Intellectual property (IP), copyrights, and other protections are important legal aspects of owning a small business.
Therefore, all content creators or influencers who depend on their art for revenue 💰 should protect their content with an intellectual property copyrights statement.
While all creators should work with a social media attorney to ensure adequate legal protections, you may not necessarily require a legal professional to write your IP statement. Instead, you can utilize online 🌐 resources for guidance.
💭 WHAT ARE INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY COPYRIGHTS? 💭
Many people don’t realize that copyright is actually a form of intellectual property.
In general, intellectual property refers to the tangible expression of an idea that is protected 🛡️ by law. More specifically, intellectual property includes copyright, trademarks, patents, and trade secrets.
That said, copyrights refer specifically to legal protections for “copy”, including written content, visual art, audio, film, performance 🎭, and even computer software!
Put simply, copyright law protects these specific types of art from unauthorized reproduction and tampering.
💭 HOW DO I GET INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY COPYRIGHTS? 💭
Believe it or not, upon tangible creation of visual or auditory intellectual property, you are immediately and automatically protected by copyright law!
For example, posting your latest hit single 🎵 on TikTok is a simple, albeit unofficial, way to tangibly “publish” your work!
However, automatic copyright does not provide the most optimal legal protection. As a result, many creators choose to take extra precautions to protect especially sensitive or popular material.
More specifically, you always have the option to register your literary, audial 🔈, visual, or digital art with the U.S. Copyright Office.
Officially registering your work provides proof that you are the original and sole creator of the content. Plus, it gives you the right to go to court and collect penalties 💸 for infringement, should someone violate your copyrights.
💭 HOW DOES AN IP STATEMENT HELP? 💭
While IP statements are not 🙅♂️ required for copyright protection, they can provide extra evidence of copyrights and make reporting violations or collecting penalties easier.
For example, adding an intellectual property copyrights statement to your blog immediately alerts your readers that you’re serious about copyright protection. As a result, this simple statement could deter others from stealing your content.
However, should someone steal your work, your blog’s IP statement could make for a much simpler and faster infringement case 🏛️.
Therefore, while creators are automatically protected by U.S. Copyright Law, adding an IP statement to your website or physical content is never a bad idea.
💭 HOW TO WRITE AN IP STATEMENT 💭
First, it’s important to note that you do NOT ❌ need to register with the United States Copyright Office to use an intellectual property copyrights statement. Instead, your automatic copyrights alone provide the required protection to validate your statement.
When you write your copyright notice, be sure to identify what content you’re protecting. For example, if your statement is for your blog ✍️, you could generalize your statement by saying something like “This website and its content is copyright of…”.
Then, you may choose to include your first and last name or your business name, depending on the content and who holds the copyrights.
Furthermore, many creators don’t realize that, unlike patents and trademarks, automatic copyrights allow you to use the copyright ©️ symbol next to your content!
Usually, creators add the copyright symbol next to their business name and the year of creation 📅 in their IP statements.
Additionally, artists may also include the words “All rights reserved” at the end of their copyright statement. This phrase means that the creator has chosen to completely reserve their copyrights and will not 🚫 allow for any sort of reuse or distribution.
On the other hand, if you want to create a more comprehensive outline of allowed and prohibited uses of your work, you may want to consider writing a copyright license agreement instead.
This agreement is a much more detailed and complicated legal document that may require a social media attorney’s assistance.
For example, if you post photographs 📸 to your website but are open to letting others share them on social media platforms and other websites as long as they credit you, you will need a license agreement.
That being said, if you want to reserve all rights to your content, you may choose to use “All rights reserved” or simply let your copyright symbol do the work!
Finally, be sure to display your intellectual property copyrights statement somewhere visible, such as at the bottom of your webpage or on the first page of your ebook 📖.
At the end of the day, an IP statement is a complement to your automatic or registered copyright; but it never hurts to have more legal protection!