I have registered my copyright work (patent, trademark) with an authorized copyright agency and my copyrights are therefore fully protected.
Unfortunately, things are not that simple.
There is an advantage of registering a copyright pertaining to the ability to recover statutory damages and attorney's fees in a successful action.
In the event of a dispute over property rights, however, attaching a registration document does not automatically trigger your winning the case. Registering your work does not mean that you have proven authorship or ownership of that work.
By doing so, you are only officially announcing your intention to publicly confirm that the work belongs to you and more or less, that is all you can achieve.
To establish full copyright protection in the first place, you need to
gather evidence that testify to the different stages of the progression of your work that you will submit when registering with an authorized copyright agency, in litigation, and in legal disputes;
put all the images, audio, video and text files that make up your collection of evidence in a zip file sealed with an encryption key, which only you, as the author of the work, can decrypt;
digitally sign the end product you want to protect and add an invisible, permanent and noiseless watermark, while raising data security and credibility to the highest possible level.
Now that you have completed the above steps, feel free to go registering your copyright, patent or trademark with an authorized copyright agency and consider it to be fully copyrighted.
Otherwise, the registration of your work would inevitably face many drawbacks and challenges.
I have posted my content on an online service under the auspices of a well-known company and they will protect my copyright over that content.
But protecting your copyright is your sole responsibility. You can protect the content you put up there, but you don't have to - it's up to you. Why expect someone else to do it?
For example, see what happened to our company VIDYPS 79 d.o.o. a few years ago.
Throughout the period 2012-2015, our company operated as a music distribution service with the aim of connecting its clients with multiple digital music platforms. One of these platforms was Vevo, a reputable on-demand advertising supported video streaming service, owned and financed by a few major labels, including Universal Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment.
Doing business with such reputable names means expecting unequivocal respect for your copyright, right?
In fact, it turned out that we were very naive. What happened next was shocking for us and our clients.
In 2015, we discovered that Vevo had illegally and secretly transferred about 1,000 videos distributed by VIDYPS 79 to a rather obscure New York based company called "MarvMent", which we knew nothing about.
It has caused us enormous and irreparable damage, from which we have not recovered to date.
This reckless behavior and poor experience, eventually, made us launch our own digital watermarking service. Building an ecosystem consisting of digital watermarking apps and tools will certainly be helpful in preventing similar issues from happening in the future. It determines our main goal and our mission.
Another textbook example presents a law firm from California seeking enormously high damages for imagery allegedly being the subject of dispute.
This way of communicating involves walking on thin ice hand in hand with copyright trolling, which is likely to eventually lead to filing a report with the Internet Crime Complaint Center.
It drastically confirms the importance of owning proof of ownership and applying the digital watermarking procedure over a copyrighted work.
Every online service must respect my copyright when it publishes my copyrighted work.
This is true, but only provided you present proof of ownership in advance and oblige the service to take this into account when publishing your work.
My copyrighted work, which has been made public, is my private property and must be treated that way.
In theory, yes, but in practice, this is often not the case. The work, which has been published on one of the online services, is considered by many to be public property with which they can do whatever they want (edit, copy, republish, etc.).
The reasons for such behavior are numerous, but we are not going to take a deep dive into them here. We will only say that the so-called "fair use" retaliates in copyright protection because it is often abused.
It turns out that anyone can take your work without your consent and republish it under a different name (or even using your own), with the explanation that he's been doing so for "honest, educational, intangible reasons".
When the damage has been done, the reasoning is irrelevant.
Customers only care about what they buy, they don't care who the seller is and are not interested in contributing to someone's copyright protection.
This is also a big misconception, and it is especially emphasized in the digital sphere. Customers do care about what they buy, where they buy and who they buy from.
If they have a choice, people will always buy goods from a seller who they are sure is not selling fake products. They also want to make sure that the money from the sale will end up in the pockets of the author(s).
A good example is a rock concert. People will be pleased to buy a ticket for the concert, because they are sure that they will watch exactly what they've paid for - a band playing on stage.
When buying a DVD, CD, record, cassette, etc., customers begin to wonder if they are really buying an authentic product or something undefined from a fly-by-night printer running up pirate copies.
And then, in the world of digital products, things become absurd. The very same people, who will be happy to buy a ticket for a concert or buy a DVD, will now prefer to download or stream that same music for free.
When it comes to spending money on a digital product, people just don't feel like they're dealing with something real and authentic. Digital content must be presented in such a way that consumers understand its nature.
Otherwise, it should come as no surprise that sales are not meeting expectations.
My work is digitally signed and thus sufficiently protected.
This is only partially true. The digital signature confirms the digital identity of the file, but only on condition that the file as a whole remains identical to the original.
Even the slightest change in the file results in the removal of the signature (e.g. converting WAV to MP3, or converting PNG to JPG, or any change in file size, resolution, audio or video bitrate, omission of some pages in a PDF file etc.).
Therefore, we introduce the digital watermark as a mathematically superior degree of protection that is physically embedded in the file and serves as its global unique identifier and copyright protection tool.
Contact us and request a quote
We have designed two innovative solutions that cover all aspects of copyright and intellectual property protection, primarily in the digital world.
One solution involves creating an encrypted set of files which provide corroborating evidence to illustrate the progression of the author's work.
The second solution includes digital watermarking applied to different file types (images, audio, video, animated GIF, PDF), so that the files become fully copyrighted and uniquely identified.
These files are made available for further distribution to all digital platforms, PDF books and music stores, audio and video streaming services, stock photo sites and online marketplaces. You can use them as evidence in legal disputes and litigation.
Our team will guide you through the process of using tools and solutions that guarantee the preservation of integrity and ensure the authenticity of the content you provide to us.
Don't hesitate to contact us anytime.