Today on The Legalpreneur, I outline the key differences between a copyright and a trademark. If you are seeking federal protection for your brand then you must register it as a trademark whilst your creative work itself is, in most cases, inherently protected, assuming that it is unique.
The internet makes it easy for individuals to steal copyrighted material but a DMCA takedown is a legitimate reprisal for creators who aren’t ready to hire an attorney. Generally, platforms are swift to take down content that has been flagged for copyright infringement but if the violator counters, you may need to enlist an attorney and take them to court. Education is the first phase of protection and in this episode you will learn exactly how you can protect your work from copyright infringement.
[0:50] If you are repeatedly creating something it is most likely requires a copyright
[1:40] The brand name is your trademark but what you create with that brand is copyright
[2:10] Creative work is often inherently federally protected, without registration, if it is unique
[2:42] You must register a trademark in order to receive federal protection
[4:58] The DMCA takedown allows small creators to police their work online without an attorney
[6:20] If copyrighted material isn’t removed after a DMCA form is filed, you can then sue
[7:30] False counter notices open violators up to copyright infringement and perjury
[8:10] The Legalpreneur offers unlimited copyright takedowns services
The Legalpreneur Podcast is advertising/marketing material. It is not legal advice. Please consult with your attorney on these topics. Copyright Legalpreneur Inc 2022
Andrea Sager 00:03
Welcome to the legal printer podcast. I’m your host Andrea Sager founder and CEO of legal printer Inc. As a serial entrepreneur and someone that works exclusively with small business owners legally protecting their business. I’m dedicated to covering common legal issues faced by business owners, providing you with the business knowledge you need to catapult your business’s growth, and showing you just how some of the world’s most elite entrepreneurs have handled these legal and business issues themselves. In true attorney fashion, the information in this episode is not legal advice. This is for informational purposes only. And you should always consult with your attorney before implementing any of the information in the show.
Andrea Sager 00:46
Hello, there. Welcome back. Today’s episode is about copyrights. Because I just realized that I did not cover copyrights in my recent series of basically building the wall of legal protection. And I remember it was honestly it was because I was trying to find somebody to really help cover patents, which we found somebody obviously, that interview was great if you have not listened to it already. Go listen now. But I realized that I didn’t cover copyrights. And that’s such an important part of being a business owner. So we’ll break it down copyrights. This is all of your creative work your content. Basically, I tell people, if you’re creating it on a consistent basis, it’s probably a copyright.
Andrea Sager 01:31
Not everything is created on a consistent basis. But when you’re trying to figure out okay, is this a trademark or a copyright and you create it more than once? It’s probably a copyright. So what I mean by that is trademarks, if you remember that is your branding, your brand identity, a brand name, logo slogan, a product name, a service name, your podcast, name, anything that has unique name within your business, and can probably be protected with a trademark. Now, copyrights are your content, your creative work, your blog posts, your videos, your photos, your website, copy your podcast episodes. So trademarks typically are one and done. You do them once. And it’s done. Because when you name something, you don’t keep changing the name, thing copyrights, you do typically, sometimes continue creating them. Like the Podcast, the podcast name is a trademark, each episode is protected with a copyright. There’s multiple episodes, multiple blog post, that’s how you know the difference between trademarks and copyrights. So if you have creative work within your business, it’s probably protected with a copyright. And the thing about copyrights is you automatically have protection, the moment the work is created. You don’t have to have a registration, you automatically have federal protection for your copyrights. Once it is created. You take a picture, the moment you snap that photo, it’s protected with a copyright, the moment you create a design protected with a copyright as long as it has enough unique and creative material in it. So that’s the unique thing about copyrights, you do automatically have federal protection for trademarks, a whole nother ballgame, you don’t have federal protection unless you have a federal trademark registration. And I cover this in the book a lot. I go over this very thoroughly because this is a really big part of being a small business owner.
