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How to protect copyright online
4 mins

How to protect copyright online

Table of Contents:


    While content creation has never been easier to share online, it’s also never been easier to pirate. Thanks to the rise of online scammers, creators of all kinds now face the potential threat of having their copyright content stolen and pirated online. Digital rights management can help creators ensure their content is protected.

    Whether you’re a professional writer, singer, videographer, artist, photographer, or any other creator, it’s essential you take the proper steps to protect your content. This guide will help you understand how to protect your ebook, art, and any other copyrighted creative work online. 


    • What creative work does copyright protect 
    • How to protect your copyright online 
    • Monitor for copyright infringements online 

    What does copyright protect?

    Copyright protects your original work. So as long as a physical representation of your unique work exists, digitally or physically, it is legally protected by copyright. 

    Do you have to apply for a copyright in order to enforce it? In most cases, no. If you’ve made an original creation, from writing something to taking a photograph, you technically own that creation. Even if you don’t have an official copyright filed, it is still illegal for someone to copy and utilize your work. 

    So as long as your creation exists, digitally or physically, it is protected from being replicated by others. Though that doesn’t stop scammers from stealing content, it does mean you have the legal right to get infringements taken down when they occur. Digital rights management is vitally important to protect your copyrights and ensure infringements are dealt with before they can negatively impact your original work. 

    What types of creative work does copyright protect?

    Because creative works are so different from physical products, it can be tricky to know when they are copyright protected. The basic rule of thumb is that creative work is copyright protected if it tangibly exists, be it digitally or physically. An original idea for a creation, on the other hand, is not protected by copyright. 

    Take a novel or an original piece of writing as an example. The novel is a unique creative work of writing that is copyright protected and cannot legally be replicated, unless specified by the creator. The ideas within the novel, on the other hand, including theme, plot, structure, and more, are not copyright protected and can be utilized by others.

    The same rule applies to any of your creative works, be it a novel, photo, design, or something else entirely. Your creation doesn’t have to be published, public, or in it’s final form to be copyright protected, either. If you made it, your creation belongs to you and should be protected from scammers attempting to infringe on your work. 

    How long does copyright protection last?

    In almost all cases, your content is copyright protected throughout your entire life, as well as up to 70 years after your death. This number can vary depending on when and how you published your work. If you shared your creation anonymously, for example, your work is copyright protected for 95 years after the publication date. 

    After this expiration, all creative work enters into the public domain. This means it is no longer copyright protected and can be utilized by the public without legal repercussions. While you are living, your content belongs to you and there are no renewals necessary to ensure your content is protected from infringements. 

    How to protect copyright online

    While your content is copyright protected as soon as you have created it, this doesn’t automatically stop it from being stolen and copied. No matter which type of copyright you own, there are some general rules you can apply to protect your work from being infringed. Here are the steps you can take to ensure your content is well-protected: 

    Include a copyright symbol on your work

    The © symbol is widely known and helps people immediately identify that your work is copyright protected. You can include the copyright symbol directly on work, like the bottom of a web page, or on the platform in which you publish it, like an Instagram caption regarding a photo. 

    When using the copyright symbol, the name of the copyright owner should be included as well as the year the protected material was created. It should look something like this: 

    © J. Doe 2020. 

    Leave your contact information for reuse

    One of the benefits of sharing your work online is that others will see it and want to interact. This could mean reusing your work in some way, which you may be open to for a variety of reasons. Including your contact information makes it far easier for someone to contact you and ask your permission for reuse, instead of simply stealing your content.

    Add watermark for visual work

    Watermarks can deter others from stealing your photography and other visual creative works. Not only will it stop others from using your photos or visual art, but it can stop people from downloading it without paying for it. Watermarks can easily be added in-post to any visual creation without damaging the original work.

    Take down copyright infringement

    Despite all of your best digital rights management efforts, it is still far too easy for scammers to steal your creative work online. You may face copyright infringements anywhere online, and it’s important to take the proper steps to enforce your digital rights when infringement occurs. 

    To protect your online content, it’s important to report any copyright infringements you find online as soon as they occur. You can do this yourself, or look for a third party that provides digital rights management for you. Red Points’ DRM software can be game changing if you are constantly battling infringements online.

    Next steps

    No matter what system you use for digital rights management on your copyrighted work, it can still be stolen and replicated online. Scammers can steal your content and re-upload it in seconds, and it can be a full-time job monitoring these infringements. 
    Red Points is an easy-to-use solution that can make protecting your copyrights easier than ever. Click here to learn more about our domain protection software and how Red Points can help keep your content protected 24/7.


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