Top tips for protecting your digital content

Top tips for protecting your digital content

4 minute read

Top tips for protecting your digital content

4 minute read

Top tips for protecting your digital content

Matthew Hives

CEO, One Stop IP

The internet and digital media has drastically changed how we access information. Historically, it was authors, artists, musicians and other creative professionals who had to worry about their content being copied. Now with the majority of companies having websites; the opportunity for the copying of content (accidentally or otherwise) has become much more prevalent.

It is impossible to completely prevent infringements on your content, but measures can be taken to discourage and reduce the effect these copycats. After all, it’s frustrating if you put the effort and resource into planning, producing and publishing your content, only for someone to copy or repurpose it.

In this post we’ll share some top tips and advice for doing all you can to ensure your digital content is protected

Copyrights

A copyright is a form of intellectual property (IP) that protects the original works of its creators. This protection allows for a clear proof of ownership in the eyes of the law if an infringement case is taken to court. Copyrights are signified by the © symbol, the phrase ‘all rights reserved’ or both at the bottom of a webpage.

Top tip: This display of protection can be enough to deter transgressors from committing an infringement. If you publish in the US you can register at copyright.gov You can use Google Alerts to find websites that have copied or “borrowed” your content.

Watermarks

Does your website contain any unique images? These images can be easily lifted and used elsewhere by anyone on the internet and therefore require protection. A watermark is a transparent mark included in the image which is usually a brand name or logo. This means that if an image is copied, as the watermark is built into the image, it can easily be distinguished as your property.

Top tip: There are a number of Watermarking software products available search online for “Watermark My photographs” and choose the service best for you.

Name, logo and taglines

Your Brand name and logo are at risk from copycats and counterfeiters. Without sufficient protection, your brand is up for grabs by anyone on the web. Trademarks for both your brand name and logo deter these thefts and provide legal protection in an infringement case.Have you got any memorable catchphrases or taglines on your website? Infringements on these can be much harder to detect and therefore are also eligible for protection. However, it is your responsibility to ensure that others aren’t copying you. So you need to be vigilant or hire others to do this on your behalf.

Top tip: Remember, Trademarks are country specific and if you expand the business into new countries you will require further protection. Put your taglines into your internet search and ensure no one else is benefiting from them as keywords.

Social media

Social Media, while a strong tool for increasing brand exposure, can also leave you vulnerable to copyright infringements and counterfeiters. Social Media platforms need to be regularly reviewed to check for infringements of name/service which are resulting in loss of sales and appropriate action taken. Where available, verify your accounts with the social platforms so that users can determine official accounts from copycats. There’s little more you can do here than police the content on social channels via saved searches, hashtags and other means.

Top tip: Where possible, task someone with being the ‘brand ambassador’ across your social content. They should know which are the relevant platforms to your business and ensure regular reviews of content are completed.

Portals/restricting Access

Do you have online information which is for clients/subscribers use only? Utilising a password protected portal allows access for these clients whilst restricting access to other website users.

Top tip: This action can prevent the loss of sensitive information to competitors and other groups looking to take your content and approach.

Review of competitor content and style

To check whether your ideas are being infringed, a regular review of your competitors’ web pages should be undertaken checking for any areas of similarity or straight plagiarism.

Top tip: Reviewing competitor sites helps you know what you should change to keep your content fresh and innovative.

Should you take it further?

Do you have an overall plan to know what to do around protecting your IP? Have you decided when you take action to protect your website content? Who is checking for infringements? These processes can either be part of a plan carried out yourself or by an IP professional on your behalf, allowing you to concentrate on building your business.

When you’ve invested in content planning and production, the last thing you want is to publish that content without considering how safe it is from being used by others. If you put the advice from this article into practice, you’re starting to plan to protect your content hopefully avoiding having to take expensive future action.

