Blogs are online publications that include diaries or commentary on a range of subject areas. If you are putting time and effort into writing a blog, you will want to prevent others from copying your content and publishing it as their own. The work on your blog is likely protected by copyright. As such, it is essential that you understand how your rights work as you can then take appropriate steps to ensure others do not misuse it. This article will explain what these steps are to protect your copyright.
What is Copyright?
Copyright is an area of law that automatically protects creative works from being misused by others. It gives the owner of copyrighted material certain exclusive rights, including the right to:
- publish; or
- perform their work.
Copyright protection automatically attaches to creative work and does not require registration. Therefore, the work on your blog will receive protection as soon as you write it down.
Someone might be breaching your copyright if they use your copyright protected material without your permission. As a literary work, your blog is likely to receive copyright protection.
Your blog will probably also include photographs or videos that are protected works. As different creative works each receive copyright protection, your blog might consist of several elements that can be protected by copyright. The various aspects of your blog will attach copyright protection independently as separate works. This also means that there may be several copyright owners in the one blog.
Who Owns My Blog’s Copyright?
The owner of your blog’s copyright will depend on the circumstances surrounding the creation of different elements of your blog. Generally, the creator of your blog’s content will be the owner of its copyright. This is the person who first puts the work into material form.
As such, if your blog entry consists of different types of works, there may be multiple different copyright owners.
What Are My Rights?
Copyright law grants you with the right to exclusively use your original work in any way you wish. This exclusive right might vary depending on the type of material. Common rights include the rights to:
- communicate; and
- publicly perform the work.
If someone shares parts of your blog on their website with or without acknowledging you as the author, they may be infringing your copyright.
Additionally, some copyright owners also have moral rights. These include the right:
- to be accredited when someone uses your work; and
- for your work not to be used in a ‘derogatory’ way.
Moral rights are personal rights which stay with the creator of the work regardless of whether they have assigned the work’s copyright to another person.
What Can I Do if Someone Has Infringed My Rights?
It is essential to take steps to ensure that others are not using your material without your authorisation. The easiest way of doing this is to monitor your content on the internet to make sure that people are not sharing your podcast on other websites without your permission.
If you find that someone is infringing your material, you should send a cease and desist letter to the infringer. The letter should set out your rights and demand that the infringing party makes specific steps to stop the infringing conduct. Often, infringing parties will not know that they were committing copyright infringement and will take down the material once notified. It will then be a matter for you to decide whether you want to pursue additional legal action for the infringement.
If someone continues to infringe your copyright, you can take the matter to court. If the court finds that someone has infringed your copyright, they can grant an order such as:
An injunction is a legal order that restrains someone from invading the legal rights of another. You may apply to the court for an injunction to force the infringing party to take down your copyright-protected content. This could also restrain that party from infringing your copyright in the future.
Damages are an award of money that a court makes to compensate you for the loss that you might have suffered because of the infringement of your copyright. They intend to restore you to the financial position that you would have been in had the infringement not occurred. Therefore, damages are usually calculated on the basis of what licensing fee you would have charged for the use of your copyright.
However, additional damages can also be granted in circumstances where the infringer has blatantly disregarded your rights.
Account of Profits
If the infringer is held to have infringed your copyright, a court may order the party to account for any profits that they have received as a result of the infringement.
For example, if somebody shares your podcast on Youtube and they have financially benefited from sharing the material, you may be awarded the funds they have made. This stops a wrongdoer from receiving money unjustly.
When you are investing your time and effort into writing a blog, it is essential that you stop others from unjustly benefitting from your work. Copyright automatically affords rights to you when you create your work and does not involve any registration. As a blog is a creative work, you will likely own the copyright in anything original that you create. Therefore, if your copyright is infringed, you will likely be able to take legal action to enforce your rights. If you have any questions about your intellectual property rights or you need assistance protecting your blog, contact LegalVision’s IP lawyers on 1300 544 755 or fill out the form on this page.
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