Andrea Sager 03:24
Because a lot of people there’s they’re not scared, but they’ve heard somewhere down the road like Oh, intellectual property doesn’t matter unless you have the money to sue somebody or enforce it. Now, however, that might have been the case or that was the case a long time ago. But with the internet and online businesses, there are many avenues to go down to enforce your work and to police your work on your own without having to sue and without even having an attorney. So I cover this a lot in the book legal printer. But really quickly here. When you have somebody that you have found infringing on your copyright, maybe they are using the photos you took they stole all the copy from your ebook. Maybe they’re copying your Instagram captions, your long form captions, maybe they are just taking a lot of your web copy, which so funny, I actually see so called trademark attorneys or intellectual property attorneys taking our stuff all the time. And I’m like, How can you call yourself this kind of attorney when you’re infringing on me? Anyways, that’s neither. That’s a whole nother story, but I just find it really funny. But anyways, so if you find somebody that is infringing on you, you can absolutely get an attorney involved. But I tell people look, my job is to make your money go as far as possible. Like I know that you don’t have an unlimited legal budget. You’re not a corporate company. You don’t have your own legal counsel in house counsel. You may have the legal printer membership, which essentially is your own general counsel, but you don’t have somebody that is on salary. That is your attorney So the steps that you can take number one, the easiest typically, is a copyright takedown, also known as a DMCA takedown. And the DMCA, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act was enacted in order to help people online police their work. And basically, I think I’m going to do it in a full episode on just the DMCA and probably trademark takedowns do one together.
Andrea Sager 05:23
But basically, the law, the DMCA law says, especially for third party platforms, this is their safe harbor. So when I say a third party platform, it’s where there’s a website, and people can go and post content on there. So they’re hosting third party content, because when you post on Facebook, you could be infringing on somebody’s content, but Facebook is hosting that content. So technically, they can be sued for copyright or trademark infringement. But the DMCA was enacted to protect those companies, because if not, they would have 1000 lawsuits today. So basically, if you submit this form with an every third party platform has this form, you can just Google their, say like Facebook DMCA, or Facebook copyright takedown, et Cie copyright takedown DMCA takedown, and it’ll take you to their reporting form, fill out that form. And typically within like two to three business days, the content will be removed. If not, then you could sue Facebook, or who whatever that third party platform is. But this safe harbor is to clear themselves of liability for any infringement, as long as they remove it. And then once you fill that form out, they remove the content, they notify the infringer and say, Hey, this takedown form was submitted, we’re taking down your content, you can file a counter report to say like, actually, it’s not an infringement. And then they can file that counter report, which allows them to repost it, and from there, it’s out of their hands.
Andrea Sager 06:50
So let’s say it’s on Facebook, then from there, it’s out of Facebook hands, so then you as the copyright holder, you would then have to go and sue that other party. Now, a lot of times people want to file these counter notices. And that way, there’s like no strikes against them, because it really Etsy is a huge honor, because SE is very strict about three strikes, and you’re out. So if they have three of these DMCA takedowns, their account is removed. So they’ll submit these counter notices. But the thing is, if it’s a false counter, notice that’s actually perjury, you can sue them for copyright infringement, and they can get in trouble for perjury, because if you submit a false takedown that’s perjury. If you submit a false counter notice, that’s also perjury. So this is the way basically this is the law trying to police itself online. So that’s the number one way you can monitor your work online. I know sometimes it can be a big burden, monitoring all these copyrights. So we have our own copyright plans for clients. A lot of it’s for designers, photographers, people that constantly have their work stolen, and they’re like, I don’t even have the time to take care of this on my own. I just want my work taken offline. So we go in, just submit unlimited takedown. So if you’re interested in that, just let us know, we don’t advertise a lot, because it really is for a certain type of client. Like I tell you, I just told you here like you can do this on your own. But sometimes it just gets to be a pain point for clients to do it on their own. So we absolutely perform that service for clients as well. So that’s my little spiel about copyrights. Let me know if you have questions.
Andrea Sager 08:19
If you want me to dive deeper into copyrights, or anything. I want to make sure this is beneficial for you all, because that’s what it’s here for. All right, I will see y’all next time. Here at legal printer, we’re committed to providing a supportive legal community. For all business owners. I know how scary the legal stuff can be. If you found this information helpful, I would be so grateful if you could share it with a fellow business owner. And quite frankly, it doesn’t cost anything to rate review or subscribe to the show. Your support helps me reach more listeners, which allows me to support more business owners in their entrepreneurial journey. Have any questions or comments about the show? Feel free to drop me a line on Instagram. I promise I read all of the messages and comments. And if you want to be a guest on the show or know someone that would make a great guest simply fill out our application form and a team member will reach out if we think it’s a good fit. I’ll see you in the next episode.