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Episode 222: How To Safeguard Your Content with Copyright Protection – with April Beach and Francesca Witzburg

Francesca Witzburg SweetLife Entrepreneur Podcast April Beach

This episode is for those in Phase 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 of the Lifestyle Entrepreneur Roadmap™ Not sure what Phase your business is in?

 

Episode Bonuses:

Join Francesca live on Clubhouse Wednesday, April 14, 12:00 Eastern time Click here to join the SweetLife Entrepreneurs™ Club and get notifications and room links.

Who This Episode is Great For:

Those who want to know how to file for and use copyright protection. 

Summary:

In this episode we’re talking with The Trademark Attorney, Francesca Witzburg, about what you need to know when it comes to protecting your creative works by filing for copyright protection. If you’re a course or content creator, and you have work that is not protected, this is an urgent episode for you. We dive into who needs copyright protection, what you must be careful to do when hiring help to create works for you, and how to start the process of protecting your work. 
 
This is part 2 of a 2 part show with Francesca Witzburg. In part 1 we dove into Trademark protections for your work.

At the end of this episode you will:

  1. Know if you have work that needs to be protected
  2. Understand how to own the work that others create for you
  3. Have the first steps to file for copyright protection today

Resources Mentioned:


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Full Show Transcript:

 

You’re listening to the Sweetlife entrepreneur podcast, simplified strategies to grow your service business and launch a life you love faster with business mental and entrepreneur activator a probate. Hi everyone. And welcome back. So the show April beach here, host of this show and founder of this wheat life company. I’m so glad that you’ve joined us again. This is part two of a two part series that we’re doing with our special guests,

 

Francesca Whitesburg. Last week, we dove in to trademarking protection who needs trademarking, the difference between word marketing and design marking. And so if you miss that, please pause this show, go back and start with last week of that is an area of need in your business. That was episode number 221. And today this is episode number 222. This episode is for those of you who are in any stage of business development in that stage is connected to our start to scale up system.

 

If you don’t know what phase of business development you’re in, we have an amazing, powerful, free resource for you where you can take a short assessment and get the exact stage and phase of business development you’re in and get a complete list of what you should be working on right now. And you can get that short assessment and access all of those tools by visiting Sweetlife co.com

 

forward slash quiz. If you haven’t done that, or if it’s been a while, since you’ve tested where you are in your business growth phase, I highly recommend you tap into that amazing resource. Now let’s talk about what we can expect from today’s show. So this episode is for those of you who want to know how to step into the process of protecting your creative work through filing for copyright protection,

 

our guest is absolutely hands down amazing. She has done work for our company and many of our clients, and I’m so pleased that she agreed to be on this show. Today, we are talking with the trademarking attorney, Francesca Whitesburg about what you need to know when it comes to protecting your creative works by filing for copyright protection. If you’re a course creator,

 

if you’re a content creator, if you have work that you have actually built, brought to life in tangible form and you have not protected it yet, we need you to be very careful. That is your creative work. That is your genius, and you need to protect it so nobody else can take it from you. And so we’re talking about how to go about that in today’s show clearly a very important show for our audience.

 

Now, the end of this episode, you’re going to know if you have work that needs to be protected. You’re going to know the process of going through the first steps to filing for protection. And you’re going to understand a few other very important things like how to own the work that others create for you. Other independent contractors, and even how to avoid getting into trouble when using protected material from other businesses within your marketing.

 

There’s so many important things that we discuss on today’s show. And so I’m so glad that you’re here and you’re not missing it. So let’s talk about our guest. If you did not hear her amazing introduction last week, let me give you an introduction. Francesca Whitesburg is an award winning intellectual property law attorney specializing in trademarks brands and copyrights. She advises Tom businesses,

 

brands, entrepreneurs, professionals, talent, startups, and individuals. Francesca has experienced working at various in-house global luxury brands. She has also worked in the world’s largest law firm today. She’s a partner at an IP law firm, Loza and Loza and creates content on her Instagram. And she can be found at the trademark attorney on Instagram. She’s absolutely amazing.

