Why Brands Should Protect Logo Design And Content
You work hard to get your website content written. You either toil over it yourself, writing excellent posts and agonising over word choice, or you hire an expert to do the same. The same goes for your logo design, as you’ve made something that’s unique to you. As this is the case, you need to protect your content. Here’s why it’s important to protect your content and logo, and how to go about doing so.
Logo Design and Content Can and Does Get Stolen
Your logo and content is tailor made just for your company and website. It’s been workshopped and edited and reworked until it’s ideal for the audience you’re cultivating. As this is the case, is it really true that someone would steal it?
It can and does happen. After all, why do all that work when someone else has already done it? There are, sadly, people out there who will think nothing of copying and pasting the words you worked hard on. There are others who honestly just don’t understand that it’s stealing. If it’s on the internet, it’s free, right?
The ‘Fair Use’ Debate and How It Affects You
If you discover your work has been stolen, your first thought will understandably be about steaming in and reading the riot act. However, you’ll need to take a step back first. Someone may be using your work under the ‘fair use’ clause of copyright law.
Basically, anything you publish online is protected by copyright law, without you explicitly having to say so. Portions can be used though under the fair use clause. The definition of ‘fair’ is somewhat hazy, but in general it’s fair if someone uses a portion of your work, especially if they link back to your original post. If they’re using your work as a jumping point to create something new, then they’re in the clear.
If someone has been taking entire posts from you, then it’s a different matter. Even if they link back to you, they’re still profiting from your work. It’s even worse if they pass off your content as your own. Then, you should have a good case for asking for it to be removed from their site.
Is It Worth Fighting?
The answer sounds obvious. ‘Someone’s stolen my work! Of course it’s worth fighting!’ Stand back and look at the bigger picture. Sometimes people find their content is being used by clients, or people they have working relationships with. They may think they have the right to use it, just as you have. That’s not the case, but consider whether it’s worth ruining a good working relationship over what has been taken.
Also, consider whether the website that took your content is more popular than yours. Look into your traffic figures. Are you getting a lot of hits because people are finding you through that stolen post? If so, it may well be worth letting it lie. Of course, keep an eye on them. If they take more and more content, it may then be time to take action.
How to Protect Your Logo and Content
The key to dealing with logo and content theft is to be proactive. You need to be on the lookout for stolen work online, and then deal with it swiftly.
– Search online for your work: There are several ways of doing this, so pick a way that’s right for you. Sites such as Copyscape will let you paste in your URL, and then they will show you all the sites that are using the same or similar content. This is very helpful, but be aware that they will charge to let you see all of your results.
You can also manually search online for your content, including images. Google reverse image search is very helpful for finding where your images have been shown elsewhere. This can take some time though, so you need to be willing to put in the hours.
– If you’ve found your work elsewhere: The first step is to reach out to the person who’s taken the content. If there’s an email address for them, use that. If you can’t find one listed, use a domain search to find it. Then, just email them civilly and ask them to remove it.
– If they won’t back down: If they refuse, you can appeal directly to the hosting service they use. They have to act on your request if you have proof, so remember to screenshot the offending page. It could take a while, but they should get the business logo and content removed.
Protect Yourself Against Copyright Claims
Of course, you wouldn’t steal other people’s content. If you buy content from writers though, you need to ensure you can trust them not to. After all, you don’t want a takedown notice issued against you. To stop this from happening, make sure you only buy from trusted sources, such as UK Writings.
Stop It From Happening Again
– Write up a sharing policy: People may want to share your work, so draw up a policy which outlines what they can and can’t take. Make it easy for people to share your page with social media, and you’ll get the clicks that you deserve, too.
– Display copyright notices: They don’t have to be obnoxious, but they should warn would be thieves to back off.
– Trademark your logo: If you have a unique logo, consider having it trademarked. It should make thieves think twice, and if it is stolen you’ve got a much stronger case for takedown requests and prosecution, if necessary.
– Be vigilant: Make sure you keep on the lookout for stolen content, and deal with it quickly when it happens. If you have a reputation for taking down stolen content as quickly as it appears, thieves aren’t going to bother as much with you.
Your logo and content is precious, so be sure to protect it. It doesn’t take much to steal, but it’s simple to get the stolen logo and content taken down, too.