increasing rate, it’s important to keep on top of changes in the law, or ways technology sometimes outpaces the law. There are usually options available, even if the exact law doesn’t apply to what you are doing, and lawyers well-versed in intellectual property law know what those options are.
What are some intellectual properties that you should consider learning how to protect?
*Apps – Creating apps for cell phones and other electronic products is extremely popular, and not all that difficult to do. It’s also not difficult for someone else to copy your work, so finding out the best way to protect it is essential. After all, what if the app you create is the one that knocks those disgruntled birds off their perch?
*Photographs – People have been amazed to find that even large companies have combed through their online photo collections and used their photographs in advertising and other media. Some have even used full face shots! You can prevent some of this by indicating, in print on your site or on the photographs themselves that they are copyrighted, all rights reserved.
*Writings – As discussed above, the words you write belong to you. It doesn’t matter if those words are in a professional article posted in a newspaper or magazine, or simply dashed off on your blog, it’s your work. Not surprisingly, there have been many cases of people simply lifting entire articles or posts from others online, and claiming the work as their own, which is not only bad form–it can be illegal.
Of course there are other items you may wish to protect in some way–sometimes it is as simple as putting a little circled “c” and the words of your copyright on your site, or work. Other times, it’s a little more involved and there may be a few gray areas that have not yet been enlightened by laws. Take in Asian American Personalities Morgan Chu interview, where some of your questions may be answered, and some things about intellectual property you may not have even thought of may be brought up. It should be an interesting and informative conversation.