Diving into copyright

Whether you’re a marketer, graphic designer or photographer, podcaster or course creator, the beautiful work you send out into the world should be protected at all costs.

This is where copyright law comes in.

And today, we’re going to do a deep dive with you into all things copyright!


The Background


Before we talk about copyright, we need to take a few steps back to the edge of the pool and talk about intellectual property.

Intellectual property, aka IP, is all the fantastic ideas swimming around in your creative mind.

However, once these ideas come to life (i.e. incorporated into a piece of work – whether its a physical or a digital item), then the work becomes copyrighted material.

For example, you woke up one morning with the most amazing idea to release a niche social media course on how to turn any pet into an Instagram superstar (intellectual property).

You then worked hard to build out your course, crafted your knowledge into beautifully written words and designed funky graphics to go with it…

All of this protected by copyright, as your intellectual property has now turned into a product.

So, to tie it all in, copyright is basically a form of intellectual protection!


The Basics


Alright, after you tell us where and when we can purchase this course (please will someone make this a reality?!), head on into the shallow end with us for a quick Q&A.

What are some works that are commonly protected by copyright?

  • Videos, such as a live webinar that you have created and recorded for your followers
  • Artwork, including paintings, graphic design, illustrations, etc
  • Written material like books, blog posts, guides, templates and checklists that you may have made for your workshop or courses

Because copyright is a form of automatic protection in Ireland, your work will still be protected even in the absence of the © symbol.

However, we think it’s a good idea to use the symbol as it can deter others and act as a warning sign to those shady copycats!

How long does copyright protection last for?

It depends on the type of work, but it will generally last your entire lifetime plus 70 years.

I mean…by this point, your copyrighted work might want to prepare for retirement, right?


The Why


Alrighty, time to jump into the deep end – why is copyright so important?

Simply put, copyright law recognises the skill and effort of the author and creator and ensures that they get full control over and exclusive rights to their original creative work.

It is also there to make sure that creators are protected from people wanting to copy their hard work!

So, what can I do with my copyrighted work?

  • Earn money (and rightly so, you deserve to!)
  • Make multiple copies
  • Repurpose your work – for example, your petfluencer social media course above could be turned into a webinar or a podcast!
  • Freely share and publish your work anywhere you want
  • Make an adaptation of the work – Hollywood beckons!

But most importantly…

Everyone else will need your explicit permission to even think about doing any of the above.

This is even if they have purchased or been given the original work.

Just because someone has your original draft of Dogtiki, for example, does not mean they can reproduce it (unless you say they can).

And if they try to?

Well, that is considered a copyright infringement and you have the right to ask them to stop (via a gentle nudge in their DM or a strongly worded letter).

And, we’ve got you covered there…

You’ll find our copyright cease and desist letter waiting for you in our Intellectual Property Hub.

You’ll also find our guides on copyright protection and copyright enforcement full of useful insights and templates.  


Key Takeaways


Now that you’ve had a good swim and are drying off, here are a few things to remember:

  • Copyright is a type of intellectual property protection that provides creators with the right to control and exclusively use the original work that they have created
  • In Ireland, copyright exists automatically, and it is free -Yippee!
  • you are not required to use the © symbol; however, it is recommended that you do to deter copycats
  • Copyright lasts for your lifetime plus 70 years
  • No one else can use your copyrighted work unless you give them permission to (preferably in a legally legit licencing agreement!) – if they do, this is considered a copyright infringement and you have legal avenues to ask them to stop.

Want a couple of extra swimming lessons to really understand copyright and how to protect your work?

Why not book some time for a chat 


***Disclaimer. Please read!!*** 

This article is for general information purposes only and should be used solely as general guidance. It does not and is not intended to represent legal advice or other professional advice. 
© 2022 LawPlus Ltd t/a Plugged 

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