Protecting Your Intellectual Property

Unlike most tangible consumer goods or products, protecting your intellectual property is rather challenging even with the modern advancements that we now have today. And now with the growing popularity of the web, you can easily copy other people’s work and pass it off as your own and nobody will find out. It is even trickier when it comes to arts and craft where a little edit or change of filter can completely alter the look of something. Of course, we are talking about digital arts. The computer and smart technology/ smart gadgets reign supreme and it does not come as a surprise if businesses also flock to the web because that where almost everyone is. The market has drastically changed and the players are all over the world the games has definitely gotten dirtier.

If you are an artist yourself, I am sure you have your fair share of struggles and challenges concerning your craft. Others may steal your work without you knowing and you end up uncompensated for your hard work and intellectual property. There are measures being implemented, though, to prevent this thing from happening such as copyright protection. Having a copyright on your work is actually a great way to ensure you retain ownership on your work even way after you die but some people manage to get their way around it for reasons that many of us can’t or fail to understand.

Copyright is a cornerstone of any democratic, progressive, free society that values and wishes to continue to enjoy the benefits of a knowledge-based economy.

“As the founders of this country were wise enough to see,” former register of copyrights Abraham Kaminstein told the United States Congress in the 1970s, “the most important elements of any civilization include its independent creators — its authors, composers and artists –who create as a matter of personal initiative and spontaneous expression rather than as a result of patronage or subsidy. A strong, practical copyright is the only assurance we have that this creative activity will continue.”

Most people agree that the world would be poorer without the works of Picasso, and in so far as his “creative activity” was supported by copyright, copyright must be a Good Thing.

(Via: http://edition.cnn.com/style/article/art-copyright-beg-steal-borrow/index.html)

Of course, for someone who came up with that idea or piece of work or art, it just makes sense that you have ownership over it and get remunerated as well. It is why having a copyright ensures you don’t get ripped off of the product of your imagination, hard work, and labor and these artists often receive some sort of payment or royalty over the course of their lifetime. In this day and age, it should be mandatory for all intellectual properties to be protected so that its rightful owners not only get the recognition they deserve but they also make money from it.

What Can Be Copyrighted?

The rule is that, for a work to be copyrightable, it must be original — even a “modicum of creativity” will be enough – and it must be fixed “in a tangible medium of expression.” This simply means that the work must be somewhat original – that is, an independently created work that is not a copy of something else – and be expressed on some form of media, whether it be canvas, paper, phonorecords (CDs, LPs, MP3s, etc.), or even digital coding that can only be read by a machine.

The law lists eight categories of works that are protectable by copyright: literary works; musical works; dramatic works; pantomimes and choreographed works; pictorial, graphic and sculptural works; motion pictures and other audiovisual works; sound recordings; and architectural works. (Video games can qualify for protection as both literary works and as audiovisual works. The computer code generally crosses the “literary” threshold as specific characters in a specific sequence to be read by a machine – but of course, games use audio and visuals as much as any television or movie, so they would be protected under the audiovisual category, even if the law did not protect computer code.)

(Via: http://www.cartoonbrew.com/law/beginners-guide-copyright-law-artists-153115.html)

Check the article above if you are unsure how to proceed regarding copyrights especially if you are someone whose work is subject to it. Ignorance is never an excuse and you will likely regret not orienting yourself to all these things when you still can rather than lose any right on your own work because you failed to protect yourself and your work of art when you still can. Also, it helps to know which types of work are copyrightable and which ones aren’t so you don’t waste your time and effort on something which won’t work at all. Try to research the Berne Convention too because it will shed more light about copyrights regardless of where you live in the 172 countries that signed it. So, take the time to know the law and protect your own intellectual properties without any more glitch.

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