Protecting Your Intellectual Property on the Internet

By Robert Morrison
Robert Morrison
Robert Morrison
July 21, 2014 Updated: April 23, 2016

With so many people putting things online, it can be difficult to figure out who owns copyrights and how to protect one’s intellectual property. There are many different types of online posts, with the three main types being articles or blogs, photographs and other images, and videos. Anyone who thinks that their work has been used by others may have a legal case. It is important that they speak with a qualified attorney at Law Offices of Craig Delsack before doing anything about it.

Use a Watermark for all Images You Publish

Most people will not bother using an image if it has a watermark. You may even want to use a watermark that includes copyright information. This will be located at the bottom corner of the image or video. Again, this is confirmation that the material is copyrighted, and protected by law from being reproduced in any way.

Be Sure to Leave Contact Information

If someone can’t easily contact you to ask for permission to use what you have published online, it doesn’t mean that they aren’t going to do it anyway. But, if you are sure to include contact information on your website, they can’t use this as an excuse for not asking permission. Again, be sure to also include contact information in your Notice of Copyright, including your email address. Mention that you can be contacted about buying your writing, images, and videos so people know that it is not theirs for the taking.

Notice of Copyright

It is not necessary to have a Notice of Copyright on Internet posts, but it is a good idea. This way, there is no confusion as to who owns the posts. The Notice of Copyright must include the year the work was released or published, and there should be contact information included. It is not enough to have a simple copyright statement with the year the work was published. The Notice of Copyright should let people know that all of the copyrighted material is owned by you, and you have reserved the right to be the only person who can copy the material, unless you give specific permission. The notice should also include the copyright symbol (©) in addition to the work copyright. This will ensure that no one can use your work and then say that they didn’t know it was copyrighted.

Use Metadata for Images and Videos

Using metadata isn’t going to keep others from using your work, but it will help you to find those who do use it without your permission. 

Optimize Images and Videos for the Internet

Video, image, and photo files should be optimized for the web. Essentially, you are reducing the file size so that others won’t be so interested in using it themselves. It will lower the quality of the image or video, so it can’t be blown up without looking distorted. If you post a high-res image or video with a lot of resolution, it is likely to be stolen.

When Violated, Take Action

If someone has used your work without your permission, you need to take action against them. Otherwise, it will be easier for more people to take advantage of you. The more proactive you are, the more you can prevent the theft of intellectual property. If you are the one who uses someone else’s work, keep records of everything you do, and always be sure to get their permission. 

Image Source: Christian G.