Copyrighting laws protect businesses and individuals against infringement of their work and ideas. It’s an area every business needs to take seriously if they actually value building a long-term, sustainable business.
If something is copyright protected, it means that no other business or individual can directly copy your work and then claim it as their own for their own profit. Essentially, it’s protection against stealing.
Now, we all like to get ideas and inspiration from others when doing our own work. This applies to almost every field whether it be fiction writing, artworks, and of course, business products and services.
Getting inspiration from others is a great thing but there is a fine line to be crossed between copying someone else’s work and getting inspiration from it.
In this post, you’re going to discover everything you need to know about avoiding copyright infringement when getting inspiration from others.
Know What Work Is Protected
You may like to create your own product but you need to at least know the kinds of things that can and usually are protected by copyrighting laws first.
- Published or self-published books
- Business names
- Book names
- Product names
- Videos or movies
Before you go ahead and publish something as your own you need to make sure it’s not copyright protected first. If you go ahead and publish something thinking you can claim it when it’s protected by copyright laws, you face heavy fines and then all the legal fees and damages associated with this.
This is especially true with people who make music, movies or create works of art. But it certainly applies to business, particularly for product creation.
A simple way to check if something is copyrighted is to look for the copyright symbol. And for things like books and products, you can simply look for a copyright disclaimer at the beginning of the product, etc.
Generally speaking, if something is published on someone else’s website then it’s automatically protected by copyrighting laws. Even more so if that website is protected by copyright laws.
If you are in any way unsure if something is copyright protected and you want to use it, always ask that business owner first. If you’re still unsure, you can always speak to a legal expert.
Don’t Directly Copy Other Works
It should go without saying you don’t directly copy another person’s work. It’s perfectly fine to get inspiration from others, but there is a difference between getting inspiration and directly copying something and claiming it as your own.
There are some media where you should be extra diligent with this. Think of stock images for example. It’s very easy and tempting to just download a stock image and use it for your business. It’s not just stock images either.
Businesses that use their own images are also often protected by copyright so you must be extra cautious in this area before downloading them and using them for yourself. Same deal applies with clips from movies or music you may want to use for your own purposes.
Really, all this boils down to is – just don’t directly copy someone else’s work.
Understand Sharing Or License Rights
Sometimes it’s perfectly okay to share another person’s work. Sometimes a business will allow others to share their works if they pay a fee first, generally called licensing. Some businesses actually make a lot of profit doing this.
There are companies that’ll make a whole range of products or systems they’ve developed that work. Then they’ll license those products to others who pay a large fee, but at least, you can then use the product for your own purposes.
It’s important to always read the fine print of any licensing laws associated with a product. Some companies will happily license their products for a fee but it comes with certain conditions. Those conditions may be that you need to attribute your offer to the company you licensed the product from.
It could be that you can use the product online but not offline, or vice versa. It really could be anything. The most important thing is to read the fine print of any licensing laws first.
Final Words: Copyrighting Laws And Other Works
The most important takeaway from this post is that you just don’t directly copy someone else’s work and then start claiming it as your own to make a profit.
That’s a big no, no that will land you in a lot of trouble.Besides that, it’s just completely unethical anyway.
For centuries, people have gotten inspiration for their own ideas and business from other people whether directly or indirectly. There is no harm in this. In fact, if this didn’t happen then there’d be fewer businesses around, works of art, novels, music, and many other things.
So go ahead, get inspiration from others for your next business idea. Just be on the right side of copyrighting laws first. Always do your due diligence first and spare yourself any legal headaches later on.
We can help you register copyright for anything in your business and also clear up any issues you may have regarding copyright infringement laws. Get in touch and one of our legal experts will contact you.