Intellectual property (IP) is important in all professions that need creativity, particularly those that are emerging in the digital environment. The influencer marketing sector is predicted to be worth $15 billion by the end of 2022, thanks to the rapid rise in the popularity of content creators and promoters on the internet. At the moment, it amounts to around 15% of all advertising revenue spent globally.
Understanding the Essentials of Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs)
Any person who contributes information to any type of media in a specific context is referred to as a content creator. The act of creating content or information can take place on any digital platform, such as a personal blog or a social media site such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or YouTube. To protect such creativity from unlawful use, it is necessary to seek protection under IP law. The unique authority to duplicate and distribute the work, as well as supervise and regulate how it is used by others, is granted by the IP vested in a subject matter.
We can demarcate IP as follows to broadly categorize rights and comprehend each category:
- Copyright is a sort of intellectual property that protects original creative works including images, videos, writings, and cinematographic films, among other things. Copyright is particularly important in the context of content creators since they must acquire permission before using other people’s creative efforts. In some cases, everything available on the internet may not be covered by copyright and may require the acquisition of a license.
- Trademarks are used to distinguish one’s goods and services from those of others by identifying, classifying, and indicating their origins. Before exhibiting a trademark on their social media accounts, creators must get the owner’s permission.
- The online identity of an entity or a business is referred to as a domain name. Trademarks can even be registered for domain names. Once a trademark is registered, the owner gets all of the legal rights that come with any other trademark. As a result, it is critical to never infringe on the domain name of another company or person to disseminate or promote one’s label.
It is critical to be aware of the rights that may be vested through the said category of rights to avoid becoming embroiled in legal battles while employing IP assets that have been reserved by others. Apart from the aforementioned reasons, it is also vital for content creators to arm themselves with IP in addition to just keeping an eye out for works created by IP holders. Let’s look at the Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) for content providers in this setting.
Why Understand & Invest in IP At All?
As previously stated, IP allows for the restriction and control of any unlawful use. In addition, IP aids in the following areas:
- IP aids in the differentiation of one’s business from those of competitors through legal safety nets and protections.
- It guards against direct and indirect copying of a company’s branding and marketing strategies.
- Through IP, a company’s legal transactions, such as partnerships and loans, can be kept confidential.
- It allows a company’s identity and assets to be protected from being misappropriated by others who manufacture counterfeits or pirated versions of the originals.
Checklist for Content Creators
- Awareness of social media: When a content producer creates an account on a social media platform, he or she must agree to specific contractual duties outlined in the portal’s terms and conditions. When a content creator joins Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, for example, the social media platform is granted permission to handle the creator’s data. As a result, it is vital to read the contract and disclaimers, which are frequently overlooked.
- Public Disclaimer of Your Rights: While using a particular social media platform, the content creator must inform the public that the work, while published and made available to the public, is the creator’s intellectual property. As a result, it is recommended that the symbol be placed in a prominent location where the publication is done, together with the name and date of creation.
- Using Watermarks & Adjusting Resolutions: When sharing photographs, using digital watermarks with the creator’s handle as a trademark or trade name is a fantastic option. Lowering the resolution of images and films can also be useful if a creator desires to limit the breadth of infringement and illicit copying. Lower resolution implies there is a limited scope of modifying and using it as a derivative work, therefore infringers will be kept at bay.
- Awareness about Creative Commons Licenses: Creative Commons is a non-profit organization based in the United States that provides free legal instruments to protect and facilitate the distribution and reproduction of information and ideas. These tools contribute to the standardization of content consumption and distribution on the internet. Affiliates of Creative Commons guarantee that all users are aware of the work and impact of these licenses.
Content creation is a valuable profession, and as a material creator’s validity is based solely on the content, it is accepted that all types of creative content must be protected from imitators and illegal duplication. The typical IP approach is available; but, where cost and strategy allow, an alternative licensing path may be used. It all depends on the breadth and scope of a piece of content’s utilization, as well as the long-term strategy for leveraging one’s assets. As a result, all content creators must have a thorough awareness of the IPRs and licenses that govern the digital environment.