Let’s talk about the surprise copyright mistake that you didn’t know you made… but you probably made.
At a certain point, you’re starting to outsource things in your business. And a lot of people make this same mistake.
So your business is growing, you’re starting to outsource things, you’re hiring a web designer, you’re hiring a copywriter, you’re hiring a brand photographer, you’re hiring a video editor, all of these different people play a huge part in your business, right? You pay them and you enjoy the fruits of their labor, maybe you make some tweaks to what they’ve created over time.
The Surprise Copyright Mistake
So what’s the surprise copyright mistake that you’re making? Well, you paid them, which is great. But unless you’ve got something in writing, you don’t own any of what they’ve created for you. And worse… you might have to share ownership in the resulting material.
What This Means In Terms Of Your Rights
Surprised? You paid for it, but you don’t own it. In the US, the default rule is that unless you’re an actual employee creating something as part of your employment, the default is that you own whatever you create. That means any independent contractors own what they create, unless there is something in writing that says otherwise. And that writing has to actually be signed, it can’t just be a policy to transfer copyright ownership from one person to another person or from one person to a business. There must be a signed written document, period, punto and a story.
So don’t forget, payment is not enough to own something that an independent contractor has created for you. This is where something like an IP rights agreement would come in handy. So if you want to own what your contractors are creating for you get that in writing. I hope that helps you to avoid that copyright mistake in the future. And I’ll see you next time.
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