This is part two in a three-part series on protecting your content based business. (This was part one.) I’m talking about how to make sure that you own your content.
Make Sure You Own Your Content by Actually Creating It Yourself
The first way to make sure that you own your content: create it yourself. It sounds a little bit obvious, but if you create the entire thing yourself, it is likely that you own it.
(Unless you’re an employee and you’re somehow creating it in the scope of your employment for someone else.)
Do you have to mail yourself a copy in order for you to somehow own it? Do you have to register it with the Copyright Office in order to somehow own it? Nope, and nope.
That’s it. Number one: make sure that you created it yourself, and you probably own it.
Now, did you use others somehow in the creation of this content? Examples might be a video editor, or a copywriter contributing to parts of your website. Really any other person that is contributing creative content to your overall work. If so, that person should sign a contract, making sure that you own the rights to that material. I call it an IP Rights Agreement, you might call it or have heard of it as a Work-for-Hire Agreement or IP Assignment Agreement. Either way, you need to make sure that that person signed over the rights in their contribution to you. Otherwise, the default rule is that they own it.
It’s that simple. One, make sure that you created it. Two, make sure that anyone that contributed to your creative work signed a document confirming that you own the IP.
That’s it for part two! Join me in part three, where I’m talking about a long list of things that you can protect under US copyright law. (Some of which I bet you haven’t thought of.)