Preemptive Steps for your Copyright Protection

Today, we offer a list of tips that can help you stay out of complex Copyright disputes:

  • Double-check contracts.  Whenever you work with photographers, website designers, or independent contractors, make sure your contract with them meets your companies needs without limiting future growth.  Make sure your contract allows you to do whatever you want with the product you are paying for.
  • Be weary of online material.  Essentially every type of content has an author, and that author most likely has common law copyright protection.  ‚Free‘ material off the internet may prove to become quite expensive long-term if you run into Copyright trouble.  Instead, look for material on Creative-Commons or the public domain.  Alternatively, generate the materials you need in-house to avoid the headache of licensing terms.
  • Designate an agent.  The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) requires you to register an agent with the Copyright Office.  Remember to do this and also to include notification instructions on your website if you are an online business.  All you have to do is hand in a simple form to the Copyright Office.  This can help you defend yourself against a claim.  The DMCA immunizes online services from monetary liability as long as they follow certain rules.  A designated agent may also help you deter trolls.

Happy authoring!