THE NOODLE-HEAD The other day I had quite a shock. A student who was taking one of my Internet courses e-mailed me to tell me that it was so beneficial “I emailed copies to all my friends and family.” Thereby circumventing my $29.99 per course, and violating my copyright.
THE KNAVE I also market coaches. I design websites, including search engine optimization. In doing some work for a client, I discovered suddenly someone had overtaken them on search engine. When I checked, it turned out they had completely copied source codes I’d done, keywords and all. Not one word was changed.
THE NERVE Another client was checking out competition on web one day – he cuts plastics – and found someone had copied his entire entry page, just changing logo and company name where needed. Same photos, same placement, same ad copy, same menu buttons ...
TIME TO CHECK WITH YOUR ATTORNEY ABOUT YOUR INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS?
Check with your attorney, because it’s confusing. Even being a certified paralegal, I find intellectual property law daunting.
According to Cornell Law School website, “under current law, works are covered whether or not a copyright is attached and whether or not work is registered.” (This means registered with US Copyright Office.)
HOWEVER, American Intellectual Property Lawyers Association [AIPLA] says “registration … is not required for existence of copyright; however, it is a prerequisite to a lawsuit for copyright infringement and to certain legal remedies.” [Source: http://www.aipla.org/Content/ContentGroups/Publications1/Publications_available_for_viewing1/What_is_a_Patent_and_Trademark.htm ] They recommend you have a specialist draft document.