Too often, the term ‘content creator’ is strictly focused on vloggers and people who create videos on social media. In reality, any kind of content, whether it is a written article, a photograph, music, a video, or even a meme, is considered ‘content’. Today, most content is published online, and people are publishing everything from creative entertainment to more productive open-source code. If you are creating anything online you need to know how you can protect your work and digital assets.
Not only can people steal your effort and ideas, which is unethical, but they can also file a complaint against you for stealing your own content. If a person steals your creation and manages to copyright it as their own, because you haven’t already done so, technically they are the legal owners of it, regardless of who created it. In this case not only have you lost rights to your own work but it can spiral into a range of other problems as well. As social media is a great source of making money through content, you don’t want someone else cashing in on your hard work. If you want to protect your content, here is what you can do.
1. Place Notices/Watermarks
In some cases, you might not have to take any additional steps to ensure that your work is attributed to you alone. For instance, if you are publishing your work on your own site, and it mentions you as the author or the creator, then that work is automatically attributed to you. However, even in this case, you can’t sideline the possibility that someone will copy it from your site and post it elsewhere. While there is no way to stop people from copying your content without your permission, there are a few ways that you can claim your content in the case that it is stolen. A good strategy to implement, making it harder for them to steal the content, is to use watermarks and copyright notices on your website, on the content itself, or on any portal in which you are sharing the content. This is particularly effective in the case of videos and images because there is no way to remove the watermark and it makes it a lot harder to wrongfully use that content.
2. Use Google Authorship
Google is one of the most used sites in the world and easily the most used search engine on the internet. In nearly 99% of cases, people are going to discover and access your website or your content through Google, unless they are directly visiting your site. Therefore, telling Google that you are the author of certain content will nearly completely protect said content. This can be done by Google Authorship services. This service helps you locate your digital belongings, down to stolen memes, and makes it possible for you to protect any content you have written, made, or produced.
While this is a service that is primarily used by writers, there are a few different kinds of content that this can be applied to. However, the catch is that you will need to use your real name. If you ghostwrite or write under a pen name, this approach will not work. For people who don’t mind disclosing their real name, this is great but for those who want to stay anonymous, there may be other solutions out there.
3. Use Copyright
Copyright is when you register your content as yours; it is then legally your property. In the past, this was usually done for things such as books, magazines, and other forms of written content. It was also used for movies and music and was applied to nearly all kinds of intellectual property. However, as things have moved to the internet, copyrighting your content is not like how it used to be; it’s a bit more complex and slippery. To make this process a little easier, certain service providers have incorporated this service into their own platforms. Similar to how you can set copyright laws for videos you publish on YouTube.
The fact is that on the internet there is always going to be someone who can manage to get around all your precautions and use your content against your will or without your knowledge even. Luckily, you can take legal action against that sort of behavior; it is a long process though. It is more effective to look into copyright regulations on the platform that you use and ensure you are copyrighting your content accordingly. This way, if someone does steal your content it is not only your problem but also the problem of the platform that it is published on. This is a very good defensive strategy; people might think it is easy to steal a persons’ work, but they will think twice before stealing from a well-established and monitored platform.