 

So I’m very glad that you’re here, power packed episode. So let’s go ahead and dive in all of this show notes and the resources that we’re discussing can be found by visiting Sweetlife co.com and simply click on podcast. And this is episode number two 22. Also, we have one more important bonus. So Mark your calendar. If you are on clubhouse,

 

we invite you to join Francesca and me in our regular Wednesday room on Wednesday, April the 14th at 12 o’clock Eastern time. Now, what does that mean? That means you get to jump into a clubhouse room and you get to ask Francesca your copyright questions, your direct business questions. That’s what we love clubhouse. And we actually use clubhouses our community extension to this podcast now.

 

So we have a regular room. We host every single Wednesday at noon. You are invited to join us there this week on April, the 14th, Francesca is going to be there taking your copywriting questions as an extension from this podcast episode. So it’s an amazing opportunity of course, completely free and a chance for you to really get your business legal questions answered.

 

If you’d like to join this room, here are the steps to do that. Visit me on Instagram at April beach life. And you can click on the link in my bio and simply follow me on clubhouse and follow our club on clubhouse. When you do that, you’re going to have notifications and with clubs house, when your notifications are on, that gives you access to these very special rooms.

 

So very simply follow me on clubhouse. And I can be found at, at April beach on clubhouse, where you can go to my Instagram at April beach life on Instagram. And both of those opportunities will give you a chance to follow me there or giving you notifications in access to Francesca. So that’s our special bonus with today’s episode. And I know that’s going to be so powerful for so many of you who really do have important business questions you need answered right now.

 

So let’s go ahead and dive into today’s podcast episodes. Welcome back to another episode here on the Sweetlife entrepreneur and business podcast. I am joined again by my very favorite person this year, Francesca Whitesburg. She is here diving in with everything legal for you to protect your content, your intellectual property. And this is actually part two of a two part podcast episode we did last week.

 

We dove all into trademarking. So if you miss last week, pause this, go back to episode two 21 and start with that one and then come back here and join us. If you listened to last week, let’s get ready to go. We have so much to cover today and you are going to gain so much knowledge by this wonderful woman who is here just strictly to pour into you to protect your intellectual property.

 

So welcome back to the show. Francesca, thank you so much for me. Thank you for having me April. I’m excited to talk about copyrights. Yeah. Okay. So actually let’s go ahead and dive right in. So really what is copywriting for anybody who is absolutely brand new at this? They know they need to know what it is, but they don’t even have a baseline starting point.

 

Yeah, of course. So copyright is a form of intellectual property protection that the text creative works that can be your videos, your photos, your courses, the layout of their website, your podcasts. It covers anything that you’ve created. That’s fixed in a tangible media. So it can’t be like an idea in your head gotta be written down, actually like manifested in the real,

 

but once it’s out there, it’s protected automatically under copyright law. Okay. So let’s take a step back. I know we talked about it extensively in last week’s episode, but can you just give a general description to our listeners in what is intellectual property, Of course, intellectual property, which is IP, which we refer to as refers to creations of the mind.

 

They’re your invention. Anything that’s proprietary that you can upload your photos, your grants, your slogans, trade secrets. These are all things that you have created that either you or your business owns. I like to say you have your IP toolbox. And then in that tool box, there’s different tools you can use like patents, copyrights, trademarks, and trade secrets.

 

So good. Okay. So incredibly foundational, but yet so many businesses aren’t aware of that. All right. So my next question for you, and I know our listeners, especially those who listened to last week are automatically asking this question right now. What is the difference between a copyright protection and trademarking? Yes. Trademarks really protect source identifiers. So Sweetlife when you read that name,

 

you know, that that’s April beaches programs, she’s offering her consulting services April. You’ve seen, created a full brand around that. And also it’s your company name too, but to consumers, we know that that’s April. So that word tells people that if you get consulting from this person, it’s April, who’s behind it. The same thing. When you see Coca-Cola or burger King,

 

you go to a McDonald’s in Spain, you’re in a know that it’s the same person who’s behind that. That’s the function of a trademark. Now a copyright is a very different tool, but they can overlap. So copyright extends to any creative expressions. So if you have a really unique logo that went along with sweet life, I it’s like a little like circle with some interesting artwork in there that you use.

 

And when I, anyone one sees that I think April, but also it’s very detailed. It’s original. That can also be protected by copyright. So if you are working with IP counsel, a good lawyer is going to advise you holistically and really tell you all the tools that you can use to protect your intellectual property from different angles. Okay. Fascinating.

