Intellectual property has historically been difficult to protect. In fact, being an artist of any kind comes with the risk that someone else might copy your work and claim it as their own.
In today’s digital world, it’s even easier for would-be thieves to steal what isn’t theirs. They merely execute a few copy and paste commands and – boom! – they can now share your work anywhere they want.
Even worse? Often, you’ll never even know that someone stole your property unless you just happen to come across it on another website or floating around on social media.
It can be very frustrating when you put in hours of work on an article or graphic, only to find that someone else is taking credit for it. While you can’t do much to stop online thieves, you can do a few things to deter them.
In this article, I’m going to go over some tips and tricks for protecting your work and making sure all of your digital content is protected.
Let’s jump right in!
Don’t Make Yourself An Easy Target
There are lots of malicious people on the internet looking to make a quick buck. If that means stealing your work and selling it as their own, they’re more than happy to do it – but there are some things you can do to defend your assets. Here are a few that I recommend:
- Put your byline on EVERYTHING. Content thieves are lazy. Just do a quick Google search on literally any topic you like, and you will likely find four or five different websites that all have the exact same article published as their own. They don’t even bother to make any changes.
Often, this is the result of thieves using software to go out and crawl websites for specific content. When they find what they’re looking for, they scrape the entire article or blog and post as-is. That means that if you have a byline on your article, it’s also going to show up on the website that stole your material – making it much easier to claim it as your own.
- Watermark your images. Just like putting a byline on written content, adding a watermark to images or graphics makes them easier to claim as yours. In addition, many online thieves won’t even try to lift a watermarked image in the first place. Why? Because they don’t want your logo all over their website.
Remember: content thieves want others to think that they created whatever material they post. They can’t exactly pass something off as their own when it has your name on it.
- Add copyright protection to your content. A copyright is a form of intellectual property law that protects original works of authorship including written documents, photos, videos, songs, and more. It is typically represented by the © symbol or the phrase “all rights reserved.” This protection provides proof of ownership in the event an infringement case is taken to court, but often the copyright alone is enough to deter a content thief.
- Use a WordPress Plugin for content protection. If you operate a WordPress website, there are plugins available that can help protect you against content theft. For instance, WP Content Copy Protection blocks the use of some of the most common content copy methods (like right-click, image drag/drop/save, and CTRL C). While it won’t stop someone from stealing your content, it makes it really hard to do so.
The internet can seem like a giant free-for-all where anyone can do whatever they want. But you can still protect your content.
A lawyer will help you defend your intellectual property and keep it safe from online thieves. Book a consultation today to find out what you can do to guard your creative work.