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If you’re a blogger, a youtuber or any other type of online content creator, you need protection! It’s much easier to steal someone else’s work, and pass it off as your own. Than it is to work hard to create something. And, unfortunately, people will steal from anywhere. So, none of us are safe! It can also be very easy to fall into the trap of using copyright protected work. This can result in having content removed, and in serious/high value-cases, it can involve court. Don’t worry; it’s much easier to protect yourself from accidental misuse than you think. This post will be going through some easy ways you can protect yourself from both sides.
Ideally, you should create as much of your content as possible. But if you’re a blogger, it can be hard to source images. And if you’re a Youtuber, it is time consuming and expensive finding music you can use.
For images, Google can be your guide! If you intend to use images without making changes to them, you need permission to use them. When you perform a Google Image search, click on the “search tools” option. Select the tab that says “Labeled for Reuse,” and you’ll see all of the images you’re allowed to use. Be careful, though. Check the image’s website for any accreditation requirements in place that you need to follow. If you plan on editing the image, you have much more freedom. But always check that you have permission, anyway.
For music, it’s almost never alright to use popular songs. You need to look into “royalty free music.” Some websites make you pay for their music, but some give it to you for free. Almost all of them will ask for credit in the post or description.
Even if you don’t have to, it is a good idea to give people credit. They’re helping you; so you should help them.
But what happens if you see your video or blog post, on somebody else’s account? First, you should try and contact the content thief, to ask them to take it down. This sometimes works, as people don’t realize that they’re stealing. If this doesn’t work, you might need some help. You can use what is known as a “dmca takedown service,“ who will work to force the content to be taken down. Due to the high number of cases like this, companies have become very experienced. Which means that they can guarantee a win, if they take on your case.
You should also work on protecting your work before it gets stolen. For websites, all you need is a footnote that informs the user that everything is covered by copyright law. But, for videos or other content, you should include a warning in the descriptions that the content is not for reuse. This will deter potential thieves, and give you more of a claim to the content if you do have to fight for it.
This should give you a great basis to start working on locking-down your content. Do some research, and what out what the law states in your area. Copyright law is similar throughout most of the world but can differ very slightly.