 

And so for our listeners, do they need to register their works for copyright protection? So copyrights are similar to trademarks in that they are granted automatically. As soon as you create something you posted online, put it, like we said, in the fixed medium, then you have protection. However, if someone is using your work in an unauthorized manner, that your permission,

 

right. To actually get them to stop in the United States, you need a registration certificate. So I like to say, you know, you could send them a letter, you can send them a DM telling them to take it down. Cause it’s, you know, using your copyrighted material. But with that, without a registration, it’s like waving an empty gun.

 

You’re really not gonna have any teeth behind it. Got it. Okay. And so let’s kind of just pause here because I want to get back into content around courses and really big written works that many of our listeners do, but let’s just kind of take a jog for a second and talk about a couple of areas where people tend to run into trouble and they have absolutely no idea when they’re using other people’s works.

 

So the first one is photography and using somebody else’s photography within your business, what do people need to know in relation to copyright? Anytime you use photos taken from the internet or anyone else’s photos, technically you need permission and you can get yourself into a lot of trouble if you use it even on just a random post or you’re using it for something more visible,

 

even mental, a lot of trouble. And so the way that you get around it is you either use photos and images that you’ve taken yourself, or you can purchase the rights to some of these images. That’s where you can use database as like Getty images to buy a license, to use those infants for certain purposes. Yeah. And I think that the,

 

you know, so many new businesses and actually even established businesses that are just trying to scale online, just kind of starting to get their Instagram out there. They don’t realize that grabbing another photo out there, you know, there is a license, but behind that and that you have to be within your legal rights to use that. And so just wanted to make sure that we were discussing that here on the show as well,

 

because I, I know that people have ran into problems with that in the past. Another kind of side question for you here, going back to our listeners original piece of work, their course that they’re creating the content that they’re delivering within their coaching programs or their mastermind, or they’re teaching their intellectual property, their methods, their signature programs, right. With some of our listeners hire other people to create parts of their work for them.

 

What do they need to know and be careful about when they’re doing that? Yeah, that’s a great point April. So when you hire someone to create whether it’s a logo with design web design, anytime you’re paying someone to build software or whatever it is, if they’re not an employee within the scope of employment, paying them a salary or hourly, or the bank benefits,

 

then technically they are the owner of the intellectual property. So you need a written assignment called an assignment for what an assignment means is a transfer of rights. So that person needs to sign a document that says all the intellectual property created around this program. And it’s more detailed than that, but I give all that copyright and all that property is transferred to two and you’re comfortable.

 

It’s very critical, especially if you’re going to pay a lot of money, really need to get this in writing because otherwise they own what you thought you paid for and they can continue to use themselves, or they can give it away to other people and competitors. Yeah. Imagine that nightmare hiring somebody to, you know, create something for you and your course or your program.

 

And then it’s not actually yours. So important. So thank you so much for discussing that. And that assignment is, is really incredibly important. And, you know, I know that the majority of our listeners, their teams that they have are actually independent contractors. So this is completely something that is critical for them to be aware of is this assignment within their independent contractor agreements.

 

And that’s why working with an expert like you to make sure it is, it says exactly what they used to say is so incredibly. Okay. So let’s go back to this process of protecting copyright. So another side question for you when our listeners are using the notation on the bottom of their slides or their PDFs or delivering, or their written work, and they have the little copyright protection and then they have the gear on there and then their ownership,

 

why is that important? And what is the correct way? If there is a correct way just to enter into that sort of, Yeah, you, you hit the nail on the head, you see the copyright symbol, which will say do it in an emoji you’re on like on your phone. And then you put either your name or your company’s name.

 

Whoever’s really claiming rights to that ID. And then the year, and what that does April is that’s putting third parties on notice it’s again, reminding people, Hey, this is my copyright. This is protectable information. If you use it without my authorization, it’s illegal. So don’t do it. We’ll do it. The only way that you can really get them to stop is if you file that registration.

 

Got it. Okay. And so I know that we get that question all the time. Clearly if I don’t answer it because I’m not an attorney and I know that so many of our users are wondering that, you know, they see that when can I use it? How do I use it? Especially those that have multiple years listed on that listing and in exactly how to go about doing that.

