Q: How can I protect my digital property?
–Concerned Business Owner
A: Dear Concerned:
As a business owner with a website, you know first-hand the time and resources put into developing effective and results-driven content. It takes planning, research, and designs to develop your site and your other pieces of digital property. Unfortunately, some people want to take the short cut. And sometimes they can do this by simply copying your digital property. Without proper precautions, you are vulnerable to this offense, but here are a few steps you can take to protect your digital property:
- Copyrights – Display your copyright on your website and all pieces of digital property such as website content. Materials with copyrights can display the copyright symbol, ©, and sometimes this is enough to deter misappropriation. If not, it gives you legal recourse for infringement.
- Watermarks – If you own any images, you may want to run them through Watermark software to embed a watermark onto all your images. The watermark will display if any image is downloaded or copied from your website or other digital materials.
- Trademarks – Any name, logo, or taglines that are unique to your business can be trademarked. This provides you valuable legal protection from infringement.
- Social Media Monitoring – Monitor your business’s social media accounts for infringement, misappropriation, or violations of copyright law.
- Industry and Competitor Monitoring – Also monitor the websites of your industry competitors for any signs of stylistic copying or evidence your digital property is being used unlawfully.
- Restricted Access – Make certain pieces of digital property, such as data sets, only available to parties who share their information with you. This restricts access to only those who really need it.
These protective measures can help ensure your business’s digital property is protected from all angles. They will also give you the legal right to pursue compensation if your property is accessed or used unlawfully by another party. But developing a digital property protection plan will take some work, and you might want to consult a Creative Business Lawyer® for help. A Creative Business Lawyer® can evaluate your digital property and the protections it needs and help you put those protections in place.
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