Despite international treaties developing a set of minimum requirements for copyright law, legal protection of copyright in business is a national concern.
While businesses assume their copyright covers multiple territories, they are in fact at risk of having their creative works and products exploited by competitors. As businesses continue to create and develop creative and innovative products, these products need to be safeguarded against illegal use and reproduction.
Copyright, a legal type of protection, allows the copyright holder to profit financially from their innovation. Encouraging and promoting innovation in a variety of disciplines, copyright also makes knowledge and entertainment more accessible to the general public.
Commenting on international copyright, Hamid Bagherzadeh, Co-Founder of LegaMart said: “National governments are responsible for developing legal frameworks to protect the innovative works of creators in their territory, which can be challenging for international businesses.
“To work in international markets, it is essential for your business to seek the protection of rights in your markets of interest. Without securing intellectual property rights in overseas markets, you could risk significant financial and reputation loss by allowing competitors to exploit your creative work and products.”
Hamid outlines the three main reasons your business should take advantage of copyright:
- Financial gain
By copyrighting your products, you can generate a significant financial profile for your business. Copyright protection will allow you economic rights to your material, meaning you can charge a fee or royalty for the reproduction of your work. If others are looking to reproduce your work internationally, you have the right to benefit financially from their efforts abroad.
- Protecting and enhancing your reputation
Copyright gives your business the moral right to be identified as the creator of your material or innovation. This also means you can object to the distortion and mutilation of your material, which you feel may damage your reputation or integrity. This is particularly important as your materials are reproduced internationally, where nuances can be lost through translation.
- Avoiding legal disputes
Securing copyright registration is a pre-emptive measure to stop others from the unauthorised utilisation of your work. By registering a copyright, your business serves the public notification of your intellectual property, showing others that you are the owner of the work. This will aid in reducing the number of legal conflicts you are forced into.
In order to protect their business from such copyright infringement, it is important for businesses to:
Develop a comprehensive copyright policy. This policy should outline the acceptable use of copyrighted materials, explain applicable laws related to copyright infringement, and detail appropriate discipline in the event of an infringement.
Educate employees on intellectual property rights. Employees should be familiar with the copyright policy, be aware of the sources they can use to legally obtain copyrighted materials, and understand the potential consequences of copyright infringement.
Monitor compliance with copyright law. Regularly review documents to ensure that they are not using copyrighted material without permission. Additionally, audit employee activity to ensure they are not using copyrighted materials inappropriately.
Invest in digital security. In order to prevent unauthorised access to copyrighted materials, businesses should invest in digital security measures such as firewalls, encryption, and anti-virus software.
By following these steps, businesses can better protect their business from the risks of international copyright infringement.