 

And so does the year usually reflect the original work or does the year cover when it is currently being protected in that listing on it? It could vary, right? So like sometimes it’s like people open up a book, you’ll see the original publication copyright notice, but then they’ll be the most current version. But for our purposes, I think it’s fine to do it.

 

Like, let’s say you had to create your website in 2020, you can have 20, 20 is the date, but then if you make changes to it, which you’re going to just keep updating, updating the year. Okay. So many, I already know that these are questions people listening or are having, okay. So now let’s go back to kind of the center of what we’re talking about here today for our listeners,

 

how do they start the process of protecting their intellectual property, their content course program outlines, where do they begin with this process? Yeah. I’d love the way you put it April, because you implicitly said, how do they protect what they already have? Everyone already has IP. It’s just a matter of understanding, which are your most important assets and how you go about protecting them.

 

So I actually offer an Ikea audit where I will look at websites, social media pages, courses, some of my clients give me access to their, you know, their subscription-based or whatever, log in to see their forces. I do a very holistic review. And then we will go get on the phone and do a 30 minute call to discuss what their most important assets are or we could talk about,

 

okay, here’s the name of your operating vendor? Have you thought about three markets that’s going to filing for that copyrights? Do you have your independent contractor agreement language? We’ll kind of go through and just do like a checklist, like as if I literally am doing an audit on your seat and make sure you have everything there. I recommend that as a starting point,

 

and there’s also an IP audit and I can action plan, which is like the deluxe version of that, which is going to really do a deep dive. And then we come up with eight phase one plan, which is your first three to six months on what filings to do. And then also the next like six to 12 plus months for the next round of filings,

 

because everyone has so much great content. That’s great IP. It gets a little overwhelming to think, Oh, I have to do everything. The reality is that you don’t, you stage it out. And if you have a plan strategy about it, it’s really not going to be that expensive. It’ll be way more expensive than the end. If you don’t do this.

 

And if you try to do deal with cease and desist letters or sending this letters as they arise. Yeah. Nightmare. So once somebody submits their work for copyright protection, each time they update it, do they need to resubmit that Great question. So anytime you modify a work that it becomes a new popular, it’s a new work. So I would say as long as the modification is substantially similar to the original work,

 

then you can rely on that. But if it’s very different and using that a lot publicly, it’s probably worth at least running it by an IP lawyer to come up with a strategy. Okay. So much great information, Francesca, thank you so much for being our guest again here on the show and joining us in clubhouse rooms where we talk about this.

 

There’s so many places where people can connect with you. You know, we highly recommend that people take up the opportunity to go through an IP audit. And what I love about why I have you on this show is that you understand the way service-based online entrepreneurs work and you understand what they’re creating and you understand courses and masterminds and signature programs, and you understand all these things.

 

And so it’s hard, frankly, to find an expert like you, that fully understands the assets that our listeners are creating. So thank you so much for being on the show and being an amazing resource and the best place for people to connect with you is through your Instagram. Is that correct? Yes. I have a link in my bio. It’s my counselee.

 

I’m happy to get on a 15 minute call just to hear about your business And to discuss if you want to do an IP audit or if you just want to Connect. Yeah. Great. All of you guys should take her up on that. It’s a very, I know it’s crazy. It’s totally free. So you can be found at the trademark attorney on Instagram and we will make sure that a link to that of course is in our show notes as well.

 

So it’s the trademark attorney on Instagram. And what is your clubhouse handle the trademark at the trademark attorney on clubhouse as well? Of course. Thank you so much for being here again and being our guest expert this week. I know that everybody really needed to hear a way, the things we’ve been talking about the last two weeks on the show. So certainly appreciate your time.

 

Absolutely. Thanks April. Thank you so much for sticking around with us. What an amazing episode Francesca is a super genius and perfectly in line with what our listeners and our clients need. If you would like to work with Francesca, if you would like to just take her up on her opportunity to connect with her for a free IP audit, please visit Francesca directly by visiting at the trademark attorney on Instagram.

 

So for handle is the trademark attorney on Instagram and the trademark attorney on clubhouse. She can be found at both of those places. Thank you so much for tuning into the show. Again, all the show notes and everything we talked about, and all these links can be found by visiting Sweetlife co.com. You guys have an awesome day. Bye bye for now.