Online Legal Protection

Online Legal Protection

Online Legal Protection Protecting Product Rights The rights to a product are something that most product creators these days – especially creators of information products – worry about.

The Internet offers us the ability to find any information that we want – that is what it is all about – the sharing of information. This doesn’t mean that you want to share the rights to your product.

The first thing you need is copyright. Copyrights are used on websites and in products – and may even be used in emails. Many people mistakenly think that copyrighting information requires filling out forms and paying fees. This isn’t true.

The fact is that as soon as you write something down or create something, it is copyrighted.

You don’t ever have to fill out a form, or pay a copyright fee, although in some instances, you may want to. This is typically done for hard copy books, music, and other creatives – but not usually done for digital products. This doesn’t mean that it cannot be done for digital products.

The fastest way to copyright something, however, is to add this statement:

That alone takes care of it, although because the person who first writes or creates something owns the copyright, it is important that you have some documentation that indicates the exact date that the product was created, in case someone tries to infringe on your copyright. Microsoft Word does this.

You won’t find the copyright symbol on your keyboard. It is created by holding down the CTRL key and pushing the numbers 0169. Give it a try. It can also be found in the character map, which you will find under your start button > all programs > accessories.

If you have work created for you, it is called ‘work for hire.’ Usually, the law requires that the copyright is automatically transferred to the person paying for the work, when the creator is paid for that work.

However, depending on whom you are dealing with, you may want to create an agreement that states exactly when and how the copyright is transferred to you.

Of course, copyrighting work doesn’t necessarily prevent others from stealing your hard work. There are many out there who are not above plagiarism – and this is a problem.

You can use a fabulous website called Copy Scape at  to see if others are using your work. This is a free service. If you find someone else using your work, the first step is to send them an email asking them to remove the plagiarized work.

If this fails, send them a registered letter, via postal mail. If that fails, you will most likely need a lawyer to intervene, and you may have to take them to court.

There are two other ways that you can protect your product rights. The first is a non-disclosure agreement, and the second is a non-compete agreement. These are useful when you have other people doing work on your product.

They know all of your secrets, and without a non-disclosure agreement, they are free to tell your competitors whatever they want to tell them.

A non-compete agreement is a little different from an NDA. A non-compete agreement essentially states that the person working for you is not allowed to compete with you or work for your competitors for a certain number of years after leaving your employment.

These are typically meant for full-time employees. They are not usually meant for people who do contract work, because it would prevent them from making a living after their work with you is finished.

For these people, NDA should be used instead. Like NDAs, non-compete agreements can also easily be found on the Internet, and you will find links to both in the resources section of this eBook.

Other than using technology that prevents people from printing or copying your work, or prevents them from seeing programming code, this is really all that you can do to protect your work.

Remember the steps for dealing with someone who has used your work:

1. Contact them via email. Request that they remove the plagiarized work.

2. Contact them via postal mail, using registered mail that they have to sign for, so you can prove that they received it.

3. Hire a lawyer, and have them contact the violator.

4. Take them to court.

Be prepared. Court action is not cheap, and neither is hiring a lawyer. If possible, work it out without either of these things, and only sue as a last resort.

Regards, Coyalita

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