Copyright concerns can plague small business owners. 

Often, they do not fully understand the legal ins and outs of copyright law. At the same time, they are encountering a range of works with copyrights on them, including others’ photos, websites, and music. Plus, they may be producing work that needs to be or is copyrighted. 

So how do you navigate others’ copyrights and protect your own? We have put together a brief overview to help answer these questions.

Copyright concerns small business owners often face

The first concern is how to deal with others’ copyright material. The most important thing to do is be aware that others’ work can be copyrighted – and that that copyright needs to be respected.

What if you want to use someone else’s material? There are certain pieces of material you may be able to use for certain purposes. For example, you can include a quote from someone else’s writing, provided you give them credit. 

With the majority of material with a copyright on it, however, you have to ask permission or purchase the copyright from the owner.

Copyrighting your own material

You may also face issues with your own material. The biggest thing to remember is that your small business has intellectual property – and it is important to protect it through copyrights and trademarks. Although, in Canada, any work that you create has automatic copyright protection and registration is not required, registering your intellectual property makes others clearly aware that you own it, and can make it easier to support an allegation of copyright infringement. 

Not sure if you need to take steps to protect your intellectual property? The government has some great information about the various options. 

The best way to avoid any copyright issues, however, is to work with a small business lawyer. 

Here at Benchmark Law, we understand copyright law. If you have any questions about the use of someone else’s intellectual property, or want to protect your own, we can help.

Reach out to us and we will help you handle them.