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  • toby wray

Video Tips For Marketeers #16 Who Owns My Work?


Children kabuki theater in Nagahama (warrior Kumagai, 12 y.o.). Credit and CC licence at end of article.


Getting copyright for your work

There is no official register for copyright. It is an unregistered right, there is no official action to take, no forms to fill in or fees to pay. Copyright comes into effect as soon as something that can be protected is created and “fixed” in some way, for example on paper, tape or on the Internet.

The right to own your own material however applies more if you’re freelance or working on something that is clearly independent of your work in marketing/video. If you’re employed to produce visual content you will generally have signed a contract that anything you produce whilst being paid or using their equipment belongs to your employer. Even independent work must be clearly separate if you are to avoid a claim.

Copyright law is intended to protect your work, and the work of others. Since 1976, creative work (Intellectual Property) is now automatically copyrighted. What this means is that as soon as you put pen to paper or shoot a frame, you automatically have rights that no one can take away from you without your permission.

You could register your work with the UK Patent Office-although your work is protected before you register, registration gives you additional legal advantages. In order for you to protect yourself and your work, you should understand the copyright laws that regulate and control intellectual property.



Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. Credit and CC link at end of article


Controlling the use of your work

I recommend using a “Creative Commons” licence, which will allow others to view and use your work, so long as they are not making money from this. This encourages sharing and collaboration but avoids you being exploited. (You may be able to use some music and other material which is available under Creative Commons licences)

Creative Commons is a non-profit organisation that offers a flexible copyright for creative work. Offering your work under a Creative Commons license does not mean giving up your copyright. It means offering some of your rights to any taker, and only on certain conditions. Their web site lets you mix and match such conditions from the list of options below. There are a total of eleven Creative Commons licenses to choose from, here are a few examples:

  • Attribution. You let others copy, distribute, display, and perform your copyrighted work and derivative works based upon it but only if they give you credit.

  • Non-commercial. You let others copy, distribute, display, and perform your work and derivative works based upon it but for non- commercial purposes only.

  • No Derivative Works. You let others copy, distribute, display, and perform only verbatim copies of your work, not derivative works based upon it.

  • Share Alike. You allow others to distribute derivative works only under a license identical to the license that governs your work. Everything can be done via the Creative Commons web site http://cre- ativecommons.org/ where they have lots of easy to understand explanations and examples of how to use their licences. The licences are very clear and simple, with a link to the full legal code text where this is necessary.

Next week - Health and Safety

First Image; Lens Of Japan

Second Image; NIAID

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