One way to protect your creative work online…(and it’s free).

One way to protect your creative work online…(and it’s free).
You’re a genius.
(You knew that right?)
And finally, you started sharing your mind-blowing craft with the world.
Your words.
Your art.
Your images.
Your sounds (think music, podcasts, etc).
Larger-than-life opportunities are in your midst.
So, share on. The world needs to witness your work.

Source: Giphy


However, you know like I do that people take sh#@ that doesn’t belong to them.

I see conversations happening on Twitter and Facebook, every single day.
“Someone reposted my article and didn’t give me credit.”
Sound familiar?
Luckily, you own the copyright to your work the second that you publish it.

Copyright is a nebulous, legal term that you hear thrown around all of the time, but what does it really mean?

Owning the copyright to your work means that you own a bundle of rights including the right to:

  • Reproduce your work;
  • Distribute or sell your work;
  • Grant a license for others to distribute or sell your work;
  • Modify your original work, or create a derivative (a work based on an original);
  • Perform or display the copyrighted work.

Unless you give permission, others do not have the legal right to reshare your work online, even if they give you credit.

I know you’re saying, “But, Patrice, I want others to share my work. I’m trying to build buzz.”

And my response? I know. So, if you are perfectly okay with folks sharing the creative work on your blog or website then do this one thing.

Add a Creative Commons license to your website. 

The Creative Commons license will explain to your website visitors the rules of your land, and how they may reuse your work. There are six different types of Creative Commons licenses, but these are the most popular (excerpted from their website):

  • Attribution: Lets others distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon your work, even commercially, as long as they credit you for the original creation.
  • Attribution-No Derivative: Allows for redistribution, commercial and non-commercial, as long as it is passed along unchanged and in whole, with credit to you.
  • Attribution-Non-Commercial: Lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work non-commercially, and although their new works must also acknowledge you and be non-commercial.
The next step is answering a few simple questions on the Creative Commons website:

The website will generate a code that you or your web developer can add to the footer of your website with the details of your license. That’s it.

Have you ever had your creative work stolen online? Tell me your story.

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