I create a lot of content in my line of work, which means it is regularly being “borrowed”. That’s a nice way of me saying people steal my content and reuse it for their own gains. It’s pretty easy to do in this age of the Internet and the anonymity that comes with it. But easy or not, content creators have rights so I called up Jim Coles intellectual property attorney at Densborn and Blachly to give me a quick overview of my rights as a content creator.
I found it interesting to learn the difference between all of the different ways you can protect your ideas. I’ve probably done more research about intellectual property than the average guy but I still didn’t fully understand the difference between patent, trademark, copyright, and trade secret. Thankfully, Jim explained it to me.
Patent – protects the embodiment of an idea, doesn’t protect the abstract idea.
Trademark – protects the source of a good or service.
Copyright – protects the expression of your idea, whether it be in writing, a painting, or something stored on a computer.
Trade Secret – protects your idea in the abstract, not the embodiment of it.
If you are creating content and want to protect your rights there are a few ways to do it, but the first is to make sure your idea doesn’t already exist somewhere else. A quick search will enlighten you. Also, you can search trademarks here. Fact is, if you create something, someone somewhere will try and steal it, so know your rights and protect yourself.
Peter Dunn a.k.a. Pete the Planner® is an award-winning financial mind and a former comedian. He’s a USA TODAY columnist, author of ten books, and is the host of the popular radio show and podcast, The Pete the Planner Show. Pete is considered one of the foremost experts on financial wellness in the world, but he’s just as likely to talk your ear off about bass fishing.