Business Basics – Copyrights

Protecting your intellectual property is a vital part of protecting your business. Your intellectual property will essentially define your brand – the very element of your business that consumers associate with all of the goodwill you’ve built into your business. We’ve already talked about trademarks, but this week we decided to look at the other half of intellectual property protection; the copyright. So what exactly is a copyright? And what does registering a copyright even protect?

Copyright Symbol

Copyright Symbol

What is a copyright?

Copyright protection actually dates all the way back to the advent of the printing press. After its invention, it was much easier to copy and sell books. But the printing press also meant that rebellious literature could also be produced much more quickly. This, combined with the threat to the livelihood of the creators of the works being printed, meant the government began to license shops with the right to print copy – and thus the copyright was born. As the decades passed copyright protection became more about protecting the artist, and less about stifling rebellious text, and today we continue to use copyright protections to enforce the rights creators have to their work.

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Dealing with Copyright Infringement: What Should You Do?

In a corporate environment, a great deal of published content is produced for the benefit of employees and customers. Ideally, another corporation or individual wanting to use written content or images published by the company would contact them for permission to do so. But this doesn’t always happen, resulting in copyright infringement.

The overwhelming amount of content and images available on the internet leads some to believe that they can use someone else’s published work without permission and get away with it. As a corporation, the benefit of having extra eyes and ears can make it easier to stay on top of issues such as copyright infringement. The more content a corporation publishes, the more likely they are to face copyright infringement at some point.

When, and if, it should occur, it’s helpful to know what steps should be taken to deal appropriately with the situation.

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Guest Post: What Sorts of Copyright Laws Apply to Music in the Workplace?

At one time, when the terms “public,” “music” and “business” were combined, it meant one of three things: Muzak, a jukebox or a live musical performance. Now we’re surrounded by all kinds of music in public venues each and every day. Public music is so ubiquitous that the relative silence of a library is almost shocking in comparison. With Spotify and Pandora on hand constantly, we’re been conditioned to go through life with a perpetual playlist streaming in from our iPods. When planning the ambience for your establishment, you’ll probably be busy thinking of what type of music would work best for your customers – such as sitar music in a spa or chill beats in an urban café – and price shopping for speakers that provide smooth sound. But before you purchase a speaker system, take a step back and think about where that music is going to come from and the kinds of copyright laws you need to abide by to play these songs. Continue reading

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