The issue of stealing has become imminent in the digital and creative industry, becoming a cause for alarm. Sadly, we see that creatives are no longer safe as people boldly steal their works because there are no regulations to stop such acts from happening.
However, we see that there is the concept of copyright. But sadly, many people do not understand how it works. Therefore, people get away with intellectual theft as creators do not understand the role of copyright in the creative space.
This article will talk about copyright, and it will come from the angle of answering questions. We see that the best way to make easier explanations is by answering the people’s questions about it. So, this article will focus on the frequently asked questions about copyright and give easy answers.
At the end of this article, we hope that digital creators will be bolder to embrace the idea of copyright and ensure that people do not get away with intellectual theft.
But first, what is copyright?
Copyright is the law that protects the rights of creators globally. You can be a writer, painter, content creator, etc. What matters is that you are birthing ideas uniquely. So, you have rights over your idea.
And, if someone decides to publish your original work without your consent, it means they are infringing on your rights, and it goes against the concept of copyright. Therefore, with copyright laws, you can sue such a person.
Importance of Copyright
Some of the importance of copyright includes:
- It promotes creativity: Creators feel safe to express themselves because of copyright. They know that they can own their ideas with the copyright law, and anyone who tries to steal them will face the law legally. Now, people do not need to hold back from expressing their creativity as they have freedom. Some artists do not want to expose their art because they are scared of people stealing it. But you can now agree that more artists are putting out their works, even on digital platforms, because they have seen that copyright provides a safe space for them.
- It leads to financial freedom: Many people usually keep a confused face whenever we say that copyright promotes financial freedom. However, we would explain how it works. The concept of copyright allows a creator to have full rights and access to their works. This way, they can get any monetary benefit from the work. Sadly, a creator would not get money for their works if people steal them. For example, if someone takes an artist’s song and puts it on a platform, the money goes to the people who uploaded it, and the initial creator is boycotted. However, you are sure that such will not happen because of copyright law.
- It leads to visibility and recognition: Creators begin to get their appropriate recognition when copyright laws protect them. Once creators have the assurance that there will no longer be intellectual theft due to copyright, they become bolder to advertise their works. And, it begins to gain traction, and they are recognized as the owners of their works. With the power of digitalization, we see that people gain recognition across continents. For example, a creator from Africa can get recognized in Europe because someone saw their works online. We see that copyright allows people, especially creators, to promote their works and get the recognition they deserve freely
FAQs about Copyright
So, let us answer some of the questions people have about copyright. Some of these questions are:
What exactly is copyright?
Copyright is a legal term that gives protection to creators. Copyright aims to ensure that people do not steal the properties of creators. After all, one can agree that intellectual works are precious due to the creativity, time, and effort that go into the creation process of the work. Therefore, it would be disheartening if other people take the intellectual work of others.
But once you have copyrighted your work, you are sure to have protection over the work. Once you are in the creative industry, you can copyright protection.
What are the rules of copyright?
Before you can protect anything under copyright, some rules guide the copyright process, and your work has to meet these guidelines before you can copyright them.
Interestingly, we see that there are three rules guiding copyright. These rules are:
- Originality: Before you can copyright anything, it must be original. It means that you must be the owner of the work as you cannot copyright another person’s work.
- Creativity: Whatever you want to protect must be creative as copyright focuses on the creative industry. Understandably, you should know that the goal of copyright is to protect people’s ideas and hard work.
- Fixation: To copyright a work, it would be best to create the work to serve a long-term purpose.
Do copyrights expire?
We see that people are usually curious to know how long copyright lasts. Often, we see creators asking if copyright lasts forever or if they would have to renew it at any point.
So, allow us to tell you that copyright protection lasts for the creator’s lifetime and an additional 70 years. Thus, if a person decides to use copyright to protect their work, it would last until the creator dies. But, even when the creator dies, the copyright is still effective for another 70 years.
After that, you would have to renew the copyright, or it enters the public domain and becomes available to everyone.
What are the types of things to be copyrighted?
Allow us to tell you that you can copyright anything as long as it is creative and original. Typically, one would say that you can copyright creative works, but we see that copyright protection can sometimes be extended.
So, you can copyright your writings, artwork, sound recordings, musical works, etc. In addition, you can also use copyright protection for your architectural works. After all, it classifies as an original and creative idea.
The goal is to ensure that people do not run with your ideas, as the creative thinking process is not easy. Thus, a copyright ensures that you get value for your work.
How do you protect a brand name?
Once you are a creator, you classify as a brand. And, it is also important that you protect your brand name. Thus, it should not be surprising to see people using copyright protection for their brand name. After all, you would not want someone else to use your brand name as they could be using it to defraud people.
Asides from your brand name, you can protect a brand name by using copyright protection for all your brand assets. For example, there should be copyright protection for your logo, content, etc. Once all these are in place, it would be almost impossible for people to plagiarize your work.
Do I have to copyright my logo?
Have you ever seen a logo with the “c” symbol attached to it? If yes, then it is a copyrighted logo, and you cannot use that logo for anything.
We often see that many people are lazy to create logos for themselves, which makes them take other brands’ logos. So, you need to copyright your logo if you do not want people to steal your logo.
If you do not copyright your logo, other people can pose as your brand, leading to you losing credibility. If you do not want such to happen, you should copyright your logo.
What does the R in a circle mean?
The R in a circle means that a product has been registered. Thus, one can say that the product has trademark protection, and other people cannot use it again.
If you use a property that has been registered, you will dance to the tunes of the law. Sometimes, the tune of the law could entail you paying fines. And, it could be worst at other times. But what matters is that you steer clear from using registered items as they have legal protection.
Interestingly we see that you can see this sign in a word, phrase, or logo. Once you see the sign, keep in mind that the product or content is registered.
Can I copyright my voice?
We also see that some people are curious to know if they can copyright their voice since it can informally be classified as their creative possession. However, we see that a person cannot copyright a voice.
Typically, the law sees the voice as distinctive and personal, believing that no two persons can have the same voice. So, they believe that it would be unnecessary to copyright a voice.
So, if you ever argue for the possibilities of copyrighting a voice, allow us to tell you that it is not possible. In summary, you can copyright many creative things, but you cannot copyright your voice.
Can you trademark your name?
Is your name a business name? You should be answering this question if you are thinking of trade marking your name.
We often see that people trademark their logo and other business-related items. But if your want to trademark your name, you must not be using it for only personal uses. Instead, it should be a name attached to a business, showing the importance of distinguishing it from other people.
Also, if your name is confused with other registered names, you would not be considered, and you cannot trademark the name. But if you have a business name, you should waste no time trademarking it.
We hope that you are no longer confused about the concept of copyright as it exists to protect creative individuals. If you have not been utilizing the benefits of copyright, you need to start now!