New ideas and content is rare. Most of what we read online is repackaged, edited differently, or put in different words. In the world of content over-saturation, it’s not easy to respect copyright and avoid plagiarism entirely. Sometimes business owners end up violating copyright or plagiarizing content without even realizing it. At Brand Maximum, we believe thorough research is important to help avoid legal trouble down the line.
Why is respecting copyright and avoiding plagiarism important?
Businesses use content, unique ideas, and unique products/services to stand apart from competitors. These assets draw larger audiences to your doorstep and help you develop a good relationship with prospective customers. If you use plagiarized assets, the relationship between your business and prospective customers is based on a false premise. This can break trust and compromise your company’s reputation almost irreparably.
This can often be more damaging than any legal trouble you might end up in. Customers are spoilt for choice so given the option, they will choose a company that hasn’t plagiarized content or products. While plagiarizing provides a temporary boost, it can have long-term consequences.
Research before you create.
Many creators unknowingly infringe on copyrights or plagiarize content. That’s why it’s important to research before you start working on your new idea. While it can be a little disheartening to know your idea isn’t completely new, it can help you avoid legal trouble down the line. The “I didn’t know” defense doesn’t work in this day and age where we have all the information we need at our fingertips.
During research, take time to understand how other people have utilized the idea and presented it. This will allow you to create your own, distinct interpretation of it without violating any copyrights. If you’re uncertain, consult with a legal professional before starting the creating process. This can help save a lot of time, money, and effort.
How to avoid infringement?
It’s easy to avoid copyright infringement or accusations of plagiarism if you’re careful and thorough. Here are some tips that can help with the process:
- Use original content as much as possible.
- Ask the original creator for permission and cite all sources clearly.
- Purchase the right to use the content.
- Pay particular attention to photograph content as non-licensed use can be identified easily.
- Use plagiarism checkers for text content. They will reveal if your content is too similar to other content available online.
- Double check all citations and sources to make sure they lead to the right places.
It’s also a good idea to copyright your own intellectual property to ensure no one else can steal it down the line. If you have really unique ideas, you should take every step possible to protect them.