Frisk Insights | Cheats | 05
This edition of Frisk Insights discusses IP ownership. Read on if you're responsible for creating content.
IP Ownership – why should you care?
Often compliance trainers are drafted in to help companies build training (such as the Frisk team) or you might have your own internal training team busy building content. Either way, as a content creator, you must take ownership by controlling how your content is licensed, distributed and protected. Protecting your IP gives you several advantages, amongst others, you can:
- Sell content using different licence models
- Rein in reposts that contain derivations of your work
- Protect your reputation by sharing content alongside your terms
- Control what people do with your content (view, download, use in-house or for social media purposes, etc.)
What is copyright?
Essentially, copyright means people must request the right to copy your work. Copyright can stop people from copying your work and distributing it via social media, adapting your work and creating derivations.
There's nothing more frustrating than working day and night on a course, only to find that someone has adapted your work for their own internal use or worse still – shared it with a competitor and reused your content. Many content creators have a horror story to share, when their work is commercialised elsewhere.
If someone does ask you for the right to reuse your work and you agree, always ask to see and approve the final draft before it goes live. I can't stress how important this is, otherwise your work could be taken out of context and published alongside other promotional articles or content as a way to authenticate another person's opinions or work. It gives you a chance to check the use of your logos and brand guidelines, too.
The UK Government offers practical advice on 'How Copyright Protects your work' (via this link: https://www.gov.uk/copyright). Additionally, I've shared a few general pointers below, that help you take control of your IP, brand and distribution.
Trademarks and copyright are separate concepts; however, they work hand in hand. Registering a trademark was the first thing I did when starting my business.
When we rebranded years later, I re-registered the Frisk Online Portal as a trade mark. When we produce an e-course, it is very important that we identify the content as ours and then wrap around our IP terms. I took some advice from a local solicitor who specialised in trademarks. He was just retiring, and when he heard I was starting out in my twenties, he offered advice and didn't charge a penny! He said, "Keep it Simple... don't assign loads of categories to the trademark, when one or two simply works for all".
I got it instantly. Keeping it as broad as possible is the key. We'd still always recommend taking independent legal advice, that's relevant to your own unique set of circumstances.
Your copyright statement
The Frisk Copyright statement takes the following format: © 2023 Frisk Online Limited. All rights reserved. You don't necessarily need to display a copyright statement to get protection – it's an automatic right. I'm of the opinion that it reminds people to ask us if they want to use our materials, so I am always keen to display it against the works we create. Bear in mind, in the UK, your protection does has a shelf life.
Routinely, we update the date of the Frisk copyright statement each year on any published materials – it reflects the publishing date. We do have a few formulae in place that auto-update!
Frisk Online licence training materials on a 12-monthly basis through our distributors. We also sell content on a perpetual basis. This means it can be used on an internal use basis, without time limits, and not commercialised. We describe these licence conditions through an IP Licence.
When a copywriter or translator works on our materials they sign an IP Licence to pass back rights in the new version they create. We have similar terms for content improvements suggested by clients and the donations they make to our 'knowledge share'. If you don't apply such terms, routinely, you will dilute your work as other people have an automatic claim against your content.
I once approached a well-known artist who produced comical cartoons for a national newspaper. I wanted him to draw a series of information security cartoons. He said, "When selling my content on a commissioned basis, I usually charge x3 times the cost of the project, as I can expect you to sell it at least three times." He wanted to sell me one drawing for £2500 (excluding VAT) – 16 years ago!
Now, here's some homework for you: what is the difference between Frisk's perpetual and commissioned deliverable licence? We've explained some of this in our terms. But, as a content creator, it's important that you know the difference, rationalise how you licence content and enforce agreements to avoid undervaluing your content.
In a nutshell
It is more than essential that you find a lawyer who specialises in IP Licensing (+ disclaimers and liabilities) before publishing your content, and you must understand how to implement IP licence agreements into your terms. It helps you sell content amicably, protect your reputation and know your worth. Want to find out more?
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If you want to get a free demo of our training, head over to OpenSesame. https://www.opensesame.com/site/free-trial.
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The Content in Frisk Insights is for general information purposes; as a demonstration of Frisk’s Training Materials and Services; and not intended to cover any specific topic in full. This Content, and information, opinions or assistance provided by Frisk and/or its representatives (including in any Content (such as blogs, email, e-courses, Vimeo demos, LinkedIn insights, articles and ‘other’ Content available through third-party links), made available by Frisk, Training Materials or Commissioned Deliverables or as part of any Services) should not, therefore, be relied upon or construed to be: legal, security, regulatory, tax or other professional advice. The Content is provided “as is” and, to the fullest extent permitted by law, Frisk: disclaims all liability arising from its use; makes the Content available without representations, warranties or guarantees (whether express or implied); can not confirm that the Content is accurate, up to date, complete or error free; and shall have no liability for loss or damage caused to the User, to the extent that such loss or damage is caused by the User and/or a Third-Party Platform (including the unavailability of any Third Party Platform or errors and/defects caused by a Third Party Platform). You must always seek independent and professional advice that is applicable to your circumstances, and do this before using the Content.
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