Copyright: don’t get it wrong

Legal protection of copyright in business is of national concern, says HAMID BAGHERZADEH

WHILE businesses assume their copyright covers multiple territories, their creative works and products could be exploited.

This legal type of protection allows the holder to financially profit from their innovation. By encouraging and promoting innovation, it could be argued that it makes knowledge and entertainment more accessible.

International copyrightNational governments are responsible for developing legal frameworks to protect innovative works  — which can be challenging for international businesses.

To work in international markets, it is essential for a business to seek the protection of rights in its markets of interest. Failure to do so could damage finances, and reputations, by allowing competitors to exploit creative work and products.

Copyrighting products can generate a significant financial profile for a business. It will allow creators economic rights to their material, meaning fees can be charged or royalties received for reproduction. If others are looking to reproduce your work internationally, you have the right to benefit financially from their efforts abroad.

Copyright gives your business the moral right to object to the distortion and mutilation of your material. This is particularly important internationally, where nuances can be lost through translation.

It’s also a pre-emptive measure to stop unauthorised use of your work. Registering a copyright serves the public notification of your intellectual property

It’s important to develop a comprehensive copyright policy outlining acceptable use terms, applicable laws, and discipline in the event of an infringement.

Employees should be educated on intellectual property rights and familiar with copyright policy. They should be aware of the sources they can legally use, and understand the potential consequences of infringement.

Compliance with copyright law should be regularly reviewed, and employee activity should be audited to ensure they are not inappropriately using copyrighted materials.

Digital security — firewalls, encryption, and anti-virus software — is a good investment.

Hamid Bagherzadeh is co-founder of LegaMart