Don’t forget to copyright

by The City Wire staff ([email protected]) 62 views 

Editor’s note: Michelle Stockman works with Little Rock-based Arkansas Capital Corp. to promote entrepreneurship development around the state. Stockman earned a bachelor’s degree from Loyola University-Chicago in communications and fine arts, and earned a master’s in entrepreneurship from Western Carolina University. Her thoughts on business success appear each Monday on The City Wire.

The first step in creating a business is typically creating a new product or service to bring to the market place. In doing so, the aspiring business owner will create some form of intellectual property along with the business start-up.

While there are several types of intellectual property and means to protect that property, the most common type of intellectual property protection sought after is copyright protection.
 
Whether the business creates a tag line, sells a book, music or creates software code, copyright protection will give the creator of the content the right to use it exclusively. That means no one else can copy or use what was created for a period of 70 years. The catch with copyrights is the owner of the intellectual property is in charge of policing the illegal use of their materials and taking legal action to maintain its’ copyright status.
 
Material that can be copyrighted include published and unpublished literary, musical, artistic and other forms of written works. While dating the work allows it protection under copyright laws, it is better to register the work with the U.S. Copyright Office. Simply filing the appropriate form and paying a small fee will record the work with the U.S. Copyright Office, which will allow the owner of that work appropriate documentation to defend any violations against the copyrighted work.
 
While copyright law has further complexities, to get started in protecting the property that one may need to protect for the livelihood of the business is pretty simple.