The internet and digital media has drastically changed how we access information. Historically, it was authors, artists, musicians and other creative professionals who had to worry about their content being copied. Now with the majority of companies having websites; the opportunity for the copying of content (accidentally or otherwise) has become much more prevalent.

It is impossible to completely prevent infringements on your content, but measures can be taken to discourage and reduce the effect these copycats. After all, it’s frustrating if you put the effort and resource into planning, producing and publishing your content, only for someone to copy or repurpose it.

In this post we’ll share some top tips and advice for doing all you can to ensure your digital content is protected

Copyrights

A copyright is a form of intellectual property (IP) that protects the original works of its creators. This protection allows for a clear proof of ownership in the eyes of the law if an infringement case is taken to court. Copyrights are signified by the © symbol, the phrase ‘all rights reserved’ or both at the bottom of a webpage.

Top tip: This display of protection can be enough to deter transgressors from committing an infringement. If you publish in the US you can register at copyright.gov You can use Google Alerts to find websites that have copied or “borrowed” your content.

Watermarks

Does your website contain any unique images? These images can be easily lifted and used elsewhere by anyone on the internet and therefore require protection. A watermark is a transparent mark included in the image which is usually a brand name or logo. This means that if an image is copied, as the watermark is built into the image, it can easily be distinguished as your property.

Top tip: There are a number of Watermarking software products available search online for “Watermark My photographs” and choose the service best for you.

Name, logo and taglines

Your Brand name and logo are at risk from copycats and counterfeiters. Without sufficient protection, your brand is up for grabs by anyone on the web. Trademarks for both your brand name and logo deter these thefts and provide legal protection in an infringement case.Have you got any memorable catchphrases or taglines on your website? Infringements on these can be much harder to detect and therefore are also eligible for protection. However, it is your responsibility to ensure that others aren’t copying you. So you need to be vigilant or hire others to do this on your behalf.

Top tip: Remember, Trademarks are country specific and if you expand the business into new countries you will require further protection. Put your taglines into your internet search and ensure no one else is benefiting from them as keywords.

Social media

Social Media, while a strong tool for increasing brand exposure, can also leave you vulnerable to copyright infringements and counterfeiters. Social Media platforms need to be regularly reviewed to check for infringements of name/service which are resulting in loss of sales and appropriate action taken. Where available, verify your accounts with the social platforms so that users can determine official accounts from copycats. There’s little more you can do here than police the content on social channels via saved searches, hashtags and other means.

Top tip: Where possible, task someone with being the ‘brand ambassador’ across your social content. They should know which are the relevant platforms to your business and ensure regular reviews of content are completed.

Portals/restricting Access

Do you have online information which is for clients/subscribers use only? Utilising a password protected portal allows access for these clients whilst restricting access to other website users.

Top tip: This action can prevent the loss of sensitive information to competitors and other groups looking to take your content and approach.

Review of competitor content and style

To check whether your ideas are being infringed, a regular review of your competitors’ web pages should be undertaken checking for any areas of similarity or straight plagiarism.

Top tip: Reviewing competitor sites helps you know what you should change to keep your content fresh and innovative.

Should you take it further?

Do you have an overall plan to know what to do around protecting your IP? Have you decided when you take action to protect your website content? Who is checking for infringements? These processes can either be part of a plan carried out yourself or by an IP professional on your behalf, allowing you to concentrate on building your business.

When you’ve invested in content planning and production, the last thing you want is to publish that content without considering how safe it is from being used by others. If you put the advice from this article into practice, you’re starting to plan to protect your content hopefully avoiding having to take expensive future action.

Guide

Content Creation: The Essential Guide

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About the author

Matthew Hives

Matthew Hives, like his father and grandfather, began his career as an engineer but unlike them did not build boats or engines for Spitfires but developed technology solutions. After 20 years around technology and IP, he now combines his Engineering and IP skills as CEO of One Stop IP.  

One Stop IP are an intellectual property service company dedicated to providing IP products and services in a clear and transparent way to customers.

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