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How to Protect Your Intellectual Property in the Internet Age?

It is common practice online to see people quoting other popular and renowned bloggers, and this is supported by copyright law
How to Protect Your Intellectual Property in the Internet Age?
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Entrepreneur Staff

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There are many intellectual property issues regarding the Internet Age and how to protect your IP in it. If you are confused about Intellectual Property Law, Copyright and Trademark issues, you are definitely not alone. Robert Klinck, the Founder of Klinck LLC tries to divert the attention of online entrepreneurs to the importance of IP by saying:

”The fact is that if you are an online entrepreneur, more than 90% of your business is intellectual property. Your platform, articles, content marketing strategy, email lists, all of that is your IP”.

This is why we have decided to talk about this growing concern of people who blog on a regular basis, or place their business in the digital realm, simply because it becomes a primary source of income for people who work hard to research and produce high-quality content and provide value to their online audience.

Intellectual Property and Guest Blogging

When it comes to copyright ownership in those situations when you are guest posting on other people's website, you have to make sure to check the agreement. If there is no such agreement, inside which legal boundaries are you allowed to operate?

You can publish the same post on your blog. Yeah, if the owner of the blog where you are guest posting didn’t present you with an agreement which specifically states that you cannot reuse that content in other places, you are allowed to post it wherever you like. Please be careful, though. As Google’s has a really strict policy on duplicate content online.

In the above mentioned case, the owner of the blog where you have posted retains copyright ownership too and is allowed to reuse your content how and whenever they wants.

What about Quoting from Others' Posts?

It is common practice online to see people quoting other popular and renowned bloggers, and this is supported by copyright law. It is defined under fair use doctrine, which is not as strict as some other sections of Copyright law. So, what are the general guidelines here?

You can use parts of blog posts from other bloggers when you want to make a point. When you do so, make sure not to quote more than is necessary. This means that you can copy and paste text written by another author or blogger, place it under quotes, and everyone will be happy, including owners of the intellectual property and their lawyers, especially if you mention the person you’ve copied from on your blog.

Inform your Readers

Whatever licensing scheme you decide to use for your content and on your blog, make sure to inform the website visitors about their and your own rights. This is usually done through an agreement called Terms and Conditions or Terms of Use.

For instance, if you use a creative commons open source licensing scheme and your content gets copied for commercial use without your previous consent, you won’t be able to use the restrictions of this license without previously notifying readers on your website.

These agreements are nothing more than contracts. In order for them to become legally binding, they require the acceptance of an offer on behalf of two parties – you and your website visitors. In order to invoke any license, you have to reference it in your copyright notice and publish it on your website, where everyone can see it.

There is one more important thing to mention about a copyright notice – this notice has to include the word copyright or the “©”, your name and the year when you’ve published your content for the first time. If you have been updating the content regularly, make sure to add a range of years to this notice.

There you go. These are some of the ways that will help you to protect your intellectual property in the Internet age. Since this is a legal matter, you also might consider hiring a lawyer or at least consulting one for some professional advice.

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